Why Britons should bury the hatchet and holiday in Germany, starting with Euro 2024

Famed the world over for its fairytale forests (associated with the Brothers Grimm) and picturesque villages and towns (Freiburg, Baden-Baden, Triberg), Germany’s Black Forest or Schwarzwald is one of the country’s premier outdoor destinations. Popular since the 19th century, especially among the European nobility, it offers 18,000 miles of hiking trails – many of which can also be used for cycling and, during winter, cross-country skiing – as well as lakes such as the sparkling Titisee for boating, kayaking and windsurfing. 

The many natural highlights include the Triberg waterfalls, the romantic Murg Valley inside the Black Forest National Park, and the scenic Wutach gorge, but the region also boasts first-class spas, top-notch museums and cultural treats throughout. The Festspielhaus concert hall in Baden-Baden is a must-visit for opera and ballet fans, Karlsruhe’s Kunsthalle hosts masterpieces by Rubens and Rembrandt alongside German artists, and the Maulbronn Abbey – located close to the forest near Pforzheim – dates back to the 12th-century and enjoys Unesco World Heritage Site status. Designated trails include the Baden Wine Route, which celebrates its 70th birthday in 2024, and the Black Forest Scenic Route (Schwarzwaldhochstrasse), which runs from Freudenstadt to Baden-Baden, taking in the Vosges mountains along the way. 

Black Forest Tours offers three-day/four-night hiking packages that start at €799pp and include stays in Black Forest towns, a driver and car, and an itinerary with off-the-beaten-path experiences to do on your own 

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