Germany is built for excellent road trips. It offers amazing forests, picturesque villages and breathtaking countryside packed with medieval castles and fortresses. If you are thinking about taking a road trip in Germany this summer, you’ve got options.
You could try local drives through the Pfalz Forest or Black Forest. Or tour romantic roads with small towns and cozy, intimate settings. You’ve got fairy tale roads with places that became famous thanks to the Brothers Grimm tales, historic roads with numerous palaces and castles, and the breathtaking wine roads.
As a bonus, most start or finish right on your doorstep! Here are the most famous four driving routes in Germany.
1. The Fairy Tale Route
If you are a fan of those famous Brothers Grimm fairy tales, this is a perfect road trip for you! This 370-mile route stretches between the birthplace of the authors in Hanau near Frankfurt to the northern city of Bremen, where the famous story “The Town Musicians of Bremen” takes place.
The route meanders through many of the towns and small places that inspired the Brothers Grimm to write their tales, as well as cities in which the authors spent time living.
There are various nature parks along the way and some very special towns that capitalize on their connections to the famous fairy tales. These include the house of Little Red Riding Hood in Alsfeld, the spa in Bad Wildungen, which has a Snow White Museum, and of course Hameln has a fountain dedicated to the Pied Piper.
Discover more: http://www.deutsche-maerchenstrasse.com/en/
2. The Romantic Road
This is a popular road trip for those who want to spend time with their loved ones. When hotels are open, travelers can stop at romantic, secluded inns to spend the night. Or you can just get a meal and then enjoy the breathtaking countryside along the way.
This 260-mile route starts in Würzburg and ends in Füssen in the German Alps. Along the way, it takes you past Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most famous castles in the world and the inspiration for Disney’s castle.
While driving through Bavaria, you will go through many incredibly picturesque towns with cute houses that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Towns not to be missed on this route include the historic cities of Würzburg, Augsburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen. You will discover great folklore festivals, nice restaurants and taste some of the many world-class wines offered, but it’s the views that will take your breath away.
Discover More: http://www.romanticroadgermany.com
3. The Castles Road
For those who are into history, driving along the so-called Castle Road can be very enjoyable. It is a 625-mile long route that starts in the southwest of Germany with Mannheim’s baroque palace and ends in the east with the Prague Castle in the Czech Republic. There are dozens of centuries-old fortresses, castles and museums along the route.
If you don’t have the time to stop at every castle along the way, there are several you should not not miss. These include the Schwetzingen Castle, Heidelberg Castle, the Castle of Neuenstein, the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg, the Residenz in Bamberg, and the Castle at Colmberg which is a castle-hotel where you can spend the night.
Some of these castles are more than 1,000 years old. Take the time to explore them.
Discover More: http://www.burgenstrasse.de/showpage.php?SiteID=1&lang=2
4. The Wine Route
The German Wine Route that winds through the Palatine region of Rheinland-Pfalz is the oldest of the tourist wine routes. It begins in Wissembourg in France and traverses the Pfalz north to the House of the German Wine Route in Bockenheim an der Weinstraße. This is also the finish line of the famous WeinStraße Marathon, which takes place every two years.
The Wine Route is approx 85 kilometers long and passes through the beautiful vineyards of towns such as Bad Bergzabern, Edenkoben, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Deidesheim, Bad Dürkheim and Grünstadt. For those living in Kaiserslautern it’s possible to dip into the northern points of the route in a day, but to really enjoy this wonderful experience take at least two days to start at the bottom and work your way up. It’s also a very popular cycling route too.
Discover More: http://www.germanwineroute.com/index.html
For U.S. government employees, including service members, remember to always follow command regulations, which may be different than host nation policies, when it comes to travel.
Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “driving safety” specialist. He is an owner of DMV.com, a collaborative community for US drivers and a regular contributor to numerous transportation blogs.
Cover photo by ESB Professional / shutterstock.com