Our recent Black Forest road trip was one of the highlights of our travels in Germany! This destination had been on our travel bucket list ever since we first caught a glimpse of the Black Forest on a short visit to Freiburg. We knew we wanted to come back to explore, and we finally made it…several years later.
If you’re looking for deep, dark forests that look like the perfect setting for a Grimm fairy tale, hiking trails that weave their way past creeks and waterfalls, and charming lakeside towns with half-timbered houses, then the Black Forest is the place for you!
This is a destination with a strong focus on nature and the outdoors, and I would say the Black Forest is also best done as a road trip since that gives you the flexibility and mobility to explore at your own pace and enjoy the scenery along the way.
So, without further ado, here’s our 2-day itinerary for a magical Black Forest road trip!
Ultimate Black Forest Road Trip in Germany!
Stay at Hofgut Sternen
Before we dive into our Black Forest itinerary, I want to let you know where we stayed, because this place is a destination in and of itself. We spent 2 nights at Hofgut Sternen, located in what’s known as The Black Forest Village resort complex.
This is a historical hotel that has welcomed many famous guests including Marie Antoinette – you can see a mural painted on the exterior of the hotel that depicts her arrival after a long journey. Her visit would have been in May 1770 when she was on her way to Paris to marry King Louis XVI, and she would have arrived with an entire entourage made up of 21 state coaches, 36 carriages and 450 horses.
Other famous guests at this hotel have included German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the French Emperor Napoleon III, and the English novelist Anthony Trollope. So, it’s fair to say you’re among good company if you stay here!
There is also quite a bit to see and do within the Black Forest Village. For starters, you have the Ravenna bridge, which runs directly behind the hotel. This is a railway viaduct that crosses the Ravenna Gorge at a height of 58 meters (you can see the trains go by every few minutes!)
Just behind the bridge, there’s a hiking trail through the woods and it’s what Black Forest dreams are made of! You have a meandering trail through thick forest, a babbling brook flowing across moss-covered stones, fallen logs on a bed of crunchy leaves and squishy pine needles, and a beautiful canopy through which sun rays beam down. The Black Forest is a hiker’s paradise with something new at every turn!
Another popular attraction at Hofgut Sternen is the giant cuckoo clock. This is the largest clock in the entire Black Forest Highlands complete with life-sized dancing figures that emerge on the hour. If you want to take a cuckoo clock back home as a souvenir, you’re in luck because Hofgut Sternen has a shop that sells cuckoo clocks in all shapes and sizes.
And if cuckoo clocks aren’t your thing, there is a glassblowing workshop on site, as well as a shop selling Sternen glass. So as you can see, there’s plenty to do at this Black Forest Village resort!
Take a boat trip on Titisee
One of the towns we visited during our road trip through the Black Forest was Titisee. This is a small town that sits on the edge of a lake by the same name.
Since the lake is the main attraction, we joined a boat tour with Drubba Bootsvermietung & Rundfahrten and travelled aboard their ship, Titus, which is a replica of a Roman galley. Local legend says the lake was named after General Titus Flavius Vespasianus, who was Roman Emperor around 69-79 AD. He is said to have camped around this lake during one of his military campaigns, so he called it Titunsee, which today is Titisee.
How much of this is true and how much is myth that has been embellished over the millenia, nobody knows. But regardless, it is a cool spot to visit!
While we were in Titisee, we also ate at Café Seeblick, a relaxed cafe with an outdoor terrace and lake views. Here we tried their süßer Flammkuchen. This is a German-style thin crust pizza and we ordered the dessert version with apples, sultanas and cinnamon. This was my first time trying a sweet dessert pizza, and it won’t be my last!
Hire a row boat in Schluchsee
Another place we really enjoyed on our Black Forest road trip was the town of Schluchsee which sits on the edge of a lake by the same name. This is the largest lake in the Black Forest and also the highest reservoir in Germany.
We enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the lakeside path, and that eventually led us to a boat rental area on the beach. There were row boats, paddle boats, electric boats – you name it!
It was such a beautiful day and the water was so calm that we decided to take out a row boat. It was a really fun experience and a nice way to take in the scenery. I would highly recommend doing so for anyone visiting Schluchsee!
Spend the day in Sankt Blasien
The next stop on our Black Forest road trip was the town of Sankt Blasien. This is actually a popular health resort town with thermal baths, sauna gardens, and spa facilities. However, since we were only there for the day, we prioritized visiting St. Blasien Cathedral.
The cathedral is dedicated to St. Blasius, the early Christian bishop and martyr, who is also the patron saint of the town of Sankt Blasien in the Black Forest.
What makes this cathedral special is that its early classical cupola is the largest of its kind north of the Alps. It is 36 metres wide, 62 metres high, and a true work of art. The interior is also stark white with very minimal colour in the dome, and the windows along the cupola allow a lot of natural light in.
After visiting the cathedral, we walked over to Dom-Hotel St. Blasien just across the square, where we enjoyed a really nice lunch. Sam ordered the Maultaschen, which is a Swabian dish consisting of sheets of dough filled with minced meat. These were served in der Brühe, so they were simmered in a broth and served like a soup with bits of bacon.
Meanwhile, I ordered the Gulaschsuppe, or Hungarian goulash soup. I opted for a slightly smaller dish, because I was really interested in the desserts. And as you know, when you come to the Black Forest, you have to order the Black Forest Cake!
Known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, this is a chocolate sponge cake with a cherry filling, whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Simply marvelous!
And if I can recommend one more thing to try, it would be the Johannisbeereschorle. This was my first time trying currant or gooseberry juice, and I ordered it as a Schorle, so diluted with carbonated water. It was really nice!
Enjoy nature in Menzenschwand
Now let’s talk about beautiful nature spots! Our Black Forest road trip also included a visit to Menzenschwand and what drew us here were the hiking trails.
For anyone interested in a short hike with big rewards, I would say Menzenschwander Waterfall is it!
You can drive right up to the parking lot across from Albhof am Wasserfall and you’ll be up at the waterfall in less than 5 minutes. Alternatively, if you can handle about 30 minutes on foot, you can park at Parkplatz Menzenschwand Hinterdorf and enjoy a scenic walk through a glacier-carved valley.
The hiking trail follows a stream which flows through the gorge and then cascades down the rocks. It’s a beautiful walk that offers plenty of shade and the path meanders down stairs and across a wooden bridge.
Admire the views atop Feldberg
Standing at 1,493 metres, Feldberg is the highest mountain peak in the Black Forest, as well as the state of Baden-Württemberg, and that also makes it the highest mountain peak outside of the German Alps!
In the winter, this is a popular ski resort area, and in the summertime it’s a nice hiking destination with plenty of trails to choose from.
We decided to take the Feldbergbahn cable car to the top for a scenic view of the Black Forest, and we were in for a treat because it turns out you can even see the Alps from here! I almost couldn’t believe my eyes – at first I thought I was looking at clouds – but lo and behold, there were snow-capped mountains off in the horizon.
Once you get off at the upper station which sits at an altitude of 1,450 meters, it’s a short walk to the Feldberg Tower viewing platform. We even got to see cows grazing along the way.
Lastly, as a tip, don’t forget to check when the last cable car goes down. We barely caught the last one with minutes to spare, and if you miss it, you’re hiking down!
We then continued onwards to Freiburg for 48 hours if you want to read more about our trip.
This trip was made possible in partnership with the German National Tourist Board.