On the Alemannenweg Trail hikers can expect idyllic natural surroundings, pretty villages with winding streets, enchanted castles, noble palaces and regional specialties.
The Alemanni were a warlike western Germanic tribe who defeated the Romans around 260 AD and moved into the Odenwald region. Evidence of their presence includes a large rock column right by the well-known 'Felsenmeer' boulder field: the Romans had no time to remove this column before they were attacked by the Alemanni. The 'Felsenmeer' is one of the highlights of the Alemanni path, which links the towns of Michelstadt and Bensheim and the villages of Mühltal and Otzberg across a rich and varied landscape.
The small hill tops, idyllic valleys, wide variety of deciduous forest, charming meadow orchards, cosy villages and mysterious cliffs are all best discovered on foot. The region's designation as a nature reserve ensures its protection and indicates its status as some of the most beautiful countryside in Germany. The fascinating geological makeup of the uplands between Darmstadt and Heidelberg has resulted in its accreditation as a National and European Geopark.
Those with a penchant for horror should visit Castle Frankenstein, which has been linked to Mary Shelley's novel 'Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus'. Other attractions on the Alemannenweg trail include the fairytale castle Fürstenau, Auerbach Castle, Lichtenberg Palace and Otzberg Castle. Along the way, Odenwald inns serve up regional specialities such as Bergstrasse wines, Odenwald cider, creamy cooked cheese and local game.
Tip: Felsenmeer near Lautertal-Reichenbach
The 'Felsenmeer' (boulder field) consists of thousands of huge rocks seemingly strewn about at random. It is a fascinating natural countryside and a gigantic play ground. The Information Centre provides an insight into the history.
At a glance:
Start und Destination: Michelstadt
Distance: 138 km
Number of stages: 7
Height: Ascent approx. 4,300 m, descent approx. 4,500 m
Trail surface: 35% unmade, 15% asphalt, 50% other e.g. gravel