Road Trips

Scenic Routes in Southwest Germany

Die Gegend rund um die Hessigmheimer Felsengärten eignet sich hervorragend für einen Roadtrip durch die Weinberge.
Discover Baden-Württemberg by Car

Natural and Cultural Highlights

Discover Baden-Württemberg by Car

“All roads lead to Rome,” is a nice old-fashioned saying, but in Southwest Germany, there is a grain of truth here: many of the most scenic driving routes follow old Roman roads and centuries-old trade routes. Take one of our driving routes to see some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes and Germany’s most famous sights.

The more than 310-mile/500-kilometre long Baden Wine Road offers a wide variety of culinary delights and leads from Heidelberg through the Ortenau, Kaiserstuhl and Marlgräflerland regions to Weil am Rhein near the Swiss border. Along the way, wine lovers will be able to taste the excellent wines that the various regions have to offer.

Panorama mit Blick auf den Totenkopf und die vielen Weinterrassen.
In the Kaiserstuhl region, the Baden Wine Route winds through numerous vineyard terraces. | © H.-P. Ziesmer

On the 318-mile/511-km long Württemberg Wine Route, you can taste such different grape varieties as Trollinger, Riesling, Müller-Thurgau and Lemberger. The route from Bad Mergentheim to Esslingen am Neckar leads through the Hohenlohe region and the Zabergäu-Stromberg region as well as through the Rems Valley east of Stuttgart.

Blick durch die Weinreben auf eine kleine Ortschaft in den Weinbergen der Region Stuttgart
The Württemberg Wine Route leads through the Rems Valley just east of Stuttgart. | © Susanne Maier

SouthWest Germany is rich with castles and fortresses. The Castle Road starts out in Mannheim and ends in Bayreuth (Bavaria). In SouthWest Germany, the most famous castles are in Mannheim and Heidelberg, but the trail also takes you through the Neckar Valley. Here, castles could be straight out of a movie: Hirschhorn and Eberbach Castle, Horneck Castle (in Gundelsheim) and Hornberg Castle, now a hotel. Just as pretty are the valleys of the Jagst and the Tauber. A favorite? That could be Bad Wimpfen, with its Imperial Palace (Kaiserpfalz Wimpfen). Here, the Blue Tower (Blauer Turm) dates back some 800 years! 

Blick auf die Burgruine von Schloss Heidelberg mit güne Bäumen im Vordergund. Im dunstüberzogenen Tal liegt die Stadt Heidelberg mit dem Neckar.
Heidelberg Castle is one of over 60 castles along the Castle Road. | © SSG, Bayerl

The 285-mile/460-kilometre long Romantic Road intersects with and even partly follows the Castle Road in the beautiful Tauber Valley. The route also leads remarkably charming towns such as Tauberbischofheim and Bad Mergentheim, as well as to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl. There, visitors feel like going back in time into a medieval fairy tale.

Altstadt Rothenburg ob der Tauber
In Rothenburg ob der Tauber you feel like travelling back to the Middle Ages. | © Rothenburg Tourismus Service, W. Pfitzinger

Few German landscapes have become as world famous as the Black Forest. The 70 kilometre long Black Forest High Road (identical to the B500) runs along the ridges of the low mountain range from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt and offers fascinating views of alpine-like gorges, the Rhine plain and as far as Alsace.

Weitläufiger Ausblick über den Schwarzwald mit seinen vielen Bergen und Tannenwäldern.
The Black Forest High Road crosses a ridge from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt and offers fascinating views. | © Nina Zasche

Along the Upper Swabian Baroque Road, numerous jewels of the Baroque and Rococo eras are embedded in picturesque landscape. Architecture and art lovers will discover the wonders and the apotheosis of sacred art between Ulm and Friedrichshafen, in particular by visiting the abbeys of Zwiefalten and Obermarchtal, as well as the library of the former Premonstratensian abbey in Bad Schussenried, not forgetting the town of Weingarten which boasts the largest basilica north of the Alps.

Innenaufnahme des Bibliothekssaal des Klosters. Die Decke ist verziert mit Malereien. An den Wänden sind große Regale mit vielen Büchern.
Wiblingen monastery, with its impressive library, is one of the highlights of the Upper Swabian Baroque Road. | © OTG, Frank Müller

The Baden-Württemberg section of the German Half-Timbered Town Road, which runs from the Neckar to the Black Forest, now extends to Lake Constance. It takes visitors to 31 romantic and attractive half-timbered towns.

Marktplatz von Bad Urach mit vielen Fachwerkhäusern und einem Brunnen.
The German Half-Timbered Town Road leads to the most magnificent half-timbered buildings in SouthWest Germany, such as the market square in Bad Urach. | © Gregor Lengler

Around the small towns of Furtwangen and Triberg, the heart and home of German clock-making and the epicentre of the German Clock Road, the southern and central Black Forest region offers a landscape of unique beauty. It was here that the cuckoo clock was invented before it set off on its world tour on the backs of travelling salesmen. Even today, high-tech clocks are made here.

Many cuckoo clocks can still be seen in the Black Forest today. | © TMBW, Düpper

This long north-south route follows the modern B3 road, starting in Hesse and the Odenwald, heading south into northern Baden-Württemberg. Highlights on the Bergstraße in SouthWest Germany include Weinheim, Schriesheim, Heidelberg, and Leimen (Baden).

Blick durch Bäume entlang der Fachwerkhäuser auf den Kirchturm und die Ruine auf dem Berg.
Weinheim, with its beautiful half-timbered houses, is a town worth visiting along the Mountain Road. | © Kay Müller
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