Walking in the Digelfeld nature conservation area
Walking in the nature conservation area ©Katrin Ströhle

UNESCO-Swabian Alb Biosphere – where the Jura mountains meet rugged terrain

Imposing natural beauty, culture and tradition, distinctive geological features and sites of historical interest – all these await the visitor to the Swabian Alb and its foothills.

About 40 km south-east of the Baden Württemberg regional capital Stuttgart, the biosphere stretches from the foothills of the Swabian Alb, over the steeply ascending Albtrauf (the north-westerly edge of the Swabian Alb and the summit of the mountain range) and down to the Danube valley in the south. The unique combination of densely populated, industrialised urban centres, protected natural oases, cultural and historical treasures and distinctive geological features is what makes the Swabian Alb biosphere so special.

The best way to get to know the area and its attractions is by bicycle or on foot, although if you'd like to explore the region further, you can do so in the company of one of the trained nature and landscape guides known as 'biosphere ambassadors'. The winding Lauter valley with its eponymous river is a good place for an extensive canoe trip, which will take you past the sites of long-disappeared settlements and ruined castles and abbeys. After a hard day's hiking, you can unwind in one of the thermal spas. And for a taste of the regional cuisine, an association of local hotels and restaurants known as the Biosphärengastgeber is offering special accommodation deals and other gastronomic highlights.

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