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June 2007

Swabian Bath Road

Bavarian travel guides devote paragraphs to praising the beauty of the Romantic Road, and though it is gorgeous, it isn’t the only scenic drive for those in search of cultural day trips. The Swabian Bath Road stretches through 180 km of beautiful meadows, woods, and valleys between Bad Wörishofen and Überlingen. Along the way, some of Germany’s most famous spa towns lie in wait for your discovery: Bad Wörishofen, Bad Grönenbach, Bad Wurzach, Bad Waldsee, Auldendorf, Bad Schussenried, Bad Buchau, Bad Saulgau, and Überlingen on Bodensee. Each is home, of course, to hot springs, health centers, and a plethora of steam rooms and Roman baths. Visitors might be surprised to find, however, that the cities feature other attractions that have nothing to do with water. Bad Wörishofen, to start, is home to one of Germany’s most fantastically manicured parks. Even those familiar with the English Garden or Nymphenburg grounds will be impressed by the wealth of flora here. There’s also a huge herb garden where visitors can learn about the history of healing herbs through the past few centuries. Further south in Bad Buchau, the historical attractions focus on the past few millenia: Twelve reconstructed Stone Age huts give a glimpse of what life was like in the early days of the Federsee. Bad Buchau is also home to a large Nordic Fitness Park where trainers can introduce initiates to the cultish Bavarian sport of Nordic walking. Sport fans should also make a stop in Bad Waldsee, which is home to the largest golf course in southern Germany: an astounding 45 holes. Its lake location is breathtaking, as are its restored buildings from the Middle Ages and the height of the Baroque. Many more restored homes, gorgeous cathedrals, and imposing castles dot the remainder of the route, simply waiting to be explored. A map—in German, but easy to follow—is available at

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