Visiting Franconian Switzerland

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Hello,

is it possible to visit Franconian Switzerland by train? Does anyone have any tips, advices on where to go and what to see?

Thanks

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Seeing Frankisches Schweiz was also high on my list... but I couldn't figure out how to get there with public transport. In the end I managed to see it because a German friend finally drove me ;). I know that's not much help, maybe it worth renting a car (maybe with some friends to split the cost) and driving through. Its really beautiful and a car will give you a bit more flexibility.

 

Good luck. Maybe someone else can help.

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Perfectly possible by train. Just takes a relatively long time to go quite short distances You can plan using dbahn.de easily enough. I think you also live in Würzburg right, and that is quite close so your tourist office can no doubt help, probably has maps and so on.

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I've been all over Frannkische-Schweiz and I find the nature pretty good over there. It is also less touristic, peaceful and has some good castles (isolated and good). If you don't have a car, it is hard to discover these places...If you have one or if you are planning to rent a car, here are some of my recommendations:

 

1) Burg Rabenstein

2) Burg Rabeneck

3) Sanspareil (Close to Bayreuth, Bamberg, etc) - This place is remote and feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. In the winter, it looks a bit spooky, cozy, etc.

4) Pottenstein

5) Ebermannstadt

 

There are many other smalltime places, where you can spend your weekends, doing varied outdoor activities (specially, in the summer). For more info, you can check this link: Frankische-Schweiz

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Alex, what is it, you are most interested in? The Fraenkische Schweiz is a treasure for connoisseurs of old fortresses, bizarre rock formations and magnificent caves of former times. Add the tiny villages and you can spend weeks there without any danger of feeling bored.

 

For a starter, you can take the train up the main line from Bamberg to Nuernberg, get out at Forchheim/Ofr., take a smaller train to Ebermannstadt. These trains run every hour or so. Continue with a bus or - on certain days of the year - the steamy Dampfbahn Fraenkische Schweiz to Streitberg, where a first cave (Binghoehle) and two ruins of former fortresses await to be discovered. That ancient steam train - or bus - takes you all the way up the Wiesent valley, right to Beringersmuehle, where you want to take another look around, or continue by bus (all line 389 to Pegnitz), or by foot, to nearby Pottenstein.

 

The Pottensteiner fortress is quite famous, and even more so the magnificent Teufelshoehle there. You want to try one of the many locally brewed beers in that area, too, even if you otherwise prefer to abstain. The dark beer is best, and often the breweries are so small that their products are only served in one or two bars.

 

Continue by bus to nearby Pegnitz, from where the train takes you back to Nuernberg, or reverse course by taking the same bus back to Ebermannstadt and on to Forchheim. I'd put in at least one overnight stay. Enjoy!

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The best way to get around the Fränkische Schweiz is by taking your bike on the train to Ebermannstadt and cycling from there. There are lots of cycle routes all over the region and it's the best way of enjoying the beautiful scenery, and the beer of course.

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I travel a lot through the area with a motorcycle & it's fantastic, so a bicycle would be just as good. I recommend avoiding Sundays as the traffic can be nasty. You have high-tech racing motorcycles along with families & Sonntag fahrers which can make the roads stressful. There's also kyaking on the river there. Outside the town of Aufsess is an interesting brewery named Kathy Brau. It's very popular with bikers, & on weekends you may see upwards of 300 motorcycles, but it's always a friendly crowd, with good food & beer. Highly recommended.

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If you would like to see some pictures of the area:

 

Ruine Neideck: http://ger-seygirl.blogspot.com/2009/11/ruine-neideck.html

Teufelshöhle: http://ger-seygirl.blogspot.com/2009/05/christi-himmelfahrt.html

Die Lillach: http://ger-seygirl.blogspot.com/2010/09/die-lillach-ein-kalktuffbach.html

Egloffstein: http://ger-seygirl.blogspot.com/2010/05/hiking-near-egloffstein.html

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With a combination of trains, buses and feet, you should be able to get where you want to go without a car. If you take the train to Pegnitz, there are buses to Pottenstein and Ebermannstatt. It also looks like there are trains between Nuremberg-Forcheim-Ebermannstatt. Also, there are buses from Bayreuth to some of the villages as well. Everything from Nuremberg to Bayreuth is now under the VGN. If you go to their webpage - www.vgn.de - you can search for routes between cities.

 

I can vouch for what others have said about trekking/hiking between cities, though I don't think my legs could handle cycling those hills! There are trails between most of the villages and signs along the hiking trails to help you along. Just as an example, there are well-established "Bierwanderweg" routes between breweries, which should tell you how easy it is to navigate the area by foot. In a day of trekking/hiking, you should be able to reach 3-4 different village breweries depending on what area you choose to explore.

 

I can't remember now if anyone else has already mentioned this, but the area has its own website - http://www.fraenkische-schweiz.com/ (in German and English) - with lots of helpful information. They even provide brochures for download depending on what your interests are, though I think all of these are in German.

 

The Fränkische Schweiz is absolutely beautiful and well worth the combo of transport it takes to get there. I hope this information has helped!

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I miss my New England Autumns. Any one know of some good kid friendly hikes with color changing folliage in the fränkische schweiz?

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This is a good site for finding hiking routes in Fränkische Schweiz: http://www.kulturerlebnis.info/. You can print a map based on the distance and/or ascent you're looking for.

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