"weekends in the Bergstrasse & Odenwald" Top 5 Page for this destination Naturpark Bergstrasse-Odenwald by brendareed
Naturpark Bergstrasse-Odenwald Travel Guide: 55 reviews and 163 photos
This is where Germany starts to become Italy! ~ Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II when visiting the Bergstrasse in 1764
Just south of Frankfurt is a wonderful place - really a combination of a chain of small villages nestled beside the Odenwald, a natural treasure, perfect for hiking, exploring geological formations, or discovering old Roman structures.
The Berstrasse runs from Darmstadt in the north in almost a straight line to Heidelberg in the south. Along the way there are many small towns along the range of high hills (not quite mountains, but I like to call them mountains), dotted with castles and ruins. On the other side of the range is the Odenwald, possibly named after the Nibelungen stories (Ode or Oden) and German for woods is wald. But in reality, no one is really sure where the name Odenwald came from. However, the name Bergstrasse is much easily to understand: Berg in German means mountain and strasse means road – so the mountain road, which is exactly what it is; a road along the mountain that strings together all these wonderful villages.
It is a perfect area to explore – and as my preferred method of travel being day trips to local areas, this area is tops on my list for visiting.
This area has been declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, known as “Geo-Naturpark Bergstrasse – Odenwald” and covers land in three German states (Hesse, Baden-Wurtenberg, and Bavaria). Many of the hiking trails through the woods in the Odenwald have education signs where those interested can learn about the granite and sandstone of the region and of the geological events in the history of the area. Trails are clearly marked and there are maps of the region for planning wonderful day hikes for yourself or for groups. Many can be started and ended at towns where there is typically a meal or beer waiting for you to celebrate a great hike.
One of the great family places to visit in the Geo-park is Felsenmeer, a sea of rocks that cascade down the mountain creating a perfect spot for family exercise as children climb up the rocks or family take the trails that twist up the hill and through the rocks.
To learn more about this designation for the Bergstrasse-Odenwald, visit the UNESCO website.
The Bergstrasse is also known for its wine. It is smallest wine region in Germany, consisting of only 1,080 acres of vineyards, with most being the Riesling variety. The Odenwald range protects the Bergstrasse from the harsh winters and with ample sunlight on the hills, the region produces some wonderful wines from the 850 growers in the region. The majority of these growers consolidate into the Bergstrasse Vintner, located in Heppenheim and can be found in many of the local wine shops and beverage markets, as well as being served in many of the restaurants in the area.
Come along with me to the Bergstrasse-Odenwald. We’ll explore the historical treasures, small towns, castles, and hidden gems in this wonderful region I am happy to call home.
In our quest to see the sites of the Odenwald, we planned an outing to Höchst im Odenwald. The town has a number of... more travel advice
Getting around in the Bergstrasse is easy since it is nestled next to an Autobahn (A5) and a parallel road that runs... more travel advice
brendareed's Related Pages
Naturpark Bergstrasse-Odenwald Travel Guide
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- "Bergstrasse - Mountain Road - Old Roman Road"
- "weekends in the Bergstrasse & Odenwald"
- "Welcome to the Bergstrasse-Odenwald Region"
- "Odenwald: enchanting legends and castles"
- "Bergstrasse-Odenwald Geopark"
- "Odenwald, links"
- "Die Bergstraße"
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- Things to Do in Naturpark Bergstrasse-Odenwald
- Transportation in Naturpark Bergstrasse-Odenwald
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