Footloose in Bavaria

Holiday Ideas in GERMANY by                            

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There are many holiday possibilities in Bavaria, our suggestion is to walk the Castle Trail in the Oberpfalz region (south-eastern Germany) ...a land full of thick forest, castles and ruins with neat medieval towns and villages, each steeped in rustic tradition. Our version of the trail finishes at REGENSBURG, Gemany's most intact medieval city and Roman site. If you are travelling by car you can head down to the Austrian border and discover the most famous castle in the world: Neuschwanstein.
- See travel and trail information links at the bottom of the page -

  Highlights and places to visit:   

THE CASTLE TRAIL- Pretty Kallmünz on the riverside makes an historic start of a delightful walk; Wolfsegg and its "Robber Baron" castle; the riverside path along the Danube.

REGENSBURG- Roman remains, the oldest bridge in Germany, the Royal Palace and Monastery, many historic houses and churches and a wonderful selection of food.

CASTLE NEUSCHWANSTEIN- Mad King Ludwig II created this world famous mountain masterpiece, 
perched on the foothills of the Bavarian Alps.

Home Page      Footloose in Bavaria 
              ~ 3 films on one DVD    

Part 1 ~ Burgensteige -The Castle Trail

We begin our Bavarian castle trail in the pretty riverside village of Kallmünz, a favourite haunt for art lovers because of its colourful houses, and the dramatic castle ruins dating from 1230 on the cliff above.  Our 35km burgensteig trail to the city of Regensburg passes through forest, cornfield and riverbank, taking in a number of villages on the way ...and four more castles or remains.  


The best preserved castle stands on a rock above the neat little village of Wolfsegg. It is open to the public and you can break off your walk and take a tour inside. You will find a wealth of armour and weapons... and discover a ghost story from its medieval past!


From Wolfsegg you pass though thick Bavarian forest and more castle remains, visiting the quiet village of Pielenhofen with a fine monastery on the banks of the river Naab. The official burgensteig finishes at Etterzhausen, but we finish our "Footloose" trail by taking the tranquil towpath along the Naab which joins the mighty Danube. It is then only a few kilometres along the river to the gates of the best preserved, and most complete medieval city in the whole of Germany... Regensburg. 


Allow 3 days to enjoy the casle trail. We used our own car and a taxi to start and finish a day's hike. There are steep woodland paths at times but no rugged sections.

Find out more in DEBRA'S DIARY


with its 150,000 inhabitants is the fourth largest city in Bavaria today. It is ancient so far as its history is concerned... it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006; yet it is youthful because of its university and carefree lifestyle. 
In contrast to many European city centres, the residents of the historic old town have not been ousted by office-workers... there are still 12,000 inhabitants there.

See what it's like - watch a preview from our DVD - 
press the 4-arrows button if you want full screen playback

Part 2 ~ Discovering Regensburg ~
Our city trail guides you through the streets of this lovely Bavarian city centre to enjoy some of its remarkable 2000-year-old history.  Starting at the grand city gate it is not long before you get drawn inside the historic buildings. One such place is the curious Snuff Museum. You can have a look round this intriguing tobacco-infused set of rooms and learn all about how Regensburg became the "snuff capital" of Germany, ending of course with a sample of the delicate powder.
The trail through the narrow and pedestrianised streets takes you to the royal Thurn and Taxis Palace and monastery. The important royal family rose to power from humble beginnings, and surprisingly, descendant Princess Gloria still resides in the gigantic palace today. It is not far to the Roman walls and then down to the Alte Kapelle with Pope Benedictine's famous church organ. No visit to Regensburg is complete without a visit to St Peter's Cathedral, and yes, two town halls which stand next to each other! The old town is famous for its patrician towers reminiscent of Italian merchants'  houses. Inside one is where Dampfnudel Uli serves his delicious dumplings (dampfnudelen) and custard, so naturally you have to try some!  

We arrive at the Steinernebrücke, the oldest bridge in Germany... 850 years old to be precise, which naturally after all that time has several myths and legends.
  You cross over the bridge to Stadtamhof and this will complete your  visit to historic Regensburg. There are a couple of excellent beer gardens there
You could take a side trip on the river Danube to Walhalla where an unlikely Grecian temple, built by King Ludwig I, commands the mighty river. 

Part 3 ~ The Road to Königswinkel
Although not close to the Oberpfalz region, we suggest you can't finish your visit to Bavaria without seeing the most famous castle in the world. It means driving down Germany's Romantic Road, a tourist route developed in the fifties, to the very south of the country. Eventually you reach the foothills of the Alps. 

Here at the "King's Corner" lies castle Hohenschwangau, home of eccentric King Ludwig I. But  the Disney-like castle the whole world comes to see was built by his even more eccentric son: King Ludwig II... Take a steady climb up through the forest to see the magnificent Schloss Neuschwanstein set in an impossibly beautiful mountainside location. There are more trails through the trees to find spectacular views of the region. Because of the castle's Disney-like appearance, it is very busy here... be warned!
  Feature pages:  
Austrian Tyrol
East European Cities
Scottish Highlands
Classic Tour Scotland
London II Unusual
Keukenhof Gardens
Italian Lakes
Italy III Campania
Italy IV TuscanyRome
Italy V South&Sicily
England Lake District
Oxford & York
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Useful links:

Climate ~ Regensburg

The translated German website with planned castle trails, (ours is the Naab trail).
Our Castle Trail plotted on GoogleMaps

Driving down to Regensburg is a long way from the UK (915 Km from Calais). The city lies in the south east of Germany and we opted to drive through Belgium with an overnight stay near Bonn. Driving below Frankfurt on the German A3 was heavily congested with lorries.
Nearest airports are Munich or Nuremburg. 
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