Würzburg, Wertheim, Weikersheim. The names of the first towns on the Romantic Road in Southern Germany are catchy. The Tauber Valley, which connects them, deserves to be called the “Lovely Tauber Valley” thanks to its beautiful river meanders. It is also well signposted, the “Romantic Road”: From Würzburg to the Allgäu, it is one of the oldest theme roads in Germany. In addition to having my GPS in the car, it helps me to follow the brown signs indicating “Romantische Straße”:
After leaving the city of Würzburg, do make sure to stop at Wertheim. (If you want to read more about the city of Würzburg at the beginning of the Romantic Road, I have published about it here already). Wertheim is very art-loving and has its own identity mixing historical flair, discreet old town romanticism and the surrounding river landscape of the Tauber valley. At the glass museum, you can blow your own glass, visit some artists in their studios, or just stroll through the city by the river Tauber.
From Weikersheim, you need a further 40 minutes to reach the historic small town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which, in addition to its many cultural treasures, is considered a popular “instagramable city” and therefore attracts a mass audience of international guests. More than half of the approximately 500,000 annual visitors come from abroad, including many Asians and Americans. Nevertheless (or precisely because of that) I like the city very much. That might also be due to my utterly charming city guide, called “Farmer’s wife Walburga“, who through captivating storytelling involves me in the events of the city around the year 1500. She truly brings one of the half-timbered houses of the old town to life.
You may actually travel the route described above from Wertheim to Dinkelsbühl in one day. However, I do not recommend you to. Especially the “Lovely Tauber Valley” (the actual marketing claim of the Tauber valley) made me want to explore it by bike. So beautiful is the river landscape and with it the first part of my road trip on the Romantic Road.
Just ahead of the city of Augsburg, do make sure to stop once more for a climb of the tower of Nördlingen (360 steps), as well as a visit to Harburg fortress, one of the largest of its kind in Southern Germany.
“Most of the people who climb our city tower are completely out of breath”, laughs the mischievous tower keeper at the “Daniel”, as the tower of Nördlingen is also called. After some time to catch your breath over cuddling the tower cats, you can enjoy the view of the surrounding city and landscape. On clear days, they tell me (not during my visit unfortunately), you can even see the Alps in the distance.
Finally, I arrive in the city of Augsburg, where I spend the night in my cosy, centrally located “hostelhotelhome”. Manuel Widmann, who is a charming and well-read historian of only 31 years, then welcomes me for a guided tour of the city, including a tour through the “Fuggerei” followed by a Spätzle dinner at the Rathauskeller restaurant. “With the Fuggerei, we unfortunately did not make on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage list, as 60% of the historic social housing quarters had to be reconstructed after the war and is therefore not considered an original. However, we have applied for the historical use of our water power: Did you know that Augsburg has twice as many canals as Venice? The whole city is crossed with water veins for energy production, as well as for transport dating back many centuries already.” I listen to Manuel, and we hardly notice that the hours pass. When it’s time to say goodbye, we make a firm commitment to visit each other again: Thank you very much for the many interesting hours spent together in Augsburg, dear Manuel!
And just because it’s worth taking the extra look along the “Romantic Road”, I’ve made this short travel video for you to enjoy:
If you wish to see even more travel photographs from my road trip along the Romantic Road in Germany, you can check out my Flickr photo gallery here:
Disclaimer: I have been invited by the German National Tourist Board and the Romantic Road to go on this trip to Würzburg. All opinions are my own.