Germany Trip Plan:
Explore the Hesse region between Rhön, Spessart and Vogelsberg

Germany trip plan: Explore the Hesse region between Rhön, Spessart and Vogelsberg
Schluechtern
[ source: www.schluechtern.de/]

Schlüchtern, located on the river Kinzig and nestled between the Biosphere Reserve Rhön, the Spessart Nature Park and Nature Preserve Upper Vogelsberg, invites you to enjoy beautiful nature. The charming towns of Steinau, Bad Soden-Salmünster, Gelnhausen with its Imperial Palace and the Baroque City Fulda, provide perfect opportunities for leisurely day trips.




Note: This is a trip plan (self-driving, stay in a vacation apartment, explore on your own)
Duration: 7 days
Recommended Destination Airport: Frankfurt Airport

Trip Plan Details:

Schlüchtern, located on the river Kinzig and nestled between the Biosphere Reserve Rhön, the Spessart Nature Park and Nature Preserve Upper Vogelsberg, invites you to enjoy beautiful nature. The charming towns of Steinau, Bad Soden-Salmuenster, Gelnhausen with its Imperial Palace and the Baroque City Fulda, provide perfect opportunities for leisurely day trips.

Schlüchtern is a small town in the Main-Kinzig-District in the eastern part of the state of Hesse. The town district Vollmerz with its Ramholz castle & garden and the fortress Steckelberg, or the fortress Brandenstein in the town district Elm, are worthwhile destinations for trips with the whole family. To the east the Biosphere Reserve Rhön offers many activities in every season, the Spessart Nature Park stretched to the south and the Nature Preserve Upper Vogelsberg lies to the north. A varied and attractive landscape unfolds, following the river Kinzig and small creeks, leading you through meadows, fields and woods; a guaranteed relaxing time for the whole family.

Cost Estimate:

We compiled some starting prices and rough estimates to help you better with your Germany trip planning.

Lodging: starting at $364 for 2 persons / 7 days
Admissions: starting at $250 for 2 persons / 7 days
Car Rental: starting at $420 / 7 days
Gas: starting at $200 / 7 days
Estimated Total Cost:2 persons, starting at $1234 / 7 days
 4 persons, starting at $1648 / 7 days

Travel Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Schlüchtern-Niederzell

Day 1: Arrival at Schlüchtern-Niederzell
Ulrich-von-Hutten memorial
[ source: www.schluechtern.de/]

A spacious vacation apartment is ready for you to move in, after your short drive from Frankfurt International Airport. Niederzell is a town district of Schlüchtern and you will have no problems to familiarize yourself with the beautifully situated location. Enjoy your stay!


Day 2: Schlüchtern and the Brandenstein fortress

Day 2: Schlüchtern and the Brandenstein fortress
Castle Brandenstein
[ source: www.schluechtern.de/]

Schlüchtern is a modern town with along history. Some streets still show the structure of its medieval origins. Start your day exploring the pretty little alleys Schmiedengasse and Linsengasse in downtown Schlüchtern. The historic town hall and the church of Saint Michael and especially the 8th-century Benedictine monastery form a pleasing ensemble in the urban core. The whole building complex of this oldest surviving building in the region shows evidence of a construction period of seven centuries.

In the afternoon enjoy a visit of the fortress Brandenstein in the town district Elm. From here you will love the views of the Kinzig-Valley. Little is known about the castle founders but it original construction can be traced back to the 12th or 13th century. Although still privately owned and inhabited, the castle can be visited. Guided tours are offered to learn more about the castles history. Its many, in centuries collected historical exhibits, are featured.

Special tip: The weekly market-day is held on Tuesdays in the old town center of Schlüchtern, offering a wide range of regional agricultural products.


