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The Schwarza Valley Panoramic Trail has been voted Thuringia's most beautiful walking trail by an overwhelming majority. With its glorious paths around the Schwarza, one of the loveliest mountain rivers in Germany, it combines the heights of the Rennsteig trail with the castle scenery of the Saale river.

To make the experience all the more special, you might like to take a ride on the Oberweissbach mountain railway. The refurbished train, which is under historic preservation, connects the Schwarza valley railway with the plateau around Oberweissbach and, with a 25 per cent gradient, is the steepest cable railway of its kind anywhere in the world. While on board, you can enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the Thuringian Forest.

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Ever wanted to have a bird's eye view? Well, now you can – with the first treetop trail in the Harz National Park in Bad Harzburg. Measuring almost a kilometre in length and set 22 metres above the ground, the walkway offers an unusual perspective from which to soak up the exceptional views.

Another must for intrepid explorers is the woodland trail, which has 33 checkpoints. Here, you can learn how the forest's complex ecosystem works and which animals live here in the Harz alongside the bats and lynx. The Bad Harzburg treetop walkway is accessed via a spiral tower on an incline of 6 per cent, making it suitable for prams and wheelchairs.

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Every summer, the Bayreuth Festival, also known as the Richard Wagner festival, transforms the Franconian town of Bayreuth into a cultural hub for classical music aficionados. The 30-day event sees accomplished artists perform operatic works by German composer Richard Wagner to the delight of international audiences. The festival, now in its 104th year, runs from 25 July to 28 August 2015 and this season's main attraction is a new production of the romantic drama Tristan and Isolde.

If you love classical music, then this is the festival for you. Set within the extraordinary surroundings of the original festival theatre that was built especially for the composer, the Bayreuth Festival is in a class of its own.

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The city of Frankfurt hosts its traditional Apfelwein Festival on Rossmarkt square from 7 to 16 August 2015. Apfelwein cider, or stöffche as it's called in the regional dialect, has been the lifeblood of Frankfurt locals since the 16th century. A varied programme of music, theatre and live entertainment will give visitors a taste of this Hessen custom as well as an insight into the apple's journey from orchard to glass.

You can sample the variety of ciders on offer from the many producers – best enjoyed alongside some regional fare – before strolling past the skyscrapers to the nearby museum embankment.

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The Speicherstadt warehouse district of Hamburg has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. As announced at the UNESCO Committee session held in Bonn on 5 July 2015, the Speicherstadt and the neighbouring Kontorhaus district are being recognised as unique and enduring symbols of trade. Speicherstadt is the world's largest complex of uniformly designed warehouses, and this fantastic example of maritime industrial architecture is best viewed on a port boat trip. The nearby HafenCity and Elbe Philharmonic Hall are also well worth a visit.

The accreditation of the 'Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus' takes the total number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Germany up to 40. You can discover Germany's world heritage on eight different UNESCO routes or check out #welterbegermany on Instagram for a virtual tour of the sites.

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The Upper Middle Rhine Valley, which has UNESCO World Heritage status, is the setting for a magnificent spectacle every year. Rhine in Flames is one of the biggest firework displays in the world and lights up the river valley, the Middle Rhine vineyards and more than 15 castles in a dazzling array of colours.

On 8 August 2015 you can cruise down the Rhine from Spay/Braubach to Koblenz on one of around 80 illuminated pleasure boats, or enjoy the fireworks from the riverside at one of the promenade festivals with live music.

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Taking place this year from 6 to 9 August, the annual summer festival in Stuttgart is a highlight in the city's events calendar. It is held on Schlossplatz square outside the New Palace, around Lake Eckensee and by the opera house and the Art Building.

The programme features an eclectic mix of live music – everything from pop, rock and jazz to classical – as well as a fantastic selection of food by top regional restaurateurs. Enjoy a leisurely stroll past the marquees with their food stalls and sample fine wines from the Württemberg region.

A wonderful summer festival of food, drink and music that offers something for everyone.

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Attracting up to 250,000 visitors every year, DAS FEST in Karlsruhe is one of the biggest open-air events in Germany. It will be taking place this year from 24 to 26 July. As well as performances by well-known bands and solo artists, the festival features a children's section, a sports area with a skateboarding competition, a programme of entertainment and a Sunday breakfast classical concert. It is a great event for people of all ages.

If you want to relax and unwind after the festival, the Black Forest is not far away. Here you can get away from it all, go on walks and cycle rides, and enjoy nature at its best.

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There promises to be plenty of excitement and fast-paced action as the teams vie for victory at the 18th German Polo Masters. Taking place this year from 24 July to 2 August, the tournament in Keitum on the island of Sylt is one of Europe's biggest and most famous polo events. Aside from the beautiful ponies and top sporting action, there will also be a fantastic programme of entertainment as well as food and drink.

If you enjoy fine food, you won't be disappointed on Sylt. Home to several top chefs and three Michelin-starred restaurants, the island is one of Germany's top culinary destinations.

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The Breminale arts festival, Bremen's biggest party on the riverside, runs from 15 to 19 July 2015. Staged on the Osterdeich meadows between the city centre and the Weser Stadium, the festival presents dance productions and readings as well as performances from bands spanning a wide musical spectrum. To round it all off, there are lots of market stalls and food stands to explore too.

No trip to Bremen is complete without visiting the market square, famed for its UNESCO World Heritage town hall and Roland statue. A walk down Böttcherstrasse also comes highly recommended – this former tradesmen's alley is now home to shops selling exquisite chocolates, exotic spices and regional fish specialities.

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