Go on a journey of discovery
Whether fairy tale castles and palaces, picturesque lakes, romantic river courses or villages full of historic timber-framed houses: There is much to discover in the region around Kassel. Look forward to plenty of variety – from a relaxing hiking or cycling trip through the densely forested low mountain landscape of the Mittelgebirge region to a wide variety of arts, cultural and sports offers, the region really has activities to suit all tastes to offer that make every day a day of new adventures!
Romantic fairy tale settings
This is the region where Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel were at home. The countryside that surrounds Kassel is simply fabulous – in more senses than one, because the Grimm brothers once collected the local fables in the region around the capital of the German Fairy Tale Route and wrote them down. They became the fairy tales now so familiar to all children. If you want to feel like you have stepped into a fairy tale, you should take a trip to "Sleeping Beauty castle", the Sababurg. It is located deep in the Reinhardswald forest nature conservation area and invites you to take a fascinating trip into the past. Directly next to the Sababurg is the Tierpark Sababurg wildlife centre, which is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. Things become even more enchanted in the "Urwald Sababurg", a formerly coppiced but long since turned wild part of the Reinhardswald where you get the feeling that you might meet Hansel and Gretel at any moment. Northern Hesse's romantic towns, with their streets lined with rustic half-timbered houses, some of which are hundreds of years old, are just as fairy tale like. Look forward to some magical days in the Grimm Region North Hesse! www.nordhessen.de
Eat and sleep like a prince or princess!
Magnificent palaces, fairy tale castles and magical ruins as far as the eye can see: The Kassel region is famous for its wonderful buildings. Sleep like a royal where the three federal states of Hesse, Lower Saxony and Thuringia meet, for example: Schloss Berlepsch castle was once the residence of a noble family; it is now home to several restaurants and a first-class hotel. One of the region's most important rococo palaces, Schloss Wilhelmsthal, offers you the opportunity to tour not only the private apartments of the landgraves of Hesse and the servants' quarters, but also the huge palace kitchen and the extensive park with its many water features. The 11th century castle Schloss Waldeck affords impressive, breathtaking views across Edersee lake. The castle is situated 120 metres above the lake. You can sleep royally in the castle hotel, and enjoy international specialities in its restaurant.
Habichtswälder Bergland uplands
The Habichtswälder Bergland uplands can be seen from anywhere near Kassel and also from many places in the city – the uplands are a diverse natural and cultural landscape that is also flanked by the UNESCO World Heritage Site Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. A popular day trip destination is Hohe Dörnberg, a low mountain that is 578 metres high and therefore the highest elevation in this natural landscape. With its heath-like countryside, the striking basalt and tuff rock mountain is a perfect place for hikes, walks and summer picnics. On the way, you might spot wild orchids and gentians, and on a clear day, you can even see the far away Thuringian Forest from the plateau on its summit. In good weather, you also can't miss the gliders that take off into the skies from the local gliding centre – the third-oldest in the world.
National Park Kellerwald-Edersee
Whether swimming, sailing or water skiing: The Edersee lake, which is 27 kilometres long and one of Europe's biggest reservoirs, is a super recreation area. It tempts you with numerous attractions such as a tree-top walk, a climbing park, a wildlife centre with bird of prey shows and idyllically situated swimming areas. The lake is surrounded by the National Park Kellerwald-Edersee. A hike through its soft green beech forests is a unique experience. The national park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List in 2011. Children can let off steam on the summer toboggan run or try not to get lost in a maize maze. A cable car carries you up to Schloss Waldeck castle, which affords breathtaking views across the lake. Its restaurant and hotel invite you to linger. The world is turned upside down in the "Tolles Haus", the topsy turvy house, and when the water level is low, you can see the remains of old settlements beneath the lake's surface that are now known as the "Edersee Atlantis".
