My ecoluxury road trip in the Black Forest. A wellness and sustainable journey between food and nature!
Second chapter of my on-the-road itinerary through the fascinating Black Forest in southwest Germany!
The Schwarzwald is the largest Natural Park in Germany. For over 130 years a renowned destination for wellness and sustainable holidays in contact with nature!
My second stop is Baiersbronn, the largest town in Baden-Württemberg, with 9 “hamlets”, 15 thousand inhabitants and 8 Michelin-starred chefs! The highest concentration of starred restaurants in Germany!
If you missed the first leg of the trip, go and review my article about Bad Wildbad.
Hiking and gastronomic routes: Baiersbronn and its 550 km of trails
Around Baiersbronn there are 550 km of marked trails for hiking, nordic walking and mountain biking for all levels of preparation, the “Baiersbronner Wanderhimmel” or hiking paradise!
Many of these are certified by the quality label Premiumwanderweg, a certification of biodiversity, morphology, unique landscapes and land control (importance of signage)
And it does not end here, because given the international fame of this area for its cuisine, many routes are even conceived as “gourmet routes” where the walk culminates in one of the typical wooden huts that serve regional specialties prepared with forest plants and products of local farms.
My guide Gerd Geiser accompanied me along the Satteleisteig, where we first reached an observation tower with a 360 degree view over the whole valley, and then the lovely Wanderhütte hut which has been offering typical delicacies according to the principle “Taste the Black Forest” since 1951…for a sweet or savory break!
Wellness Hotel Tanne: ecoluxury with tree sauna and monk’s bath
In the hamlet of Tonbach I stayed in one of the most beautiful and special hotels I’ve ever seen: Wellness Hotel Tanne, founded and managed with love for 150 years by the Möhrle family.
As the name suggests, wellness, relaxation and pampering are the focal point of this structure. Do not expect a classic spa, but a range of truly unique proposals!
The most spectacular one is undoubtedly the Treehouse sauna, the 10-meter-high sauna inside a magnificent tree house: relax with panoramic views!
A unique and amusing experience is definitely the “Baumstammbad“, an ancient ritual used by the forest monks. It consists in taking a bath inside the dug trunk of a fir tree! It can be done singly, in pairs or with friends, and during the treatment your body will enjoy a peeling with sea salt, a massage with eucalyptus oil, all this with fruit and sparkling wine served!
On a sunny day or under the snow it’s really something amazing!
Furthermore, in Hotel Tanne’s Tonbacher Waldbad you will find the sauna in the coal furnace, the relaxation room with nature documentaries, the “Schwitzstüble”, the “Plumpsklo”, the Dorfplätzle fountain, the sauna clock … to find out what they are, you obviously need go in person 😉
Hotel Tanne is certified Wellness Stars Hotel which means quality, sustainability and staff preparation, and also boasts the Viabono certification for its low environmental impact.
Right from the entrance every detail is meticulously taken care of in full “forest” style: the wooden finishes, the very spacious rooms overlooking the meadows, the ancient clock of the church kept in its original position, the “tree bar” with a super fun Bierkarussell, a revolving table to taste the various types of beer!
The restaurants of Hotel Tanne are spread over several rooms around the central buffet, all different and each with its own character: the romantic room with hand painted ceiling and chairs, the room dedicated to nature with a log cabin and glimpses of the forest, the panoramic terrace, the barbecue stube and the original 150-year-old restaurant-lounge!
Truly an exceptional place, the emblem of what I call ecoluxury travel! 😍
Kulturpark Glashütte, the most important glassworks in the Black Forest
Among the several museums to visit in the surrounding area I suggest you you take a visit at Kulturpark Glashütte in Buhlbach, the historic buildings of what was the most important Schwarzwald glassworks in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the economic and identity fulcrum of the area for four generations.
What makes this glassware so important? Its success and worldwide recognition has been achieved thanks to the invention of the still-in-use bottle of champagne: the first bottle in the world resistant to pressure! Over two million hand-blown Buhlbacher Schlegel have been exported worldwide!
Baiersbronn Classic: 130 classic cars around the Black Forest
A very special event that I was lucky enough to see at the end of September is the Baiersbronn Classic, a classic car rally from the ’20s to the’ 70s, that for four days drive around the Black Forest. Cars have to pass special tests that do not have to be completed with maximum speed but with maximum precision.
Imagine driving through the woods and villages and seeing unique pieces seen only in films or museums. What a sight!
The departures and arrivals were right in front of the Kulturpark Glashütte which made everything even more fascinating.
The Baiersbronn Classic wants to remember the legendary mountain race Ruhestein, the first motorsport event in Germany after the Second World War. A strongly felt event, not only for fans but a reason for everyone to celebrate together!
Foresta Nera on the road
So many things I’ve seen, learned, experienced and tasted in this magnificent journey … who knows what the next stop will reserve for me! To find out, go read the next article!
See you on the Titisee friends!!