The Black Forest, The Land Of Fairy Tales

The Black Forest, The Land Of Fairy Tales, might be thought of as a menacing place of witches and wolves because we grew up with stories of Hansel & Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. Actually the Schwarzwald, as it is called in Germany, is a wonderful destination to visit. The countryside is dotted with farms, villages with half-timbered homes, and forests of oak, beech and fir growing so thick that they appears black.

The Black Forests

The Black Forest Of Germany

The Black Forest region has always been associated with good food made from local ingredients such as mushrooms growing in the woods, schnapps made from local fruit and thin slices of ham served with hearty bread along with beer or wine. Throughout the year, the small villages and towns hold festivals to celebrate the different crops that are being harvested. You will often see people wearing traditional clothing at these celebrations. The most famous item of clothing from the Black Forest is the Bollenhut, the distinctive hat with large red pompoms, that is worn by young unmarried women. While it is the symbol of the Black Forest, it is usually worn only in certain communities.

Click on any photo in the galleries below to see a slide show.

When my husband and I visit this area, we love to stay at the Traube Tonbach.  It has been a family run hotel for seven generations and is the first choice of many food lovers who visit the Black Forest.

The hotel is located in the town of Baiersbronn where three restaurants hold a total of seven Michelin stars. Traube Tonbach is famous for its restaurant, Schwarzwaldstube. Chef Harald Wohlfahrt has held 3 Michelin stars continuously since 1992 and his inspired cuisine is respected by chefs throughout Germany. Over the years, more than thirty of his former staff members have received  Michelin stars of their own. Last year, my husband and I dined at the Schwarzwaldstube. It was the culinary highlight of our European trip and you can read about the outstanding meal here.

The hotel has four restaurants and has won an award for having the best hotel food in Europe. That award alone lets you know how wonderful the meals are that you will enjoy when you dine at Traube. We have eaten at all of Traube’s restaurants over the years but I want to showcase the restaurant Silberberg, that is only available to hotel guests for breakfast and half board.

Beautifully Set Breakfast Table At The Silberberg

Beautifully Set Breakfast Table At The Silberberg

There is an incredible choice at the breakfast buffet…it is not to be missed.

In the US, if you stay at a hotel that has the option of half board, you are usually served a nondescript evening meal. If you take the half board option at Traube, you will have your evening meal at the Silberberg restaurant and you will be in for a real treat. The room is beautifully decorated and has panoramic windows looking out at the Black Forest. We had wonderful multi course dinners nightly including a seven course candlelight dinner on Saturday night.

While staying at Traube, I like to plan day trips from the hotel to not only other towns in the Black Forest but the beautiful Alsace region of France. By crossing the Rhine river at Strasbourg, it is about a forty-five minute drive to the west. The town of Ottrot on the Alsace Wine Route makes a wonderful destination for a light French lunch of tarte a l’oignon or zwiebelkuchen as it is called in German. We always make sure we are back at the hotel in the early afternoon so we may spend some relaxing time in their wonderful spa, saunas and pools.

While the Black Forest is the land of fairy tales made famous by the Grimm brothers, it has also become famous for its natural beauty, delicious food and the warm hospitality of the people living in the area that make you feel so welcomed. This is a region that is often associated cuckoo clocks and is proud of its heritage in clock making, wood carving and other longstanding traditions. If you get a chance to visit this area, I believe you will agree with me that it is a wonderful region in Germany.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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130 Responses to The Black Forest, The Land Of Fairy Tales

  1. It all sounds wonderful. Enjoy!

  2. A_Boleyn says:

    The Black Forest has it all. Gorgeous scenery and amazing food and accommodations .

  3. Sue says:

    The view from that breakfast table is amazing. I would love to sit there for hours just taking it all in.
    Looks like you’re having a wonderful time–I’m so glad. Such beautiful photos. Enjoy!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue, Isn’t the view wonderful from the breakfast table terrific…the balcony of our room had the same beautiful view. Thank you for the compliment on the photos. I wish there had been sunshine when I took most of those shots but I can’t complain about the weather. :)

  4. I gained weight just viewing these photographs. Thanks! Oh to live vicariously!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, One nice thing when we travel is that we don’t gain too much weight because of the walking we do seeing the sights. That is a good thing because the food is wonderful.

  5. The scenery coupled with the food is just so delicious!!!

  6. The Silberberg looks terrific. Glad you showed us how it’s set up both for breakfast and dinner. I’ve always wanted to see the Black Forest — sounds so alluring, and slightly scary! All of those fairy tales, you know. Anyway, your travels have been great thus far — so interesting. Thanks for this.

