Germany // The Black Forest //

The Southern Black Forest

South of Freiburg the Southern Black Forest gradually rises into a series of rounded and densely forested mountains that begins with the Schauinsland peak and includes the ski resorts of Todtnau and the Feldberg, the highest peak in the area. Only smaller settlements dot their slopes or huddle at the valley bottoms. The more densely wooded hills just south of here are also thinly populated, with the modest lakeside resort towns of Titisee, Schluchsee and small spa resort of St Blasien among the few exceptions. To the east of the area on the fringes of the Black Forest lies the Wutachschlucht, a deep overgrown gorge that’s popular for hiking; while to the west, where the land flattens around the Rhine and the French border, the prim spa-town of Badenweiler is a draw, as is the idyllic cluster of vineyard-draped hills called the Kaiserstuhl, sticking out in what’s an otherwise clear run up to the impressive Vosges mountains on the horizon.