It is not every group travel organiser who thinks of visiting the parks which lie just off the road and which are dedicated to the most diverse themes, from garden parks to wildlife parks and nature parks.
Würzburg boasts two such ‚green‘ attractions: one of them is the botanical garden at the University of Würzburg, located on the limestone slopes, which houses some 10,000 plant species, numerous plant collections from regions around the globe and a tropical plant house. The Court Gardens at the Residence are a real jewel. It was the design of Prince-Bishop Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim (1755–1779) that shaped the present character of the garden. The Court Gardens, with its two Baroque bastions, include numerous statues and typical rococo-style wrought-iron gates.
Quality before quantity is the guiding principle on the educational wine trail at the ‚Edelberg‘ municipal vineyard. No fewer than ten grape varieties are grown on 8.2 hectares within the eleven-hectare site.
Mid-June to mid-October
1,200 trees and thousands and thousands of plants transform the Spa Park at Bad Mergentheim into a lush paradise from spring to autumn. Further attractions are the Japanese garden at the Solymar Leisure Centre with its little waterfalls, Japanese plants and an arched granite bridge.
April to November, weather permitting.
There is a saying in German, „Wo Fuchs und Hase ‚Gute Nacht!‘ sagen“, referring to remote country locations, but here, in the Wildlife Park in Bad Mergentheim, it is not just the fox and hare ‚saying goodnight‘; the collection also includes wolves and lynxes, racoons, Arctic foxes and wild cats, stone martens and otters, fallow deer and red deer, bison and wild boar, as well as mouflons and ibexes.
Mid-March to the beginning of November.
Weikersheim Palace is considered to be the most beautiful in the Hohenlohe region. What is particularly impressive is how perfectly preserved are both the palace and the surroundings Parks on the Romantic Road of this aristocratic residence. A highlight is the Baroque Weikersheim Palace Garden with its wealth of figures, including, among others, the Stone Dwarf Gallery and the orangeries.
Open all year.
Asia in all its verdant abundance - such is the boast of Leyk‘s Lotus Garden in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Here, an Asian-inspired landscape garden has been created on a gently undulating site of 5,000 square metres.
April to Christmas
Medicinal herbs played an important role in ancient times and their effects are also much valued today in the age of modern medicine. The Apothecary‘s Herb Garden at the Brunnenhaus (Well House) in Schillingsfürst is modelled on the famous monastery garden of St. Gall.
Open: 1 April to end of October.
The Ries Geopark was created by the huge impact of a meteorite, which hit the region around Nördlingen and Harburg 14.5 million years ago. Nördlingen Ries impact crater is the best preserved such crater in Europe. The shallow, largely treeless crater basin, with its 25 km diameter and its rim rising up to 150 m, can be clearly seen in the landscape.
In the Dehner Flower Park in Rain, visitors can launch into a botanical world tour. Gardens from Asia, Central Europe and England, together, create a single ensemble on an area of 30,000 square metres. Principal attractions include the Japanese landscape garden, as well as the rose garden designed in Baroque style and the rhododendron grove.
Open all year.
The Botanical Garden in Augsburg is both a natural idyll and an oasis of calm. Here, over 3,000 plant varieties – divided into different themed gardens – grow and flourish. Be it in the Roman garden, the cottage garden, the apothecary‘s, the water or the Japanese garden – everyone will find their own personal favourite plant.
Open all year.