Short Trips and Excursions
Along the rivers Danube, Naab, Regen and Altmühl, an enchanting landscape surrounds the city of Regensburg. And it's only a short drive to get to the Bavarian Forest. Plenty of destinations for short (and longer) trips, walks and expeditions! There will be something for every kind of taste and interest, be it nature or history, art, culture, sports or culinary experiences you're looking for.
The Naab Valley
Sitting in an idyllic spot on the shore of the river Naab, Kallmünz is a picturesque small town at the foot of a mountain. An imposing ruin of a castle stands guard on the top of the hill, where you can enjoy fantastic views across the river valley. It’s a very arty town with small galleries, workshops and craft makers on every corner.
Dinner and a drink in "Bürstenbinder", the smallest pub of Upper Palatinate, is a very special experience. Home-brewed and excellent Zoigl beer (a local speciality), regional simple food and a chat with the locals in a historic pub that resembles somebody’s sitting room – does it get any better than this?
There are several other restaurants and pubs and a fascinating “beer garden on the rock” to keep visitors happy, fed and coming back for more.
Every summer for one weekend only, the town is transformed into one big party for the SummerFest. Live bands, food and craft stalls and an unbeatable atmosphere with some sunshine thrown it make this an extra-special, colourful event.
For more information and photos go to www.kallmuenz.de
Pielenhofen and Penk
Two picturesque small villages sit between the hills and the river Naab: Penk and Pielenhofen.
The monastery in Pielenhofen with its splendid Baroque church is a place of cultural importance and local interest. For many years, the monastery buildings have been used as a school by the Domspatzen choir. After a small sightseeing tour and a walk along the scenic river bank, excellent food and drink can be had in the “Klosterschänke”, a pub/restaurant attached to the monastery. On weekend nights, there are also gigs and cabaret-style events, attended by locals and tourists alike.
Further downriver in Penk, visitors can hire a canoe and venture out on the calm waters of the Naab. The river is safe here even for complete beginners, so it's the perfect chance to observe the scenery and wildlife from a different perspective.
In summer, there are plenty of nice spots along that stretch of the river to just jump in and enjoy a swim.
Along the River Danube
Weltenburg and the Danube Aperture
From Kehlheim, approx. 25 kms to the South of Regensburg, you can take a boat trip down the Danube and through the famous Danube Aperture to Weltenburg. There on an island in the river is the the old Benedictine monastery, with its own brewery and Baroque church dedicated to St. George. After a walk-about on the island, visitors can enjoy great Bavarian cooking and the world-famous beer in the lovely courtyard beer garden.
The scenery of the Danube Aperture is romantic, to say the least. Picturesque rock formations, forest and lots of wildlife to observe make for an interesting journey with never a dull moment. Commentary on the boat is bilingual. The ships run throughout the summer season (April – October) several times daily.
For more information and pictures go to www.klosterschenke-weltenburg.de
Walhalla and Donaustauf Castle
The Walhalla, the hall of fame built by the court architect of Louis I of Bavaria, lies on a hill above the small town of Donaustauf, East of Regensburg. A fine example of neo-classicism architecture, it dates from the 19th century and contains marble busts of famous German-speaking artists, scientists and political personages. Here you meet a lot of well-known faces from Goethe to Einstein ... as the joke goes, in order to get your monument in the Walhalla you have to be German, famous and dead! And best of all, in summer the wide steps in front of the building are the perfect spot for a picnic with a marvellous view out across the Danube valley.
Another attraction in Donaustauf are the well-preserved ruins of the castle. From up there, again you can enjoy a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside. The special atmosphere of the castle ruins, and the detailed historical explanations provided, turn this trip into a memorable one, not just for amateur historians.
The name Mariaort derives from the from the tip of the island (‘ort’, meaning place) where the Naab runs into the Danube. The Baroque church, an old prilgrims’ shrine dedicated to St. Mary, makes up the first half of the name. Easily accessible on a well-kept cycle path from Regensburg, you will discover a wonderful spot for a dip in the river as well as a restaurant with beer garden and excellent Bavarian food. For fans of rollerblading, this is an easy track and just right for a sunny afternoon. On the footpaths along the Danube one can observe ducks, swans and grey herons from close up.
In the Valley of the River Altmühl
Riedenburg and Rosenburg Castle
Riedenburg, a well-known spa and health resort, is located within the nature reserve of the Altmühl valley. A striking feature up above the town is the castle, Rosenburg. The lovely downtown area, the castle and the unique scenery of the Altmühl valley make Riedenburg a popular tourist destination.
The Rosenburg is a special attraction. Built in the 13th century, today it accommodates a breeding station for birds of prey. You will find yourself face to face with owls, falcons, vultures and eagles that show off their beauty in daily flying demonstrations.
Other destinations in the Altmühl valley well worth a visit include the castle of Prunn, the old wooden bridge at Essing (with a very comfortable pub), the crystal museum and, famously, the limestone cave Schulerloch with its population of bats. Throughout the summer, there is a series of ‘cave concerts’ with special lighting and classical music performances.
For more information and pictures, go to any of these sites:
Along the River Regen
From the town of Roding onwards, the river Regen flows through a wide valley which separates the Falkenstein forest from the Bodenwöhr dip. After it passes Stefling village, the valley narrows and takes a sharp turn South at Marienthal. Here we have one of the most romantic beer gardens in the area. On towards Hirschling steep slopes line the river on both sides. From Hirschling on to Regensburg the valley widens again. The Regen valley boasts a sheltered climate that houses a variety of warmth-loving plants. The sun traps on the slopes along the river are covered with dry grassland and pine forest. Around Stefling castle and the ruined castle of Stockenfels, there are dense and dark forests. Ideal walking country, and canoe trips on the river make for an interesting change of perspective.
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