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Romantic Road from the River Main to the Alps
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Hiking

Romantic Road Long Distance Hiking Trail

Who hasn't heard of it? The Romantic Road, that unbroken series of romantic towns, villages and countryside between Würzburg and Füssen, from the valley of the River Main to the Alps. There has been a Romantic Road cycling route for a long time. Now, it has been joined by a route for lovers of the finer things in life: the Romantic Road Long Distance Hiking Route.

The new route does not run alongside trunk roads (wherever possible – nowadays, it is impossible to avoid asphalt completely) but instead through fields, meadows and forests. In the towns, it always runs through the centre. After all, why hike the Romantic Road if you don't want to discover the romantic old towns between Würzburg and Füssen, Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Augsburg, Creglingen and Dinkelsbühl, not to mention ancient imperial cities such as Donauwörth, aristocratic towns, such as Schillingsfürst, towns of the Teutonic Order, such as Bad Mergentheim and royal residencies, such as Wallerstein? Not to mention all the half-timbered town halls, the Gothic parish churches, the quiet squares and splashing fountains, the Baroque pilgrimage churches, the ancient castles, friendly villages, palaces, wayside chapels and, in the far south of the country, the epitome of German romanticism, Neuschwanstein, the dream castle of the fairy-tale king, Ludwig II. All in all, this hiking trail has more fascinating buildings and artistic monuments than any other.

And this, of course, ignores the miles and miles of beautiful countryside. At the beginning of the hiking trail in Würzburg, the slopes of the Main Valley are lined by vineyards. Many of them, such as the 'Würzburger Stein', are not only renowned for their great wines but are also only a stone's throw away. The Tauber Valley truly earns the appellation 'charming' with soft lines, varied scenery, enchanting views and romantic settings along the river. Particularly charming are the close ties between nature and areas that have been cultivated for many generations. You ramble along the valley, past peaks and tributary valleys, one more attractive than the other, between Tauberbischofsheim and Rothenburg where you will immediately see why it is called 'above the Tauber'. Beforehand, you will have passed through Lauda-Königshofen, Bad Mergentheim, Weikersheim, Röttingen and Creglingen with its famous Church of our Lord. The Franconian Heights are more severe and cooler with panoramic views and ancient villages embedded in gentle valleys. The western part has belonged to the Hohenlohe dynasty for centuries. The route takes us through Schillingsfürst, an important royal residence, Feuchtwangen and Dinkelsbühl before coming to Wallerstein in the Ries district. We cross the Ries – Germany's only extensive, circular crater, the result of an impact from a huge meteorite – via the district capital, Nördlingen. The subsequent route to Donauwörth via Harburg is easy and takes us across the imperceptible but important European watershed between the Franconian Heights and the Swabian Alb. The Lech Valley, which we follow from Donauwörth, via Augsburg and Friedberg, to Landsberg am Lech, Hohenfurch, Schongau and Peiting, is a long, easy route towards the distant Alps. Floodplains and fields alternate with woods, meadows, wetlands and the river is never far away. Then, we climb the foothills of the Alps with views of the limestone mountains in the south and pass through Rottenbuch, Wildsteig, Steingaden with its world-famous Church in the Meadow and Halblech. Through increasingly demanding hills and seemingly endless grazing land and meadows, we draw closer to the mountains until the final stretch takes us in their shadow past Bannwaldsee, Schwangau, the enchanting castle of Neuschwanstein and Alpsee to Füssen. If you walk the Romantic Road long-distance hiking trail without a break, you will need about three weeks. If you take some time out to enjoy the scenery, art and culture, you will need around four weeks. And that's a reason to celebrate if there ever was one!


Romantic Road Long Distance Hiking Trail.

Stages

From the Main to the Tauber
Würzburg – Wertheim - Tauberbischofsheim

The Tauber Valley
Tauberbischofsheim – Lauda-Königshofen – Bad Mergentheim – Weikersheim – Röttingen – Creglingen – Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Franconian Heights
Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Schillingsfürst – Feuchtwangen – Dinkelsbühl - Wallerstein

From the Ries District to the Danube
Wallerstein – Nördlingen – Harburg – Donauwörth

The Lech Valley
Donauwörth – Rain - Augsburg – Friedberg – Landsberg am Lech – Hohenfurch – Schongau – Peiting

From the foothills to the edge of the Alps
Peiting –Rottenbuch – Wildsteig – Steingaden – Halblech – Schwangau - Füssen

GPS data on the Romantic Road Long Distance Hiking Route