Experience Bavaria > Scenic Routes > Romantic Road

Romantic Road

Let the Romantic Road enchant you

landscape along the romantic road

People sometimes say the Romans built this road. There is some truth in this, if you don't mind bending it a bit. The southern section of both, the Romantic Road and the roman Via Claudia followed the River Lech from Fuessen to Augsburg, the trails, however, were not identical. In the year 47 AD, the Via Claudia Augusta led over Resia and Fern Pass on to Fuessen and Augsburg and further towards the Danube.

WieskircheFor more than 50 years, the hallmark of the Romantic Road has been its wonderful combination of nature, culture and hospitality. Germany's most famous and popular tourist route runs for 350 romantic kilometres across a rich and varied cultural landscape along the river Main and through the Franconian wine country to the Alps. This fantastic route between Wuerzburg and Fuessen offers visitors the opportunity to see small historic towns with impressive buildings and places of historical interest that still hold on to their original charm. The route leads through the charming Tauber Valley, the Noerdlinger Ries situated in the heart of a giant crater, the picturesque Lechfeld plain, the Pfaffenwinkel (Parsons' Corner) - land of farmers, artists and monks at the foothills of the Upper Bavarian Alps - before it finally arrives in the region where King Ludwig built his famous fairytale castles.

The very name "Romantic Road" expresses the sentiment that many visitors, both from Germany and abroad, feel when they first feast their eyes on this spectacular scenery of riches, western history, art and culture: fascination and a sense of being taken back in time. Beautiful scenery and culinary delights are by no means all that a trip along the Romantic Road has to offer. You'll also hear a few famous names mentioned along the way: Balthasar Neumann, who built the Wuerzburg Residenz Palace, Tilmann Riemenschneider in the charming Tauber Valley and Carl Spitzweg, a great fan of Rothenburg and Dinkelsbuehl. Geological enthusiasts will love the Noerdlinger Ries, while visitors to Augsburg will encounter the legacy of the Romans and the Fuggerei, the world's first welfare housing project, which dates from the 16th century. Pfaffenwinkel is home to the Wieskirche Pilgrimage Church, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most famous works of art from the rococo period. Schwangau, home of King Ludwig's fairytale castles, is surrounded by four lakes and set against the background of the Ammer mountains nature conservation area.

At the foot of these mountains lie Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle, two spectacular castles dating from the 19th century. These famous fairytale castles built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and Maximilian, the Crown Prince, mark the end of the Romantic Road at the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Right on the edge of the Alps, on the border with Tyrol, lies Fuessen, Bavaria's highest town (800-1200m above sea level). Its fully preserved late-medieval town centre is home to a wealth of art treasures and architectural monuments. High above the town, the church, the monastery of St. Mang and Hohes Schloss Castle - formerly the summer residence of the prince bishops of Augsburg - form a remarkable ensemble. While you're here we recommend a trip up the Zugspitze: at 2,964 metres, this is Germany's highest mountain. Once you reach the peak, you are rewarded with a panoramic view of the Alps that stretches from Germany and Austria as far as Italy and Switzerland. 

View of the Wuerzburg Residenz Palace from its colourful groundsBut the best way to explore the sights and highlights is by cycling along the well-marked Romantic Road Cycling Route (cycling maps and special cycling packages are available). All the way along this route from the Main to the Alps there are inns serving delicious food and drink, where you can relax for a while and have a bite to eat before setting out again. A fascinating journey of discovery along the Romantic Road is ideal for those on a driving or coach tour, as well as cycling and camping enthusiasts, festival-goers and connoisseurs. On this tour, you'll learn about geological history, 2,000 years of culture and, of course, the Age of Romanticism. The many castles, palaces and monasteries are not only a reminder of feudal times, they also provide the delightful setting for a variety of spectacular concerts. In fact, there are a number of lively festivals, concerts and cultural events taking place along the route all year round. So what are you waiting for!

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