In a classic truncated cone shape, Europe’s largest volcano in terms of area and mass emerges from Hesse’s wooded hills and, with its foothills, spreads out far into the surrounding countryside in all directions. But don’t worry; the volcano has not been active for a long time. All you will see is an attractive landscape where nature protection began very early. A wild heart – and so gentle: the high forest brings with it a hint of wildness and adventure.
Enormous boulder fields and bizarre basalt crags underline the sometimes rainforest-like forms, while the wider surroundings are almost park-like in comparison. Forest and river scenery, lakes, fields and tree-lined meadows follow one another in quick succession. There are abundant views, from little peeks into valleys with plenty of reliefs to the broad panoramas towards the Rhön, Taunus and Knüll.
The most beautiful routes for hiking are along the Vulkanring Vogelsberg, a 125 km-long circular trail, and the Residenzenring, another circular trail that connects to it in the west of the Vogelsberg region. Eventful circular hiking routes long enough for a one-day tour are perfect excursions for more active visitors. Sparks fly on the Vulkan-Radweg: In the past, this was where trains climbed into the hills from the flat plains of the Wetterau, at a leisurely pace and with no steep climbs. Today, the route has been tarmacked and renamed the Vulkan-Radweg – making it a byword for pleasurable cycling and skating. Countless cycle paths open up the softly rolling landscape and lead to the highest hilltops.
At weekends, leisure buses with bike trailers make it even easier to plan your route. The romantic small towns have a wealth of cultural experiences waiting to be discovered. Be captivated by ambitious cabaret, festivals, concerts, exhibitions and museums, or discover the world of the Celts at Glauburg’s archaeological park or the world of legend at Museum Schloss Gedern.