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, I think you would really enjoy a visit to the Black Forest region…it is a favorite of ours. I’m glad you enjoyed the two photos of how the tables are set so beautifully at both breakfast and dinner. The starched linens with the embroidered roster start the day of so nicely. Thank you for your nice compliment as always.

  7. Didn’t I say you would take me to places in Europe I’ve never been to. Well, The Black Forest is one of them. Even though I’ve been to several cities just north of there, including Heidelberg. And I would love to visit Strasbourg! As for that breakfast…with such a view!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Johnny, I was wondering if you had been to the Black Forest when you made your comment on my last post. I’m glad I’m taking you to new places. Isn’t the breakfast wonderful…you can’t believe the variety of foods presented. Strasbourg and the wine road make for some wonderful travel days. :)

  8. Mad Dog says:

    It certainly does look picturesque – be sure not to follow a trail of cookies into the forrest ;-)

  9. What a journey you share with your pictures. I love living vicariously through your adventures!

  10. What a fun post and beautiful photos and delicious food. I have been to Germany but have only been to Muenster and little odd city called Hilltrip for work and it looked nothing like this. Will have to go back to visit the other parts of Germany.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bobbie, I remember you mentioning being in Germany for work. You definitely need to make a trip for pleasure someday. My husband and I love Germany, beautiful sights, great food and friendly people.

  11. Are you THERE? I’m so envious. Germany is my favorite place in the world.

  12. lizzygoodthings says:

    Karen, how very, very beautiful! I love this part of Germany, such a picturesque part of the world! Happy travels my friend.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Lizzy, for your nice wish. Our travels so far have been wonderful. The Black Forest is such a picturesque part of Germany…I just love it.

  13. musingmar says:

    Looks like you’re having a wonderful time. If I ever travel to Germany I’ll be sure to refer back to your posts as my travel guide.

  14. viveka says:

    Karen, what a fairy tale journey you are on …. this the best part of Germany – Bavaria.
    I love that photo with the rolling hills with the flowers in the front – that is a true picture what Southern part of Germany is all about, food … and wines … nature and so friendly. And German breakfast buffet is impossible to beat … the offer and quality. Nobody bake bread like the Germans and their charcuterie!!! So envy. *smile – drive careful.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Viveka, We are definitely going to places that are magical and that inspired fairy tales. :) The photo you mentioned was taken right from our balcony at Traube, it is just beautiful countryside. Oh yes, nobody can prepare a breakfast buffet like the Germans. The breads, the cheeses, the charcuterie…such a variety and all delicious. Thank you for your wish about the driving. We have been on some unbelievable back roads. :)

      • viveka says:

        Karen, that’s the way to meet the real countries…. from the back roads. I was engaged to a German man for 8 years … he worked as diesel engine developer for VW. So during those years, Germany was my second home, so your post brings back fantastic memories. Hans, always said that it doesn’t matter what car you drive .. so long as its German and silver metallic. So I hope your rental car live up to that. *laughing. Stay safe.

      • Karen says:

        I totally agree with you about traveling in the countryside if you really want to get to know a country. My car at home is indeed German and silver metallic. We are driving the same car here except that they gave us a white one for a rental. :)

      • viveka says:

        I knew you are a woman with class … sure it’s BMW you drive. *smile

      • Karen says:

        You are right and I do love my car. :)

  15. Lea Ann says:

    I have just returned from that region. Only been back a few days and your photos made me homesick for a place that’s not my home. :) It’s an incredible place to visit and the food = omg.

  16. Larry says:

    The area, hotel, and food all sound fantastic – I especially like the looks of the breakfast buffet.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Larry, You are right on all counts…the trip has been fantastic. You can’t imagine all the items that are on the buffet at Traube…it is the best!

  17. If I loved gardening, this is what my house could look like…I’d like to think. It is so beautiful! I can’t wait. What a teaser.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heather, We had to pull over and take a photo of that home in Ottrott…the flowers were amazing. I like to garden and wish my garden looked like that too. You are going to like my upcoming posts, I promise. :)

  18. The Black Forest area is such a picturesque part of the world. Everything is green and well looked after. I want to go back!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maureen, The Black Forest looks like a picture postcard everywhere you look. It is a wonderful part of Germany to visit…we keep coming back year after year. I’m happy that you like it as much as we do.

