On its southeastern side, the Swabian Alb tends to fall away more gradually than in the west, but in many places the Danube has cut a tremendous gorge through the rock, producing steep cliffs and spectacular scenery, particularly in the Upper Danube Valley. Much of this is protected as the Naturpark Obere Donau, which is centred on this forested and steep-sided limestone valley and is particularly colourful in both spring, when wildflowers bloom, and during its magnificent autumn foliage: all best appreciated on hikes that head up to the many viewpoints above the valley.

With a railway along much of its length, the region is very accessible for day-trips from Ulm. However, this very quiet region also has plenty of inexpensive accommodation, encouraging longer exploration, particularly by bike following the Donauradweg (Danube cycle path) that begins at the source of the Danube in the unassuming provincial town of Donaueschingen and follows the Danube for 199km to Ulm. There’s plenty of smaller wildlife along the route to watch, particularly on the marshy right bank of the Danube between Ehingen and Ulm, which teems with waterfowl.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Going underground in Hamburg: 6 ways to see the city's alternative side

Going underground in Hamburg: 6 ways to see the city's alternative side

Hamburg is perpetually on the brink of falling out with itself. On the one hand, it’s a city of convention and millionaires – Hamburg has the highest concen…

18 Jul 2017 • Neil McQuillian insert_drive_file Article
An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Berlin

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Berlin

Of all Europe’s capitals, Berlin carries the biggest buzz. In the two decades or so since it was reunified, the city has developed into a heady meld of grit a…

04 Apr 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month