Bad Woerishofen: Woman uses arm baths in the spa gardens; Kneipp application ©DZT (Florian Trykowski)

Inspiring Germany

Walking into wellness: 8 soothing tours

A medicinal herb walk with a cooking course, a wander around a lake with a sauna session, a hike for self-discovery: here are our recommendations for routes that bring body, mind and soul into harmony.

Olsberg Kneipp Hiking Trail

Olsberg: Women tread water at the Papendiek step on the Olsberg Kneipp hiking trail Olsberg: Women tread water at the Papendiek step on the Olsberg Kneipp hiking trail ©Tourismus Brilon & Olsberg GmbH (Klaus-Peter Kappest)

The first step is always a challenge, considering the water temperature ranges from 8 to 18 degrees. But then, the beneficial effects kick in with the "Stork Walk." On this 42-kilometre-long Olsberg Kneipp Hiking Trail through the Sauerland, you can practise the famous "water treading" at six natural stepping points, according to the teachings of Sebastian Kneipp. Upon request, a Kneipp guide can accompany you.

Weserbergland Route

©TMN GmbH (German Roamers, Johannes Becker)

Castles, fortresses, and picturesque half-timbered towns line the 225-kilometre-long Weserbergland Route. Mystical natural landscapes including high moors, ancient forests, and bizarre rock formations make its 13 stages particularly fascinating. Sometimes the trail follows the course of the Weser, and sometimes you can experience the river from a vantage point. A stay in the spa town and health resort of Bad Karlshafen is another highlight. After hiking, you can relax in the local thermal baths – from the saltwater pool to a sauna boat on the river.

Ehinger Alb trails for contemplation and retreat

Reflection, self-discovery, inner contemplation: what better activity for this than hiking – especially when the route leads through a centuries-old cultural landscape like the Swabian Alb, whose hills and valleys can be interpreted as a symbol for the highs and lows of life? Six hiking trails are dedicated to topics such as "Our Daily Bread" or "Life Horizon Path".

Hansa Trail

Bad Salzuflen: graduation house, saltworks Bad Salzuflen: graduation house, saltworks ©Adobe Stock (Sina Ettmer)

Three Hanseatic towns – Herford, Lemgo and Hameln – lie along the route of the 75-kilometre long Hansa Trail through the Teutoburg Forest, with its blend of architecture, history, nature and culture. At the end of the first stage, you suddenly catch an unexpected "sea breeze": in the traditional Kneipp spa town of Bad Salzuflen, up to 600,000 litres of saltwater trickle through three graduation towers every day.

Path of Self-Care

Auetal/Rehren: Couple on the Weg der Selbstzuwendung hiking trail Auetal/Rehren: Couple on the Weg der Selbstzuwendung hiking trail ©Touristikzentrum Westliches Weserbergland (Touristikzentrum Westliches Weserbergland)

A sky lounge for resting is just one of many features on the slightly over four-kilometre-long "Path of Self-Care" in the western Weserbergland. Along the way, hikers can leave everyday life behind them and concentrate on their source of inner strength – supported by exercises at nine stations that invite them to relax, reflect and refocus. Don't forget to download the audio guide before you start!

Doinich Ursprung / Neubulach

Northern Black Forest Region: Small Waterfall Northern Black Forest Region: Small Waterfall ©Adobe Stock (Jürgen Humbert)

"Doinich" is the affectionate name given by the residents of the Teinachtal to their stream, which the twelve-kilometre-long quality hiking trail the Doinich Ursprung / Neubulach accompanies. "Forest bathing" within the natural beauty of the northern Black Forest, listening to the rippling water and wandering along nature trails – these things make this route exceptional. Neubulach is also a climatic health resort with healing cave treatments, making it the perfect place to go if you are looking for relaxation. You can bring the day to a close at the mineral spa in the town.

Herb nature trail "Around the Kuhberg", Schönweide

Healing with herbs: this art has a long tradition in Thuringia. Over 200 species of native herbs, trees and shrubs thrive along this six-kilometre-long herbal nature trail in the Vogtland. Information boards help you to identify the plants, or you can book a guided tour with a herbalist and learn how to cook with wild herbs.

Beneficial Climate Trails for Connoisseurs

Upper Black Forest: A clear forest lake in the mountains Upper Black Forest: A clear forest lake in the mountains ©DZT (Michael Neumann)

The Black Forest is home to more than 50 designated premium gourmet trails. The soothing bracing climate of the region is the focus of this almost eleven-kilometre-long Healing Climate Climb on secluded paths around Schönwald: experience it by breathing the clear air of the forests, relaxing on a recliner, enjoying fresh spring water, or catching the sun's rays in a meadow full of flowers.