  19. Ruth says:

    What a beautiful countryside! Your adventures never cease to wow me, Karen. One day I will get over my intimidation of traveling in Europe and see it for myself one day :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth, The countryside has been beautiful everywhere we have been traveling. The first time I went to Europe, I was single and just twenty. I went by myself on an American Express tour and I fell in love with traveling and haven’t stopped since. I do hope you get a chance to see Europe for yourself but until you do, I’m happy that you enjoy following along on my adventures. Just wait until you see what is coming up in the next few posts. :)

  20. Good food for good people within a good life…..
    I guess this place where i wanna rest in peace for Karen…….

  21. Karen fairytale pictures from a fairytale trip! All of your pictures are amazing and breathtaking – the weather was nice all over Germany today, so I am sure that you got a chance to take some more amazing pictures! So very nice to read that you are always enjoying your trips to Germany so much – wish I was living closer to where you are right now! All least we could enjoy a cup of coffee and a nice cake together one afternoon…
    Enjoy your wonderful trip to the fullest – lots of great sights and wonderful foods to enjoy!
    Take care and greetings from not too far away,
    Andrea

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Andrea, for your lovely compliment and wish. I tried real hard to find a way to get up your way but it just didn’t work out for this trip. One of these days, I hope we will get a chance to meet in person. You know how much my husband and I love Germany, so we will be returning…God willing. :)

  22. What beautiful images of a beautiful place. If I were there, I might not come home.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Darryl, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. I know what you mean…it is always hard to leave but there are more beautiful places to come on this trip.

  23. Hotly Spiced says:

    Yes, I know about the Black Forest thanks to the brothers Grimm. I had no idea that’s how the forest got its name. It’s a bit like our ‘Blue Mountains’ so called because the eucalyptus leaves have a blue tinge. The countryside is so picturesque and I love the architecture. What a stunning part of the world xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, I think you are right about how both places got their names. This area is very picturesque…I love it because it is so different from where we live.

  24. Such beautiful pictures of the Black Forrest! I’ve never been and I can’t wait to see where “we” go next!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kelli, for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. You are really going to love where “we” are going over the next few posts. It gets prettier and prettier. :)

  25. What a gorgeous part of th world so quaint and beautiful! .. and yes I always think of little red riding hood and hansel and gretal too :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julie, I agree with you…I love the character and the way people retain traditions in this part of Europe. I’m glad to know that you think about the fairy tales from here as well. :)

  26. adinparadise says:

    Great photos, Karen. What a wonderful trip you’re having. I was there in August, and loved my visit to the Black Forest. :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sylvia, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos and that they brought back memories of your recent trip to the Black Forest.

  27. Wow, what a marvelous area of the country! We plan to visit Germany and Austria in the next few years…and I hope we get to stay at your featured hotel. It sounds amazing!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Liz, I know that you will enjoy traveling to Germany and Austria…they are two of our favorite countries in Europe. We have stayed at Traube quite a few times and have been loved our stays.

  28. Honestly, the photos are so clear and gorgeous the scenes almost don’t look real. LOL! Now that’s saying something about how beautiful it is…I guess I’m saying it’s unbelievable! What a lovely time you’re having, Karen. I’m so glad. The food is equally spectacular. Just wonderful!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Debra, for your lovely compliment. If you like these photos, there are better ones yet to come as we have been having more sunshine in the last few days. It has been a wonderful trip so far and I appreciate your thoughts and wishes.

  29. Stunning photos! The location, the food and the people — all look like a beautiful fairy tale!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you T.W., for your compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. Southern Germany and Austria really do feel like they are out of a fairy tale. :)

  30. Bishop says:

    I love the Black Forest! My last visit was in 1972 traveling as a soldier on a zero budget! I thoroughly enjoyed finding a “fremdenzimmer”, I hope I spelled it right, a night in a private home or farmhouse with a bit of “freuhstuck” in the morning. The breads, thin sliced ham and the jams were amazing. Makes me want to revisit with more flexibility in my plans. Thanks for stimulating good memories.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bishop, I do hope you get a chance to return to Germany and see it “your way”. The breads, ham and jams are still as amazing as you remember and my husband and I are eating our share. :) I’m happy that my post brought back nice memories.

  31. It’s like a magical fairy land, very pixie like! Love it!

  32. My first trip to Germany included a road trip through the Black Forest, such great memories! Wonderful pics Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Paula, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and that it brought back good memories of your travels to the Black Forest. Thank you for your compliment…I’m happy you liked the photos.

  33. Sissi says:

    On the road again! Again in Germany. I must say I have only travelled a bit rather close to the Swiss border, so I don’t know Germany well, but I was enchanted by Freiburg. Beautiful pictures and enjoyable post, as always!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sissi, We are on the road again and yes, we love Germany. I can see why you would enjoy Freiburg, it is a lovely town. We were there a few years back during December and enjoyed the Christmas market. If I lived in Switzerland like you, I would be traveling around every weekend. :)

  34. Tessa says:

    What an amazing trip and wonderful food! Love it!

