With around 11,100 square kilometres, the Black Forest holiday region is one of the largest in Germany.
Almost two-thirds of this is comprised of the low mountain range that gives the region its name. The region stretches from the Rhine in the west to the upper reaches of the Neckar in the east. The cities of Karlsruhe and Pforzheim to the north also come within the Black Forest holiday region. To the south, the Black Forest stretches as far as the Swiss border between Basel and Waldshut.
Black Forest Girls, Black Forest Cottages, Black Forest gateaux, Black
Forest hams, Bollenhut hats and cuckoo clocks:
these are the well-known icons of picture-book holidays in “Germany's most beautiful corner” all over the world.
But the Black Forest has much more to offer than postcard stereotypes. A good 200 kilometres long and between 30 and 60 kilometres wide, the largest low mountain range in Germany offers a variety of different natural landscapes - such as the long, forested mountain chain in the north, broad meadow valleys in the central Black Forest and the southern Black Forest with its broad, treeless mountain peaks rising up to 1,493 metres.
The fertile Rhine Valley on the border with France, and the Baden wine-growing regions such as Markgräflerland, Kaiserstuhl, Tuniberg and Ortenau in the west, all come within the holiday region. To the east, it extends into the Heckengäu region as far as Nagold and Neckar, and to the Baar plateau, where it crosses into the Swabian Alb.
At its western edge near Karlsruhe, the plateau rises to 115 metres above sea level, and to approx. 700 metres above sea level at its eastern extremity in Donaueschingen. In between, the Black Forest rises to 1,493 metres. More than 70 Black Forest mountains are higher than 1,000 metres. The region includes the cities of Freiburg, Offenburg, Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Pforzheim, Freudenstadt, Villingen-Schwenningen, Donaueschingen, Waldshut and Lörrach, as well as many small Black Forest towns in the broad river valleys. A total of 320 villages in twelve rural and four urban districts come within the holiday region. Each year, more than seven million holidaymakers and many millions of day visitors come to the region.