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The Black Forest Germany is a mountainous and heavily forested area in the South West of Germany. Not as popular as its french neighbour to the West, the Alps to South, the heart of Bavaria to the East and the Rhine valley to the North. But a Black Forest Road Trip makes for a truly breathtaking adventure.
One of the sunniest areas of Germany so you don’t have to worry about missing out on your Vitamin D fix for the year and you can explore a new and fascinating part of Europe while you’re at it, instead of traipsing back off to Spain or the South of France for another year running.
On top of that the area boasts perfect roads, fewer tourists, outrageous scenery and hearty German food and beverages – adding up to what we would consider to be the perfect motorhome destination.
Now that’s obviously quite a bold claim so we’re going to try to back it up with some evidence and itinerary suggestions. What do you think, have you visited this area or have you never considered it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
If you’re in the area then why not check out some of the hidden gems of the Italian Lake District. It’s a beautiful drive down through Switzerland and well worth the trip!
Highlights in the Black Forest Germany for the Motorhome Tourist
Long hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Whatever weather makes you feel alive and ready to tour you’ll be just fine here.
Towering mountains, dense forest, clear lakes and rivers and, surprisingly to us – vineyards in abundance, these hills are dotted with pristine and colourful timber framed buildings ready for you to explore.
Due to its more famous neighbours in every direction there are fewer tourists clogging up the roads and parkups here. However in the summer it will still be busy so be warned!
Well built roads for those of you with big vans
The roads in Germany are bliss and those of you that stress about ending up on tiny mountain passes in your motorhome – fear not – the roads here are well built and maintained and ample in size to accommodate those large vehicles.
brilliant food and drink scene
For food in the Black Forest Germany you’ll be able to indulge in massive breaded Schnitzels, local pork sausages, Spaetzle (a sort of doughy noodle), venison and ham and to finish off of course you couldn’t not sample a slice of Black Forest Gateau.
Known locally by the way as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (we spent ages trying to find Black Forest gateau on every menu and were flummoxed when we could never find it), a rich chocolate cake with cherries, cream and so much Kirschwasser that you might not be able to drive after a slice!
In fact the inclusion of Kirschwasser is so important that in German law a cake may not be called a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte unless it contains Kirschwasser!
Friendly and welcoming people
As friendly and helpful as anywhere in Germany the locals are a real delight – we encourage you to strike up conversations with locals at traditional shared tables in bars whenever the opportunity presents itself – they’ll have great recommendations and interesting stories to tell we guarantee.
Fantastic history and myth
Those fairytales you grew up with – Rapunzel, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, RumpelStiltskin… Yep these all originate from this area and were documented by the Brothers Grimm when they travelled around local bars and documented the stories told. When out exploring the forest you can really understand why the mystery and myth is strong in this area.
This area is home to the cuckoo clock. Every guide on the internet about the Black Forest talks cuckoo clocks so we’re not gonna bang on about them – but we had to just mention them or else we might not be allowed back!
Any Black Forest Germany road trip would not be complete without including at least some of the destinations below.
Freiburg Im Breisgau
Freiburg is supposedly Germany’s sunniest city and is a great starting point for your Black Forest road trip.
This university town is a lively place filled with great restaurants and bars on every corner. The cobbled streets wind between towering gothic architecture (epitomized by Martins Gate) and the streets contain large gutters with fresh water streams running down them, many people dip their feet in here to freshen up after a long day exploring.
However the word around town is that if you accidentally step or fall into one of these little canals you’ll end up marrying one of the locals! Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Our highlights of Freiburg include the daily food market serving up sumptuous local delicacies, exploring all the backstreets, splashing in the river and exploring the surrounding mountains.
For a drink – Get a traditional small glass of Kolsch at Alter Simon in a really cool little bar with low prices (FYI smoking permitted inside, so a throwback to the ‘good old days’ for some, or a deal breaker for others!)
To Eat – a proper German restaurant (little English spoken here!) Schnitzel at Zum Deutschen Haus
For local beers – Craft Beer Lodge (the guy here really knows his stuff and his English is pretty good)
To Explore – take the funicular up Schlossberg mountain for a great view
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A Scenic Drive through the Black Forest Germany
We thought we’d share our favourite drive through the entire region with you as it was simply mindblowing:
Take the 31 East out of Freiburg until you join up with the 500 and turn North. This road will wind up into the mountains, and around each corner is an even more impressive view – y’know when something looks so good it actually begins to look fake? That’s what it’s like up here! Follow the 500 all the way up until you get to Triberg – home to the tallest waterfalls in Germany – and the town is worth a bit of your time while you’re here as well. Once you’ve finished up with Triberg we’d recommend carrying on along 500, take the 33 north again when you meet it, before heading east along the 294 until you get to Schiltach
Nothing sums up the quintessential Black Forest village more than this place. Built on the slopes where the Schiltach and the Kinzig rivers meet this place is properly beautiful.
Schiltach is definitely worth a visit just for a coffee and a slice of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in the sloping main square, surrounded by the impossibly massive timbered houses.
In the summer it is an idyllic way to pass a warm afternoon and in the winter a hot chocolate inside a cosy cafe safe from the bitter outside air sounds equally as good to us!
Whilst we weren’t overly blown away by the actual town of Titisee if you can get a spot on the lakeside campsite of Sandbank then absolutely include this in your trip.
The lake itself is gorgeous and camping sandbank allows you to borrow SUPs and pedalos free for an hour each day – the perfect way to explore the lake. The lake is clean enough for a swim and is definitely a good way to freshen up after a long hot day up in the mountains, or to really ensure that you’re good and awake before setting out for the day.
There are plenty of hill walks and mountain biking opportunities available in the hills above the lake so make the most of your time here – we’d definitely recommend at least two or three days.
The capital of the Black Forest region Baden Baden is an upmarket spa town and a great way to finish off a Black Forest tour.
Get fully refreshed at the thermal baths accessible via the Spa (be prepared for full German nudity and you will be expected to do the same!), explore the high end fashion on offer everywhere you look and take a stroll down the stunning riverside gardens.
We were happy with a single day visit to Baden Baden as it wasn’t as lively as Freiburg and seemed to cater more for shopping and relaxing than socialising and exploring. However if upmarket shops and spa days is your deal then we’re sure you’ll happily be able to spend a couple more days here. It also makes the ideal base for exploring the northern half of the region.
When To Visit
- For smaller crowds and great weather – June or September
- For snowsports and winter wonderlands – January and February.
Where to Stay - camping in the Black Forest
For camping in the Black Forest Park4Night spots are in abundance but often small and already full in peak season
For Freiburg Im Breisgau and the South – Stellplatz See Park or Camping Hirzberg
For Baden Baden and the North – Wohnmobilstellplatz Baden-Baden – right next to a local brewery store and on the cycle path into town.
For Titisee – Camping Sandbank
For Schlussee – Stellplatz
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So there you have it – the reasons why we feel that the Black Forest Germany is the ultimate motorhome road trip destination.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post – let us know in the comments and then Go Explore!