You’ll find Altenstadt (Hesse) in the Nidder Valley, but that’s not what makes this place popular. Could it be it’s historic hotel? Nope, that’s not it. Maybe it’s the Kloster Engelthal? Close, but no cigar.
Many cycling enthusiasts come to Altenstadt to ride along the Volcanic Cycle Track in the Vogelsberg Mountains. We’ve probably all heard about the “Ring of Fire,” but volcanoes in Germany? Yes, about 19 million years ago and now you can take a bike and ride along a group of extinct volcanoes, German style. This is what makes this place popular.
Don’t think you can do it? Most of it is layed out with asphalt, so it’s not all riding on dirt paths. The volcano route stretches through a few other towns besides Altenstadt and there’s rail and bus service along the way to take further along the route, or back where you came from.
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If riding in a car is more your taste, then you can follow the Limesradweg, instead. The Limes follows a historical route of the Romans, but does intersect with the Volcano Route (just in case you wanna see it — just not have to ride it).
Within Altenstadt proper, you can visit (requires walking around, no driving or biking) the Kloster Engelthal. The convent was created in 1268 and existed for almost 600 years, before being disbanded in 1803.
If you do prefer some sports, you’ll find tennis, Nordic walking, and an 18-hole golf course here. When you’re done doing all that activity, no place is better kick up your heels and relax than one of the town’s small guesthouses. One of the oldest is the Schwarzer Adler in a historic timber framed building.
Sounds like there’s more to making Altenstadt popular than just volcanoes and Romans.