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Exploring Germany's Scenic Routes

DW staff (tt)July 10, 2005

Of all the scenic travel routes in Germany, the so-called Romantic Road is the most famous. But there are more than 150 such routes worth discovering.

On the Fairytale Road: the brothers Grimm monument in HanauImage: Illuscope

Traveling along a scenic route offers a wonderful way of getting to know the regions between the North Sea and the Bavarian Alps. More than 150 such routes link German geographical and cultural landmarks. Travelers are offered unique glimpses into the local history and traditions as well as an opportunity to enjoy stunning natural sites.

Famous scenic routes

Berchtesgaden National ParkImage: Nationalparkverwaltung Berchtesgaden

The Deutsche Alpenstrasse (German Alpine Road) is one of the most popular scenic routes in Germany today. The idea to build a road that would connect valleys in the Alpine region between Lake Constance and Berchtesgaden came from a German doctor in 1927. The route became a project of national importance during the Nazi era, employing at one time over 25,000 workers, but the war put a stop to the development. The project was relaunched in the 1950s, and the 450 km-long (280 miles) route was finalized in 2001.

Dreifache Zeitmessung in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
German passion for puncuality: a historic building in Rothenburg has no less than three clocksImage: dpa

Foreign tourists are particularly drawn to the Romantische Strasse (Romantic Road) which connects more than two dozen southern German attractions, including the Baroque city of Würzburg, the Castle of the Teutonic Order at Bad Mergentheim and King Ludwig's fantasy-come-true, the famous Neuschwanstein Castle.

Other popular destinations include the Märchenstrasse (Fairytale Route) or the Burgenstrasse (Castle Road). Some routes are situated in particular geographic areas, others start off in the high north and lead all the way to the south. One such long route is the Allee Route (Alleestrasse), which runs from Rügen Island to Lake Constance.

Culinary delights

Föhr Island is part of the Cheese RoadImage: foehr.de

Numerous hotels and inns are located along these routes so that travelers can make their discoveries by car or by bike, on their own pace. Restaurants offer regional specialties ranging from zesty veal sausage in the south to freshly made fish dishes in the north. Some scenic routes are even built around the idea of satisfying the traveler's hedonistic urges, like the Käsestrasse (Cheese Route) in Schleswig-Holstein or the Ahr-Rotweinstrasse (Ahr Red Wine Route) in Rhineland-Palatinate.