This 10-day summer-themed road trip takes you through some of southern Germany's most spectacular natural landscapes and charming towns, with a mix of cultural, culinary, and outdoor activities. Start with a bike tour in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, and then make your way to the lakeside city of Konstanz, the trails of nearby Switzerland, and the forests of Schwarzwald. If that's not enough, you'll explore the Romantic Road and cruise along the Rhine River to complete the adventure.


  • Spend two days swimming and standup paddleboarding in Lake Constance
  • Hike to the impressive Rhine Falls, over the border in Switzerland
  • Explore medieval villages, churches, and castles along the Romantic Road
  • Sample some of Germany's finest wine during a Rhine River cruise

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Munich, City Bike Tour Munich
Day 2 Day Trip to Chiemsee Lake & the Herrenchiemsee Palace Munich
Day 3 Drive to Konstanz, Free Time Konstanz
Day 4 Standup Paddleboarding Tour on Lake Constance Konstanz
Day 5 Hike to the Rhine Falls in Switzerland, Drive to the Black Forest Black Forest
Day 6 Guided Tour of the Black Forest Black Forest
Day 7 Drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Private Walking Tour Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Day 8 Self-Guided Tour Along the Romantic Road Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Day 9 Rhine River Cruise, Drive to Frankfurt Frankfurt
Day 10 Depart Frankfurt  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Munich, City Bike Tour

Follow your guide through Munich's historic streets and plazas

Welcome to Munich, the capital of Germany's southern state of Bavaria! The city offers a blend of traditional and modern culture, grand architecture, and a thriving food and beer scene. After you've been transferred to your hotel and have had some time to rest, get your lay of the land on a fun bike tour.

On this leisurely ride, your guide will provide insights into the city's turbulent past, including the origins of the Nazi party and their resistance, while showcasing the best of Munich's highlights. This tour is perfect for history buffs and casual sightseers alike who want to explore Munich in a fun and engaging way. Cycle through the famous English Garden, a sprawling green space that offers a relaxing escape from the bustling city streets. Your tour includes a stop at one of Munich's most traditional beer gardens, where you sip while learning more about Munich's beer history.

Day 2: Day Trip to Chiemsee Lake & the Herrenchiemsee Palace

Versailles inspired Herrenchiemsee Palace in France

After a good night's sleep, you'll embark on a day trip to see the natural landscapes surrounding Munich. Take an excursion to Chiemsee Lake, southeast of Munich, where you'll explore the enchanting Herrenchiemsee Palace on Herreninsel Island. To get there, you'll first begin with a scenic drive through the Bavarian countryside, then board a boat to Herreninsel and tour the opulent palace. Commissioned by King Ludwig II in 1878, this palace was intended to rival the grandeur of Versailles in France. Still, its construction was incomplete following the king's untimely death at 40. 

You can also opt to continue to Fraueninsel, or "Women's Island," where you can sample local cuisine, browse craft shops, admire the 8th-century Benedictine convent with a striking Gothic bell tower, and take in the charming traditional domestic architecture.

Day 3: Drive to Konstanz, Free Time

Spend a leisurely day on Lake Constance

Travel farther west today to Konstanz, a city on the western shore of large Lake Constance, a lake that sits on the borders of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The lake is the second-largest in Western and Central Europe (after Lake Geneva), and there are plenty of cultural attractions and outdoor activities, like hiking, swimming, and boating, to keep you occupied here.

After you've arrived at your hotel, take some time to explore Konstanz at your own pace. Perhaps you want to start your self-guided tour at one of the town's spectacular landmarks, the RheinTorterm, a magnificent tower overlooking the lake. Either way, you'll want to spend some time in the town's ancient center, Niederburg, and the market, Konstanzer Marktstätte, with its metal sculptures of a massive horse, women, rabbits, and birds. It's a great place to sit at a café, relax, and people-watch.

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Day 4: Standup Paddleboarding Tour on Lake Constance

Find your balance while standup paddleboarding on Lake Constance.

Get out onto the water today on a two-hour standup paddleboarding tour of Lake Constance. Admire the views of the snowcapped Swiss Alps in one direction and the colorful old architecture of the town, lined up along the lakefront, in the other. Standup paddleboarding is a fun way to admire the views and be immersed in nature while getting some physical exercise. Standup paddleboarding yoga lessons are also available if you want to challenge yourself.

