The Black Forest. Either it conjures up images of rich, unctuous, Kirch-laden cake, or some kind of spooky, witch-filled fairytale land of darkness. Well, while you can find both of these things if you really try, much of the Black Forest region could not be further from this. The Black Forest is a place to get away from it all, to explore the wide open spaces and flora-packed gorges while experiencing some time to yourself, time to relax and be spoiled. Welcome to Walking and Wellness in the Black Forest.
Distance: 43km over three days walking.
Grading: We have graded this trip Moderate. There is a lot of variation on this adventure, from easy-going, flat paths on some days, to much more challenging routes on others, so overall we felt it warranted a Moderate grading. You will be walking on a mixture of narrow trails and wide forest tracks, sometimes up some challenging terrain, but as with all climbs, the views are worth it and on this trip, the chance to spa away all your aches and pains is an added bonus.
The Black Forest is in the south-west corner of Germany, close to the borders with France and Switzerland. It is an area of outstanding wilderness with mountains, dense forest all separated by rich valleys and gorges. Our trip focuses on the charming little town of Totdmoos, right in the heart of the Black Forest. Totdmoos is a charming, historic little spa town that focuses on your physical and mental wellbeing. It has a great sunshine record, incredible levels of air purity and just feels a million miles from everywhere else. Wellbeing and an active, healthy way of life are in the very fabric of its makeup, but this doesn’t mean you cant enjoy some delightful German wine, beer or cuisine at the end of your day!
Todtmoos and your stunning accommodation in it are definitely one of the highlights of this trip. Your home for the duration of the trip will be a modern, family-run 4star hotel. Being a spa town, you can imagine that it might have a few facilities and you are right. At your disposal are the indoor pool, Finnish sauna, Roman steam bath and relaxation room, not to mention the extensive grounds to relax in and the outstanding range of treatments you can book yourself in for. There is also the menu to consider, where everything is locally sourced and thought about to produce a menu that is incredibly healthy, but super tasty. This is the very definition of an escape.
Exploring the Black Forest is a complete joy and there are some unique ways to do it. You can book an additional culinary experience as you walk the Lebkuchen Trail on the first day. As you walk through narrow gorges, past dramatic waterfalls, revelling in the dappled light as gentle rivers run along the gorge floor, you can look forward to a 3 course surprise menu at 3 different points along the trail. You will have a starter at Hochkopfhaus restaurant, followed by a sweet treat at the Black Forest Cafe, finished off by dinner at your hotel on your return. Needless to say, everything is locally sourced and created with passion to produce gastronomic joy that will live long in your memory.
On your third day, you can head over to Schluchsee to partake in your daily walk. Schluchsee is the biggest lake in the Black Forest and being the highest lake in Germany means that it affords dramatic views of the region, all underlined by the beauty of the lake. This is a favourite recreation spot for the locals, so the atmosphere is terrific, full of picnicking families, sailors, windsurfers and if you don’t want to take in the entire walk today, you too can take to the water and cut out sections of the walking route by travelling by boat.
I know this last point is pretty obvious, but it has to be said. The focus of this trip is indulgence, but an indulgence that will leave you feeling cleansed. Not from intense treatments and constant saunas and strict diets, but from freedom, space and relaxation. This is the embodiment of peace, a place to go and truly relax, leaving all the cares of the ‘real world’ behind.
Walking and Wellness in the Black Forest feels like you are a million miles from anywhere, but in fact, you are not too far from major airports, and it is straightforward to get to Todtmoos. Flying into Basel airport in Switzerland, you take a half hour train, then a 45-minute bus. We can even arrange transfers if you would prefer to get to your relaxing destination a little quicker.
If you have any questions about walking in the Black Forest, get in touch with our team on [email protected], and they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.