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Countdown to blossom time in SouthWest Germany

Spring is in the air

Blumeninsel Mainau am Bodensee
Goodbye Winter!</span><span><br>Hello Spring!

BW-Story – Hirsch und Greif

Goodbye Winter!
Hello Spring!

Winter is on the wane! As temperatures rise and the days lengthen, blossom and flowers are a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. We all love the sight of millions of delicate petals, along with the first warm rays of sunshine. Spring is a very special season – a time of renewal for the whole of the natural world. With its huge variety of trees and shrubs, flowers and mild climate, SouthWest Germany is especially pretty at this time of year.

Take Mainau Island on Lake Constance. With a near-Mediterranean micro-climate, the island is known for flowers. In spring, it is, quite simply, spectacular. Add in views of the Alps across the water, paths for strolling and cafés for meals or coffee and cake, and this is a perfect spot to enjoy nature and recharge the batteries.

But, SouthWest Germany, the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg, offers even more special places to visit. Each is like a unique bouquet of spring flowers. Here are some of our favourites. Please note: Since Mother Nature follows her own schedule, the arrival of the blossom varies from year to year. 

Almond blossom in the Kaiserstuhl hills

Mid/late February

Almond blossom in the Kaiserstuhl hills

In the southern Black Forest, Freiburg is the hub of Germany’s warmest region. Here, the flowering season echoes the Mediterranean. In what is nicknamed the Naturgarten Kaiserstuhl, the Kaiserstuhl Natural Garden, almond trees burst into flower as early as the middle of February. Imagine a swathe of white and delicate pink blossom! A great place to enjoy this glorious free spectacle is in and around the small communities of Ihringen, Achkarren and Oberrotweil, near Breisach.

Mandelblüte bei Kiechlingsbergen am Kaiserstuhl

Cheerful splashes of pink brighten up Baden’s southern vineyards. © K. Hesslenber

Mandelblüte im Kaiserstuhl bei Achkarren

Springtime in the Kaiserstuhl. This is Achkarren, part of the town of Vogtsburg. | © Schätzle Guesthouse, Vogtsburg-Achkarren

Mandelblüte im Kaiserstuhl bei Achkarren

Almond blossom heralds spring in the Kaiserstuhl vineyards. | © Schätzle Guesthouse, Vogtsburg-Achkarren

Mandelbaum-Allee im Kaiserstuhl

In spring, visitors to Vogtsburg-Achkarren are greeted with a cloud of blossom. | © Schätzle Guesthouse, Vogtsburg-Achkarren

Mandelblüte im Kaiserstuhl bei Achkarren

In the Kaiserstuhl, almond trees signal that spring is around the corner. | © Schätzle Guesthouse, Vogtsburg-Achkarren

Mandelblüte in den Weinbergen vom Tuniberg

Spring has arrived in the Tuniberg wine region. | © B. Hofflin Rock

The magic of cherry blossom

Mid-March

The magic of cherry blossom

The arrival of cherry blossom heralds the beginning of spring and in many parts of SouthWest Germany, special festivals mark the occasion.

Just outside Heidelberg, the gardens of Schwetzingen Palace are always impressive, especially when the Japanese ornamental cherries create a cloud of ​​pink. No wonder this “orchard” in the Rhein-Neckar district attracts thousands of visitors every year. To know when the blossom is at its peak, check out the “flower barometer” on the Schwetzingen Palace website.

Cherry blossom is also a highlight of the Eggenertal valley, 30 minutes southwest of Freiburg. Thousands of trees create a stunning sight. And enjoying it is easy: just follow the special circular trail, an easy 12-km / 8-mile route that is also suitable for off-road prams and mountain bikes. It really is a visual feast!

An hour south of Stuttgart is the UNESCO Swabian Alb Biosphere Reserve, whose richly diverse landscape is dotted with ancient castles. Spring brings blossom to the thousands of cherry trees and other orchard fruit in the Ermstal valley. You have to see it to believe it! Along the valley, information panels provide details about the long tradition of growing cherries in the valley. 

Kirschblüte im Schlossgarten Schwetzingen

Cherry blossom in the gardens of Schwetzingen Palace. | ©TMBW

Kirschblüte im Schlossgarten Schwetzingen

Blossom in the gardens of Schwetzingen Palace. | ©TMBW

Zierkirschenblüte

Close-up of ornamental cherries during the cherry blossom season at Schwetzingen Palace. | ©TMBW

During the cherry blossom season, the Schwetzingen Palace gardens are a sea of blossom. | ©TMBW

Zierkirschen in voller Blüte

Ornamental cherries in full bloom in the Schwetzingen Palace garden. | ©TMBW

Magnificent magnolias at the Wilhelma Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Late March

Magnificent magnolias at the Wilhelma Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Stuttgart boasts the largest magnolia grove in Europe north of the Alps. Find it in what is known as the Moorish Garden at the Wilhelma Zoo and Botanical Gardens. When the 70 or so trees are in full bloom, the garden is awash with colour, from pure white and soft pink to crimson. There are even a dozen magnolias that were planted in the 1840s, when King Wilhelm I of Württemberg opened this unique zoo and gardens. Check out the Wilhelma’s webcam to see when the gardens are at their peak.

