The Odenwald – the romantic wooded hills between the Rhine, Main and Neckar rivers.
The legendarily beautiful landscape and the many legends surrounding the castles and palaces make the Odenwald “simply legendary”. Geo-Naturpark Bergstraße-Odenwald is a member of UNESCO’s Global Geopark Network. The landscape is characterised by hilltops covered with sparse mixed woodland between gentle, broad valleys, or extended high plateaus with pine forests and gorge-like valleys.The untouched natural landscape with its healthy fresh air, romantic valleys and rivers, streams and lakes is ideal for hiking or cycling along well-marked trails and provides an outstanding opportunity to relax.
The Deutscher Wanderverband (German Hiking Association) has given the 132 km long Alemannenweg trail its seal of approval as a “Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland”. The Odenwald also has a whole host of quality-assured shorter routes for day or half-day hikes. The 3-Länder-Radweg (three-state cycle path, 225 km) is ideal for cycling; many kilometres of the route lead alongside rivers. But there are also hills to climb, offering magnificent long-distance views as a reward. There is also plenty to see in the towns along the route: Michelstadt with its town hall “on stilts” and Einhard’s Basilica, Erbach with the Deutsches Elfenbeinmuseum (German ivory museum) and the antique collections in the Count’s Palace, Lindenfels with its ruined castle high above the town, and the Lichtenberger Schloss in Fischbachtal.
Historic town centres and stately town walls seduce visitors to take a trip into the past. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Messel Fossil Pit provides an insight into 50 million years of the history of the Earth – and was Germany’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is plenty to keep families with children entertained, including Bergtierpark Erlenbach animal park, Eulbacher Park, Wildpark Brudergrund wildlife park, the Spielzeugmuseum (toy museum) and the AbenteuerWald high ropes course. Those interested in history should discover the Limes, with its watchtowers, fortresses and towers, as well as the felsenmeer and the ‘dreischläfriger Galgen’.
The Odenwald has a long tradition of fine food and drink. The Odenwald guesthouses are particularly authentic and those run under the “Legendary naturalness from the region” slogan use only local produce. There are celebrations in the Odenwald all year round: local and folk festivals, craft fairs, farmers’ markets and many cultural events – and guests are always made to feel more than welcome.