The three Ws – woods, wine and walking – are the order of the day at the Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve in the south-west of Germany, which is home to one of the most beautiful stretches of the German Wine Route and the largest continuous forested area in the whole of the country. Exquisite wines are produced here – and it's no wonder really, considering the many hours of sunshine that provide the perfect conditions for growing grapes, lemons, kiwis, figs and almonds. There's also plenty of chance to work off all the culinary delights when out on lovely long walks, climbing expeditions or castle visits.
The Palatinate Forest's name contains a huge clue as to one of the main reasons to visit this mild region – its wooded areas. The vast stretches of pine trees are joined on the eastern border by Germany's only sweet chestnut forest. The towering rock formations to the south of the biosphere reserve are another popular attraction, boasting incredible colour-changing effects depending on the time of day and iron content. Could there be a better backdrop for a spot of climbing or hiking? If culture and history are more your thing, you won't be disappointed by the many castles and ruins to be explored in the region. Trifels Castle, Berwartstein Castle and Hambach Castle all attract huge swathes of visitors every year. At the end of the day, you can look back on all your adventures as you enjoy delicious local specialities and a glass or two of fine wine from the region.
Travel to the Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve in true comfort by hopping on board a Deutsche Bahn train and getting off at the station in Kaiserslautern or Neustadt (Wine Route).
You can find the best train route here or on the DB Navigator app.
Top tip: Make sure you enter your exact starting and finishing points when searching for a route.
For example: Stephensonstrasse 1, Frankfurt am Main to Franz-Hartmann-Strasse 9, Lambrecht (Palatinate).
You can also find international super saver fares on the Deutsche Bahn website.
Travel for free in the local area with the Pfalzcard
Participating accommodation providers will give you a Pfalzcard visitor card when you arrive at your accommodation. This can be used as a ticket for free travel on local buses, trams and trains and free entry to lots of attractions. Your visitor card will be valid for your entire stay.
You can find out more about the Pfalzcard online.
Black Forest National Park and
The two nature parks in the Black Forest promise unforgettable experiences surrounded by nature and a stunning cultural landscape. The national park is a little bit on the wilder side, with perfectly intact habitats that provide undisrupted homes for native flora and fauna.
Thuringian Forest Biosphere Reserve and
The oldest and best-known hiking trail in Germany, the Rennsteig, covers almost 170 km through the region in the centre of Germany, linking the Thuringian Forest Nature Parks and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It sure does pay to be well connected!