The Black Forest is one of Germany’s most visited tourist attractions. This stunning region receives more than 13.5 million tourists every year, many of which are in fact repeat visitors. There is something truly magical in the natural landscapes of this German region. Perhaps it’s the feeling that time seems to have stood still, or maybe there’s something about the pristine nature and breathtaking scenery of the area. It may also have to do with the charm of the Black Forest remote mountain villages. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: the Black Forest is well worth a visit. Below you will find a list of destinations to help you explore the highlights of the area.
Driving around the Black Forest
The best way of exploring everything that the Black Forest has to offer is by car, as the region is sparsely populated and relying on public transport is not practical. There are plenty of reputable car rental agencies in the cities that serve as gateways to the Black Forest. For example, you can find Alamo car hire offices in Cologne, Heildelberg, or Freiburg. For your convenience, there are several scenic driving routes that are clearly signposted and tat branch off the A5 motorway. Suggested drives include the German Clock route, the Black Forest High road, the Kinzig Valley road, and the Baden Wine route.
Moutain villages in the Black Forest
The Central Black Forest region is your best introduction to the area’s culture and history. Here you will find many towns and villages that have managed to retain their traditional character and charm. Farmers’ markets, Christmas markets, museums, and old-style farms are some things you can expect to find in the region. Calw, Zavelstein, and Bad Teinach are some recommended destinations.
Mountains and waterfalls
The mountains in this area might not be particularly high, but this doesn’t make them less spectacular. The highest peak is the Feldberg, which at 5,000 feet high offers superb views over the Black Forest. If you visit during the winter, the Feldberg is also great for cross-country skiing. If you are in the region, a trek to the Triberg waterfalls is a must, as they are the highest in the country and also easily accessible. Alternatively, you can drive to Baiersbronn, which is a great base for mountain hikes of varying difficulty into the Black Forest.
Wining and dining in the Black Forest
The wines produced in the region have been internationally acclaimed, so don’t miss your chance of exploring this wine-growing region and of sampling its best produce. The Kaiserstuhl-Tuniberg region, located in the southern Black Forest, has many vineyards offering free tours, idyllic vistas, and rustic hotels offering the best of the regional gastronomy (including the world famous Black Forest gateau).
Cuckoo clock makers
The Black Forest is also known for being home to some of the best cuckoo clock makers. The town of Furtwangen is a good starting point if you want to learn more about the history of this craft, as it has a museum devoted to the art of clock-making and many artisan workshops.