The perfect vacation
Day 1 - In the footsteps of a saint
Impressive what this woman achieved! Today we were on the trail of "Saint Elisabeth". The Hungarian king's daughter and wife of Landgrave Ludwig IV lived in Eisenach and at Wartburg Castle in the 13th century.
She had a big heart for the poor and sick and founded a hospital at the foot of Wartburg Castle. Later after her death she was canonised. We followed the legendary and impressive stories about the "Rose Miracle" monument to the historic Wartburg, to the foundations of the hospital and finally to the exhibition worth seeing in the Preacher's Church in Eisenach. Afterwards, there was much to talk about in the romantic beer garden over roulade and Thuringian potato dumplings.
Day 2 - Devilish Wartburg
"Here I hike, I can't help it". From Martin's "dear city", the "Luther Discovery Trail" led us from the city centre directly up to Wartburg Castle.
Besides an impressive exhibition on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Bible translation "Luther in Exile. Wartburgalltag 1521", we were rewarded with a unique panorama over the city of Eisenach and the Thuringian Forest. Back we went along idyllic paths to the Luther House, where we experienced an interactive and impressive exhibition on the life of the reformer in the former residence. We ended the day in the beer garden of the "Lutherstuben" with cool drinks and "Luther's favourite dishes". A wonderful day.
Day 3 - Bach & Villa District
At the traditional Café Brüheim, not far from the Bach House, we started a day full of music, history and architecture with a good coffee and savoury breakfast. The music of Johann Sebastian Bach would certainly be in the charts today ;-)
The famous composer is a son of the city and was also baptised here. An exhibition worth seeing and hearing in the Bach House Museum with a concert on instruments from this period and Bach's baptismal font in the Georgenkirche inspired us in the morning. Then we strolled through one of Germany's largest villa districts with imposing monuments from different eras, magnificent gardens and beautiful views. We enjoyed the sunset behind the Wartburg Castle with a picnic on the panorama path above the roofs of Eisenach. Wow!
Day 4 - Automobile History & Leisure
We didn't realise what an incredible automotive history Eisenach has. Yesterday, during a visit to the Automobile World, we learned that the first BMW was built here in Eisenach!
The museum presents the history of the Dixi, BMW, EMW, Wartburg and the Opel factory in a way that is true to life and within reach for all generations. We booked an entertaining and interesting guided tour, which we would recommend to anyone. In the afternoon, the boys went to the climbing hall and later to the mini-golf in the outdoor swimming pool aquaplex. We women went shopping and had ice cream in the pretty town centre with its many small shops. In the sunny beer garden with a view of Wartburg Castle we ended the eventful day together with original Thuringian cuisine.
Day 5 - Wild and romantic gorge tour
Chirping birds, the sound of clear streams and lush greenery - the forest and the beauty of nature around Eisenach and Wartburg Castle captured us all, relaxing mind and body.
The kids were thrilled by adventurous paths over rocks, footbridges and bridges in the wildly romantic Drachenschlucht and Landgrafenschlucht. Unfortunately, we couldn't discover one of the beautiful fire salamanders, but many other interesting animals and plants. The forest around Eisenach is like a large landscape park, rich in natural monuments and wildly romantic hiking trails. After the discovery-filled tour, we stopped off at the "Phantasie" forest beach - for Thuringian grilled bratwurst, of course.
Day 6 - Rennsteig hiking experience
Today we went hiking on the famous Rennsteig! Actually, the high trail of the Thuringian Forest between Eisenach and Blankenstein has a length of 170km.
But that was too long for us ;-) so we chose a nice section starting in Eisenach. We set off quite early, wanting to see a lot of the original Thuringian Forest, the beautiful natural monuments and wide views. It was a wonderful trip! From Eisenach we hiked through the romantic Landgrafenschlucht to the Hohe Sonne and then along the Rennsteig towards the Glöcknermassiv. A big round, but very varied! It was sociable and delicious in the Hubertushaus with Thuringian bratwurst and dumplings... and of course with a Fahner fruit brandy...
Day 7 - Bike & Boat
Adventure in a double pack. We started directly in Eisenach with the packraft boat and paddled on the Hörsel to the beginning of the Rennsteig.
From the boat we had a completely different perspective on the impressive landscape and could literally let ourselves drift. After the 3-hour paddle, we had a traditional Thuringian lunch at the "Tor zum Rennsteig" inn in Hörschel. After the lunch break, our bikes arrived with the shuttle and we headed back to Eisenach over brilliant trails on and off the Rennsteig with sensational views. Along the way, we hit some insider tips from the guide and learned interesting facts about the region. You have to experience it.
Day 8 - Hainich National Park
What a great day. We started at the "treetop trail" car park. After we were able to tear the kids away from the great adventure playground, we adults also got our money's worth.
