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This South West Germany road trip itinerary unveils the facades of a country considered more serious than anything else. At the wheel of a campervan, however, Germany’s cities crack their shell and appear as they are: romantic, cultural, naturally rich, architecturally wondrous, and tremendously relaxing.
Begin your itinerary in Würzburg, a city that’s warmer than its name lets on and continue to Heidelberg to enjoy the fresh sights of the Black Forest. After making a quick stop in charming Mannheim and also discovering some of the prettiest towns along the Rhine Valley, you’ll arrive in Koblenz, the place of confluences and harmonious opposites.
To conclude your road trip in the most epic (and soothing!) way, go to Wiesbaden, Europe’s biggest spa town. With your skin and state of mind anew, you’ll see Germany in an entirely different way.
Nestled in a valley crowned by plump vineyards, Würzburg lures visitors with elegant architecture, subtle art, and intimate sceneries. Despite its harsh name (but then again, doesn’t every German word sound harsh to the uninitiated ear?), this Bavarian city is part of Germany’s famous Romantic Road and a great start for our South West Germany road trip.
On arrival, roll your campervan through Würzburg to take in the opulent architecture of its Rococo palaces and Baroque mansions. Make a mandatory stop at Würzburg Residence, the ultimate statement in Rococo, and continue towards Alte Mainbrücke to count its 12 statues. Uphill, Marienburg Fortress encourages you to a hike with lovely panoramic views.
Although a bit farther from the city centre, the Botanic Garden in Würzburg has lush flora and free entrance which make it worthy of a visit. As the day comes to an end, catch the sunset on the Forest Wine Trail and with your campervan neatly parked, enjoy a glass of delicate wine. Didn’t we tell you? Würzburg is Germany’s wine capital.
from the Frankfurt pick-up center
Spectacular Baroque Palace, UNESCO Heritage site
Botanischer Garten der Universität Würzburg
10,000 species of plants and rare varieties
The Forest Wine Trail
Tasty Franconian Wine and scenic vineyard trails
Traditional German cuisine, Franconian design
Reisers am Stein
Vineyard venue with international influences
Several parking lots around the centre
Camping Kalte Quelle
On the Main, surrounded by meadows
Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities, attracting visitors with magnetic charm. From the shade of the Black Forest, it knits a web of provokingly diverse romantic sights, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities, winning a well-deserved slot on this South West Germany road trip itinerary.
Begin your exploration of Heidelberg on a vibrant note by jumping into the upbeat student scene. Alternatively, tune into a poetic pace by following the ghosts of Goethe and William Turner on Philosophenweg, the pathway that inspired and soothed them.
Next on the itinerary, park your campervan and explore the Altstadt for a feast of Gothic and Baroque architecture with a side dish of hearty German food specialities. Leave the best for last and visit Schloss Heidelberg as you bid the city farewell.
On your way to the next destination of your South West Germany itinerary, make a quick stop in Mannheim for more stunning castles and cultural bites.
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City centre with Gothic and Baroque landmarks
One of the most stunning castle ruins in the world
2 km (~ 1.2 miles) path with terrace gardens and panoramas
Largest wine barrel in the world
Good-luck monkey on Heidelberg’s Old Bridge
Culturally vibrant city with an iconic water tower
Restaurant zur Herrenmühle
Rustic-feel restaurant with German specialities
Wirtshaus zum Spreisel
Legacy restaurant with 450 years of history
Student pub with hearty German dishes
Paid parking slots near city centre
10 minutes away from the city centre
Sitting at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Moselle, Koblenz has a past of trading and military excellence. Today, the 2,000-year-old city is not so much about making war anymore and has, instead, quieted down to relaxed landscapes and contemporary hip activities.
It remains a great starting point to explore the beautiful Rhine Valley and you should definitely include a stop to Sankt Goar or Boppard on your way to Koblenz to round up this itinerary.
Once your South West Germany road trip reaches Koblenz, park your campervan and go straight to Deutsche Eck, the corner where the two rivers meet. Visit the past at fortress-turned-palace Schloss Stolzenfels and then leap into the future at the strikingly modern Kulturbau Forum Confluentes, which houses an art centre and library.
Since all this going around the ‘then’ and ‘now’ can be quite exhausting, recharge with a delicious meal and then simply enjoy the city by foot.
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Monument that marks the confluence of Moselle and Rhine river
Fairytale 14th century castle on the Rhine Valley
Deutsche Bahn Museum
Vintage trains and their parts for rails buffs
Modern art centre with interactive cultural attractions
German porc specialities and regional wines
Hans im Glück Burgergrill
Delicious burgers, innovative interior design
Tamrap Thai Original Thai Restaurant
Asian flavours for a change of pace
Various slots around city centre
At the confluence of Rhine and Mosel
What’s better than finishing a one-week road trip with a soothing spa? Nothing, really — which is why this trip ends in Wiesbaden, the country’s oldest and most famous spa town.
Leave your campervan and head to Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme where clothes and stress are two things you’ll happily part with. Since Wiesbaden promises a Spastravaganza, continue your pleasant perspirations at Kurhaus, where you can also enjoy an artistic performance.
After you’re fully satisfied with the soaking rituals, move to a different type of water-infused experience and ride the Nerobergbahn, a funicular running on hydropropulsion. Don’t skip the stroll up top the Neroberg, as it’s said to be a treat. If you’re craving for more nature, Kurpark is the place to go to.
And, since Wiesbaden is quite the shopping centre, go on a spree in the Fußgängerzone district. Indulge and take full pleasure in the last days of your South West Germany road trip.
The only funicular in the world still using water propulsion
Château de Freudenberg
Interactive museum of senses for adults and kids
Spa with Roman baths and Finish saunas
Spa House hosting concerts, ballets and events
Beautiful landscape park with an ornamental lake
German/Viking restaurant specialised in meat
International gourmet dishes, stylish ambiance
Several spots near the city centre
Indoor parking near city centre
View over Wiesbaden, facilities, WiFi