Germany offers many scenic drives and themed roads that will lead you past quaint villages, medieval castles, and unspoiled countryside. Delightful throughout the year, enjoy the delicious spoils of your travel from favorite foods to wine culture, and find a room at the most unique hotels in Germany.
From the Romantic Road and t Castle Road to the Fairy Tale Road and the Wine Route, here are the roads best traveled in Germany.
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Follow the fairy tale by driving the Romantische Straße (Romantic Road). This 261-mile long drive through Bavaria was actually created by English-speaking travel agents in the 1950s, but the allure of castles still brings in visitors from around the world.
The road leads you from the Franconia wine country to the fairytale castle Neuschwanstein in the foothills of the German Alps.
Along the way, you can enjoy the Bavarian countryside, which is dotted with picturesque towns, half-timbered houses, hidden monasteries, and romantic hotels. Also on the route is Würzburg with its Residenz, walled Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the Castle Hotel of charming Colmberg.
Note this is the most popular German scenic drive and can get very crowded in summer with lines of tour buses trundling in. One way to see the cities minus the masses (even in high season) is to stay overnight in one of the smaller towns once the buses have taken most of the people on to their next destination.
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If you want to see as many castles as possible in the least amount of time, take a ride on the Castle Road. Travel back in time with a route lined with more than 70 castles and palaces. Visitors will find everything from romantic ruins, to picture perfect castle museums and even castle hotels.
The Castle Road, which is over 625 miles long, consists of a series of small, winding back roads with easy to follow signs. If you want to plan it out before you get behind the wheel, the website is in English and has a very good map of the route, including exact distances between castles and cities.
It starts in Mannheim and leads you all the way to Prague in the Czech Republic. With so much to see on the Castle Road, it is recommended to pick just a few castles that you want to explore in depth and enjoy the magnificent view of the other castles from afar.
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Explore the country of the Brothers Grimm along the Fairy Tale Road, which connects the towns and landscapes that were the inspiration for their most famous fairy tales; hike in Little Red Riding Hood's forest, visit the castle of Sleeping Beauty, and climb up the tower from where Rapunzel let down her hair.
The Fairy Tale Road starts in the town of Hanau, the birthplace of the two brothers Jacob and Wilhelm; it brings you to their home in Steinau where they grew up and through all the cities where the Brothers Grimm studied and worked.
Almost all the towns along the Fairy Tale Road offer family-friendly activities, such as puppet shows, parades, concerts, and lovely statues of your favorite fairy tale characters. The route is particularly lovely around Christmas when Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets) lend their considerable charm.
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The German wine road in Rhineland Palatinate is the country’s oldest scenic drive. Starting in the southwest of Germany, the 50-mile long route snakes through Germany’s second largest wine growing region all the way to the French border.
The Romans started developing wine here almost 1,000-years ago, and the Germans have perfected it. Celebrate the vine in quaint wine villages, old-world restaurants, colorful vineyards, and local harvest festivals. Soak up some local flavor at open-air farmer’s markets and wine festivals, which are celebrated throughout late spring, summer, and especially during the fall.