A Holiday in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald)

The Schwarzwald is one of Germany’s most Popular Holiday Regions:

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© Tourismus Marketing/Baden-Württemberg

The Black Forest (Schwarzwald) is one of Germany’s oldest and most popular holiday regions and even people who aren’t familiar with the region know that it’s the home of the cuckoo clock, have enjoyed its famous Black Forest cake and heard of some old myths and legends of sorcerers, witches and werewolves that supposedly lurk in the dark forests.

The Black Forest is a wooded mountain region in the German state of Baden-Württemberg in the southwestern part of Germany. This region of about 200 kms long and 60 kms wide of rolling hills and lush valleys is bordered by France on its west, Switzerland on its south, the Swabian Alb and Lake Constance in the east and the Kraichgau region in the north.  Germans and other Europeans know it well as for over two decades, the German television medical series Die Schwarzwaldklinik (Black Forest Clinic) brought images of the Black Forest into the living rooms of millions of viewers in over 40 countries.

Famous for its Good Food, Wellness Spas and Walking Holidays

The Black Forest certainly has a lot more to offer visitors than Black Forest cake, cuckoo clocks and ham. The region enjoys 28 million overnight stays per annum and people come here to enjoy its good food, the wellness spas, relaxation, hiking or driving holidays, or to take a walk in the Black Forest.

The Schwarzwald is home to a number of internationally renowned towns and places of interest, such as Calw, the birthplace of the author Herman Hesse, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Maulbronn Monastery Complex and Baden-Baden, famous for its spa and casino. As well as the charming university towns such as Tübingen and Freiburg you’ll also come across fairy-tale villages.

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© GNTB/Gengenbach Kultur und Tourismus

The Schwarzwald oozes with health and this region boasts the highest concentration of spas, health resorts and hotels with beauty and fitness facilities in Germany.  And for the young ones, Germany’s biggest theme park, the Europa-Park Rust is also in the Black Forest.

Train trips and driving holidays are a popular way to see the best of the area. Scenic routes in the northern section include the Black Forest Spa Route and the Black Forest Valley Route whereas in the south-west, near Freiburg is the Black Forest Panorama Route.

A Skiing Tradition

The The Black Forest was the birthplace of skiing in central Europe, with the first ski club being founded at the Feldberg Mountain.  It was also here that the first wooden skis were produced and the first ski lift built. Today, the Feldberg region is one of the largest ski resorts outside of the Alps. The Feldberg Mountain rises to a height of 1,493 metres and in winter its powdery pistes are a great attraction to skiers.

Visiting the Schwarzwald one also gets to experience its rich culture and traditions, which people here believe in preserving. Depending on the occasion, you may see women dressed in traditional costumes and most certainly you’ll still see women in the famous “Bollenhut” hats with their distinctive pompoms. Girls and unmarried women wear hats with the bright red pompoms whilst the married women have black pompoms on their hats.

And then, there’s the good food – apparently about 10% of Germany’s top 100 chefs are working in the kitchens in the Black Forest.

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Map of Black Forest

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