We are leaving from Frankfurt on 7th Aug morning and need to be in Fussen on 8th Aug, latest by 12 noon. We have a few options, either stop in Heidelberg for a few hours and reach Fussen by night or visit Black forest area, stay the night there and then morning travel to Fussen. Can anyone please help us with a good itinerary without making it very hectic as we are a middle aged couple. I am very interested in seeing the Black Forest area provided the travel is not too tiring.
Are you travelling by car or train?
Put the Black Forest in perspective. It has good name recognition (probably because it translates well into English), but it's only one of about 50 low forested mountain ranges that criss-cross central and southern Germany. Except for the far south of the range, the scenery isn't any different from the Taunus mountains immediately to Frankfurt's north, or the Odenwald immediately to the south (of which Heidelberg sits on the western edge). So basically, you would travel several more hours to see scenery very similar to what you could experience within an hour of Frankfurt. Only around Freiburg do the peaks of the Black Forest look particularly impressive, and even these are nothing compared to the Alps that you'll see around Füssen.
Stephen, we are trvavelling by train.
Tom, thanks. I suppose you are right. Its just thats its been one of my dream destinations to one day travel to the Black Forest Area. But if the same can be experienced in Heidelberg and Fussen, then I suppose travelling that much may be a bit more tiring.
Tom admits the scenery in the Black Forest is about the same as in the Odenwald, so why not see the Black Forest. You have plenty of time and your route from Frankfurt to Füssen goes close to the Black Forest. BTW, I was in Heidelberg twice in the 1980s, and have no particular desire to go back, but I've made six trips to various venues in the northern BF since 2000 and will probably return.
My suggestion would be to take the train up (So.) the Rhein to Offenburg, then take the Schwarzwaldbahn via Triber to Singen. From Singen, follow the north coast of Bodensee (Lake Constance) to Lindau. Spend the night somewhere near Lindau, then take an early train in the morning to Füssen via Kaufbeuren.
In addition to the Black Forest, which you have wanted to see, you get to see Bodensee, the largest Alpine lake.
You got great advice from the two posters who know the most about Germany. I never agitate for anyone to rent a car, but I think if you are traveling by train that your time in the given schedule is too limited to get a real idea about the Black Forest. For example, I'm not a big hiker, but I loved taking the (free) train to the next town and walking back (in my Rockport loafers.) Even though Titisee is a horrifyingly touristy place, I liked my hour there, although Freiburg had more to see.
I know it's not accurate, but Google Maps suggests 4 hours by car and 5 by train, Frankfurt-Fussen. I think you can find better places to visit that are more on the route. If you want scenery, how about the Rheinfall or Konstanz or Bregenz. I doubt that you can get a ticket, but there is a spectacular opera stage in the lake with The Magic Flute on Aug 7.
Lee, thanks for the encouragement. And your itinerary certainly seems doable. Let me now chk on train connections and hotels in Lindau. However I also had a question. I believe the train journey from Offenburg to Konstanz is one of the 2 best scenic routes in Germany. It would be possible for fit in that as well, right?
Tim, your suggestion of The Magic Flute is excellent. Which means I stay in Bregenz? or is it ok to travel back to Lindau after the show?
Well, these operas tend to sell out, so don't make plans without tickets. I haven't been to Bregenz in 20 years, but it seems likely that at worst, you could order a car and driver to get back to Lindau. There are probably no rooms in Bregenz during the festival. I should say that I love going to the theater - this would not be a priority for everyone! There was a long scene in a James Bond movie at the lake stage in Bregenz. It's a spectacular setting, with massive scenery, usually. Makes Broadway look like a college show. But I was there for an indoor performance, in the winter. I slept in Bregenz, I think at a Mercure.
I mentioned around Lindau because he wants to be in Füssen before noon, and that's close enough to Füssen to make it without getting up too early. However, Lindau itself is a little pricey, at least for a hotel on the harbor (the view is fantastic).
The fastest way to Füssen from Lindau is to take a train to Kaufbeuren and change there for Füssen. If he went farther the first day, to Immenstadt, he could get up, take the train to Sonthofen, and catch the RGA bus to Füssen. That bus takes part of the Alpenstrasse and goes up a switch back on a hillside outside of Bad Hindelang. It's a spectacular ride (I've done it three times).
I would not want to do parts of that trip, particularly the Schwarzwaldbahn, by car because there is so much scenery to see. I'd rather be sitting in a train car, able to constantly look out the window than to be trying to look at the scenery while keeping a car on the winding road.
Thanks Tim and Lee. All this information will be of immense help in planning my trip. Cheers!