Magnolienblüte in der Wilhelma Stuttgart

Magnolias in full bloom. I © Black dots white spots

Magnolienblüte in der Wilhelma Stuttgart

The magnolias in the Wilhelma in Stuttgart are a must see. | © Black dots white spots

Magnolienblüte in der Wilhelma Stuttgart

It’s fun to picnic under the magnolia trees. | © Black dots white spotsPicknick unter den Magnolienbäumen. | © Black dots white spots

Magnolienblüte in der Wilhelma Stuttgart

Magnolias come in different shades and colours.| ©TMBW

Magnolienblüte in der Wilhelma Stuttgart

Magnolias in the Moorish Garden of the Wilhelma in Stuttgart. | © Black dots white spots

Magnolienblüte in der Wilhelma Stuttgart

Magnolia blossoms in spring. | © Black dots white spots

Magnolienblüte in der Wilhelma Stuttgart

In spring, the magnolias are glorious. | ©TMBW

Awesome orchards

Early April

Awesome orchards

SouthWest Germany is like one big orchard, with every fruit you can think of from cherries, plums and apples to apricots and pears. So, April is a glorious time to enjoy Mother Nature in all her glory. Many cherry trees begin to bloom in mid-March. Plums, including damsons, soon follow. And throughout April, other fruits join the show. It all provides a wonderful backdrop for a hiking or cycling holiday. Just follow the well-marked trails and paths.

The western edge of the Black Forest is part of the Baden wine region. But as well as grapes, it is also one of Germany’s largest fruit-growing areas. An hour north of Freiburg, the Renchtal valley is best known for stone fruits, such as the Bühler plum, the “Blue Queen” of the Black Forest. It’s also the home of the cherries used to make Mon Chéri cherry liqueur chocolates! The Oberkircher Brennersteig, Distillers’ Path, is a popular hiking trail that winds along forest paths, through meadows and past orchards and vineyards. Along the way are craft distilleries, where you can stop and taste traditional fruit brandies.

Special to Swabia are the Streuobstwiese, the wild “orchard meadows” of the Albtrauf, the escarpment southeast of Stuttgart. In spring, fruit trees in bloom stand amidst a sea of wildflowers – a phenomenon often called the “Swabian Hanami”, like Japan’s famous cherry blossom festival. As well as admiring the floral tapestry, tasting local fruit brandies is a must.

The southern Black Forest region is Germany’s warmest. Here, apple trees are the last to come into flower. For two or three weeks in late April and early May, they create a vast white cloak that wraps around hills, such as the Tuniberg and the Kaiserstuhl. It is a magnificent finale to the pageant of spring blossom!

Obstblüte im Renchtal

Fruit trees in bloom signal spring in the Renchtal valley.| © Renchtal Tourismus GmbH

Obstblüte im Renchtal

Blossom galore in the Renchtal valley.| © Renchtal Tourismus GmbH

Obstblüte im Renchtal

Cycling is a great way to enjoy the blossom in the Renchtal orchards. | © Renchtal Tourismus GmbH

Obstblüte im Renchtal

Stop and taste local fruit brandies in the Renchtal valley’s apple orchards. | © Renchtal Tourismus GmbH

Kaiserstühler Kirschblüte

Cherry blossom in the Kaiserstuhl, as far as the eye can see. | © Schwarzwald Tourismus GmbH, Chris Keller

Kirschblüte am Tuniberg

On the Kaiserstuhl and Tuniberg, white blossom brightens up the vineyards in spring. | © B. Hofflin Rock

Kirschblüte am Kaiserstuhl bei Endingen

In spring, the cherry trees near Endingen in the Kaiserstuhl are in full bloom. | © H. Heim

Apple blossom time on Lake Constance

April and May

Apple blossom time on Lake Constance

Lake Constance is famous for its Mediterranean-like micro-climate. And the mild weather of springtime is perfect for exploring one of Europe's largest fruit-growing regions. The best way to enjoy the blossom, as well as magnificent views of the water and mountains, is by hiking or biking on the scenic trails around Lake Constance.

In spring, blossom is everywhere across the Lake Constance region. It usually starts in early to mid-April, with cherries, followed by plums, apricots and, in a crescendo of colour, pears and apples.

One of the best paths to follow is the 8-km / 5-mile Panorama-Blütenweg, the Panorama Blossom Path, which offers breath-taking views across Lake Constance. Running along the hillside between Sipplingen and Ludwigshafen, this circular trail is lined with orchards and wildflower-strewn meadows.

Back in 2021, the prestigious State Garden Show was hosted by Überlingen on Lake Constance. The town has continued the celebration of gardening and greenery by linking gardens and green spaces. So, if you are visiting lake Constance, do walk along the lakeside promenade to see the marvellous “greening” that is going on – as well as the wonderful views over the lake.

