This story is a romantic fairytale about driving up a lush avenue to a gorgeous castle, known for its delicious wine and beautiful view of a… volcano? Sounds a little far-fetched? It really is not, it’s just a compressed story about Germany’s most scenic drives.
Germany offers many impressive roads and themed drives that will take you past medieval castles, picturesque villages, and unspoiled countryside. With plenty of delicious food to enjoy and a variety of wine venues, Germany is delightful all year round.
Discover 6 of Germans roads best traveled, including the Fairy Tale Road, Castle Road, and Wine Route.
The Romantic Road
The “Romantische Strasse” (Romantic Road), a medieval route in Germany’s southern region, is famous for its “quintessentially German” sights like medieval towns and historical castles, such as Ludwig II’s crown jewel the Neuschwanstein castle. Starting from the Bavarian city of Würzburg, rich in history and preserved in time, the about 400 km long route welcomes you to explore Roman ruins, two UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the fortified walls of Rothenburg ob der Tauber– spared from the bombs of the Allies during WWII. The swiftly changing landscapes and amazing surprises along the way always more than exceed road trippers’ expectations. You’ll see the beautiful medieval city of Augsburg, the historic town of Dinkelsbühl, Harburg Castle, the Wieskirche Pilgrimage Church, and the gorgeous Hohenschwangau Castle, among others, before ending in Füssen in the Allgäu. It’s impossible not to marvel at the varied cultural landscapes between the River Main, the Franconian wine region and the Alpine peaks. The Romantic Road really has it all.
Picture: Neuschwanstein Castle in Füssen
The German Fairytale Road
The Brothers Grimm’s stories are childhood classics and are known around the world. Let these magical stories come to life as you navigate the 600 km long German Fairytale road that starts from Hanau, the Grimms’ birthplace. Along the way, all the classic fairytale characters are there: the Snow White Museum in Bad Wildungen, the house of Little Red Riding Hood in Alsfeld, the Sleeping Beauty castle in Reinhardswald and more. The route is dotted with enchanting towns full of half-timbered buildings and as many as 20 castles and palaces, many of which have found their way into the stories we all grew up with. The German Fairytale Route wonderfully connects the spots where legendary storytellers Brothers Grimm were born, lived, studied, and were inspired and lets visitors create their own fairytale adventures as they make their way to its endpoint in Bremen by the North Sea.
Picture: Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The German Castle Road
The name of this route really speaks for itself: the 1200 km long Castle Road (Burgenstraße) has a lot of castles along its length and is dotted with legends, myths, and fairy tales. Starting in Mannheim at the confluence of the Neckar and Rhine, the drive continues to the Czech Republic and the beautiful city of Prague. Masterpieces along this route that prompt to stop and stare include the castles of Heidelberg, Bayreuth and Nuremberg, impeccably preserved medieval town Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the four-castle city of Neckarsteinach, and more, totaling a whopping 70 castles. The journey from castle to castle and peak to peak transports visitors back to the Middle Ages, while they follow the trails of emperors, kings, princes, knights, and romantic tales.
The German Wine Route
Wine lovers will enjoy their road trip along the Wine Route in one of Germany’s sunniest and warmest regions. It starts at Schweigen-Rechtenbach, an imposing sandstone gate on the French border, then winding through the narrow wine-growing villages and meanders through the vineyards, and ends at Bockenheim in the north. Along this 85 km long route, travelers are rewarded with wine tasting sessions, cheerful Autumn wine festivals, as well as delicious Rhineland Palatinate cuisine. The Palatinate region is famed for its sublime Riesling production. Almond trees bloom in the spring, kiwis, figs, and lemons fill farms and gardens during the summer, and an aromatic sea of vines is waiting to be harvested in the autumn. The Dürkheim Barrel, which is the largest barrel in the world (with a volume of 1.7 million liters and space for around 650 people), is one of the top tourist attractions on the route. All of this and more makes the German Wine Route a wonderfully indulgent journey for all the senses.
Picture: Palatinate Region
The Volcano Route
Buckle up for a fiery drive on Germany’s Volcanic Route! This 280 km long route from River Rhine to the Eifel Mountains links regions that were shaped by volcanoes during the Cenozoic period. En route, around 350 eruption sites and 40 monuments offering landscapes, or relics, geological museums and countless geological institutes make these scientific phenomena accessible to all. The unique topography boasts sinkholes, crater lakes, domes, geysers, mineral springs, carbonated springs, and more, which are of special interest to geology enthusiasts but will fascinate any curious mind. The Eifel region located between Bonn and Trier is the most geologically active area in Germany, with volcanoes that have been dormant for 10,000 years at its heart. The drive through this area of harsh beauty and natural landscapes is sure to be a real adventure and you’ll be anything but dormant on it.
Picture: Eifel Region
The German Avenue Route
Trees lining the avenues run like a green ribbon through the countryside, with light and shade creating beautiful effects under their dense foliage. Countless linden and chestnut trees span the roads, while oaks with many branches, birches of all sizes, giant Beeches, and padded maple trees cast shadows. It is common to see fruit trees lining the access roads into local traditional villages in a style reminiscent of avenues. With all of this, the about 2900 km long German Avenues Route (Deutsche Alleenstraße) runs from the Baltic Sea island of Rügen to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Reichenau Island in Lake Constance.
Away from the typical tourist trails, stopping at sights and unique cities, this route takes in stunning countryside scenery that varies depending on the season. There will be glimpses of yellow rapeseed in the spring and cornfields between the trees, or the focus may be on the trees themselves, whose leaves turn from green into a stunning array of hues as fall progresses. Not only does it guide visitors to must-see natural wonders and fascinating examples of cultural heritage, but the German Avenues Route is also one of a kind.
Picture: An Avenue on the German Avenue Route