Westerwald boasts a plethora of forests, plateaus, river valleys and romantic villages with half-timbered houses. The eroded mountain range about 40 kilometers northwest of Frankfurt is ideal for nature lovers.
The best way to explore this expansive region is through its many hiking trails. The Westerwaldsteig is 235 kilometers (146 miles) long and is one of Germany's most popular hiking trails. It runs through the Westerwald Lake Plateau to Birkenhof Distillery, where you can observe the production of schnapps - a sweet liquor - and, of course, sample the product too.
Hachenburg, with its Baroque castle situated on a basalt outcrop, is immediately noticeable from a distance. The castle was once home to the Counts of Sayn. The town's half-timbered buildings are typical of the region.
In the countryside around Hasselbach, about five kilometers away, sculptor Erwin Wortelkamp, together with 40 artists and landscape architects, has created "Im Tal," a landscape garden and sculpture park. The artworks are integrated into the natural surroundings, linking them closely to the Westerwald.
Our tour guide Potter Joachim Ermert has three travel tips: the ceramic museum in Höhr-Grenzhausen, the village of Grenzau with its castle ruins, and the restaurant "Zur Burg Grenzau."