Darmstadt is the city of Art Nouveau, and the Mathildenhöhe was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021, which is not surprising since you will find many Art Nouveau treasures there. The Orthodox Church, which Tsar Nicholas II of Russia commissioned in the homeland of his wife, Tsarina Alexandra, is another showpiece on Mathildenhöhe.
Also unique is the Wedding Tower, which is known as Darmstadt's landmark and can be seen from afar. Due to its distinctive shape with five arches, it is also called the "five-finger tower". Completed in 1908, the tower was designed by architect Joseph Maria Olbrich as a memorial to the wedding of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig.
This is where Germany begins to become Italy. Emperor Josef II said this about the Hessische Bergstrasse, the wine growing region between Darmstadt and Heidelberg.
The vines thrive particularly well in the mild climate; the good soil and the many steep slopes are also beneficial. The origins of wine growing in this region go back to Roman times, and it was first mentioned in the Lorsch Codex in the eighth century.
The Bergstrasse offers many hiking and cycling trails along a paradisiacal landscape.
More than 3,000 hectares of vineyards await you in the Rheingau, making it one of the most important wine growing regions in Germany, where the Riesling grape variety is predominantly cultivated. With its mild climate, the Rheingau lies in the rain shadow of the forested heights and consists mainly of south-facing slopes exposed to direct sunlight.
There are numerous wineries to visit in the Rheingau, with their Straußenwirtschaften, vinotheques and tasting stands. But it is not only the wine that makes this region interesting, as numerous castles and palaces also invite you to visit.
Taunus – Feldberg
The Taunus is a German low mountain range located in both Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate and is a popular destination for excursions. Settlement in the Taunus began as early as the Neolithic Age. Later, the Celts lived in the Taunus. Ringwalls on the Altkönig from 400 BC and burial mounds bear witness to this, as do the remains of one of the four largest Celtic cities in Europe.
Another highlight of the Taunus is the Limes, which was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2005. The highest elevation in the Taunus Nature Park is the Großer Feldberg with its 881 metres. The landmark of the mountain is the telecommunications tower, which was built in 1937.
Miltenberg – Seligenstadt – Aschaffenburg
Ideal for a day trip is a visit to the three cities with their historical centres.
Visit Aschaffenburg Castle, which served as the second residence of the archbishops and electors of Mainz until 1803. Also worth mentioning are the seven parks – above all, Schönbusch Park, which is laid out in the English-garden style and enchants with the little castle of the same name.
The tour continues to Seligenstadt. In the old town, you can stroll past numerous half-timbered houses and admire the Einhard Basilica of St. Marcellinus and Petrus, Seligenstadt's most important building. Here, you will find the relics of Saints Marcellinus and Petrus. The gardens of the former Benedictine monastery are beautiful to look at.
Between Spessart and Odenwald lies the district town of Miltenberg. Here, you can stroll through the historic old town and visit the castle and its museum. As a small tip, make a detour to the Engelberg monastery afterwards and enjoy the hospitality in the restaurant there.
Wiesbaden is the capital of Hesse and captivates with its special flair. Try your luck at the casino, wander through the spa gardens and sample the natural thermal water, the taste of which takes some getting used to.
Marvel at the red neo-Gothic market church and stroll to the neoclassical city palace. This is where the Hessian parliament meets. A ride on the Nerobergbahn to the Neroberg is something special. The funicular still uses water ballast to move. Once you are at the top of the mountain, a breath-taking view of the city awaits you."