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The Thuringian Forest Nature Park: in the "green heart" of Germany

If rest and relaxation is what you want, the secluded mountain forests, meadows in bloom, mysterious fens, springs and streams of the Thuringian Forest Nature Park are just what you have been looking for. Hikers can also explore the countryside on the 170 kilometre long Rennsteig, the oldest long-distance hiking trail in Germany and even today, the Kammweg hiking trail is one of the country's most popular hiking routes.

Drivers can experience the nature park by taking the 450 kilometre long Thuringian Forest Nature Park Route. In addition to passing through some unique countryside, this road also leads to many cultural attractions such as the monumental Wartburg Castle, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the romantic palace and landscape gardens of Altenstein, Inselberg mountain or the town of Oberhof, which has hosted many winter sports championships. The colourful stalactites and shimmering underground lakes of Saalfeld's enchanting Fairy Grottoes (Feengrotten) cast a spell on visitors, whilst the Schwarza Valley Panorama Trail invites them to enjoy a walk and the wonderful views.

The park's thirteen information centres recount the history of the countryside, provide information about attractions, hiking routes, sports activities and accommodation and inform visitors about local events and exhibitions.

Visitors seeking inspiration from the countryside can find this on a creative rural break: the options available range from artist's workshops, guesthouses and hotels offering creative activities in a "Creativ-Hof", felting, woodcarving, visits to art schools or glass making, ceramic, porcelain or puppet making workshops, through to arts programmes run by museums, courses and seminars on naturopathy and herbal remedies and drawing schools.

The THURINGIAN FOREST CARD offers visitors a themed guided tour and discounts at over 330 leisure, beauty and fitness providers and food outlets, as well as at museums, caves and places selling regional products from Hörschel an der Werra to Saaletalsperren.

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