Tailor Made Fairy Tale Castles Holidays
Out of all of Europe, Germany boasts the most impressive selection of castles, these magnificent structures widely considered to be the nation’s crown jewels.
Their structures range in periods of time from medieval castles to more contemporary structures. Boasting more than 20,000 castles, visit these historic landmarks to marvel at the enchanting architecture and browse through fascinating artefacts, antiques and artwork in their interior.
German castles have been the source of great inspiration over the centuries; the Brothers’ Grimm centred almost all of their fairy tales in Germany and Walt Disney even used one as a model for the development of Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland.
This prevalence of their appearance in the media and influence on fairy tales is why they have earnt the name “fairytale castles.”
Plan Your Perfect Bespoke Holiday
Travel without Borders can create a tailor made holiday which allows you to see these sights. We are experts in German tourism and are able to design the perfect bespoke holiday stopping at some or all of these destinations, with a number of different stops integrated along the way. Whatever you want on your holiday, we can sort out all the accommodation and transport to make it possible. Get in touch today.
Southern Bavaria Castles- King Ludwig’s Castles
There were a number of castles across Southern Bavaria built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the tragically romantic recluse, mad fairy tale king of Bavaria. He used his personal fortune to fund the construction of a series of elaborate castles.
The inspiration from the castles came from when, he visited Eugène Viollet-le-Duc's work at Pierrefonds, and the Palace of Versailles in France in 1867. Ludwig marvelled at how the French had magnificently built up and glorified their culture (e.g. architecture, art, and music) and how miserably lacking Bavaria was in comparison. It became his dream to accomplish the same for Bavaria and these structures largely influenced the style of his construction.
- Neuschwanstein Castle: It is probably the most pictured castle in the world and it appears in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang amongst other famous films. It is located in the German village of Hohenschwangau near the town of Füssen in southwestern Bavaria, Germany, very close to the border with Austria
- Hohenschwangau Castle: is also located in Hohenschwangau
- Linderhof Palace: located in Ettal about an hour’s drive from these two castles
- Herrenchiemsee Palace: is located on an island on Lake Chiemsee. This is great to visit whilst enjoying a lakeside holiday in the Chiemgau region. If on a fly-drive holiday to southern Bavaria you could add a night or two in Munich and visit one of the famous residences, palaces and gardens of Munich:
- Nymphenburg Palace, Munich: can be incorporated into most Bavarian holidays if a little time is spent in Munich.
Black Forest Region Castles
The Black Forest is a mountainous region in southwest Germany, bordering France. The forest is one of the most famous and visited areas of Germany, making it the prime spot to visit the Fairytale Castles in the region when visiting.
Known for its dense, evergreen forests and picturesque villages, it is often associated with the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. As many of their tales were influenced heavily by these castles, there are a number of impressive castles located in this region.
Stop off at these castles to truly get a feel for traditional German culture and fantasy.
- Hohenzollern Castle: situated approximately 1 hour from the city of Stuttgart and 30 minutes from the charming university town of Tübingen. Alternatively, this castle can be reached for a day’s excursion if you are staying in the town of Triberg and exploring the southern Black Forest.
- Lichtenstein Castle: also private property, as the Castle above, also approximately 1 hour from Stuttgart and 40 minutes from Tübingen. You could combine visiting Lichtenstein Castle and Hohenzollern Castle, as there is only 25 miles distance between the two castles.
Rhine Valley Region Castles
Due to the strategic advantages of the River Rhine and the valley itself, a number of impressive castles were built in this region. With a few exceptions, the castles in the Middle Rhine Valley were constructed between the 12th century and the first half of the 14th century.
They were usually built on the middle terraces that were created during the formation of the valley. The castles served as a means to secure territory of a divided Germany.
Castles were also built outside cities to keep the aspirations to freedom of the city dwellers in check, making these a truly elite centre for Germany.
- Marksburg Castle: the only hilltop castle along the Rhine which has never been destroyed. Located well for those taking a holiday in the Rhine whether staying in the towns of Boppard or Rüdesheim and less than 10 miles from Koblenz.
Moselle Valley Region Castles
The Castles on the Mosel River (also known as the Moselle River) are a special treat for visitors to Germany.
This beautiful river is a tributary of the Rhine River, running from the Lorraine Region of France, along the border of Luxembourg, and then into Germany, meeting the Rhine at Koblenz.
The Moselle River Valley is dotted with castles, beautiful vineyards and medieval villages. This region is known worldwide for its white wine, especially the Riesling.
With vineyards and castles on each side of the road, this is undoubtedly one of the most romantic areas of Germany, making it the perfect driving holiday.
Over the course of the past 800 years, the Mosel River Valley changed hands from German to French multiple times.
Wars were fought, Knights were granted land, and castles were built, making these physical structures reminders of a turbulent period of history.
- Eltz Castle: should not be missed if you are taking a holiday in the Moselle Valley. Can be reached by car from places like Bernkastel and Zell-Mosel in approximately 1 hour or so.
- Cochem Castle: situated in the popular tourist town of Cochem, which is only about 30 minutes’ drive from Eltz Castle.
Northern Germany Castles
As Germany has been such a turbulent country, existing as different fragments in various points in history, these castles are distinct from the other regions of Germany.
Interestingly, Northern Germany as a region is not precisely or consistently defined. This means that Castles that have previously been defined as Northern Germany may now be included in other regions.
None the less, this region contains beautiful sights and castles.
- Glücksburg Castle: situated at Germany’s most northern point near the Danish border. This can be combined with a tailor-made tour of the seafaring towns of Germany, such as Flensburg, less than 20 minutes from the castle and Kiel on the Baltic coast.
Eastern Germany Castles
Another region defined by the changing politics of history is Eastern Germany.
Formerly its own state before becoming part of the Germany we now know, it also has a number of unique castles to the region defined by its own history.
This rich history provides one of the most interesting backdrops to these Castles. It allows them to be truly unique and distinct and make a must see for any holiday that focuses on the Fairytale Castles.
See the list of castles below to help decide where which you want to see on your tailor made Fairytale Castles holiday.
- Schwerin Castle: although Schwerin is itself in the Eastern part of Germany and makes a great excursion from Rostock on the Baltic Coast, it can also easily be reached from Lübeck, situated west of Schwerin.
- Albrechtsburg Meissen: this castle in the famous pottery town of Meissen is an easy excursion by rail or car from the wonderful city of Dresden.
- Wernigerode Castle: situated in one of the Harz Mountains (which straddles both the former east and west Germany) prettiest towns. Even if you are going to the Harz Mountains for the famous steam railways or for rambling, we recommend a trip to Wernigerode Castle