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Vacation in the Franconian Hills (Frankenalb)

Landscape in the Franconia Hills

The Franconian Hills, a popular tourist destination East of Nuremberg, which for the largest part belongs to the "Nature Park Franconian Switzerland", is divided into three districts: "Altdorfer Land", "Hersbruck Switzerland", and "Schnaittach-Lower Pegnitz Valley". They constitute one of the most charming Central German Uplands.

The German word "Alb" was traditionally thought to derive from the Latin term "montes albi" (white mountains). It is more likely, however, that "Alb" is an ancient Celtic term for "mountain range".

Autumn in the Franconia HillsThe Franconian Hills reach an altitude of about 300 to 650 meters above sea level. Even inexperienced hikers can climb the smooth hills and mountains which are often crowned with castles. In spring, the gorgeous blossom of the many fruit trees stand out, while the fall brings a blaze of color over the forests which also hosts rare orchids.

Bizarre towers of rock appear above the forests and on the highlands, the look-out summits grant great views of the rolling hills and their valleys.

This region is ideally explored on foot, or by bike. Many marked trails take the visitors to the region's treasures, passing castles and palaces such as Hohenstein, Veldenstein, Castle of Thann, or the imposing Fortress of Rothenberg.

Hiking in the Franconia HillsIn summer, swimming lovers can enjoy the numerous lakes and the heated outdoor swimming pools.

Fishing is possible in the clear creeks, or in the trout waters at Pegnitz. For sailing or surfing, head to the 5 sq.km of the large storage lake of Happurg.

And if the weather is bad, the region offers many museums, such as the "Herrmann-Oberth Space Museum" and the "Zeidel Museum" in Feucht, the industrial museums in Lauf, or the "German Shepherd Museum" in Hersbruck, hosting traditions and tools from countries everywhere. The Court Theater of Dehnberg is also internationally renowned.

During the summer season, a lot of festivities take place: Numerous Parish Fairs ("Kirchweih") for instance, with all its customs. The town of Altdorf triennially hosts the "Wallenstein Festival" to commemorate the time when the famous general Albrecht von Wallenstein studied in Altdorf. The district town of Lauf traditionally celebrates festivities in honor of Empress Kunigunde with a large procession through town every year.

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