German travel itineraries

The Germany is Wunderbar guide

German travel itineraries

The Black Forest: hills, clocks, wine and cake

How long you'll need

Allow 7 days

What you'll see

The Black Forest is storyland Germany, and there’s very little ‘black’ about it. Rolling hills, sumptuous geranium-splashed villages, great walking, fine eating and even vintage wine. Plus skiing in winter.

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This route is based on entering Germany via Stuttgart and travelling down the spine of the region to exit at Basel, linking up vineyards with mountains, sumptuous villages and spa resorts en route.


Stage One


Assuming arrival in Stuttgart, the city centre is not particularly captivating thanks to war damage, but it does have a compelling suburb in Esslingen, an indication of what Stuttgart itself used to be like. Half-timbered houses, a medieval flavour, and a backdrop of vineyards. Meanwhile Unterturkheim (pictured left), between the city and Esslingen, is the starting point for interesting vineyard walks and tastings. There’s a nice biergarten with views on Karlshöhe.

Elsewhere in Stuttgart, the big attractions are the Mercedes-Benz Museum and the Porsche Museum. The Merc Museum has a wide appeal and is in a stunning building, a spiral structure reminiscent of the Guggenheim in New York. The Porsche Museum is more for the hardcore car aficionado, housed in a very futuristic structure.

Wine harvest in Bühl, Black Forest

Stage Two


Into the Black Forest, swing over the hills and down into Baden-Baden, for a flavour of a traditional Black Forest resort. Pavilions, fountains, casinos and thermal spas – and a lot of seasonal cultural performances, too. The pretty town is surrounded by vineyards (pictured), and you can even sleep in a wine barrel in Schlafen im Weinfass near Bühl.


Stage Three

The high road to Baiersbronn

Take the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse (B 500),  a very scenic road across the mountains, from Baden-Baden to Baiersbronn. There are various chairlifts to peaks, nature parks and hiking trails all along its route. Baiersbronn is a valley of villages famous for cuisine – and of course gateau – and it has two particularly sumptuous hotels in the Bareiss (pictured) and the Traube Tonbach.

Cuckoo clock from the collection in the Furtwangen clock museum. Pic Wiki

Stage Four

Furtwangen and Feldberg

Head south down the spine of the Black Forest to Furtwangen, spiritual home of the cuckoo clock and the German Clock and Watch Museum. This region is the heart of Black Forest ski area, particularly the Feldberg mountain, the Black Forest’s highest, and the very pretty lake Titisee, with its old fashioned spa resort.


Stage Five

The Münstertal

Relax into the gorgeous Münstertal, all villages and valleys and campsites and nice little country hotels such as the Landgasthaus zur Linde. This is chocolate box Black Forest, and it can be busy because of its proximity to Basel, from where we suggest you fly home.

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