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Halfway between Schwerin, Lübeck and Wismar, it is part of the beautiful Hamburg Metropolitan Region


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16 Worlds in Germany

Each of the 16 states is a world of adventure in and of itself, whether city-states like the Hanseatic towns of Bremen and Hamburg, the Federal capital Berlin, or other states. Everywhere, you can discover great cities, cozy villages and relaxing natural landscapes. We can take you to festivals and international events, to relaxation and recuperation.

Take a little time out for yourself and go on a virtual trip through the German states of Schleswig-Holstein to Bavaria, and from North Rhine-Westphalia until Saxony. Encounter the culinary peculiarities of the individual regions! Discover the historic and ultramodern secrets of German cities or explore the romantic and exciting sides of Germany that include thousands of events from contemplative Christmas markets to exciting festivals. Fulfill your curiosities about the country and the people.

There are 150 "Scenic Routings" and "Vacation Highways" in Germany, chosen either because of their special landscapes, or connected to a specific cultural theme. Countless tourist routes are based on itineraries used for centuries by traders and rulers. Many of these routes have developed special cultural and historic meaning, and many wind their way through magnificent scenery.

Germany offers travellers a lot of nature and interesting landscapes, many of which have remained unspoiltby man. With its great variety of flora and fauna, which is partly unique, visitors will experience nature in an unforgettable way. Exploring Germany´s landscapes, either on hiking tours or bicycle trips, is very relaxing for both body and soul. And nature-loving visitors will also have many opportunities to learn more about the processes taking place in nature.

Germany´s nature parks, biosphere reserves and national parks are havens consisting of valuable natural and cultivated landscapes. Some of these protected areas are unique worldwide.Germany has more than 90 nature parks, 13 biosphere reserves and 13 national parks, which are all internationally recognized. It is only in the last decade that most of these vast areas have been given this special protection.

A panoramic trip through the mountains

The German Alpine route, originally on the of the oldest German tourist routes, runs along a route which alternates between the foothills and the mountains of the Alps between Lindau on Lake Constance and Berchtesgaden on the Königssee and reveals along the 450 km route all the beauty of the countryside with its rural farmers' villages, 21 picturesque lakes, 64 renowned spa towns, 25 aweinspiring fortresses and castles as well as the unique richness of culture and nature at the edge of the Allgäuer and Bavarian Alps.

Cycle enthusiasts, fans of funsports (adventure, water-, wildwater sports, hotair ballooning, hanggliding), winter sports etc., culture and wellness all get their money's worth here, as do ramblers through flora and fauna. Twisting alleys and narrow gabled houses await you in Lindau, Oberstaufen (the only Schroth-spa in Germany), the spa towns of Sonthofen and Hindelang, marked by their houses adorned by flowers, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the place to be for winter sports and the highest German mountain, the Zugspitze.

Schloss Linderhof, the monastery Kloster Ettal with its famous liqueur, the lakes Sylvensteinsee, Schliersee, Tegernsee, Bad Reichenhall ("Romantic Wedding in Bavaria", following Mozart's trail with the possibility of a romantic wedding in the marble hall of Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg), the mountain villages of Ruhpolding and Reit im Winkel and the picturesque Berchtesgaden with the Königssee and the famous St. Bartholomä, the salt mine, to mention only a few of the attractions the route has to offer. This route is an unforgettable experience for anyone.

German Alpine Road for Bikers - The Bavarian tourist office in cooperation with the German Alpine Road has published the brochure "Bikeland Bayern" (Bike Land Bavaria) just in time for motorcycle season. It includes touring recommendations of 60 to 600 miles planned around the 270-mile-long Alpine Road.

Join us on an entirely unique route - you will become fascinated

Still today, North Rhine-Westphalia is the heart of Germany´s heavy industry. The river Ruhr in the south, the river Lippe in the north and the river Rhein in the west make up the geographic frame of this region. The city of Hamm marks the area´s easternmost rim. The Ruhr Valley is the largest industrial area in Germany and in Europe, where more than five million people live on a area of 4,400 square kilometers. Originally, coal mining and other related industries, especially the iron and steel industry, had a significant effect on the region´s economic development. Today, however, the region´s industrial heartbeat, as it often is called, has slowed down - the Ruhr area has experienced structural changes, allowing trade and services to coexist with the traditional industries. In some areas, they have even managed to outstrip heavy industry.

An extensive network of streets, railroad lines and inland waterways traverses the Ruhr Valley, in which workers´ housing developments merge with industrial plants without any obvious boundaries. Today, the Ruhr district offers various recreational opportunities at numerous artificial lakes and mine parks. Thanks to its technical sightseeing attractions and its industrial plants still operating as well as its museums, the Ruhr Valley is an attractive destination for tourists.

