Discover Franconian Switzerland

Franconian Switzerland offers a large, well-marked bike trail network not only for touring bikers, but with its winding, enrooted hiking trails, fast trails and sweaty climbs an ideal fun area for mountain bikers. -- Photo Credit: TZ Fränkische SchweizFranconian Switzerland is less than an hour away by car from Grafenwoehr, Vilseck and Hohenfels.

It is a one-of-a-kind hiker’s paradise. Welcome to Franconian Switzerland! More than 4,500 kilometers of marked hiking trails through dainty valleys, towns and rock formations with up to 200 meters difference in elevation are waiting to be discovered by you.

The idyllic region between Bamberg, Nuremberg and Bayreuth has the perfect hiking tour for every visitor whether he is a nature lover, interested in culture, young or old, staying for just a day or an entire weekend.

On a beer and brewery tour, hikers walk from brewery to brewery to get to know and love the multi-facetted beer culture of Franconian Switzerland. Four different chapel trails around Königsfeld tale hikers to eighteen churches and chapels in the area and offer interesting insights into the world of the catholic veneration of saints and local customs.

On the art and sculpture trails, hikers will pass by extraordinary artifacts and works of art that have affectionately been integrated into nature. Guided cavern tours, on the other hand, take hikers into the region’s fascinating underworld.

It goes without saying that families will also find suitable tours. Short, family-friendly tours with a guarantee for adventures make kids’ eyes sparkle! Barrier-free hiking trails for people with handicaps are also available.

Binghöhle, Streitberg - Well-trained tour guides give informative tours.  Groups are intentionaaly kept small. Tours last about 40 minutes. -- Photo Credit: TZ Fraenkische Schweiz / Florian TrykowskiA day tour is too short for you?
Then we invite you to “conquer” one of our hiking trails certified by the German Hiking Association such as the Frankenweg and the Fränkischer Gebirgsweg). Ten towns in Franconian Switzerland are also part of the German Castle Route (Deutsche Burgenstraße). Hike past 170 impressive castles and ruins and experience this tour which is unique to Bavaria and Germany. We will take care of transporting your luggage.

Do you have questions? We are looking forward to providing you with recommendations for tours, accommodations and various restaurants. Go ahead and get information about your next hiking tour right away!

Caverns in Franconian Switzerland
The three largest commercial caverns are open to the public: The Binghöhle near Streitberg, the Sophienhöhle near Rabenstein Castle and one of the largest rock grottos in Germany, the Teufelshöhle near Pottenstein. Since 2014, the Schönsteinhöhle in the natural monument Schönstein-Brunnsteinhöhle has been partially accessible again as well.

Pottenstein Castle is one of the oldest castles in Franconian Switzerland and is the home of a castle museum. -- Photo Credit: TZ Fraenkische Schweiz / Florian TrykowskiCastles and palaces in Franconian Switzerland
Thirty-five of the 170 castles, palaces and ruins are still inhabited. Eleven of these historic buildings offer sightseeing tours for vacationers. Whether it’s Rabenstein Castle, Egloffstein Castle or Waischenfeld Castle – you will find remnants of medieval life almost everywhere in the region. Enjoy the romantic and mystic atmosphere created by these old stone buildings on top of the picturesque Jura caverns.

Discovering the ruins is another mysterious experience. Wüstenstein, Thuisbrunn and Rabeneck, for example, are partial ruins of which some parts are still intact today. Also worth visiting are the ruins Streitberg and Neideck in the Wiesent valley. You have a wonderful view across the valley from up there and feel like the lord of the castle.

Museums in Franconian Switzerland
Everything revolves around the aromatic root in the horseradish museum in Baiersdorf. Franconian Switzerland is one of the largest producing areas for horseradish in Germany. With the help of information boards, charts, exhibits and movies, the “world’s hottest museum“informs visitors about the history, production, processing and use of horseradish. Many products from the magic root are available for sale at the museum’s store to take home.

In Buttenheim you can visit the Levi Strauss-Museum. Did you know that the jeans inventor was born in this small village before he immigrated to the USA? Stations of his life are on display at his renovated birthplace ranging from being the son of a poor Franconian traveling salesman to the head of a corporation in San Francisco. Naturally, you will also get some insight into the development of the famous pants, starting with the “waist overalls” for gold diggers in California to “vintage jeans.”

You should also not miss visiting the violin maker museum in Bubenreuth. After World War II, the small town rose to become the European center for the construction of stringed instruments. Musical instruments from Bubenreuth are prominently used in all genres. With the help of exhibits, photos, documents and music samples, visitors can travel through the different music styles of the 20th century. An old violin maker’s workshop and special exhibits such as a bass guitar owned by Paul McCartney or the smallest, playable guitar in the world complement the collection.

Steam railroad Franconian Switzerland
The steam railroad Franconian Switzerland, Franconia’s first heritage railway, has been running for more than forty years. Annually, it transports around 25,000 guests through the unique landscape of the Wiesent valley between Ebermannstadt and Behringersmühle. The idyllic town of Ebermannstadt is optimally connected to the German rail system and can comfortably be reached by train from Forchheim, Bamberg and Nürnberg.

You can experience the technology and history of the historic trains in the style of 1960s hands-on in the railyard or on board of the train. After a tour through the engine shed, you will be well informed about how the train and its tracks are maintained and what tasks a railway worker must accomplish.

About the author: Editorial Department

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