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The Vacation Region Rhoen (Rhön)

Rhoen-Grabfeld

“Buchonia” – this location name occurs twice in history: It refers to Bukovina (the “Grappfeltis” land, rich in waters), as well to as to the Rhoen highland. Both regions merged as part of the district reform in 1972; the border triangle Bavaria-Hessen-Thuringia is now home to about 87,000 residents.

The districts Rhoen-Grabfeld and Bad Kissingen both are part of this unique low mountain range: On the rim of Franconia and Bavaria, but right in the middle of Germany.

Apart from its natural beauties as a Nature Park and an UNESCO biosphere reserve, Rhoen offers unique cultural treasures and sights; Tradition and modern life, savoir-vivre, and a great variety of leisure and cultural activities.

Bad Neustadt is the county seat. This area is home to many modern health centers, including clinics for heart and vascular conditions, neurology, hand surgery, and dialysis. Bad Königshofen offers spa treatment and wellness in its “Frankentherme”, and is also a popular base for RV owners with its camping site right next to the health resort. Mellrichstadt – by the highway A 71 – is the gate to Thuringia, while Ostheim’s jewel is Germany’s largest church-castle.

Roehn

Popular among the initiated is the European Special Museum of Organ Manufacture in the Palace of Hanstein. Fladungen, Bavaria’s most Northern city, features the Franconian Open-Air-Museum, staging festivals, exhibitions, lectures, and guided tours throughout the year. It is also the starting point for the museum train, called “Rhoenzugle”, going to Mellrichstadt as part of the Erfurt-Würzburg line. An information center on the biosphere reserve as well as the German Pipe Museum can be found in Oberelsbach.

Bischofsheim is the place for summer retreats, winter sports, and cycling and mountain bike activities. Germany’s oldest sculpture school trains the master craftsmen of tomorrow, whose homes are here and in the villages around Sandberg. Schönau is the birth place of the gymwheel (invented by Otto Feick in 1925). Those looking for swimming lakes find them in Burgwallbach, Irmelshausen, and Sulzfeld; the latter also features the Fairy Tale Park Sambachshof.

Bad Kissingen

Rhoen is a perfect region for hiking tours, with its over 5,000 km of marked hiking trails, and its unique landscape of woodless summits.

There are more than enough worthwhile destinations: The over 600-meters high “Dreistelz” mountain with its look-out, the Black Mountains, a high plateau in 700 meters altitude in one of Bavaria’s largest, non-alpine Nature Resorts, or Sodenberg mountain, an extinct volcano South of Hammelburg, Franconia’s oldest “Wine Town”.

Biking is the big thing along the rivers Sinn, Thulba, and the Franconian Saale. On the almost flat routes, the castle ruins of Trimberg or the Palace of Saaleck are easy to discover. And the Franconian Saale offers kayakists the opportunity to enojy pure nature from their boats – a rare experience these days. And two perfectly integrated golf courses in Maria Bildhausen and in Bad Kissingen are a challenge for lovers of the “small ball”.

Wellness is not a short-lived fashion in Rhoen. Russian Tsars, Emperors, and Kings enjoyed their stay in the resort towns of Bad Kissingen, Bad Bocklet, and Bad Brückenau. Today, modern health clinics get mind and body back in perfect shape.

“Sinnflut”, a modern water park, or the “Vital-Spa” with its numerous wellness opportunies (both in Bad Brückenau) complete the variety of options. The thermal bath complex “KissSalis” in Bad Kissingen is one-of-a-kind in Germany; it opened its doors in February 2004 and meets the highest possible expectations in the fields of recreation, fitness, and wellness.

Rhoen’s only chair lift operates at the Feuerberg (“Fire Mountain”) during winter months. Alpine skiers will love the opportunity to improve their skills. Cross-country ski runs can be found on the crest of the Black Mountains, with hiking lodges along the routes provide the fitting après-ski ambiance.

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