Along the "Route of Industrial Heritage", introduced in 1999, you will have the opportunity to travel this industrial region. Over a length of 400 kilometers, the tour connects unique sightseeing attractions, showing 150 years of industrial history and the changes which have taken place in recent time. If you want to find out more, for example about "chemical and energy industry", "gardens and parks", "industrial nature" or "landmark art", you can go on "industrial safari". The safari offers 25 theme routes which you can either explore on foot, by car or by bike. For a fee, you can rent a bright orange, standard style, high-quality "Revier-Bike" at the Revier Bike Service Station. There are no signposts along this road -find your way through this exciting area all by yourself.

Discover Saxony-Anhalt´s rich variety Roman remains

Traveling the Romanesque Route you'll discover the diversity of references to the Romanesque period: monasteries, cathedrals, village churches, towns, houses and fortresses, arranged, with their sculptures and sacred ornaments, like a string of pearls. They tell the story of a European rebirth in what was once a neglected landscape. You'll discover landscapes connected today to the State of Saxony-Anhalt. This legendary, fabled route traverses five distinct regions, and is split into northern and southern sections.

Highpoint of both sections of the routing is Magdeburg, whose Monastery of Our White Lady is unquestionably Germany's most important example of Romanesque architecture. Construction of the monastery was begun by Archbishop Gero in the 1017, and rebuilt by Archbishop Werner from 1063 to 1078. It consisted of a three-naved basilica in the shape of a cross, with a three-naved crypt. In 1129 the vast west wing was added, complete with two circular steeples. Additional wings and adjustments would continue over the centuries, leaving Magdeburg with this unique masterpiece of clerical architecture.

Experience Germany's multi-faceted landscapes and cultures

For anyone who wants to cover Germany from north to south, the ALPS-BALTIC German Vacation Route is ideal. From Fehmarn on the Baltic, all the way to Berchtesgaden, high in the Alps, this route enables you to see and experience the diversity of Germany.This almost 1100-mile-long route uncovers the real Germany. The landscapes are ever-changing from the great northern plains, to heath-country, to the green, sometime rugged, sometimes lush Central Mountains, to the rivers mighty and trickling, to the Alpine foothills and, finally, to the peaks of the Alps.

It's not just landscapes that change. There are vast cultural differences too. Castles and fortresses are ubiquitous. As are picturesque villages. But the half-timbered houses of Schleswig-Holstein are quite different from those in the mountains of Hesse, and different again in Franconia. In southern Germany, it's baroque architecture which is dominant. Residences for princes and rulers, monasteries and churches are all examples of this splendid epoch. The mid-section of the route can best be described as "romantic." Tiny towns reached through gates in mighty walls. And the isolated farms, villages and towns in the north paint a dreamy landscape. Whether you travel by car, train, bicycle - or even on foot, the ALPS-TO-BALTIC holiday route lets you see it all - and when it's done, you'll know why things way up north in Lütjenburg look so very different from things down south in Landshut!

The 50-Mile Wine Tasting

The second largest of Germany's wine-growing areas stretches along the GERMAN WINE ROUTE, the first and best known touristic wine-route in the world. It starts in Bockenheim, continues through Bad Dürkheim, Deidesheim and a variety of other towns, and ends in Schweigen-Rechterbach. Here in Germany, figs, kiwis and lemons, ripen in the sun.

Have a drink! Or a 3-star gourmet dinner!

Dreamily picturesque villages, and delicious wines invite you to stay awhile. The products of the region are either dry or semi-sweet. There are countless wineries, pubs, bistros and gourmet restaurants where you'll enjoy the region's haute cuisine. Don't miss the Palatinate's national dish "Saumagen!"

The sign of the Grape

Dozens of Roman settlements, remains of fortresses, castles and palaces await you. A wonderful element of your discovery of wine-culture is journeying through this region made wine-rich by the Romans. Bad Dürkheim, with its uniqueness calls to you. Here, you'll discover the world's largest wine barrel. It can hold 1.7 million liters of wine - and serves as a restaurant seating 650 diners! Every fall, the Wurstmarkt wine festival is a rousing event. The locals - friendly and loquacious - invite you to drop by!

Return to your childhood on the German Fairy-Tale Route

Welcome to the world of bold princes, good fairies, simple farm-boys, "Pusses in Boots", "Little Red Riding Hoods" and all the other wonderful fairy-tale characters created here in Germany by the Brothers Grimm. Welcome to the 400-mile-long German Fairy-Tale Route from Hanau to Bremen, where the it still feels exactly as if you're traveling through a child's book of illustrated Fairy Tales. If you're traveling in winter through Werra-Land, with a little bit of luck perhaps you'll spy "Mrs Holle" shaking out her quilts. Journey deep into the Reinhard Forest, and that big grey castle could be where Sleeping Beauty slept. In the hill country of the River Weser, just behind the seven hills, lived the Seven Dwarfs. It's where they encountered the town "Musicians of Bremen", who led them to freedom.

