Nature Adventures in Baden-Württemberg
The Black Forest is more than just trees
There are pretty villages and traditional farms, clean lakes and green meadows, low mountains and plenty of fresh air. And when it comes to holidays, the whole region is family friendly (read more here). Go for farmhouse stays, lakeside breaks or mountain getaways. And if you fancy thrills, look no further!
There is so much to do at the lakes. Swim, sail, paddle or cycle at Titisee lake. Even if the weather is unfavourable, there are indoor pools and waterslides at Titisee-Neustadt’s Badeparadies Schwarzwald. Offering more water sports is Schluchsee, the largest lake in the Black Forest. The aqua fun Schluchsee pool has a great 105-m / 350-ft long winding water slide. On the land, there is great hiking for all ages and abilities.
The mountains provide year-round fun, with winter ski slopes becoming summer playgrounds. In Todtnau, the Hasenhorn Coaster stretches for 2.9 km / 1.8 miles. In Gutach, the summer toboggan ride is 1,150 m / 3,800 ft long. There’s a day’s worth of fun in Waldkirch at the Baumkronenweg: treetop paths, barefoot paths, rope bridges and nature trails, and for children over eight years old, the 190-m / 600-ft long high-speed tube slide - Europe’s longest! For what is, arguably, the most spectacular day out, head for the Sommerberg Mountain. Ride up the Sommerbergbahn, SouthWest Germany's highest funicular railway. Follow the 1,250 m / 4,000 ft Treetop Walk that winds through the canopy. Climb the 40-m / 1240-ft Observation Tower and then whizz down the 55-m / 165-ft long tunnel slide. A few minutes away, test your nerves on the Wildline Suspension Bridge, a span of 380 m / 1,250 ft, which sways high above the Enz Valley.
But there’s more! The Kinzig Valley is the home of Germany's longest zipline. At heights of up to 83 m / 270 ft, the Hirschgrund Zipline carries you above and through the forest. Another challenge is the Kletterwald Feldberg tree top adventure, whose 9 parcours take you through the trees.
Everyone loves a train ride! An outing under steam is always special: on the Schwarzwaldbahn mountain railway, the engine chuffs its way from Offenburg to Singen. Equally scenic is the run from Freiburg to Villingen on the Höllentalbahn, one of Germany’s steepest railways.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW:
The Black Forest is the birthplace of the cuckoo clock. And they are still made here, by hand, in Triberg. See two of the world's largest cuckoo clocks in Schonachbach and Schonach, as well as clocks galore in the House of 1000 Clocks. Or see farm history come to life at the Black Forest Open Air Museum, with educational workshops, animals to pet and a water playground for hot summer days!
EUROPA-PARK, THE WORLD’S BEST THEME PARK
With more than 100 attractions including 13 roller-coasters spread through 15 European-themed areas, Europa-Park was voted the world’s best theme park for 6 years in a row (2014-2019). This is a four-season destination: new attractions and shows open every spring; on hot summer days, the waterpark’s aquatic attractions are refreshing. For autumn, the park is decorated with 180,000 pumpkins and delivers ghostly thrills and spooky nights. In winter, Europe’s most famous theme park turns into a winter wonderland, with thousands of snowy Christmas trees and twinkling holiday lights. Wintry attractions include a Christmas market and special holiday shows. And year-round the new Rulantica indoor water world guarantees excitement. TIP: for a complete experience, stay the night at one of the 6 on-site, 4-star themed hotels; or stretch your budget at the Europa-Park Camping site.
Get more - Pay less
Stay for 2 nights or longer and you get the free Red Inclusive Card. This gives free entry to more than 100 attractions in the region. This is offered when you stay at one of the 500 participating hotels, inns and B&Bs. Also included is a KONUS Guest Card, for free public transport throughout the Black Forest.
FUN PLACES TO STAY:
The Black Forest offers lots of unusual experiences. On Schluchsee lake, you can sleep in “flying tents”, slung between two large spruce trees, two metres off the ground! They overlook the lake and, on warm summer nights, the “roof” can be removed, so you can sleep under the stars.
Or book into tented lodges on the Hilserhof farm in Triberg. Furnished like a farmhouse parlour, they have conveniences, such as running water and toilets.
Children love climbing up to the loft to sleep in the hay at the Fischer family’s holiday farm in Seebach. Just bring your own sleeping bag!
A real challenge is going off-trail to spend the night in the open air at a special trekking camp. Each remote site has a fire pit and a toilet and accommodates a maximum of three tents, with three people allowed in each tent.