I'd like to go hiking for a couple of days in Frankonia (northern Bavaria), either in the Fränkische Schweiz (Frankenwald), the Thüringer Wald (Thuringian Forest), or the Rhön Mountains. What I'm looking for is recommendations for the perfect location to base myself at. A small town or village from where there's numerous hiking trails of various length that can be set out upon (so without needing further transport from there), and then ideally some really nice hotel or guesthouse (not too expensive, but more than a plain "budget" hotel) within that town, with a nice view of the hills / mountains / forests and decent options for dinner (either at the hotel or in the town).
Initial research suggests to me that there's really countless options which roughly fit this description, but it's hard to distinguish between them, so what I think I need here is a recommendation from someone who knows this region well and knows from personal experience the one place which really stands out above all others. Preferably I'm looking for the most mountainous area within the above regions, or at least an area where there's trails with good views.
Sander, unfortunately I have no suggestions which would be the best place to base yourself, but I'm surprised that you particularly chose this region of Germany to go hiking. Was it advertised, if you don't mind me asking?
The location is mostly based on convenience (since I'll be in the region, and travelling for more than 2-3 hours to get to a good area for hiking is not really worth it). I know the region doesn't really hold appeal for international visitors, and tourism there mostly consists of Germans (I heard a statistic saying 98% of the visitors to the region are German, with the remaining 2% being Dutch *g*), but did see some 'advertising' in the form of this page on the Hochrhöner trail. Unfortunately I don't really have the time to do a multi-day trail like that, hence me looking for a central location from which to do some shorter hikes.
Unfortunately I cannot really help you either, the closest I have been are Fulda and Eisenach.
If you are into history I can highly recommend a visit to Eisenach and especially the Wartburg castle. Martin Luther translated the bible while he hid from the pope on the Wartburg.
IIRC there is some hiking around Eisenach, nothing spectacular but enough to keep you happy for a day or two.
Fram what I saw of it Fulda is not bad either, but I don't know anything about hiking in the area.
From hearsay I think that Tann Rhön should be ok for what you want, a cousin/aunt of my grandma used to live there and my grandma usually visited her once a year. She always talked about how they went hiking and swimming together. (But no guarantees, we are talking about two elderly ladies here, 70+ and 90+, I doubt they did more than 5 kms per day.)
To get to Tann you have to take a local bus from Fulda. You can look up connections using http://www.rmv.de
As for hiking around Tann, I found this nifty little site:
Leave everything as it is and just hit search and you get some suggestions for day tours around Tann. The same engine works for other places too, just change the name of the city or village.
EDIT: Just looked up your link to the Hochrhöner Trail, clicking through for more info I found this map:
According to it Tann is located on the Hochrhöner Trail. Hope this helps you make a decision.
[ Edit: Edited on 25-Sep-2009, at 06:18 by t_maia ]