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The Black Forest/Germany

Introducing The Black Forest

The Black Forest (Schwarzwald) gets its name from the dark canopy of evergreens, though it’s also dotted with open slopes and farmland. And while some parts heave with visitors, a 20-minute walk from even the most crowded spot will put you in quiet countryside dotted with enormous traditional farmhouses and patrolled by amiable dairy cows. It’s not nature wild and remote, but bucolic and picturesque.

The Black Forest is east of the Rhine between Karlsruhe and Basel. It’s shaped like a bean, about 160km long and 50km wide. From north to south there are three good bases for your visit: Schiltach, Triberg and Titisee. Each has good train links. Frieburg is a lively and thriving university town that's worth a look-see.

If you have a car, you’ll find your visit especially rewarding as you can wander the rolling hills and deep valleys at will. One of the main tourist roads is the Schwarzwald-Hochstrasse (B500), which runs from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt and from Triberg to Waldshut. And, yes, there are many, many places to buy cuckoo clocks (at least €150 for a good one).