Werra Valley
Werra Valley ©Kevin Berlit
Werratal Tourismus Marketing GmbH

Niederhoner Str. 54
37269 Eschwege

Phone +49 (0)5651 992330
info@urlaub-werratal.de

Werra valley: walking, cycling and canoeing along the Green Belt

The Werra river snakes its way for 300 kilometres from its source on the Rennsteig ridge through Thuringia, northern Hessen and southern Lower Saxony – often alongside the former inner-German border. At Hannoversch Münden, the Werra and Fulda merge to become the Weser river.

Northern Hessen is blessed with picturesque, fairytale-like scenery. Idyllic little towns and villages of timber-framed houses line the valley, while medieval castles tower high from the hilltops, standing watch over the region’s legends. It was here that the Brothers Grimm – compilers of the famous collection of German fairytales – gathered their folk stories. One of their best-known characters, Mother Hulda, is said to have lived on Hoher Meissner hill.

Today, the region tells a modern tale of carbon-neutral energy and fresh countryside air. Opportunities for hiking, cycling, canoeing or horse riding open up a world of discoveries in Werra-Meissen.

Green discovery tour

In Meissner-Kaufungen Forest Nature Park, the carefully routed walking trails ensure minimal environmental impact. The various quality-certified routes can be combined in such a way that you can enjoy a richly varied walking holiday without having to change accommodation or transfer luggage. For expertise and insights, you can also book a nature park guide to accompany you.

Canoeing from Wanfried down to Hannoversch Münden is an option even for novices. The slow current means beginners can familiarise themselves with the boat and the river at their own pace. From the water, you get a truly unique perspective of the region.

Cycling is a particularly fine way to explore the area here. On the Werra Valley Cycle Route from the Rennsteig to the Weser, you can cover a good 300 kilometres in just under a week – with overnight accommodation and transfers organised, of course.

All tours provide ample time to enjoy a taste of regional cuisine. Local producers and restaurants entice adventurers with delicious specialities like Ahle Worscht sausage, Meissen lamb and Ringgau cheese. For the full flavour, you can combine your rest stop with behind-the-scenes tours and tastings.

Contemporary history brought to life

It was here – in the geographical centre of Europe – that the border between East and West split the landscape in two. Amid the seclusion afforded by the former ‘death strip’, a refuge for endangered flora and fauna emerged. Today, the Green Belt reunites this culturally important region. Carefully preserved sites of remembrance, such as the underground Stasi tunnel in Wendehausen and the Heldrastein Tower of Unity, document this period of history. Schifflersgrund Border Museum provides extensive insights with its array of exhibits.

Highlights

  • Bad Sooden-Allendorf: salt-evaporation works, thermal baths, sauna complex and Dead Sea salt grotto
  • ‘Rebbes’ barrier-free marked trail on Hoher Meissner hill: suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs
  • Energy-efficient refurbishment of restaurants and cafés in partnership with power companies
  • Specially prepared winter trails for walking, cross-country skiing and skating, starting from Frau Holle cross-country skiing car park on Hoher Meissner hill

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