The Bavarian Forest (German: Bayerischer Wald) located in the southeast of Germany spreads from the River Danube all the way to the Austrian border. Other rivers in the vicinity such as the Ilz and the Regen add considerably to the geographical splendor while demarcating the region into the lower and upper forest areas.
To truly experience the wild beauty of the wilderness you have to visit the Bavarian Forest National Park, established in 1970, with its rugged landscapes and wealth of wildlife.
Enjoy a number of outdoor activities in the lap of nature as you get back in time to a world that was untrammeled by civilization. About 200 km (124 mi) of hiking paths including the Watzlik-Hain trail and the Schachten & Fitze trail have been laid out for the nature enthusiast. If you plan to skip across to the Bohemian National Forest make sure you have your passport with you. ;-)
It is possible to enjoy the hospitality of the Bavarian Forest any time of the year. The winter season is when you have the opportunity to indulge in a variety of snowy pursuits, especially in the Arberland area (a.k.a. Regen District). The same area transforms into a fairytale kingdom of crystal lakes and waterfalls in summer to offer you the best of the season.
Spring brings on more beauty in the form of bursts of blooms and extravagant colors that prompt the inner poet in you to new heights. More spectacular colors and rhythms are presented in the autumn when you have your last chance to enjoy the sunny climes and warmth of this beautiful region.
Deep in the Bavarian Forest you will come upon serendipitous little towns and villages where life seems in rhythm with a time that seems to have whizzed past the rest of the world.
Enjoy the slow pace, the wholesome local food, and take part wholeheartedly in the various celebrations and festivals that seem to break out spontaneously. Explore the historical monuments, ruins, and routes that speak volumes of the past ages. The local glass making industry will make sure you never take glass for granted again.
The Bavarian Forest is not as inaccessible as it may look. There are about 300 km (186 mi) of hiking paths and bicycle routes in the National Park allowing you to explore at will.
In addition to this are the cross country ski routes which add to the winter experience. Museums such as the Sankt Oswald Glassmaking Center, Bodenmais Historical Center, dragon slaying town of Furth im Wald, ruins of Cameregg Castle and Weissenstein Castle are just some of the myriad attractions awaiting you in and around this fabulous forest area.
Towns such as Passau, Bad Kötzting, and Regensburg are worth spending time in. Passau has three picturesque rivers with bridges crisscrossing it giving it a definite fairytale village feel. The Three Rivers Walk is a huge attraction. For an encounter with history, visit the Dom or, even better, attend a concert in its hallowed interiors.
If you’re visiting in spring, Bad Kötzting will present you with a wonderful spring festival you’ll always remember.