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Self-Guided Walking in Germany’s Black Forest

Germany
Available Departures: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

8 days from

US$1,330

without flights
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Immerse yourself in the unspoilt nature trails of Germany’s Black Forest on our leisurely one week self-guided walking holiday.

Trip Code: SGBF
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking in Germany’s Black Forest

Highlights
  • Walk on quiet nature trails in ancient woodland

  • Admire the famed waterfalls at Todtnau

  • Reflect on the still waters of Feldsee lake

  • Discover the imposing cathedral of St Blasien

  • Experience the warm hospitality and indulge in the delicious cuisine of the region, and of course Black Forest gateau


At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days walking
  • Daily departures available
  • Max altitude 1415m
  • Join In Hinterzarten

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 4 Dinners
  • 7 nights Hotel
Overview

Germany’s Black Forest is home to an enchanting array of natural environments, from mysterious woods, charming glades and meadows, to burbling streams and impressive cascading waterfalls. On this one week self-guided walking holiday, you have the opportunity to delve into the macro and micro elements of this intriguing habitat straight out of fairy tales. As you wander the forested mountain trails at your own pace, keep your eyes peeled for fascinating fungi emerging from the forest floor and on fallen branches. Don’t forget to take the time to stop and enjoy the restorative properties of being immersed in quiet nature. Take a breath, bathe in the peaceful rustling of the leafy canopy, the susurration of woodland streams, the melodic song of birdlife, and feel your stresses evaporate.

You will spend two consecutive nights at each location of Hinterzarten, Menzenschwand and Todtnau, before a final night in Hinterzarten. Staying in family-run hotels, you will be treated to the warm hospitality of your hosts and each evening, indulge your taste buds with the culinary specialties of the region. The Black Forest is also known for its spas and thermal springs so you may choose to enjoy a spot of R&R at one of the wellness centres here.

Is this holiday for you?

This holiday is a great option for those looking to enjoy a slower pace of travel, while still embarking on satisfying walks in beautiful nature settings. The trails are waymarked and are mostly on forest roads and good mountain paths. The walks are moderate, typically around 5 hours per day on average, with daily ascent/descent averaging between 500m-600m. Some days have options for shorter hikes …

This holiday is a great option for those looking to enjoy a slower pace of travel, while still embarking on satisfying walks in beautiful nature settings. The trails are waymarked and are mostly on forest roads and good mountain paths. The walks are moderate, typically around 5 hours per day on average, with daily ascent/descent averaging between 500m-600m. Some days have options for shorter hikes of around 3-4 hours; plus as you will spend two nights at each location, you have the flexibility to skip a day’s walk if desired.

Why KE?

On this leisurely itinerary unique to KE, you will stay two nights at each location, making for a relaxing holiday whereby you can explore the varied landscapes of the magnificent Black Forest at your own pace.

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Itinerary

Arrive at your welcoming hotel in Hinterzarten, a charming resort village surrounded by pristine nature trails and popular for wellness retreats. In the winter, this area boasts over 100km of cross-country ski paths. If you would like to explore the 130+ year history of the sport in this region, the Black Forest Ski Museum invites you for a visit.   

This evening, enjoy your first taste of delicious Baden cuisine at your choice of the restaurants available in Hinterzarten or at your hotel – this region is well known for its quality gastronomy.

Accommodation

Hotel

After tucking in to a hearty breakfast, you will head out from your hotel on foot, aiming for the glacial lake of Feldsee beneath the summit of the Feldberg which at 1493m is the highest point of the Black Forest. Your route takes you up the flanks of the Feldberg massif, gently ascending through pastures, peaceful woods, and past babbling streams. Dappled shade cast by native tree species such as beech and fir lend a mystical atmosphere within this protected nature reserve.

Nestled at the bottom of a dramatic cirque at an altitude of 1109m, Feldsee lake was formed during the last ice age and is fed by the snowmelt from the surrounding mountains. This makes for an idyllic spot for a picnic lunch before making your descent, this time following the Seebach valley to complete a circular route on your return to Hinterzarten.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

470 M

Descent

470 M

Time

5-6 hours

Distance

18 KM

Pack up your bags this morning, ready to hike to the next village of Menzenschwand. Striking out in a southerly direction, you will be dipping in and out of the enchanting forest, at times ensconced in its quiet embrace and at other times, discovering surprise viewpoints over valleys and out to green hills beyond.

