Germany’s highlight: Taunus Mountains

Germany’s highlight: Taunus Mountains

by Anna Leigh Bagiackas
Stripes Europe

Sometimes you want to plan a weeklong vacation, spending hours doing research and making travel arrangements. Other times you want to simply escape the routine of every day, get some fresh air and feel refreshed and energized. Less than an hour’s drive from central Frankfurt, the lesser-known Taunus mountain range offers a romantic getaway filled with beautiful nature spots, historical remains and wellness locales to help you and your loved ones relax.

Naturpark

Surrounded by the Rhine, Main and Lahn river valleys, Taunus is a low mountain range covered in forest. With 1,200 kilometers of trails for hiking and cycling in Naturpark Taunus, the area is perfect for couples or families looking for some outdoor activities. Passing through the park is the Limes Hiking Trail (Limeswanderweg), a long-distance trail that was also an ancient border for the Roman Empire. Along this ancient trail you will see Roman watchtowers, forts and Celtic remains. You could also hike to the second-highest peak, Kleine Feldberg (the little Feldberg), where you will find a meteorological and geophysical observatory built in 1913. As you explore the Limes Hiking Trail you will have the chance to learn more about its history as there is information and stations posted along the route. If winter sports are more what you’re looking for, downhill skiing, sledding and tobogganing can be found at Großer Feldberg mountain, the highest peak in this mountain range.

 

 

Roman history

If hikes interspersed with history are more up your alley, you can find a number of Roman and Celtic destinations within the Taunus region. A visit to the Saalburg fort will give you a real Roman experience, where you can imagine what this Roman border would have felt like centuries ago. The ancient fort is home to a museum and cafe that is a replica of a Roman tavern, and they even bake bread in the ancient oven periodically. At Burg Königstein you will find the largest castle ruins in the area, and Berg Kronberg is worth a visit to catch a glimpse of the Frankfurt countryside and skyline.

Health and wellness

In addition to the presence of the Roman Empire, this area has long drawn Europe’s most prestigious visitors such as Kaiser Wilhelm II because of its geothermal springs and mineral waters, making spas and wellness resorts popular attractions in this area. You can visit Germany’s largest climatic health resort, Heilklima-Park Hochtaunus, or check out the historical spa Kur-Royal in Bad Homburg. Continuing your wellness and relaxation activities, you can find options for a romantic dinner at one of the many nearby Rhine wineries and restaurants.

You can choose from a couple of different towns to call your home for the weekend. One option is the larger town of Oberursel, closest to the Naturpark, with a charming old town and a number of restaurant options. Bad Homburg, just east of the Naturpark and Oberusel, is one of the wealthiest towns and home to much of the spa culture in the area. Another option is to stay in Kronberg, where you could splurge for a romantic stay at the 19th-century royal castle turned hotel, Schlosshotel Kronberg.

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