Day 5: Hike to the Rhine Falls in Switzerland, Drive to the Black Forest

Hike to the vast and impressive Rhine Falls in Switzerland

In Konstanz, you're very close to the Swiss border, and you'll cross it today on a trip to the impressive Rhine Falls in northeastern Switzerland. Hike a circular route in the center of Schaffhausen, a Swiss town on the upper Rhine River. Follow a well-marked footpath that runs along the banks of the river. You'll reach the wide waterfalls in just over an hour, then return to the city along the opposite bank for different views. Before taking the return trip, however, you can take a boat tour or visit Schloss Laufen for up-close views of the falls.

The hiking route is about 6 miles (10 km) and can be covered in about 2.5 hours (not including visiting the waterfalls or stopping to enjoy the views or have a meal). Several dining options are available along the route, such as at Schlössli Wörth on the north side, or there are benches and picnic areas along the river. After the hike, you'll transfer to your accommodation in the Black Forest.

Day 6: Guided Tour of the Black Forest

Spend the day driving around the pristine Black Forest

Today you'll take a tour of the legendary Black Forest, a densely forested area in the southwest corner of Baden-Württemberg that stretches west to the Rhine River and south into the alpine foothills of Switzerland. Your journey begins with an easy hike, where your guide will point out this ancient woodland's local flora and fauna.

Next, visit some of the charming villages in the Black Forest region, where you'll have the opportunity to see local craftspeople and artisans at work. Observe traditional practices such as cuckoo-clock making and woodcarving, and learn why these crafts have become emblematic of the region. You'll also have the chance to sample authentic regional cuisine, including the famous Black Forest gâteau—a rich, chocolaty cake layered with cherries and whipped cream. Toward the end of your tour, you'll have a chance to take photos of a glacial lake called Lake Titisee.

Day 7: Drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Private Walking Tour

Explore the medieval streets of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Continue the road trip and make your way to the enchanting medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber for a private walking tour. Your first stop will be the Medieval Crime Museum, where you'll delve into the fascinating world of ancient law enforcement and punishment. 

Next, your guide will take you to the bustling heart of the town: Flat Square. This picturesque plaza is lined with the town's colorful half-timbered buildings and is an excellent spot to soak in the charming atmosphere. Admire the magnificent Rothenburg Town Hall, a stunning example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, and marvel at the impressive town walls that have survived the centuries. Your final destination will be the awe-inspiring Church of St. James, an architectural gem that houses an intricate wood-carved altar and the famous Holy Blood Altarpiece.

Day 8: Self-Guided Tour Along the Romantic Road

Visit quaint villages along the Romantic Road, such as Nördlingen

Today you can take a self-guided tour along Germany's Romantic Road. An excellent place to begin your adventure is Schillingsfürst, a quaint town amid rolling hills and verdant countryside. Here you can explore the Schillingsfürst Castle, a magnificent Baroque palace known for its exquisite architecture and art collections. Then stroll through the town, admiring the half-timbered houses and traditional Bavarian architecture. You can also visit the Franconian Open-Air Museum, which showcases rural life in the region through historic buildings, traditional crafts, and cultural exhibits. 

Continue south toward the medieval town of Feuchtwangen. Here you can visit the Feuchtwangen Imperial City Museum, housed in a former Dominican convent, to learn about the town's rich history and its significance as an imperial city during the Middle Ages. This is an excellent place to stop for lunch at one of Feuchtwangen's traditional Bavarian restaurants.

Your next stop is the town of Dinkelsbühl, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Visit St. George's Minster, an impressive Gothic church, and climb its tower for panoramic views of Dinkelsbühl and the surrounding countryside. Finally, head to Nördlingen and visit St. George's Church, a stunning Gothic masterpiece. Marvel at its intricate details and impressive interior before stopping for dinner at one of Nördlingen's cozy restaurants.

Day 9: Rhine River Cruise, Drive to Frankfurt

Take a scenic cruise on the Rhine River

Today you'll relax on board a cruise through the Rhine Valley, taking in several UNESCO-listed wonders. Sail along the Rhine River on a traditional steamer and cruise past sweeping vineyards, medieval towns, and mountaintop castles. Jump off to explore historic Rudesheim (known for its riesling wines), see the landmark Loreley Rock (a slate rock depicting the mythical siren Loreley of local legend), and indulge in some wine tasting. Then enjoy a delicious meal by the riverside before driving to Frankfurt, your final destination on this tour.

Day 10: Depart Frankfurt

Until next time, Frankfurt!

The day has come to say goodbye to Southern Germany! Depending on your departure, you might want to stroll through Frankfurt's Old Town or visit the Museum Embankment, a strip of museums alongside the Main River. At the appropriate time, drive to the airport and return your rental car. Safe travels!

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Map of Ultimate Summer Road Trip in Southern Germany - 10 Days
Map of Ultimate Summer Road Trip in Southern Germany - 10 Days