Day 3: Bergwinkel-Museum and the Herb-Witch

Day 3: Bergwinkel-Museum and the Herb-Witch
Bergwinkelmuseum
[ source: www.schluechtern.de/]

Because of its surrounding mountain ranges, the Schlüchtern region is referred to as Mountain-Nook, in German language Bergwinkel. Before heading of into the nature you might like to visit the Bergwinkel-Museum. Using modern technology for its presentation, the town's history and its important people become very much alive, making this an exciting experience to explore the different aspects. If you are interested in German engineering, a replica of the old and new Schlüchterner railway tunnel are displayed in the attic of the Bergwinkel-Museum.

In the afternoon, if you like to explore the surroundings by yourself, a map provided at the town hall with many walking or biking trails, will be very useful for you. The local tourist information office also offers a number of guided tours, including a walk through town with a night-watchman in his historical robe. Another guided tour features the many rare and protected plant species and numerous species of orchids that thrive here between sandstone, limestone and basalt. And if you like to discover old secrets about wild herbs, what to do with them and how they taste, a trip with the Herb-Witch will be time worth spend. Recreation, adventure and information are at the forefront of these hikes. In case you want to buy some natural, finished herb-products, visit the Löwenzahn Shop on Ramholzstrasse.


Day 4: Baroque City Fulda in the Rhön

Day 4: Baroque City Fulda in the Rhön
St. Salvator Cathedral Fulda, PD-SELF
[ source: Wikipedia]

Fulda holds a particular historic flair and is always worth a visit. It calls itself the Baroque City, a well earned name considering the numerous architectural baroque treasures around this lively and hospitable city. Already many centuries ago, Fulda became a small, but significant civil town in the shade of the great Romanesque basilica, which is a must see. Also very impressive is the baroque quarter of Fulda! In particular the cloister architecture carried the construction of schools, a university and the horticulture, and is still significant today.

As mentioned, also gardens have a long history in Fulda. Beginning with the monastery gardens in the Middle Ages, followed by the baroque gardens at the beginning of the 18th century - which were private owned - at the beginning of the 19th century the first public parks were opened and constantly developed.

Fulda's city center is also great for shopping. Besides many inviting cafes and restaurants, small boutiques and shops, all major Brands are available in the big shopping centers. Everything is in walking distance and the facades of lovely half timbered houses add to the special flair.


Day 5: Brothers Grimm town, Steinau Castle and the Devil's Cave

Day 5:  Brothers Grimm town, Steinau Castle and the Devil's Cave
Castle Steinau, PD-Varus111
[ source: Wikipedia]

In the vicinity of Schlüchtern lies Steinau an der Strasse, a quaint little town. It's here, where the two well known fairy-tale collectors and brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, spent their childhood and early youth from 1791-1798. The St. Catherine's Church is probably the oldest building in Steinau, built in the 13th Century. It's the same church were the grandfather of the Grimm brothers worked as a pastor for over 40 years. Visit the museum Brüder Grimm-Haus and later the Steinau Castle, which impressively dominates the town.

Steinauer Castle, the former country estate of the Counts of Hanau, was built between 1528 and 1560. The huge complex forms an irregular pentagon with four, originally five tracts, four corner buildings, or pavilions, and two gate houses in the north and south. The fifth tract in the southeast was destroyed during the invasion of the Croats in 1634 and later completely demolished, but the foundations can still be seen. The entire building is surrounded by a 4-5 m deep and 18-25 m wide trench, called Hirschgraben, today the location of a children's playground.

Special Witch Tip: Visit the legendary Steinau Devil's Cave. It is Hesse's largest stalactite cave open to visitors. The cave is 2.5 million years old and a geological treasure. The vaults are about 2.5 kilometers long and can be visited only with a guide. The temperature in the cave is a constant 8 degrees Celsius; the dome is particular impressive with a height of 11 meters. And who knows, maybe you indeed meet the enchanted witch.


