Shaped like a horseshoe, the Kinzigtal (Kinzig Valley) begins south of Freudenstadt and shadows the babbling Kinzig River south to Schiltach, west to Haslach and north to Offenburg. Near Strasbourg, 95km downriver, the Kinzig is swallowed up by the mighty Rhine. The valley’s inhabitants survived for centuries on mining and shipping goods by raft.
This Black Forest valley is astonishingly pretty, with hills brushed with thick larch and spruce forest or ribboned with vines; its half-timbered villages look every inch the Grimms' fairy tale. For seasonal colour, come in autumn (for foliage) or spring (for fruit blossom).