Activity in and around Rothenburg – its very position in the center of nature park “Frankenhöhe”, as well as its prominent location above Tauber-Valley make it an ideal starting point for all sorts of outdoor activities. Picturesque valleys, little creeks, hill crests, lakes, forests and peaceful villages, in the typical Franconian style with half-timbered houses, invite to discover the environs – walking, bicycling – or, certainly the most exiting version – with a hot air balloon, which will dwarf the landscape to a small fairy tale land. Golfing, tennis courts and a brand new climbing facility attract the sportive, dynamic visitor. The clean waters of Tauber-Valley make it a little paradise for anglers. A day in the open air pools, or a day of “well-being” in the pool and sauna area “Franken-Freizeit” promises even more relaxation. By the way – relaxation and water have been enjoying a long tradition in Rothenburg, going all the way back to the 14th Century. The earth quake gave way to a mineral spring, which was the beginning of “Wildbad”, – the baths, today home of a convention center.
A tight network of distinctive hiking trails surrounds Rothenburg. 13 trails, all carefully marked, will guide hikers through a romantic, sometimes dramatic landscape and the medieval town. A unique setting of both, nature and landmarks wait to be discovered. No less than 16 former watermills wait to be explored along the so-called watermill trail. Pilgrims may re-discover the special atmosphere of hiking along one of the various pilgrimage routes crossing the area – an experience way out of the ordinary?
Hiking trails: A map detailing the hiking trails may be obtained from the local hotels and the Rothenburg Tourist Information. The choice of trails includes, for example, “Panorama-Trail” or “Nature Trail” in the Schandtaubertal. The area covers the hills of Nature Park Frankenhöhe all the way from the town of Ansbach to Schnelldorf. Impressive from both, a cultural point of view as well as the surrounding landscape – and a land mark of the region in its own special way: The Rothenburg Watermill Trail.
Hiking weeks: Twice a year, in spring and in autumn, hikers meet to enjoy active recuperation amidst nature. All tours emphasize one particular subject, special to the very tour. The tour guides may give away a lot of insider knowledge pertaining to the region and its characteristics. Both, locals and guests immensely enjoy these tours. Traditional Franconian hospitality in the local inns and plenty of time for a casual talking and chatting create the right atmosphere for a relaxed time. During the hiking weeks, guests will easily find arrangements with selected hotels that include a great many guided tours to cater for all tastes.
Guided hiking tours: A favorite amongst Rothenburg’s guests are guided hiking tours – crisscrossing the town and its surrounds. Every Wednesday at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, guests and locals casually meet at the Marketplace Fountain to gather their personal impressions of the town’s highlights. Visitors may take the opportunity to listen to first-hand information about Rothenburg stories and history.
“About water mills and millers”, a trail that leads away from the town center, towards the Tauber-Valley – certainly a region rich with watermills. The tour guides do not only touch the town’s history, but also expand on the hard work of the former millers, the sophisticated technology that stands behind these early technical achievements and its influence on medieval society, and last but not least the use of water power as a source of energy, from the past till today.
No matter whether a short weekend trip or a serious trekking tour – Rothenburg is the ideal starting point for bicycle tours of any degree of difficulty – beautiful landscape added for free. Mountain bike or racing bicycle – no matter, the 2300 kilometer grid of bicycle tracks will provide just the right route, and certainly not only for the sports enthusiasts. Families, wine connoisseurs, or discoverers of the regional culture – they will all find their perfect personal route. Rothenburg tourism supplies comprehensive information and maps. Favorites (amongst the long distance routes) are: “Charming Tauber-Valley” from Rothenburg to Wertheim, the “Altmühl”-Tour, along river Altmühl all the way to Kehlheim, the “Butterfly” that links four individual trails and, last but not least, the trail along river “Bibert” to the town of Fürth near Nuremberg. Always a perfect match: An enchanting countryside and a great many cultural points of interest, and important for both, comfort and safety: The majority of the trails are devoid of cars. For the longer trips: “B&B…bed and bicycle” is to be found everywhere along the routes.
Rent-a-bike and repair shops: Bicycles may be rented directly in Rothenburg, e.g. “Rad und Tat”, Bensenstrasse 17 (www.mietraeder.de). A work shop, if so required, can be found in “Fahrradhaus Krauß” in Ansbacherstrasse 85 (www.fahrradhaus-krauss.de)
E-bikes: Quite popular by now: “The bicycle with the built-in tail wind”. The electric bicycle, which should not to be dismissed too easily. Franconia’s romantic vineyards sometimes await the bicyclist with quite challenging inclines – only to reward with a relaxing coasting downhill into the next picturesque valley.
“Test your own limits” – climb the highest trees. The installation to test one’s very limits, and possibly fight one’s own anxieties, is to be found in the so-called “American Forest” just outside the town. 110 elements in nine circles provide action and fun for all who dare. From one tree to the next, up to 17 meters high, crossing shaky Burma bridges, or swinging on a rope like Tarzan in the jungle: Everybody can meet the ultimate personal challenge. Nonetheless, of course safety is paramount. A new safety system prevents inadvertent un-hooking of both snap hooks simultaneously. The safety system is fool proof, making the installation particularly attractive for families with little children. Six of the circles are suitable for children as young as five years, of course if accompanied by an adult. Typical time en-route, including initial instruction, approximately 2.5 hours.
Team events and incentives: A special offer for corporations, clubs, groups… the so-called team-training. Aimed at boosting team spirit, the outdoor event’s special tasks require the individuals in the group literally to do “team-work”. The events, with or without coach, are geared towards an integrated and solution-oriented way of thinking, emphasizing situational awareness, learning by doing, time management, motivation and implementation of assets available. In addition to challenging climbing tasks other elements may be integrated, e.g. games improving co-operation like building a float.
Opening times: End of March till November – daily, or depending on season Friday through Monday. Special arrangements for groups may be made any time.
Active holidays balance body and soul. Thanks to a great variety of leisure activities guests may “refuel” in a very organized way to regain their strength. Apart from bicycling and hiking, guests are invited to test out activities like a vigorous tennis match, or a relaxing fishing trip, or an exciting ascent in a hot-air-balloon. Afterwards, relaxation and well-being is awarded during a visit in the combined indoor and outdoor pool “Franken Freizeit”
Fishing: Clean waters and idyllic hideaways create perfect conditions for the passionate angler. Anglers’ first choice to go for local trout, pike-perch, eel and carp might very well be Detwang, just outside Rothenburg. Also very popular amongst anglers: The fishing ponds of Windelsbach and Neusitz. Requirements: A valid fishing license and a daily permission slip.
Hot-Air-Ballooning: A quiet travel aloft opens up new perspectives of Rothenburg and picturesque Tauber-Valley. If the weather is fine, the balloons take to the air from Tauberwiesen near Detwang. Once airborne, it is up to the wind to decide the further course of the trip. By the way – those travelling in a hot-air-balloon for the first time will receive the “balloonist baptizing” after landing, to be followed by the “ceremonial balloonists’ ennoblement”.
Golfing: 180 acres waiting for golfers. The 18-hole green around Schönbrunn estate is just a few kilometers away from Rothenburg, landscaped to preserve the nature of surrounding Frankenhöhe. Even in winter time, golf enthusiasts may indulge in their hobby – special winter greens support their ambition. The challenging areal of rolling hills contains several bunkers and water hazards. Beginners may just give it a try and book a day of guided golfing.
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