I am not really a great fan of talking about itineraries since I myself like being flexible. Also, everyone experiences travel in a very different way. I like to combine offbeat sightseeing with bouts of laziness in between. Here’s where my head was at while navigating the massive and beautiful Black Forest:
1. Do not trust the weather.
I have now fully understood why Germans head to Spain or Thailand or any other tropical place each summer. By the time you get used to the idea that Germany in fact can actually have some sunshine, you’re pretty much forced to re-consider. While evaluating my options between Italy & Germany to take a holiday, I chose the latter thinking, “Well, how cold could it be?”- FAIL. It was 13 degrees with winds at 15 miles per hour and rain all the god damn time for the first two days. I immediately knew packing my swimsuit was an extremely bad oversight. I think Germany needs to re-introduce a ‘rainy season’ for the month of July.
2. Find time to hike and/or camp.
Owing to the shitty weather and time crunch to see all that we planned, we had to give hiking a pass. Looking at the views however would indicate otherwise. The Hell Valley is spectacular to say the least. The lush green hills would make for a wonderful backdrop not just for a long hike but also to camp along the way. Next time around, I’m coming just for a hiking tour.
3. See as many lakes as you can.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the amazing lakes that encompass the 6000 km square of beauty that the Black Forest is. We spend a whole day lazing around Titisee and Scluchsee. The former is more touristic and a well frequented spot. I personally preferred the latter since it was extremely serene and had the most amazing walking/biking path all around the lake which seemed quite endless. Downside though was, everything shut shop at 6pm (yeah) so we pretty much starved on our way back to our base.
4. Drive, don't get driven.
Again, owing to laziness and the fact that I haven’t yet converted my license to a German one, we chose to take trains/buses throughout the region. It was spectacular but in my humble opinion, driving through the region would be even more amazing. Germany has amazing roads, and the region has such cute, high, maze like roads which cross the prettiest green lands and villages. It almost felt like I was in an entirely different country. If you can drive, do that.
5. Don't skip the small towns.
Its easy to fall into the temptation of skipping the cute little towns in the black forest which are quite stunning in their own right. Towns such as Donauschingen, Freiburg, Offenburg, Baden-Baden should be by all means included in the itinerary especially once you get bored of the endless forest trails!
I’m definitely going back for more, are you?