With its spectacular mountain terrain and lush green rolling hills, the Black Forest can attract visitors for its sheer natural beauty. Hikers, cyclists and adventurists of all kinds are all drawn to the breathtaking views, charming villages and warm hospitality of friendly locals.
The naming of the Black Forest derives from ancient times when the trees were so dense the area was impenetrable and looked to be a sea of black covering the greater part of south-west Germany. Since the 17th Century however, the area has been thinned out through successful and profitable wood trading industries and when they faltered, clock-makers took on the mantle, giving rise to the regions most famous invention, the Cuckoo Clock.
The pinnacle of the Black Forest is perhaps at its centre in the form of Freudenstadt, a picturesque riverside town known for its clean air and conservatism. Boasting remarkable castles, impressive cathedrals and world-class museums, Freudenstadt is a real draw in the summer, but its enticing charm also attracts skiers to its slopes in winter. Its picturesque centre boasts the biggest market place in Germany and with its numerous sprouting water fountains is a spectacular sight.
The quaint churches and magnificent patrician houses that gather around the marketplace make Freiberg appear like something straight from a children’s fairytale and it’s this magical charm and other-worldly ambience that visitors find most inviting. Countless scores of colourful bars, taverns and restaurants extend their hands in a show of hospitality and the locals like nothing more than introducing strangers to their pride and joy – Freiberger Bier.
One of the few cities to be spared damage by the Allies was Baden-Baden and its 19th Century grandeur is epitomised by Royal Palaces and the palatial villas of wealthy landowners and bankers. Cradled in the palm of rolling hills, Baden-Baden sits on a network of fresh water springs which the Romans subsequently turned into curative baths. The luxury hot spas have attracted nobility, aristocrats and creative’s for centuries and continues to pull in millionaires and movie stars today.
Local cuisine in the Black Forest tends to be wholesome and heavy, with lots of dumplings, meat and sauerkraut. Fussy eaters needn’t worry however as international cuisine is well represented and there are plenty of choices to suit any budget. Locally brewed beers and wines are encouraged just about everywhere, and when it comes to scrumptious desserts – the region doesn’t have a gateau named after them for nothing!
Travelling to Stuttgart by Ferry
The Black Forrest is not near any coast, it’s at least 6 hour in any direction to reach the ocean and when taking the ferry and driving to the Black Forrest, this is something you will need to factor into your travels.