The Black Forest, or to give it its German title, Schwartzwald, is one of Europe's most picturesque forested mountain ranges. Close to the Germany's borders with France and Switzerland, the Rhine river defines its westerly and southerly limits. The region is very popular with visitors because of the beauty of its lakes and mountains, and of its elegant and characterful towns and villages.
The Black Forest gets its name from the dark color of the canopy of firs, pines and spruces with cover the rolling hills and tall mountains of this small corner of southwestern Germany.
Famed as a setting for Grimm's fairytales, it's easy to imagine Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood getting lost in its woodland. To this day, it's known for wood carving and for the manufacture of cuckoo clocks and musical instruments and of course the traditional and delicious Black Forest Gateau, a chocolate cake adorned with cherries and lashings of cream.
Visitors to the Black Forest can enjoy some stunning landscapes as the drive, hike, or bike throughout the region.
You will also find ski resorts and spa towns where naturally occurring thermal springs attract visitors looking for a health-giving break away from the city.
An elegant and genteel base for exploring the area is Baden-Baden, a 19th century spa town famous for its festival hall, casino, smart hotels and neatly manicured gardens.