Following the waymarkers along the eastern flank of the Feldberg massif, you will steadily gain height to reach the saddle at Zweiseenblick, the high point of the day at 1292m. From here you start your descent toward Menzenschwand, tucked in a narrow valley surrounded by densely forested hills. You can gain a lovely view over this spa town from the Köpfle viewpoint. With your destination in sight, it’s just a further short way to reach your home for the evening. Traditional farmhouses of the Black Forest abound in this village, cleverly designed and adapted to handle the high snowfall and winds of the region.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

560 M

Descent

570 M

Time

4-5 hours

Distance

16 KM

Today you have a couple of walking options to discover Menzenschwand and its surrounds.

The first (longer) circular option takes you into the hills to the north of the village and onto trails that in the winter become groomed ski pistes. Many springs and streams can be found along this tranquil route, with several waterfalls to be found in the gorge as you make your way back toward Menzenschwand.

16km / 420m ascent / 420m descent / 4-5 hours walking

The second option follows the river valley in a southerly direction to reach the village of St Blasien. Here you can visit the impressive Saint Blaise Abbey and admire the architectural achievements of this Benedictine monastery. In St Blasien you can also find one of the most beautiful sundials in southern Germany, painted in 1780 by Joseph Anton Morath and depicting Chronos, the god of time. Take your time to explore this pretty village and enjoy a spot of coffee and people-watching before returning to Menzenschwand by local bus.

Shorter option: 11km / 100m ascent / 210m descent / 3-4 hours walking

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Setting off on foot from your hotel, your objective this morning is the town of Todtnau where you will be based for the next two nights. Your hike takes you along beautiful forest paths beneath the Spiesshorn to achieve the summit of the Herzogenhorn (1415m), the third highest peak of the Black Forest. From this vantage point above the tree line, you can gain fantastic panoramic views and on a clear day you may even be able to see the Swiss Alps and Mont Blanc in the distance. You will descend back into the forest and cross the Prägbach stream before a short ascent to the hiking shelter of Bernauer Kreuz – from here your route winds down the valley through beech forest to reach your hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

650 M

Descent

750 M

Time

5-6 hours

Distance

16 KM

This morning, a short bus transfer along the valley takes you to the start point of your hike. Your route today winds through idyllic pastures and atmospheric forests, and offers sumptuous views over the village of Todtnauberg nestled in the green valley. A highlight of the day is undoubtedly the famed waterfall of Todtnau, one of the highest to be found in Germany at a height of 97m. These cascades are fed by the Stübenbä­chle spring that you passed earlier in the day. From the waterfalls, follow the route down to Todtnau and take a short bus transfer back to your accommodation.

You also have an alternative hike option available to you on this day. This shorter option heads up the Hasenhorn via the chairlift from Todtnau. You might be tempted to have a ride down the Hasenhorn Coaster summer toboggan run before setting off on the hike! With most of the height gain taken care of by chairlift, it is a short optional ascent to the Hasenhorn peak (1156m) with the chance to climb the observation tower at the summit, before before descending a gently undulating route through the tranquil woods to return to your hotel.

10km / 210m ascent / 570m descent / 3-4 hours walking

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

280 M

Descent

850 M

Time

5 hours

Distance

14 KM

Wake up refreshed and ready for the final stage of your Black Forest hiking tour. Today you have a long and beautiful journey in store, making your way from Todtnau back to Hinterzarten where your holiday began earlier in the week. Along the way you will revisit the glacial lake of Feldsee, this time approaching from above for an elevated perspective. Your walk takes you through a charming variety of the Schwarzwald landscapes… you will find yourself walking in and out of peaceful forests, past pretty waterfalls nestled in fairytale woodland settings, and across lush pastures.

You have the option of shortening today’s route to around 15km if you prefer, by taking a bus transfer to skip the first stage of the full hike.

This evening, you can tuck in to a hearty meal and, of course, a slice of delicious Black Forest gateau to celebrate an idyllic week of hiking in a beautiful region of Germany.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

815 M

Descent

560 M

Time

5-6 hours

Distance

21 KM

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast and perhaps take a final stroll around Hinterzarten before making your onward journey.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Direction Direction

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described

  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan

  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes

  • Luggage transfers

  • Tourist taxes

  • Travel insurance

  • Travel to/from Hinterzarten

  • Visas (if applicable)

  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan

  • Personal equipment

  • Local transfers if required

  • Entrance fees

  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using a signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for most of our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, so please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling instead.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

The trip starts and ends at Hinterzarten. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airport for this trip is Basel Airport with a number of departures from regional UK airports.

