Worth a Trip: Friedrichroda

Dangling down into a valley from wooded slopes about 20km south of Gotha, picturesque Friedrichroda was a busy resort town in GDR days. It fell somewhat out of favour in the 1990s, when East Germans set their sights on Majorca and other beach destinations, but its popularity has since returned, especially with improved infrastructure and the development of health and spa tourism. There's the stately ducal residence Reinhardsbrunn to admire (from the exterior) and the town is working towards establishing itself as a winter sports centre.