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The Southern Black Forest is the highest part of Germany’s enchanting Black Forest region, a 99-mile long area of evergreen trees, valleys and mountains bounded by the Rhine river. Within the Southern Black Forest is Freiburg im Breisgau, a picturesque medieval university city. The Southern Black Forest and Freiburg im Breisgau are ideal locations for exploring destinations like Offenburg,Basel,Villingen-Schwenningen and Albstadt by hire car.
If you’re arriving via EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg then it’s a 47-mile drive by rental car into Freiburg im Breisgau. En route you could take a detour to visit Mulhouse, a vibrant French university city close to the German border that has a great collection of museums.
here are various hire car providers to suit your budget and preferences, including Enterprise, Alamo and Dollar. Many include winter fees, which is ideal if you’re planning to explore the Southern Black Forest during the snowy season.
With its winding roads, traditional thatched houses and trickling streams, the Southern Black Forest can feel as if you’ve entered the pages of a fairytale. A six-mile drive by hire car from the Black Forest city of Freiburg im Breisgau is Schauinsland, a 1,552-foot mountain and former silver mine. There you can take a ride on the Schauinslandbahn, Germany’s longest cable car, to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the Rhine valley.
The 10th century city of Freiburg im Breisgau is nestled at the foot of the Southern Black Forest and has many attractions for you to enjoy. These include Freiburg Minster cathedral with its sweeping Gothic tower, the German Clock Museum, which has over 8,000 pieces from around the world, and the Augustiner Museum, which is housed in a former monastery. Or you could simply spend the day soaking in the city’s chocolate box prettiness, taking a stroll by the canal and sampling a traditional pastry in a cafe.
Offenburg, Basel, a medieval Swiss city on the Rhine river, is a 44-mile drive away. The city is known for its 12th century Gothic cathedral and its many museums, including the Kunstmuseum Basel, which features art by Holbein, and the Dollhouse Museum, which has a vast collection of toys. It’s also home to the oldest and biggest zoo in Switzerland, Basel Zoo.
The Southern Black Forest is a magical place to explore by hire car as it has many scenic routes. Remember to take care on winding roads and also to keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer. Take particular care when driving through mountainous areas in winter. By law, all cars in Germany must carry reflective jackets, a warning triangle, headlamp beam deflectors and a first aid kit. It’s worth checking with rental car providers to ensure that they include all of these items.
Feeling inspired to explore the Southern Black Forest, Freiburg im Breisgau and the rest of Germany? Check out this City Guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and to research the best attractions and activities.
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