Day 6: Bad Soden-Salmünster

Day 6: Bad Soden-Salmünster
Huttenschloss Bad Soden, CC-Sven Teschke
[ source: Wikipedia]

Bad Soden-Salmünster is located on the river Kinzig, between the nature parks Spessart and Vogelsberg. It is famous for its beautiful location and healing brine springs - accidentally discovered by a cow in 1837. Constantly licking at a certain place on the lawn, the inhabitants started excavations, which promoted an old well shaft and so, the carbonated brine came to light. The citizens took advantage of this treasure of natural healing power. In 1928, the town Soden was awarded the title Bathand since then the health infrastructure expanded continuously.

The old towns of Bad Soden and Salmünster (originally two towns) with its narrow lanes, lovingly restored half-timbered houses from the 17th and 18 century and old manors, invite you to stroll and look around. The 1703 built, former town hall Bad Soden, is a unique baroque timber-framed building in Hesse. It now houses historical costumes and a wedding room with historical furniture of the former Sodener company Herbst.

You will love this lively town with quaint houses, quaint shops and a fine gastronomy. The highly visible Franciscan parish church of St. Peter and Paul characterizes the town view of Salmünster. The fortress ruins of Stolzenberg with the lookout tower - the symbol of Bad Soden - offers a nice view into the Spessart and Rhön mountain ranges. Also the spa park of Bad Soden-Salmünster, with its water games, the King Henry Fountain and the graduation house, has a lot little treasures to discover.


Day 7: Departure

Day 7: Departure
Restaurant in Schluechtern
[ source: www.schluechtern.de/]

In every season of the year this region has something special to offer. Be it the always changing nature, sport activities or the numerous events held in the lovely towns, parks or on castle grounds. We are always happy to give you the best advise and tips in order to make your vacation in Germany a truly memorable experience!


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Where to Stay?

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Bad Orb

Bad Orb
[ source: Flickr ]

Bad Orb is a spa town in the Main-Kinzig district, in Hesse, Germany. It is situated 32km east of Hanau, and about 60km east of Frankfurt am Main. Bad Orb is between forested lush green hills in the Nature Park Spessart, one of the largest forested areas…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Bad Orb Vacation Rentals


Bad Soden-Salmünster

Bad Soden-Salmünster
[ source: Flickr ]

Bad Soden-Salmünster is a town in the Main-Kinzig district, in Hesse, Germany. It is situated on the river Kinzig, between Fulda and Hanau.  [ + ] More Details

Related: Bad Soden-Salmünster Vacation Rentals


Birstein

Birstein is a municipality on the northeastern edge of the Main-Kinzig-Kreis in Hesse, Germany with approximately 6,600 inhabitants. It was the home of the former principality of Isenburg-Birstein.  [ + ] More Details

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Freiensteinau

Freiensteinau
[ source: Wikipedia ]

Freiensteinau is a community in the Vogelsbergkreis in Hesse, Germany. Freiensteinau lies on the south slope of the Vogelsberg Mountains.  [ + ] More Details

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Gelnhausen

Gelnhausen
[ source: Flickr ]

Gelnhausen is a town and the capital of the Main-Kinzig-Kreis, in Hesse, Germany. It is located approx. 40 kilometers east of Frankfurt am Main, between the Vogelsberg mountains and the Spessart range at the river Kinzig. According to the Institut Géographique…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Gelnhausen Vacation Rentals


Schlüchtern

Schlüchtern
[ source: Flickr ]

Schlüchtern is a town in the Main-Kinzig district, in Hesse, Germany. It is located on the river Kinzig at the southwest of a hill called Landrücken, approx. 30 km southwest of Fulda.  [ + ] More Details

Related: Schlüchtern Vacation Rentals



How to maximize your savings and spend less during your Germany vacation?

You can cut down your vacation costs significantly by following these simple rules:

  • Instead of eating out in restaurants most of the time your vacation rental apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen. By preparing your breakfast and dinner yourself you can save lots of money, but you can also live a more authentic Germany vacation by trying out local foods and recipes. (see some German recipe suggestions.)
  • Use public transportation instead of a rental car. We provide you with links and details on how to get around using public transportation. Check out the corresponding Live Like a German travel guide for more details.

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