If you’ve booked a trip to the Black Forest, remember it’s not all long walks and beer. Make sure you schedule in some time for these unforgettable experiences too.
Located in the southwest of Germany, the Black Forest region is one of the most popular tourists destinations in the country. The Romans coined the term ‘Black Forest’, due to the area being a largely dense and dark, intimidating place.
The Black Forest may be the setting where Hansel and Gretel almost met their fate, but that hasn’t put off the swarms of tourists who visit it each year. And for good reason too.
The Black Forest region is actually made up of not just forest, but towns and cities as well, so for the eager explorer, it offers a superb mix of hiking and trailing options as well as delicious restaurants and towns to enjoy in between hikes.
Here are some of our favorite ways to spend time in the Black Forest.
Cuckoo Clock Adventure
You’ll kick yourself if you miss this. The world’s oldest and largest cuckoo clock, built by Joseph Dold in 1980, is certainly something to put on your holiday itinerary. Joseph is also normally around to explain the history and inner workings of the clock. There is nowhere else in the world that offers this opportunity, and it will certainly make for a great story when you return home!
Much like the ubiquitous cuckoo clock, no trip to the Black Forest is complete without a slice of deliciously rich Black Forest Gateau at Café Schafer. There’s no better place to indulge in this than at Café Schafer, where you can be treated to a traditionally prepared gateau, made with cherry brandy, whipped cream and shaved chocolate. This is an experience not to be missed!
Black Forest Hikes
Walk off your gateau by undertaking a hike in the Black Forest. There are hundreds of different trials to choose from, through an impressive fourteen thousand miles of Black Forest scenery. See Black Forest Hikes for routes and advice.
Many of the trials will be colour-coded, so you will need to pay attention on your hike to ensure you stick to the right trail. You wouldn’t be the first to get muddled up! Fortunately, there are plenty of huts along the way offering drink and snacks, so you can always stop here and ask if you get stuck.
As with any holiday, make sure you organise European travel insurance. This gives you peace of mind that should you have a slip or trip whilst hiking, you will be fully covered.
Open Air Museum
Experience a taste of the past, with a visit to an open-air museum in Vogtsbauernof. Be prepared to spend several hours here, taking in the sights and smells of a traditional German village. Interact with staff in traditional dress and learn about the history of the area as well as how this part of Germany has evolved. The museum features its own train station and you also have the opportunity to purchase authentic food and drink whilst you’re there too.
At 1.4 kilometres long and sixty-one metres deep, Lake Schluchsee is the largest lake in the Black Forest. This artificial lake is popular for water sports and due to its clean water; it’s a regular spot for swimmers too. A walk around the lake offers fantastic views of the forest, from a totally different viewpoint. In the summer months, you might want to take advantage of the heated outdoor pool and children’s adventure playground situated nearby.
Baden Baden has been a popular spa destination for over two thousand years. The resort offers twelve thermal spas and is a favourite amongst foreign and domestic tourists alike. Previous visitors to the spa have included Barak Obama and Victoria Beckham. The town’s therapeutic waters bubble away from two thousand metres below, providing relief from a variety of illnesses and conditions, including heart problems and arthritis.
It’s a wonderful way to end your holiday in the Black Forest, as you can rest and recuperate your tired body in the beautiful setting of one of Germany’s most lusted after resorts.
How have you experienced the Black Forest?
Pin it for later?