It's not merely the fairy-tale quality of towns such as Hanau, Marburg, Goettingen, Minden and Bremen. Or the half-timbered villages of Hesse, the breadbasket of Germany on the upper reaches of the River Weser. Or the forests of Spessart or Kassel's Wilhelmshoehe park and palace. But it's also the unspoiled landscapes that surround these treasures. Don't miss the nature reserves, and protected wilderness that lie along the route as it winds through gently rolling landscapes of fertile river-meadows and bright-green fields. Come enter the world of Fairy-Tales, Germany's legacy to the children of the world.

Reinhard's Forest Fairy-Tale Land - With a three-day tour on the German Fairy-Tale Road, vacationers can explore the ruins of Grebenstein Castle in Reinhard's Forest and the Krukenburg near Bad Karlshafen as well as the completely preserved medieval castle Trendelburg and the Sleeping Beauty castle Sababurg. The package includes two nights and half board, tour guide and entry fee for the castles. It costs 90 Euro per person.

For Lovers of Love: the Romantic Road

In every traveler's life, there are never-to-be-forgotten moments. One of them is the transformation that begins at the exit from the A-7 Autobahn, where you enter the Romantic Road. Once you leave the concrete of the Autobahn, you are rewarded with the ultimate that Franconia, Upper Bavaria and bavarian Swabia can offer.

Wherever you wander, it's all gorgeous... the stunning Wuerzburg Residence Palace... the centuries-old panorama and magical atmosphere of Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber and Dinkelsbühl... the Roman remains in Augsburg... Bavarian King Ludwig II's unforgettable dream-castle of Neuschwanstein. Journeying here, the traveler inevitably experiences the charm, excitement and spirit of romance. An unexpected highlight is to be found in Noerdlingen's Ries Crater - where America's astronauts trained for their moon walk: rocks from the moon in the Rieskrater Museum. Throughout the Romantic Road, historic festivals are mounted - featuring live theater and musical performances on open-air stages.

All about Glass - A scenic and Cultural Fascination

Germany's latest vacation route, the Glass Route, stretches 250 kilometers from Neustadt on the Waldnaab River to Passau on the Danube. Regional roads linked with the main route lend themselves to attractive tours in the surrounding countryside. Travelers will enjoy exploring interesting aspects of the Glass Route, foremost among them is the tradition of glass production itself, which can be retraced on a trail known as "the steep glass track". Beginning at Lamer Winkel, this 40 kilometer hiking trail includes the sites of former glass works and leads to Bayerisch Eisenstein.

On the glasswork trail

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Neustadt on the Waldnaab has been known as the "center of European lead crystal". Well worth a visit are the colorful burgher townhouses and mansions, the baroque palace - once home to Bohemian princes - and the Old-Bavarian Crystal Manufacturing Plant, where you can observe the process of glass manufacturing, beginning with a traditional glass-firing oven all the way to the finished glass product. Further on, the Glass Route leads to Weiden in the Oberpfalz region where one of the most modern lead crystal plants of Europe is now situated. This idyllic city with southern flair boasts exceptionally beautiful colored glass mosaics and windows in its City Parish Church, which testifies to glass art dating from the beginning of the 20th century. International glass exhibitions take place annually in June during the "Bavarian-Bohemian Culture Days".

Heading south, you continue driving through the former land of the glass and mirror grinders until you reach the oldest glass region in eastern Bavaria, the Waldmünchen area. It is said that by the 13th century, glass had already been produced in this area. The famous and spectacular "Drachenstich" (Dragon Sting), a local festival in Furth im Wald, lures thousands of visitors annually. In Bodenmais, the mecca of glass tourism with glass from around the world, you can watch glass makers, glass lamp blowers, painters, cutters and engravers as they create several different glass objects.

The major area of glass manufacturing is found in the Bavarian Forest at the Zwieseler Winkel. Famous for its Zwieseler glass, the city of Zwiesel is also known for a variety of individual glass workshops, studios, galleries and exhibitions where one can admire both modern and historic glasswork. In this "glass heart of the Bavarian Forest", glass is still blown the old-fashioned mouth. A collection of glass paintings in the verre eglomise style ("behind glass painting"), exhibited in Freyung, is a worthwhile stop.

At Waldkirchen, the Glass Route crosses the "Golden Steep Track", an ancient Bohemian trade route where trade, including glass trade, took place between Passau and Bohemia for centuries. The 2000-year-old three-river city, Passau, forms the southern terminus of the Glass Route, where glass blowing was already popular by the 16th century. Exhibits testifying to this can be observed in the very commendable "Passau Glass Museum". We wish you a rewarding journey through the glass art world and the country that surrounds it!