Germany's Black Forest: a popular holiday destination

Updated: 2015-03-14 08:12

By Yang Wanli(China Daily)

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Germany's Black Forest: a popular holiday destination

The Black Forest region is a popular holiday destination for Europeans who are drawn to the area's fantastic natural views and great services. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Germany's Black Forest boasts breathtaking scenery, adventure sports and just a touch of history.

The view from the train window was breathtaking. I was enchanted - and I had not even arrived at my destination, the Black Forest region in Germany.

Millions of pine trees, tall and straight, quietly sway on the hills, like a sea of dark green. The tallest tree in the Black Forest is the silver fir, which can grow to a height of 65 meters. With the golden sunshine dancing on the treetops and the forest dotted with quaint wooden houses surrounded by flowers, the scene is like gazing upon a beautiful fairy tale.

In German, Black Forest translates to Schwarz Wald. Most Chinese travelers probably associate the forest with the cuckoo clock and black forest cake.

The area near the Swiss border in the south of Germany is a popular holiday destination for Europeans who are drawn to the area's fantastic natural views, great services, and more importantly, the lower price and fewer tourists than it's near neighbor - Switzerland.

In the past five years, Black Forest has attracted more individual tourists from all around the world, including Switzerland. Lothar Burghardt, managing director of the local tourism sector told me that nearly half the tourists are German while the rest, nearly 45 percent, are from Switzerland.

Summer in the Black Forest is full of fun. When I traveled there last year I enjoyed wonderful hiking and cycling, with beautiful, inspiring scenery. In spring, summer and fall, an extensive network of hiking trails and mountain bike routes in the region are a great way to experience the area's natural beauty.

The Black Forest has become top destination for keen mountain cyclists. It is one of Europe's top 10 cycling destinations, offering varied, challenging riding and excellent "apr��s-cycle". The region is also famed for its well-signposted mountain bike trails, and extracurricular activities such as great sausages, ham and German beer.

In the tourism center, you can get a map, which gives details of more than 10 cycling routes from five to about 100 kilometers. There is also a wide variety of scenery, from mountains to small lakes. Most of the bike trails are blacktop and some parts are on cobblestone roads.

For travelers who are not professional cyclists, it is very easy to find stores that rent e-bikes, which can support long distance cycling with their electrical energy systems to give you an extra boost of power to get uphill. For those who want to explore a little further, e-bikes are a good choice.

Even in winter, the Black Forest is a great place to spend time outdoors, with excellent winter sports on offer.

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