Top 5 Drives in Germany

Germany is a country that is renowned for its automobile industry. The nation loves driving too, with its derestricted autobahns famously allowing completely legal high-speed travel. But it isn’t just about ultra-fast roads. Germany also has some of the best driving routes in Europe too, many of which are famous and very well established.

Unlike other countries, Germany has actually named many of its most popular driving routes. Enterprising businesspeople in the past created the routes to weave through Germany’s most tourist-friendly regions: following these famous routes is a holiday pastime hundreds of thousands of motorists travel to Germany each year for.

Using the RAC Route Planner tool, we have highlighted five of the best driving routes in Germany.

The Romantic Road

The Romantic Road stretches 220 miles from Wurzburg to Fussen. Located in southern Germany, the route is located in the Bavarian and Baden-Wurttemberg regions and takes in a huge amount of German history. Brown tourist signs lead tourists across the entire route: look for ‘Romantische Strasse’.

Starting off in the Wurzburg wine region, the route winds through to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a faithfully preserved medieval old town that’s a destination for thousands of tourists. It inspired the village in Disney’s Pinocchio and scenes from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were also filmed there.

There’s a 1000 year old Castle Hotel Colmberg while Augsburg doubles that history – at 2000 years, it’s Germany’s oldest city. The route also takes in Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for another Disney creation, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. It is visited by a massive 1.3 million people each year. It ends in the roman town of Fussen, used for scenes in Steve McQueen’s The Great Escape.

RAC Route Planner link

The Castle Route

Like castles? You’ll love Germany’s Castle Route. Easily accessible in south west Germany, it start at Mannheim Palace, covering Mannheim and Bavaria before actually crossing into the Czech Republic and finishing in beautiful Prague at Prague Castle. Sounds long, and it is: 625 miles long, in fact. Make sure you leave plenty of time… unless it forms the basis of your driving holiday that is.

There are around 70 castles, palaces and stately homes featured on the fully signposted route (look for brown ‘Burgenstrasse’ signs), mostly from the Middle Ages, making it a dream driving route for those keen on history.

You can even stay in castles along the route – Castle Hornberg has been turned into a hotel, while Castle Hotel Colmberg is 1000 years old. Also impressive is Bad Wimpfen, whose ‘blue tower’ is more than 800 years old. If you visit at Christmas, be sure to stop at Imperial Castle of Nuremberg – said by many to have the best Christmas market in Germany.

RAC Route Planner link

The German Wine Route

The German Wine Route is the most well established of all Germany’s driving tour wine routes, being first devised in 1935. Today, it is marked out by yellow ‘Deutsche Weinstrasse’ signs – fittingly carrying a bunch of grapes logo.

It’s only 50 miles long so is easily manageable; after starting off at the German Wine Gate in Schweigen-Rechtenbach, right on the border of France, it winds through the Palatinate wine region before ending at the house of the German Wine Road in Bockenheim an der Weinstrasse.

Along the way, the northward route takes in 1000 year old history and, in Traminer, a 300 year old vineyard that’s Europe’s oldest still in use. The world’s biggest wine barrel can be seen in Bad Durkheim and the cable car up to Rietcastle allows you to see views of the entire region from above.

RAC Route Planner link

The Fairy Tale Route

Established in 1975, The Germany Fairy Tale Route celebrates Germany’s long history of fairy tales. It is focused around The Brothers Grimm but also takes in Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Sababurg (she slept there for 100 years) and the Bremen Town Musicians.

Along the way is Steinau, where the Brothers Grimm grew up, plus Gottingen where they worked. Little Red Riding Hood was set in the deep forests of the Schwalm Region, while the castle of Trendelenburg was the setting for Rapunzel. The Pied Piper led rats and children away from Hamelin and the rat-shaped cookies from local bakeries are a particular delicacy.

Getting to the route takes some planning. It is located in central and northern Germany, starting in Hanau and passing through to Bremen, famous for its animal musicians. It is 370 miles long in total and is depicted by tourist signs with a heart-shaped fairy character.

RAC Route Planner link

The Black Forest High Road

The Black Forest High Road is one of Germany’s original themed routes. It is 44 miles long and takes in the highest point in the Black Forest, while also offering views of amazing ravines. Its highest point is an impressive 1164 metres above sea level – needless to say, it’s popular with skiers in winter and is well stocked with ski lifts.

Starting in Freudenstadt, it runs north and quickly rises over the Schliffkopf and Kniebis ranges. It takes in Black Forest nature parks and at Mummelsee there is cirque from the modern ice age. The highest point is at Hornisgrinde but this entire part of the route up to the Buhlerhohe is between 800 and 1000 metres above sea level.

The luxury Buhlerhohe hotel gives views over the Rhine plain towards the Vosges Mountains. At the end, it steeply drops down into famous Baden-Baden. Now more than 80 years old, this spectacular route is well worth a visit.

RAC Route Planner link

When travelling to Germany take the worry about out of a breakdown abroad by getting european breakdown cover from the RAC.

You can also get european driving products from our shop.

If you’re travelling to Europe for a short trip, check out our Single Trip European Breakdown Cover product today.

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