From Basel Airport, take the airport shuttle to Basel Bahnhof train station (approx. 20 minutes), from where you can take the train to Freiburg (approx. 40 minutes) then change to Hinterzarten (approx. 30 minutes).

You can also fly to Frankfurt Airport which is well-served with many direct connections from regional UK airports; the quickest train journey from Frankfurt to Hinterzarten is via Freiburg and takes just under 3 hours.

It is also possible to travel flight-free from the UK to Germany, making use of the Eurostar. From Paris you can take the direct train to Strasbourg, from where you can pick up onward connections to Hinterzarten.

The trip is arranged on a bed & breakfast basis for the 3 nights in Hinterzarten, and half board (dinner, bed and breakfast) for the 4 nights in Menzenschwand and Todtnau.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Located within the fertile Upper Rhine Plains and in close proximity to France and Switzerland, this region of Germany makes use of a wide selection of local produce and has long cultivated a reputation for culinary excellence. With the influences of its neighbouring countries, you can find cuisine familiar to that of the Alsace and of Switzerland, with dishes such as flammkuchen (somewhat akin to pizza), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), baeckeoffe (a flavoursome meat and potato casserole), schnitzel and knopfle (soft pasta-like noodles).

The region’s specialty Black Forest ham is made of prime pork, hand-cured with salt or brine then dried and smoked to produce its distinctive flavour. You can also be sure to enjoy the freshest produce based on the seasons, such as asparagus, chestnuts and fruit.

Of course, you must partake in the delicious Black Forest gateau, a mouth-watering chocolate and cream cake with a rich cherry filling that is said to originate from this region famed for its cherry trees.

In addition to “kirsch”, the cherry brandy that flavours the world famous Black Forest gateau, the region of Baden also produces beer as well as many wines that pair well with your traditional meals.

For this holiday you will stay in carefully-selected family run 3* hotels and traditional country Gasthaus, chosen for their ideal locations in the charming villages and proximity to the walking trails of the Black Forest. The traditions of the area abound in each establishment, from the warm welcome you will be sure to receive, to the delicious house specialties served up in their excellent restaurants. Some even have wellness facilities, perfect for relaxing after a day on your feet. Please note any fees for accessing the facilities or for treatments are payable locally.

The accommodations all offer a great breakfast buffet to fuel you for the day ahead and rooms are on a double or twin basis, usually with Austrian-style twin beds as is traditional in this area (two beds within one bed frame and separate bedding).

It is possible to arrange additional nights accommodation if you would like to enjoy this beautiful region a little longer. Please speak with one of our sales team for further details.

Your main luggage will be transferred between each of your hotels while you are out on your hike. We ask that you please ensure your luggage is limited to one piece under 15kg per person, and that your luggage is ready for collection in the morning. You will also need a daypack to carry your daily essentials with you.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

The advantage of a self-guided walking holiday is that you decide the pace however, getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable your walks will be. You should be comfortable with walking up to 5 hours each day for consecutive days and we recommend getting out hill walking, with some ascent and descent, before your holiday to help boost your fitness.

The region of the Black Forest has a cool, temperate climate. This walking holiday is available from the late spring, when the winter snows have receded and the forest is in bloom; to the autumn when the leaves are turning and the forest looks incredible with a palette of changing autumnal hues. Between the summer months of June to August, the daytime temperature averages around 20-25 C, while in spring and autumn you can expect it to be cooler, averaging around 14-16 C during the day.

Rainfall can be experienced at any time of year so you should always pack your waterproofs and be prepared for all eventualities.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

  • Hiking boots with good grip soles

  • Functional base layer

  • T-shirts

  • Hat

  • Windproof jacket

  • Fleece / extra layer

  • Long/short hiking trousers

  • Hiking socks

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Waterproof trousers

  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)

  • Small first aid kit inside your rucksack

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle or hydration pack

  • Camera (batteries/memory card)

  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)

  • Power bank

  • Waterproof phone cover

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal wash kit

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags

  • Tupperware for picnics

  • Walking poles

  • Headtorch & spare batteries

  • Your self-guided route notes

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

More Information

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

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Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons in double/twin occupancy, however we can quote for any number of travellers, including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)

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