A while back, we told you about a number of gourmet tourist routes you can take through Germany – a list that is definitely worth reviewing as the German Tourism Board focuses on culinary delights for 2018. However, there are plenty more of these mapped-out pathways to discover, each one showcasing a different aspect of German culture or history.
So, if you’re looking for an interesting way to explore the country off the beaten track, here are some more tourist routes to consider.
German Fairy Tale Route
We start with one of the most popular and oldest routes, one which follows in the footsteps of the Brothers Grimm and their everlasting stories. The trail stretches from the birthplace of the brothers, Hainau, all the way to Buxtehude, which lies between Bremen and Hamburg. Along the near-400-mile stretch of road, you will visit towns and cities in which the storytellers lived and worked, as well as those that inspired their famous tales.
From some we all know and love, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, to more obscure German legends such as the Goose Girl of Göttingen, you will see these characters and their stories immortalised in the form of statues, museums, open-air performances and more. Not all of the tales are linked to the Brothers Grimm, though. Each town has its own local myths and legends that are entwined with the history.
German Clock Route
The Black Forest is one of the most picturesque regions in the whole of Germany and the German Clock Route allows you to explore it through the theme of one of its most famous symbols. Cuckoo clocks, and clocks in general, have been made here for hundreds of years and they are the perfect example or meticulous German workmanship.
The route is a circular one which stretches as far as the banks of the River Neckar in the east and the towns of Lenzkirch in the south, Waldkirch in the west and Lauterbach in the north. You’ll be able to see operational workshops, learn about the different styles of clocks made and how they have changed over the years, and even see the Guinness-World-Record-holding largest cuckoo clock in the world on display in Triberg. There will also be time for the other things that the Black Forest is famous for, so expect plenty of air-dried ham, cherry brandy and Black Forest Gateau.
German Gemstone Route
If you are a fan of gemstones and the jewellery made from them, this is the route for you. It consists of a 30-mile loop around the town of Idar-Oberstein, famous for its mining of agate. Before you leave on your journey, be sure to check out both the Jewel Museum (home to ten thousand precious stones) and the impressive Felsenkirche, built into the side of a rock face above the town.
There is an inner and, longer, outer ring of the German Gemstone Route to discover, depending on how you wish to travel and how much you want to see. Highlights include the Jewel Garden in Kempfeld, the gemstone water grinding machine in the charming village of Asbacher Hütte and the Steinkaulenberg mine in Schürfstollen where you can play the role of prospector yourself.
German Toy Road
The German Toy Road is not just for children who would love to play on the Playmobil Funpark in Zirndorf, it’s also for adults that want to rediscover the toys and games that they treasured during their childhood. The trail runs right through the heart of Franconia, from Nuremberg to Erfurt, and features stops at museums, manufacturers and model railways along the way. There’s even the chance to visit the doll and bear doctor in Coburg and see how he takes toys that need a bit of TLC and makes them new again.
As well as the interesting stops for toy collectors and adults in general, the route is littered with activities for children, making it an ideal trip for families. See their faces light up at the Inselberg Funpark or watch them enjoy the larger-than-life installations in Sonneberg, known as Toy City.
German Timbered House Route
The best part of the German Timbered House Route is that it stretches almost the entire length of the country, so wherever you chose to visit you won’t be far from somewhere that features on the trail. In total, there are over 1,800 miles to cover between Stade (just outside of Hamburg) and Meersburg on the shores of Lake Constance, or Bodensee as it is called in Germany. It is, however, split into seven much more manageable chunks to give you the option to just explore one specific area.
The names of the towns and cities through which the trail passes read like a list of the most charming and romantic places in Germany. The half-timbered houses in destinations like Stolberg, Celle and Wertheim are just one aspect of what makes them so beautiful. Take a peaceful stroll through any of these to discover local medieval history and a host of interesting sights.
If you would like to travel along any of these tourists routes, we can help you experience them in part or in their entirety. The Fred.\ Holidays team will tailor-make your trip to your own specific requirements, so call us on 0800 988 3369 or contact us via the website.