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Swabian Alps Region

Often eclipsed by the Black Forest to the west and the Bavarian Alps to the southeast, the Swabian Alps (Schwäbische Alb in German) are wholly deserving of more attention. Ulm, where the Danube swiftly flows, forms the boundary in the south, while the Neckar runs past half-timbered towns, limestone crags, beech woods, juniper-cloaked heaths, hilltop ducal castles and robber-knight ruins further north.

The region is a geologist’s dream – 200 million years ago it had more volcanoes than almost anywhere else on earth; today it holds Unesco World Heritage Geopark status. The karst landscape is riddled with caves, where rare fossils and ice age art (including the 30,000-year-old Löwenmensch on display in Museum Ulm) have been discovered.

In 2017, the Swabian Jura Caves and ice age art received Unesco World Heritage status for having some of the world's oldest figurative art, dating from 43,000 to 33,000 years ago.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Swabian Alps Region.