Far be it from me to judge anyone who wants to come to a Bavarian town like Bad Berneck to simply take horseback riding lessons. Seriously, I can’t think of a better place than right here in the Fichtelgebirge, located just 13 km north-northeast of Bayreuth.
A leisurely ride on a majestic animal isn’t Bad Berneck’s only highlight either. Heck no, this is a posh spa town with both history and culture and plenty to keep you busy. You’ll be busy eating, that’s for sure, since there are quite a number of local restaurants serving everything from International cuisine to local Franconian-Bavarian specialties.
Here’s where I’d normally make a joke about beer being a local specialty (being this is Bavaria), but wouldn’t it be nice to sit in a local beer garden after a long day of sightseeing around the Kurpark (with its grand colonnades), or the Burgruine Hohenberneck and its Marienkapelle? I think so, it’s the perfect place to discuss the town’s history and architecture.
And the beer gardens are where many local motorcyclists meet up after a day of riding around the town’s winding roads. Don’t have a motorcycle? Not a problem, there are plenty of hiking trails, like the Jean Paul Weg (an 18th century German writer), and on Tuesdays there are guided walks from May to September.
A bit more leisurely paced would be to meander around the Kunststraße (the Art Road through the Old Town), or the Botanical Garden; home to more than four dozen species of trees alone — with guided walks by a real botanist are available from April to October.
Between you and me, I think September has to be the most outstanding month to visit Bad Berneck. Not for any other reason than that the town hosts both a Fishing Festival and a Wine Festival this time of year. I’m not taking anything away from the Maypole celebrations, the Blossom Festival, the Castle Festival, or the Kerwe, mind you.
However, this is a spa town, so just about anytime you choose to come would be fantastic — care to meet at the Kneipp Spa? :-)