is a hilly region in Germany
. It occupies parts of southwestern North Rhine-Westphalia
and northwestern Rhineland-Palatinate
The Eifel is bordered by the Moselle river in the south and the Rhine in the east. In the north it is continued by the hills of the High Venn (Hohes Venn), in the west by the Ardennes. (Ardennes and Eifel are actually the same geological region.)
In the Tertiary the Eifel was a site of extensive volcanic activity. Some of the hills are volcanoes, which became extinct long ago. The lakes of the regions are former volcanic craters (maars).
There are several distinct hill chains within the Eifel.
- The northernmost parts are called Ahrgebirge and rise north of the Ahr River in the district of Ahrweiler.
- South of that river there is the Hohe Eifel ("High Eifel"), with the Hohe Acht (747 m) being the highest mountain of the Eifel.
- In the west, on the Belgian border, the hills are known as Schneifel (originally Schnee-Eifel, = "Snowy Eifel"), rising up to 698 m.
- The southern half of the Eifel is less high. They are cut by several rivers running north-south towards the Moselle. The largest of these rivers is the Kyll, and the hills on either side of this river are called the Kyllwald.
- In the south the Eifel is concluded by the Voreifel above the Moselle.
Since 2004 about 110 km²
of the Eifel are protected as the Eifel National Park.