What to Do in Southwest Germany

If your clients are exploring the Black Forest or other areas of Southwest Germany, there is plenty for them to see and do. Here are just a few suggestions.

1. Hiking
Shake off the winter blues and go hiking where hiking was invented: in the Black Forest. Work up an appetite for a traditional picnic—or “Vesper,” as it's locally known. “Nature Park Hosts,” a group of Black Forest hoteliers, prepare picnics “to go” made with local farm produce: think Black Forest ham, home-made breads and cheeses, Black Forest gateau, or cake, and--of course--an authentic cherry schnapps to help digestion! For more information, visit www.blackforest-tourism.com.

2. Wining
When it comes to wine, Southwest Germany could be Europe’s best-kept secret. According to the authoritative international Gault Millau Wine Guide 2012, the red wines grown in Baden in the Rhine Valley are outstanding, with Bernhard Huber from Malterdingen awarded five “grapes” out of five for his Spätburgunder (German for pinot noir). The rival Eichelmann guide reckons that Baden now produces more top-rated Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay wines than any other German region! For more information, visit www.tourism-bw.com.

3. Foresting
In Germany's Black Forest region, Michelin-starred chefs Harald Wohlfahrt, Claus-Peter Lumpp and Jörg Sackmann are preparing some of the best meals in the country. Baiersbronn has seven Michelin stars in total, while other restaurants, including Andrea Stube, Kaminstube, Köhlerstube und Meierei, also serve up impeccable German cuisine. Bonus: Keep an eye out for the "hiking hut" restaurants for al fresco dining in the woods. For more information, visit www.baiersbronn.de.

4. Sleeping in a Wine Barrel
For a truly unique night in Germany, bed down in a huge wine barrel. What once held 2,000 gallons of wine is now a comfy place to catch some zzzs. In the vineyards above the Black Forest village of Sasbachwalden, the wine barrels are on the Wild family holiday farm (pictured above). A thousand feet up, the casks and their guests have top views over vines and mountains. Welcome baskets include two local wines, bottled water and regional food such as pastries, sausages and cheese. (Good to know: Although there are two wine barrels, only one is for sleeping. The other is a bathroom.) For more information, visit www.tourism-bw.com.

Getting There

Stuttgart Airport (STR) gets direct flights from countries around the world including a daily non-stop flight from Atlanta to Stuttgart with Delta Airlines as well as a non-stop service between New York/Newark Airport and Stuttgart Airport, operated by Continental Airlines. The airport is eight miles from the city center and just off the A8 Karlsruhe-Munich motorway. For more information, visit www.stuttgart-airport.com.

Photo courtesy of Ferienhof Wild

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