Thanks to its excellent water quality, the Twistesee is generally considered to be one of Germany's cleanest lakes. International sports events such as triathlons or marathons are regularly held here. A circular route that is seven kilometres long and closed to motorised traffic is the perfect way to explore the lake – either on foot or by bike. In the summer months, the popular swimming area invites you to take a refreshing dip, and things also get busy on the water: Besides yachtsmen and -women and rowers, it is also the perfect place for those with a hankering for speed and action. They can zip across the surface of the water on water skis, towed over 800 metres on a cable – which is also thrilling to watch from the banks of the lake. The Café am See cafe, on the other hand, a futuristic looking circular building on the water, offers quiet and beautiful views.
Airy heights and fast downhill runs
Kassel and northern Hesse have a huge choice of adventure experiences to offer. To gain a first overview, the region is best explored from the bird's eye perspective: The Kassel flying school offers sightseeing flights, and the Aero Fallschirmsport skydiving centre in Calden guaranteed free fall thrills. The Silbersee lake near Frielendorf also has adventures to offer: Here, you can race down a summer toboggan run with tight bends at a breathtaking speed. When you tire of tobogganing, you can conquer the challenging courses at the local climbing park. Or how about playing a round of golf with a frisbee? You can do that here, too!
The "playground for men" in Großalmerode is full of toys for (grown up) boys: A digger, a crane, a roller, a jeep or a tractor – here, men can drive the vehicles they have always dreamt of driving. Off-road tours with a quad or a jeep are also on offer. At the Actionpark Hirschhagen, the focus is on sports: Besides paintballing and laser tagging, you can also turn into a football here. "Bubble soccer" is the latest trend. Each player is inside a large rubber ball. Have you ever played indoor golf? With an extraordinary golf simulator, the indoor golf course in Wanfried makes it possible to play golf in a fun way in any weather. Rattling diggers and smoking power station boilers can be appreciated at the Hessisches Braunkohle Bergbaumuseum mining museum in Borken. Or how about a trip on the Hessencourrier: Travel from Kassel to Naumburg at a leisurely pace in traditional railway carriages pulled by historic locomotives.
Weser-Therme Bad Karlshafen spa
The brine water in the Bad Karlshafen spa baths emerges from its source at a temperature of 46 degrees and supplies the Weser-Therme spa's numerous pools with their wholesome brine. Each pool has a different temperature and salt content. Spa visitors can enjoy their time off from everyday life directly next to the river with views of the Reinhardswald forest. A special treat: Spending a few quiet minutes in a jewel-lined grotto, where minerals such as rock crystals, amethysts and rose quartz create the right ambience in combination with various light sources. The sauna boat on the Weser river, the varied sauna world and the Ottoman hamam also promise pure relaxation. The Weser-Therme facilities are completed by a restaurant and various fitness course and spa treatment offers.
WerratalTherme Bad Sooden-Allendorf spa
No time for a holiday? No problem! The WerratalTherme spa in Bad Sooden-Allendorf provides numerous alternatives for taking some relaxing time out from your stressful everyday life. Spending some time in the Dead Sea salt grotto is like going on a short break holiday, and the sauna world offers relaxation for body and soul – whether in the log cabin, the kelo wood, the herbal or the spiritual sauna, which affords views across the sauna garden with its historic graduation tower through panoramic windows. Numerous indoor and outdoor brine pools invite you to linger, whilst whirlpool loungers and jacuzzis get your circulation going. You can look forward to a "moving" swimming experience in the wave pool, where waves that are up to one metre high give you a refreshing holiday feeling at regular intervals.
A unique cultural heritage landscape
There are many cultural heritage and historic treasures to discover in and around Kassel: Vestiges of the past can be discovered in the Grenzmuseum Schifflersgrund German Border Museum, for example, or on a guided tour of Bad Sooden-Allendorf clad in historic costumes. The ruins of a monastery, the Stiftsruine Bad Hersfeld, serve as the setting for an annual theatre festival with an impressive programme. The open air theatre Waldbühne Niederelsungen is one of the largest amateur open air theatres in Germany. A special highlight every year is the Kultursommer Nordhessen series of events, which turns the whole region into a special kind of "cultural landscape": The plays, concerts and readings held in a wide range of different venues from May to August are bound to include some truly memorable experiences.