Welcome to Avis

Silver Route

The Silver Route ... On the road in the Erzgebirge

Silver was mined as early as the 12th century in the region between the towns of Zwickau and Dresden and the Czech border area. This not only spawned the name of these mountains, the Erzgebirge [Ore Mountains], it defined their character in other ways, too.

The peaceful, idyllic natural beauty of the mountains is a delicate contrast to the industrial products generated by the mining industry. As silver mining declined and the significance of cobalt, nickel and uranium was yet to be recognised, locals were forced to find other means of support and in the quiet mountain valleys today, those traditional crafts still survive in the form of the popular smoking figurines, wooden toys and lace-making.

The Silver Route is a journey back in time: follow the trail from the mines to the furnaces and the mints, all the way to Dresden and the cavernous royal vaults of the Wettin rulers. If you’re a fan of auto history, you'll be pleased to hear the route passes through the epicentre of GDR car production: Zwickau was where the iconic Trabant rolled off the line while the cult MZ motorbikes were manufactured in Zschopau.

It goes without saying, but any wine stops detailed on this page are for the benefit of hire car passengers ... designated drivers must confine themselves to drinking in the scenery.