If you’re planning a holiday along the German Wine Route, you’ll be pleased to hear that the train connections are excellent. Even better than that? You won’t need to rely on a car during your holiday either. Use public transport to hop from one vineyard to the next, visit the zoo or head out for a bite to eat. Or you could cycle through the vineyards or set off on a walking adventure in the Palatinate Forest.
Stop 1: Abzweig Isenach (Isenach Tributary)
The Isenach (iron stream), a tributary named after the iron ore deposits in the water, has been providing a steady flow of water to the pump at the Bad Dürkheim graduation tower ever since 1730. Why not walk around the Isenachweiher reservoir or carry on to the Wolfental valley if you fancy a longer stroll?
Stop 2 : Wolfental (Wolfenthal Valley)
The listed building complex that’s home to the restaurant 7 Raben in Jägerthal was once used as a summer residence by the Princes of Leiningen. These days, diners are served delicious dishes made with seasonal produce inside the historical building and in the cobbled courtyard. The restaurant even arranges themed weeks based around seasonal produce.
Stop 3 : Waldschlössel (Woodland Castle)
Is it a castle? Is it a palace? Or is it a fortress? All you really need to know is that Hardenburg is one of the most magnificent buildings the Palatinate has to offer. The Counts of Leiningen built the medieval hilltop castle during the 16th century in the name of defence and grandeur. Visit Hardenburg now to be taken on a fascinating journey back in time courtesy of the multimedia guide.
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Stop 4 : Herzogweiher (Herzogweiher Lake)
When you’re lakeside at Herzogweiher, make sure you don’t miss the Palatinate Museum of Natural History. Be prepared to learn a lot about local fauna and flora and see exhibits from the Palatinate’s geological past.
Reservoirs originally built to regulate the volume of water at the graduation tower are now idyllic lakes set against the beautiful backdrop of the forest. The Herzogweiher is just one example. Be sure to marvel at the view of Limburg Monastery from the valley. You could always explore the ruins up close on a guided tour or during the Limburg Summer event.
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Stop 5 : Wurstmarktplatz (Sausage Market Square)
The highlight of the walk is the Kurpark, home to the restored Isenach, countless bridges, the reconstructed water wheel and the graduation tower. 30-million-year-old salt water trickles from a 350-metre-deep healing spring over 250,000 bundles of brushwood.
Stop 6 : Zentrum Bad Dürkheim (Centre of Bad Dürkheim)
The centre of Bad Dürkheim is well worth a wander. Pick up some local produce at the Leprima organic supermarket to keep you going on your next adventure and visit the Town Museum while you’re there.
Ideally, you’ll get a Pfalzcard from your accommodation provider. That way, you won’t have to worry about how much it’s going to cost you to get around. Having said that, VRN (the transport network operating throughout the Palatinate) and KVV (covering the southern Palatinate region only) have plenty to offer off-peak travellers. For example, you can take your bike on board for free after 9 am. If you buy a day ticket or a family day ticket, children and grandchildren under the age of 14 can travel for free. Plus, the new tariff (eTarif and Tickin apps) is based on distances as the crow flies, which is bound to save you money.