Take the ‘Romantic Road’ and tour through some of Germany’s most beautiful scenery and quintessential towns. The route is marked with brown signs, running north to south from Würzburg to the popular alpine resort of Füssen. A must visit is Neuschwanstein Castle, one of Europe’s most iconic castles created by ‘Mad’ King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 1800’s and the inspiration for Walt Disney’s famous theme park fairytale castles. Not just by road, romance can be found on the Rhine, Europe’s most important trade waterway and perhaps at its loveliest along the Upper Middle Rhine Valley from Koblenz to Bingen. River cruises are immensely popular, particularly along this stretch, where the river carves its way through sumptuous countryside, befitting of a fairytale land, enjoy over 40 castles and 60 medieval towns to explore along the way.
There are islands to surprise: the Bavarian town and island of Lindau and the Flower Island of Mainau, both located in Lake Constance, the striking chalk cliffs of Rügen in the Baltic Sea, and Museum Island, so called for the complex of five museums that occupy part of this island in the Spree river at the heart of Berlin.
Full of fresh alpine air and with a fondness for healthy living, western Europeans take to the great outdoors, walking, skiing, sailing, just some of the popular activities and the scenery both dramatic and delightful is captivating, with a view around every turn. From the Bavarian Alps to the Black Forest, Lake Königssee (listen out for the echo) to the hillside vineyards of Moselle. With a wealth of hot mineral springs, Baden-Wuerttemburg is Germany’s leading spa holiday region with the famous spa-town of Baden-Baden being the icing on the cake. Or if you prefer a cherry on top, indulge in some Black Forest gâteau, and join in the grand tradition of ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ (coffee and cake).
Now to the bright lights of Berlin, emerging as one of the most exciting and intriguing capitals in Europe for art, architecture and nightlife. Brandenburg Gate, once a symbol of Germany’s division, now represents the country’s reunification and is one of Berlin’s most visited landmarks. A more curious attraction is the preserved sections of the Berlin Wall, in particular, infamous Checkpoint Charlie, if only to say you have been there. Dresden, Cologne and Stuttgart have more traditional city attractions to tempt, as does Frankfurt, Leipzig and Heidelberg. Then to the huge tidal harbour and historic port of Hamburg where you may not expect to find…Miniatur Wunderland! Spend hours scrutinizing the sheer scale and extraordinary detail of the world’s largest model railway. Otherwise, and for adult eyes only, the nightlife and entertainment of Reeperbahn is legendary! To get a true taste of German hospitality, visit Munich during Oktoberfest. The world’ s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair) attracting more than 6 million visitors every year - there’s nothing quite like it!
Germany is big and bold, boisterous and benevolent and a powerfully compelling place. So for a proper party, some sizeable sausage, charismatic castles and fabled forests, a warm hearty welcome awaits.