Along the "forest promenade" we could stroll and enjoy the view of the "Thuringian primeval forest" and its multifaceted nature. The entire path is characterised by the unique smell of wild garlic. Afterwards, we went high up on the treetop path, which leads right through the foliage of stately deciduous trees up to their tops. Everyone was thrilled. On the way back, we visited the wild cats and lynxes in the wild cat village of Hütscheroda. A little insider tip for a stopover: the hearty "Baudenschmaus" in the "Hainichbaude" at Craulaer Kreuz.
Day 9 - BUGA Park Altenstein
Altenstein Park is breathtakingly beautiful and rightly one of the outdoor sites of the Federal Horticultural Show this year.
It has 20 km of walking paths spread over an area of more than 160 ha and enticed us with many highlights - the caves, a suspension bridge and the knights' chapel were particularly exciting for our children. Below Altenstein Park, in the spa town of Bad Liebenstein, we were tempted by the romantic spa park and the zoo as well as a delicious ice cream sundae at the "Polarstern" ice cream parlour. On the way home, we spontaneously made a small detour to the Hirschstein, where we were able to experience a dreamlike sunset. Really beautiful and absolutely recommendable!
Day 10 - Versatile Werratal Cycle Path Bike Tour
Hey, that was cool! From Eisenach we started this wonderful relaxed tour on the Werratal cycle path. We cycled through charming villages, wide flower meadows and made our first stop at a lovingly run gem, the Wilhelmsglücksbrunn organic farm.
Water buffaloes and sheep on the salt marshes, a pair of storks in their high nest and a friendly restaurant - what more could you want?! On the restaurant terrace by the pond, we took some refreshments and plenty of good humour with us for the rest of the tour, which took us via the romantic Liborius Chapel with its whispering arch to Creuzburg Castle. We then headed back to Eisenach through wide floodplain landscapes and fields. The multifaceted combination of nature, enjoyment, history and being active didn't just excite us adults.
Day 11 - A splash on the Werra
Ahoy - what a splashing pleasure! Just a few minutes' drive from Eisenach, the Werra meanders through the Thuringian countryside.
We rented canoes and the kids SUPs and we had a mega family outing. The tour was very varied through green landscapes, wide valleys and past impressive mountain ranges and castles. There was no shortage of fun, because downstream we could let the paddles rest and unload the water pistols ;-). With wet shirts, a big grin and lots of nice memories, this holiday day came to an end. And: The shuttle also worked out great and at the end we had a Thuringian bratwurst from the grill and fresh draft beer. Delicious!
Day 12 - Legendary Hörsel Mountains
After a delicious and hearty breakfast at our accommodation, we headed for Eisenach railway station. Our destination: the "fabulous" Hörsel Mountains.
Only two stops away by train, we arrived in Sättelstedt and started our tour. On natural paths and after a partly steep ascent, we were rewarded with fantastic far-reaching views of the Thuringian Forest, the Inselsberg and all the way to Wartburg Castle on the horizon. Once at the top of the plateau, we were tempted to explore the two mystical caves, which even inspired the composer Richard Wagner to write his world-famous opera "Tannhäuser". The circular route ends at the Hörselberghaus - where we were fortified with a good cup of coffee and delicious cakes made to the house's own recipe. We were exhausted and happy as we took the train back to Eisenach.
Day 13 - The Rhön is beautiful
As guests in the centre of Germany, we had to make a detour to the "Point Alpha" memorial. Here Germany was divided until 1989 and was one of the hottest points in the Cold War.
The former border installations and the observation towers of the border troops allowed us to experience German/German history up close. In addition, there were always beautiful views of the beautiful Rhön along the Kolonnenweg. The exhibition and the personal accounts of the contemporary witnesses sent cold shivers down our spines. Afterwards, we went to the Merkers Adventure Mine, where we were allowed to marvel at a fantastic salt cave after a spectacular underground tour. The highlight at the end: a cool drink at the "Kristallbar" - the deepest bar in the world.
Day 14 - Over the Rennsteig to the forest baths
Following the insider tip of our hosts, we set out to hike over narrow and wild paths through the breathtaking Landgrafenschlucht gorge up to the Großer Drachenstein.
With a unique panorama stretching all the way to the Hörselberge mountains and the Thuringian Forest, we followed the Rennsteig trail and wonderful hiking paths downhill to Mosbach's Waldbad swimming pool, idyllically situated on the edge of the forest. Here you can jump into the cool water, enjoy the sun on the sunbathing lawn or simply relax in the shade of the trees. That's a holiday! Directly at the Waldbad you can enjoy traditional Thuringian cuisine and cool Eisenach beer :) We went back by bus directly to Eisenach. A perfect day!