The Black Forest region in southwest Germany attracts thousands of visitors each year.
It might be on a tour bus, with stops to view the largest cuckoo clock in the world or sample a slice of the famous Black Forest cake.
Or visitors could be attracted by the outdoor activities: taking to the hiking trails that criss-cross the Black Forest area or sampling some of the skiing and snowshoe walking in the winter months.
It could be just the attraction of a small town in a location such as the Kinzig valley or along the Rhine valley near the Swiss border. Somewhere where local traditions can still be experienced in an authentic Black Forest lifestyle.
Black Forest Germany offers a chance to explore some of the locations and activities that might help the visitor to decide on a break in this part of southern Germany.
Those visitors looking to stay in the Black Forest area have a choice of larger towns and cities with plenty of to do on the edge of the region and good access to the sights and activities or the smaller towns and villages at the heart of the Black Forest at the sights themselves and with access to the outdoors from the doorstep.
Over on the western edge of the Black Forest, Freiburg im Breisgau is a good choice for those searching for somewhere livelier. It is a young city with plenty going on, but still with great access into the southern Black Forest.
Keeping on the western side, the spa town of Baden-Baden is another good option, with its proximity to the Black Forest National Park.
On the other side of the Black Forest, the town of Donaueschingen offers great rail links across the region to Freiburg on the Höllentalbahn and north on the Black Forest railway to Offenburg and Karlsruhe. It is also the start of the Danube valley rail link through to Ulm for those looking to combine exploration of the Black Forest with the upper stages of the famous river.
Those who would prefer to be close at hand to the famous sights of the region could choose from Titisee, with its scenic lake and mountain hikes and access to rail links, or maybe Triberg, where Germany’s highest waterfall attracts thousands of daily visitors in high summer.
The Kinzig valley offers a variety of small settlements each with their own attractions, like the Schwarzwälder Trachtenmuseum (‘Museum of Traditional Costumes in the Black Forest‘) in the small town of Haslach.
And those looking for an old town to wander around might like to try the timber-framed houses of Calw in the northern Black Forest, the town where famous author Herman Hesse was born and grew up.
Freudenstadt is another centrally-located back in the northern part of the region with good access to hiking routes.
Summer in the Black Forest is a perfect time for anyone who is keen on hiking. There are numerous long-distance trails through the region lasting well over a week, as well a good choice of day hikes in places such as Freudenstadt, the National Park area and further south around Titisee and the Wutach valley.
Winter offers even more of a choice when it comes to outdoor sports. Many of the shorter hiking trails are available as snowshoe walks when snow conditions permit, while there are plenty of smaller downhill and cross-country ski areas.
Travel around the Black Forest is relatively easy no matter if it is by private car or public transport.
The region benefits from excellent links on the German Autobahn (‘motorway’) system. Basel, Freiburg, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart are all linked by the high-speed road network and another route heads south from Stuttgart just off to the east of the area linking up with access points to Lake Constance and Switzerland.
The Black Forest has five airports within easy reach – so travellers from further away should have no problem finding a flight option.
The option of arriving by train also benefits from a good rail network, not only around the outskirts of the region but through it as well. The Black Forest train routes include the Schwardwaldbahn going through the central and northern section, the Höllentalbahn linking east and west across the southern Black Forest and some scenic shorter routes.