Last year David and I road-tripped around Bavaria, one of our absolute favourite holidays. Castles, fairy-tale towns and beautiful scenery made me want to explore Germany even more.
When deciding where next to visit in Germany, a friend of mine recommended The Black Forest. She had relatives out there and frequently visited, so she was able to recommend how to get there, where to stay and everything there is to do.
The Black Forest covers a vast expanse of the south-west of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The landscape is absolutely breath-taking and has lakes, rolling hills, low-lying mountains and postcard perfect villages.
The best way to visit the Black Forest is to fly into Basel Mulhouse airport, an airport that sits on the borders of France, Switzerland and Germany. Each country is easily accessed from the airport and the airport itself has three different exists, depending on which country you plan on visiting.
We hired a car for the weekend and based ourselves in a gorgeous wooden chalet, in the heart of the countryside about 20 minutes outside of the main city of Freiburg, the hub of the southern Black Forest. Hiring a car is the easiest way to travel around The Black Forest, but there are efficient transport links and all three places I recommend visiting are accessible by bus.
Freiburg is a student city, located in the southern Black Forest and makes a great base to explore the rest of the region. It’s only small, so doesn’t need longer than a day to explore, but it has beautiful fairy-tale architecture, interesting history, cobbled streets, the famous Freiburg Munster and lots of places to eat hearty German cuisine.
Schauinsland is a mountain you can reach the top of by cable car. It’s a good day trip from Freiburg, only 35 minutes away by car. The cable car is only 12.50 euros return (an absolute bargain) and it takes about 20 minutes to reach the top. The views are absolutely phenomenal, the journey on the way up is wonderful, climbing to the top in the heart of the forest and when you reach the top you can see for miles.
You can hike around the top of the mountain or have a bite to eat in the restaurant overlooking the forest (guess which one we did!). Have a wander, grab a nice hot drink from the cafe and take in the views (it gets a bit nippy at the top!).
Lake Titisee is a gorgeous lake, located 45 minutes away from Freiburg. A stunning lake surrounded by forest, this place gets busy with tourists and for good reason. It’s a must-see on any Black Forest, but to avoid the crowds aim to get there early so you can have the place all to yourselves.
Hire a boat (row, peddle or electric!) and spend half an hour riding along the scenic lake. Once you’ve worked up an appetite have a bite to eat in one of the numerous cafes and people watch. It’s so pristine, you won’t want to leave.
There are lots of birds along the lake, so take some seeds for them. We wish we had done this!
The Black Forest was wonderful, a slowed down holiday that was very much what was needed following a busy few months. It’s the kind of holiday with no frills or fuss, just beautiful, unspoilt scenery. Exactly my kind of break.
Would you consider a visit to the Black Forest? Any other regions of Germany I need to explore?
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