  35. glamorous glutton says:

    I’d always heard that the Black Forest was wonderful and your pictures certainly show that. Not just in stunning scenery but fabulous food too. GG

    • Karen says:

      Hi GG, The Black Forest is indeed a lovely area of Germany to visit. We have visited both in the fall and at Christmas time…it is just wonderful. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  36. I was fortunate to be able to travel through Germany…Your photos really touch all of those wonderful memories.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post and that it brought back nice memories of your travels to Germany. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  37. Arlene Poma says:

    Your photographs are gorgeous! Looking forward to more of your posts!!! Thanks for the tour.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Arlene, Thank you for your visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos and are going to be following along on our trip through Germany and Austria. :)

  38. Suzanne says:

    What picture perfect buildings and all that lovely food is to die for! It sounds like another fabulous trip.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Suzanne, I have to agree with you about all the beautiful buildings…this area is wonderful. We really are having a terrific time on our trip…thank you!

  39. Raymund says:

    Thats my type of breakfast buffet, definitely it would be a good day starter

  40. ramblingtart says:

    Absolutely GORGEOUS!! One of my best friends lived near here with her hubby and I got to spend a lot of time with her hiking and driving through the woods and hills. I absolutely loved it and you’ve captured the beauty wonderfully. :-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Krista, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and that it brought back nice memories of visiting your friends in the Black Forest. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  41. NativeNM says:

    The photos are gorgeous, you must be having the best time! Simply magical!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Jan, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. Yes, we are having a wonderful time and I’m glad to know that you are following along on our holiday.

  42. Karen, I so love sitting at my computer with a cup of tea and reading your posts – your travel ones in particular are always spectacular! What glorious photos, and they ARE fairytalesque, but in a beautiful, romantic way rather than a frightening one. Thank you for sharing them with us! I’m so glad you’re having a good time!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Celia, for your kind words…what a lovely compliment. I really appreciate that you enjoy my posts, especially the travel posts. I love sharing my travel adventures, whether they are in one of our neighboring states or across the ocean. :)

  43. Can I come on holiday with you next year please?!

  44. Beautiful pictures Karen!

  45. Joanne says:

    What a lovely place!!

  46. Germany is one of my favorite places to visit! The scenery is so pretty. I love looking at the half timbered homes with their flower boxes overflowing. That breakfast buffet spread looks incredible!!

  47. Hi Karen, What a wonderful trip to the Black Forest you’ve taken us on! I’ve been there before, but not to the lovely restaurants/hotel you have described. So wonderful to see Germany as it is so beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed this post! Thank you :-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dana, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post about the Black Forest. I totally agree with you about how beautiful Germany is no matter where we stay. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  48. Sophie33 says:

    I like The Black Forest too! I love Germany in general anyway,..people are very friendly,…It all looks magnificent & I would like to be there with you, right at that lovely breakfast table, nipping some good tea & eating some fine croissants & delicacies & chat & catch up! :) x

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sophie, I agree with you on all counts…Germany is a wonderful country to visit. I wish we could share a cup of tea and a bite to eat. Perhaps that will happen one day in the future. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  49. Norma Chang says:

    Enjoying the journey, thanks for taking me along.

  50. oh my goodness it is like a fairy tale! i love it. So beautiful and fun

  51. How beautiful, I need to add this area to my travel list!

  52. Amy says:

    WOW! What a beautiful place! And it looks like you got some perfect weather too.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy, The Black Forest is indeed beautiful. Yes, we have been very lucky this year with the weather. So much better than last year…thank you!

  53. The first photo has me craving for a visit!!!

  54. cabinet stew says:

    I think me and the Black Forest would get along just great! Spectacular food and scenery!

  55. This hotel looks like paradise no wonder you keep returning.

  56. Misky says:

    This brings back wonderful memories of our visit to the Black Forrest. It’s a gorgeous area.

  57. Hannah says:

    Talk about storybook perfect! Gorgeous photos, Karen – it looks like you’re having a marvelous time.

  58. The setting alone would make for a memorable meal but I am having a fantastic time just imagining those meals. The Black Forest is lovely and I know the Germans take their forests very seriously as my husband found out when he was there in the army. They do NOT appreciate Americans tearing up their forests playing with their tanks.

  59. Absolutely beautiful pictures, Karen. This makes me want to hop on a plane right now! The food looks amazing. I remember Germany always having the most delicious meats and that breakfast board looks just like what I remember.

  60. Joe Parisi says:

    Hi Karen.
    My wiife and I are landing in Frankfurt in July for a trip to Salzburgh, now we are going to take a side trip to the Balck Forest and stay the Traube hotel! Who knows if we will make it to Saltzburgh? :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Joe, I’m sure you are going to have a great trip this summer. I believe you will really enjoy your side trip to the Black Forest especially if you are staying at the Traube hotel. If you get the opportunity, try to get a reservation for lunch or dinner in the Schwarzwaldstube. I’ve had several truly memorable meals there…the chef is considered the best in Germany.

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