A whistle-stop journey from the age of the dinosaurs to the present day the well-signposted Swabian Alb Route is around 200 km long and runs across the entire Alb region from Tuttlingen on the Danube to Nördlinger Ries through the caved and castled landscape of the Swabian Albs Geopark. Acclaimed for its fossil sites, the park is an insider tip for amateur geologists.
The Swabian Alb is a striking highland region that rose up out of the Jurassic sea millions of years ago and features a combination of bizarre rock formations and gentle rolling slopes. The Swabian Alb was once one of the most volcanic regions on earth. Millions of years ago, lava hissed towards the sky here.
Moments full of wonder
Today, this region's hallmarks are its gleaming white rock formations, mighty castles and magnificent palaces of notable dynasties, juniper scrubs where shepherds tend their flocks, delightful dry valleys, crystal-clear springs and subterranean wonderlands of dripstone caves, crater lakes, religious buildings in Romanesque or Gothic style and idyllic villages full of half-timbered houses.
Few other landscapes in Europe reveal their geological origins so clearly as the Swabian Alb. Legacies of an active geological past and natural phenomena make this enthralling landscape a geopark of endless fascination.
A diverse geological history
Rare prehistoric fossils can still be found in the area today or viewed in carefully prepared displays at one of the region's world-class museums. The Swabian Albs Geopark is acclaimed for its fossil sites and if you decide to go on your own fossil hunt in Dottershausen, Holzmaden, Bad Boll or Ohmden, you stand a good chance of finding something. Mineral springs have also welled up from the depths of this landscape since prehistoric times and were a blessing to the people of this region. Whatever the time of year, there is always something new to discover along the Swabian Alb Route.
Length: approximately 200 km
Theme: countryside, culture
Aalen: Limes Museum, visitor mine
Bad Urach: spa resort, waterfalls, Falkenstein and Schiller Caves (Falkensteinerhöhle and Schillerhöhle)
Burladingen: textile city, castle ruins, Salemdinger Chapel
Engstingen: Lichtenstein Castle
Heidenheim: Hellenstein Castle
Lautlingen: Stauffenberg Castle
Nördlingen: the Ries crater, city walls, railway museum
Sonnenbühl: the Bear's Cave and Fog Cave (Bärenhöhle and Nebelhöhle)
Trossingen: music academy, harmonica museum
Tuttlingen: Honberg Castle ruins, museums, Danube sink (Donauversickerung)
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