DREAMSCAPES SPRING/SUMMER 2024
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A ROUTE AS FANTASTIC AS ITS NAME
 
(2024 - Spring/Summer Issue)

Writer: KAREN BURSTEIN



From the village of Weinheim to wine villages, castles to cakes (how about a slice of Black Forest gâteau in the Black Forest?) you’ll come to understand why a 400-kilometre stretch of road in the region of Baden-Württemberg is called the Fantastic Road.

In the heart of Europe, the Fantastic Road runs along sunny southwest Germany. The easiest way onto the storybook route is to fly into Frankfurt, rent a car and start meandering along the Rhine River.

Now get ready for this indie road trip (or train if you prefer) and prepare to be bedazzled by these charming locales: Weinheim, Baden-Baden, Gengenbach, Breisach, Mainau Island, Castle Hohenzollern and Tübingen.

Weinheim, a sweet gingerbread-looking town, is where leisurely strolls of Old Town and castles converge. Both the Wachenburg and the Windeck castles have sweeping views. While the Wachenburg is a youngster as far as castles go (built in the early twentieth century), the 12th-century Windeck Castle was only recently restored.

Bad is German for spa town. Baden-Baden double dipped on the name to distinguish itself from other Bads, despite its healing waters discovered 2,000 years ago. The spa town—a recent UNESCO World Heritage Site—offers cultural pleasures like Europe’s second-largest opera house, the Fabergé Museum and the opulent Casino Baden-Baden.

Tübingen, nestled between the Swabian Alb, has all the picture-perfection of the region. Gabled houses line canals, streets lead to an 11th-century castle while cafés overlook medieval squares, and then there’s the dreamy river Neckar for boating. This university town is also one of the most environmentally forward and vegan-friendly in Europe.

Hike up to yet another heavenly castle and then take a tour of its opulent interiors. Hohenzollern Castle, a rebuilt regal masterpiece dating back centuries, is shared by a Prussian royal family and descendants of the Hohenzollern family that brims with history.

Gengenbach is a Hansel and Gretel of a town on the edge of the Black Forest. Get lost in the shadowy woods then return to town for some Black Forest cake and stroll the labyrinthine cobblestone streets.

Meanwhile, diners gather at homegrown wine bars and restaurants for dishes like flammkuchen (a German pizza) in Breisach. Nestled along the Rhine River by ample wineries, this gateway to Germany’s Black Forest is a favourite hub for cyclists and wine tasters.

The sightseeing, of course, comes full circle in Mainau Island in Lake Constance. Nicknamed the Flower Island, you’ll island hop to this pleasure outpost and traipse through gardens, parks and a butterfly house (Germany’s largest). Natürlich, there’s an ancient castle to visit.

It’s a fantastic conclusion to your visit to Baden-Württemberg.

Did You Know?

Baden-Baden has some stunning modern architecture. Head to the Frieder Burda Museum, designed by New York starchitect Richard Meier, and view the impressive Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden for contemporary art. 

Travel Planner

The Fantastic Road tourism-bw.com/destinations/fantastic-road

 
 
 
 
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