Germany: The Ultimate Road Trip
Aside from its city breaks, Germany is not as obvious a holiday destination for UK tourists as it merits. This is a great shame: the country’s historic towns, fairy tale castles, vineyards, quiet beaches, relaxing spas (usually referred to as “health and wellness” centres) and rich industrial heritage make it worthy of further exploration and a wonderful place for a trip that’s a little out of the ordinary. And, given that it is also the land of the autobahn, what better way to explore it than by road?
The Romantic Road
The German National Tourist Board’s visitors’ choice for 2017, the Romantic Road is Germany encapsulated along one 400km spread of road in Bavaria from Würzburg to Füssen. Baroque and Rococo architecture, historic university towns, Franconian wine, Bavarian beer and, of course, Neuschwanstein, the castle that inspired Walt Disney all await.
Black Forest Panoramic Route
The Black Forest is the Germany of rich gateaux, cherry brandy, Hansel and Gretel and cuckoo clocks. However, as well as trees as dense and impenetrable as anyone’s wildest childhood imaginings, there’s much more to both the Black Forest National Park and the Southern Black Forest Nature Park. Park the car and explore mountains, gorges, lakes via miles and miles of scenic hiking and biking trails. Then there are the picturesque houses, surely the inspiration for the witch’s gingerbread cottage, that stud the forest and also the magnificent city of Freiburg, famous for its university and for the little brooks that run through its medieval streets.
Industrial Heritage Route
If industrial heritage is your thing, the Industrial Heritage Route offers a 400km in-depth exploration of the engineering and industrial history of the Ruhr region. The highlight has to be the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen.