Passau Tourism Passau Tourism

Hiking Guide Melanie Unholzer


Passion for Nature in Triad

Melanie Unholzer leans against the railing of the wooden footbridge and lets her gaze wander. Over the steep cliffs here at the Passau Triftsperre, over the low-hanging branches on the bank and over the river’s water, which disappears from her field of vision at the next bend ahead.


Melanie Unholzer is a certified hiking guide. The 43-year-old regularly shows her guests this gem on the outskirts of Passau. But it is not only the beauty of nature that she focuses on during her hikes: She is a Goldsteig trail sponsor for the stages between Ruderting, Passau, and Hauzenberg. As such, she is responsible for the maintenance of the long-distance hiking trail.


In 2020, Melanie Unholzer fulfilled her wish to turn her passions for hiking and nature into a profession. She passed the exams to become a hiking guide and a nature and landscape guide. "On my tours, I try to open people's eyes to the little things along the way," she says. Her guests should consciously perceive their surroundings during her tours - "but also be aware of themselves," the 42-year-old says. And for this purpose, she offers a very special form of exercise: fasting and hiking. At the same time as her training as a hiking guide, Melanie Unholzer also trained as a medically certified Fastenleiter, an expert on fasting. She coaches people in "healthy refraining", leads fasting weeks - and combines this with tours.


Melanie Unholzer walks a few steps along the banks of the Ilz river, discovers pink-flowering impatiens, and plucks off a bud. "You can eat it, from seed to flower," she says. And that's where her third passion comes in, along with hiking and fasting: plants and herbs. Melanie Unholzer trained as a herbal educator in 2022. On herb walks, she explains what grows by the wayside and what can be used to season your salad at home. Hiking, fasting, herbs: this triad is Melanie Unholzer's passion.


Melanie Unholzer’s hiking tip: The route from the Triftsperre to the Veste Oberhaus. Pristine nature between the Triftsperre and the Ilzstausee, a short, challenging climb from Hals up to the Rennweg, and finally the castle complex. Here at its gate, the Goldsteig stage also ends. "At the finish, you are rewarded with the breathtaking view of Passau's old town."


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