wine and cheese

Your guide to the beautiful Black Forest

While many associate the blanket of vivid green woodland with cuckoo clocks, half-timbered farmhouses and the famous Black Forest cake, it has so much more to offer. If you are looking forward to a visit during an excursion on your deluxe European river cruise, here’s the perfect guide to help you get better acquainted with the forest.

Sights to look out for

Spanning over 6,000 square kilometres of the Baden-Württemberg region, the Black Forest offers pleasant surprises in every direction and serves as an example of the natural beauty of planet Earth. Its cluster of villages make it a popular destination for visitors, with their calming and peaceful atmosphere offering a chance to discover traditional Germany at its best.

One of the best to visit is the town of Calw in the north of the Forest, a town which is favourable for visitors thanks to its large level of pedestrianisation; its mass of medieval half-timbered houses are sure to be the perfect photo opportunity. Undoubtedly the most famous sight is the Hermann Hesse Museum, an attraction dedicated to the Nobel Prize winning novelist, poet and painter who was born in the town in 1877. The museum can be found in the Scheutz house, just a short walk from his birth place.

Natural wonders

Aside from the miles of emerald-green forest, one natural sight that dominates the skyline is the Feldburg, the highest mountain in the Forest, which is almost 5,000ft at its peak. Its height means that its peak governs one of the finest vistas of Germany; the entire Vosges Mountain range, the Swabian Alb, including the Lemberg Mountain, and the Hegau volcano range are some of the sights you can enjoy from the summit.

Another wonder you won’t want to miss are the Triberg Waterfalls. Although the falls are not the highest found in Germany, they are undoubtedly one of the most famous. It’s thought that more than three million people visit the waterfall each and every year, with the chance to see water crashing down seven cascades as it drops over 160 metres a fantastic experience to enjoy during your stylish river cruise. It’s said to have been a favourable sight of Otto Von Bismarck, the 1st Chancellor of Germany.

Culinary delights

With so much to see and do, you are likely to work up quite an appetite. Fortunately, food is one aspect that the Black Forest is famous for and the wealth of traditional recipes found here mean that no one will go hungry. Perhaps one of the most famous is the Black Forest Cake. Also known as the Black Forest cherry cake or the Black Forest gateaux, it is a delicious sweet treat made with chocolate cake, cream, sour cherries and Kirsch – a colourless fruit brandy made using morello cherries. It’s the latter ingredient that is essential for the cake to be a true German Black Forest Cake.

Also highly regarded is Black Forest ham, a variety of dry-cured smoked ham that is made using the thigh and rump of a pig or boar. The best-selling smoked ham in Europe, it has had a Protected Designation of Origin in the European Union since 1997. Praised for the very pronounced flavour, it can be eaten fresh with bread and fruit and is also used as an ingredient in cooked dishes.

Image Credit: falk (

This content was written by Angela Sloan. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.