HOME TO THE ENCHANTING SCENERY THAT INSPIRED THE FAIRYTALES COLLECTED BY THE GRIMM BROTHERS, NORDHESSEN OFFERS COUNTLESS PICTURESQUE HALF-TIMBERED BUILDINGS AND MAGICAL CASTLES TO ADMIRE.
With a string of charming sights to visit on the Fairytale Road (Märchenstrasse), it's hard to know where to begin exploring. Head to Schwalmstadt for Red Riding Hood country, the village of Bergfreiheit to find Snow White, or visit Sleeping Beauty's castle, Schloss Sababurg, deep in the Reinhard Forest (Reinhardswald). There are HALF-TIMBERED HOUSESaplenty in the small town of Fritzlar, where the medieval old town (Altstadt), ringed by the original wall and watch towers, features a number of beautifully preserved and restored 15th-17th century buildings.
For VIBRANT CITY LIFE make your way to Kassel, renowned internationally for its wide-ranging cultural offerings. View the collections of famous paintings at the Fridericianum Museum, the Neue Galerie or at Wilhelmshöhe Palace (Schloss Wilhelmshöhe) in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wilhelmshöhe Mountain Park. Schedule your visit in time for dOCUMENTA, an 100-day contemporary art exhibition that takes place every five years.
Nordhessen's stunning landscapes lend themselves well to bracing OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. The low mountain ranges that cross the region provide a stunning backdrop for hiking, with award-winning routes running through the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park (Kellerwald-Edersee), part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Reinhard Forest. Nordhessen's wide rivers and reservoirs provide plenty of opportunities for water sports or a relaxing swim; and the area is also home to ten golf courses with astonishing backdrops. Cyclists will find well-maintained long distance biking routes as well as shorter paths that take in scenic stretches of Nordhessen's rolling hills.
At the end of a hard day's activity, RELAX at one of the region's many spas, from the sauna lake and steam rooms at the Kurhessen Therme in Bad Wilhelmshöhe to Europe's largest spa gardens in Bad Wildungen-Reinhardshausen. For gastronomes, there's all sorts of regional delicacies to tuck into, from air-dried Ahle sausage and smoked local fish to poppyseed specialties from the Geo-Naturpark Frau-Holle-Land.