From fossils and the Roman Limes to Würzburg, Bamberg and Regensburg

Length: approx. 376 km – We recommend two overnight stays.

The route from Messel to Regensburg begins south of Frankfurt and east of Darmstadt, on the eastern shoulder of the Rhine valley. Messel Pit Fossil Site is one of two UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites in Germany. Its beautifully preserved mammal fossils in bituminous shale date back some 47 million years.

On the way from Messel to Würzburg it’s well worth visiting Europe’s longest archaeological monument in central Europe – the Roman Limes. This ancient border wall runs for an impressive 550 kilometres. In Stockstadt, Aschaffenburg and a number of other sites, sections of the Upper-Germanic Roman Limes have been reconstructed to scale and are on display in archaeological parks.

After this brief interlude, you come to the former royal seat of Würzburg. The Prince Bishop’s residence in its gilded baroque splendour provides the main attraction in the town, but that is by no means the extent of Würzburg’s charms.

Also popular are the many wine taverns that follow a long viticultural tradition and provide a fitting environment for the Franconian cuisine.

The route then continues through the Steigerwald Forest nature reserve to Bamberg. The town’s splendid old quarter is so perfectly preserved that it’s like stepping back into medieval times and the Golden Age of the baroque.

The final leg brings you to the 2,000-year-old city of Regensburg, which has more than a touch of mediterranean flair.