Hi, I'm going to be in Germany for three weeks in May and June of this year and I'll be darned if I leave there without having spent some time exploring the countryside on foot. I assume there's a well developed hiking trail system, but I don't really know where to start. Any tips would be appreciated.
Where will I be? Mainz and environs for some of the time. Around Stuttgart also and with a trip of a day or two to Basel in Switzerland.
If you really want to hike and travel by car I have no experience on that. The busses in Germany are not very expensive and there is also a cheap trainticket where you only use the stoptrains (take a look at www.db.de). A nice travel is to follow the river Rhin. City's like Basel, Mannheim, Mains, Frankfurt am Main, Lorely-area, Koblenz are very nice. If you have any luck you could ask a Inland Ship to travel. Just ask the captain and he might be possitive.
Don't forget to enjoy your trip,
I spent 2 weeks in Germany in the fall of 2004. I was really surpised by how green it was!
Hiking in the Black Forest or the Alps are obvious choices, but here are a few other choices that are a little less obvious...the Spreewald and the Isle of Rugen.
Spreewald is about 100 km SE of Berlin. The trails are along little canals in the woods with cottages dispersed troughout. There are deer hunting stands everywhere, even a few metres from a path/canal and chalet.
The Island of Rugen is way up in the Baltic near the Polish border. It is well worth the trip but the tourist load may be heavier in June then in was in October. The National Park near Sassitz is well worth it. Great spot to hike along a cliff overlooking the Baltic and hike down to the base of the stunning white cliffs. Walking along the long sandy beaches in Gohren on a stormy night is a wonderfull experience.
PS. My favorite town to hike in was Trier. Very hilly = Great! Walk around for a day looking at all the ancient Roman ruins and you will feel like you have been on a very good hike!
Thank you, folks, for your kind responses to my query. To tell you the truth, I had forgotten I had posted it and didn't get back to it until now.
As it happens, my wife and I had a wonderful time, although we didn't get to do much hiking after all. We did one jaunt of 31/2 hours down a creek that eventually finds its way into the Mosel. It was quite beautiful - deeply forested and rugged in places. Except for the occasional old water mill, you could not tell you were actually surrounded by farmland, up on the plateau. And at the end of the hike? A charming restaurant, serving its own trout.
You can see the famous Hoffbrau house, taste a good German beer. Explore German coziness. Another good place to go is the Black Forrest. Its in the southwest of Germany. You can go on hikes for days, you see the mountains. You might also want to see a little bit of the dark part of German history which would be a concentration camp. There are many castles to visit. They are mainly in the South part of Germany. You might also want to go take a river cruise on the River Rhein which is a very good thing to do. You can stay there for 3 or four days and travel very convenient on the river, stop wherever its nice and explore little towns and cities.
[ Edit: sorry, no promos in the forum please. ]