Apfelblüte am Bodensee

Apple blossom on Lake Constance. | ©TMBW

Panorama Blütenweg am Bodensee

The Panorama-Blütenweg trail offers fabulous views of Lake Constance. | © Bodman Ludwigshafen Tourismus

Panorama Blütenweg am Bodensee

The Panorama-Blütenweg hiking and biking trail from Sipplingen to Ludwigshafen. | ©TMBW

Panorama Blütenweg am Bodensee

Fruit trees blossom in the orchards along the Panorama-Blütenweg trail on Lake Constance. | ©TMBW

Panorama Blütenweg am Bodensee

A must do trip: the Panorama-Blütenweg trail that meanders through meadows and orchards along Lake Constance.  © Bodman Ludwigshafen Tourismus

Blütenpracht am Bodensee

Meadows dotted with apple trees near Birnau on Lake Constance. | © TMBW, Mende

Blütenpracht am Bodensee

Apple trees in full bloom in Ernatsreute. | © TMBW, Mende

Blütenpracht am Bodensee

Fruit trees in full bloom near Birnau on Lake Constance. | © TMBW, Mende

Blütenpracht am Bodensee

Apple blossom in Ernatsreute on Lake Constance. | © TMBW, Mende

Landesgartenschau Überlingen 2020 am Bodensee

The lakeside promenade in Überlingen on Lake Constance. | © Landesgartenschau Überlingen 2020 GmbH

Landesgartenschau Überlingen 2020 am Bodensee

A show garden in Überlingen’s villa gardens on Lake Constance. | © Landesgartenschau Überlingen 2020 GmbH

Landesgartenschau Überlingen 2020 am Bodensee

Floating gardens in Überlingen on Lake Constance. | © Landesgartenschau Überlingen 2020 GmbH

Glorious roses

From mid-May

Glorious roses

For poets and painters, the rose has always been the most inspirational flower. Today, the “Queen of Flowers” still represents beauty and grace, with a perfume that is unmistakable. Maybe that's why so many of us love to stroll in rose gardens: they promise us a feast for the senses.

In the Kraichgau region, the late rose breeder Karl Hetzel developed some 60 different varieties, from miniature to shrub and climbing. His sunny Oberderdingen garden attracts rose aficionados, who admire some 800 rose bushes and enjoy their heady scent. An hour northwest of Stuttgart.

In Baden-Baden, a visit to the Rosenneuheitengarten, the “new rose garden”, is a must. Every year an international jury of rose experts selects the best new roses and awards the winner the title of the "Goldene Rose" of Baden-Baden.  This is Germany´s highest honour for roses. Not only is this garden one of Europe’s most important, but it also boasts the “Garden of excellence” award from the World Federation of Rose Societies.

Sunny and traffic-free Nöggenschwiel is devoted to roses. The highest “rose village” in Germany, it is an extravaganza, with more than 20,000 rose bushes. Next to the church, a special fragrance garden displays some 450 scented rose bushes (an incredible 140 varieties). Some roses have a history that can be traced back to the 15th century. Nöggenschwiel is truly unique: don’t miss it! 90 minutes southeast of Freiburg.

In the Tauber Valley, Weikersheim Palace has long been a destination for visitors. But a special spot is the romantic rose garden, created in 1863 by Matthäus Lebl, the court gardener. As you stroll along winding paths and lawns planted with flowering shrubs and glorious roses, you can see how his original plans are being lovingly recreated. Two hours northeast of Stuttgart.

Rosenneuheitengarten in Baden-Baden

Springtime in Baden-Baden’s Rosenneuheitengarten, ‘new rose garden’. | © TMBW, Düpper

Rosenneuheitengarten in Baden-Baden

The Rosenneuheitengarten, ‘new rose garden’ holds the 'Award of Garden Excellence' | © TMBW, Düpper

Rosenneuheitengarten in Baden-Baden

This is a lovely place for a stroll. | © TMBW, Düpper

Oberderdinger Rosengarten

Over 800 rose bushes bloom in Oberderding’s rose garden. | © Municipality of Oberderdingen

Oberderdinger Rosengarten

Roses at their peak in Oberderding’s rose garden. | © Municipality of Oberderdingen

Rosendorf Nöggenschwiel im Schwarzwald

Roses welcome visitors to Nöggenschwiel. | © TI Roseneck

Rosendorf Nöggenschwiel im Schwarzwald

A sea of 20,000 rose bushes adds splashes of colour to the landscape. | © K. Hansen

Rosendorf Nöggenschwiel im Schwarzwald

The rose garden next to the church in Nöggenschwiel. | © K. Hansen

Schloss Weikersheim Rosengarten

The rose garden at Weikersheim Palace. | © Sonja Wünsch

Schloss Weikersheim Rosengarten

The rose garden at Weikersheim Palace. | © Sonja Wünsch

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