German-grown hops are well known all around the world. However, few people are aware that hop growing regions in Germany are also popular tourist destinations for beer enthusiasts and families alike. Here are some sightseeing highlights to whet your appetite for a visit to the beautiful and pure environment where German hops originate.
Hallertau is a region in Bavaria, Germany. It is roughly 178 km² in size and consists of a number of villages and small towns, such as Neustadt upon Donau, Pfaffenhofen and Wolnzach. It is regarded as the largest continuous hop-growing area in the world.
But this picturesque area in southern Germany is not only famous for growing hops. Tourists flock to the region to enjoy the many sightseeing spots and nature preserves. Tourism is an important part of the economy and many towns feature hotels in every price category. Besides the historic churches and open-air markets, many culinary delights of Bavaria are waiting to be discovered by curious travelers from around the world. Many places also have museums to educate visitors about local history. Wolnzach for example has a famous hop museum that displays how hops have been cultivated starting in the 16th century AD.
Other hop growing regions are also worth a visit. In Spalt, located in the center of Bavaria, visitors can discover historical half-timbered houses that date back to the 14th and 15th century AD. It is the town of Spalt the entire region is named after – and it is more than 1200 years old.
Tettnang, a small town in the southwest of Germany near Lake Constance, offers visitors three castles that once were home to various gentry from the region and are now open to the public. For beer lovers, there is a fun outdoor hops path. Hikers and bikers can follow the path to enjoy the great alpine outdoors and at the same time learn about how hops are cultivated and made into delicious beer.
The Elbe-Saale hop growing region is definitely worth a visit. It is located in the east of Germany. The region covers three German states: Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Besides visiting hop fields in each of these areas, the three state capitals, each with a history of more than 1000 years, offer excellent photo opportunities and interesting sightseeing spots. Thus, if you happen to be in Germany, make sure you stop by Erfurt, Dresden and Magdeburg to tour authentic wood-frame houses, churches and castles dating back many centuries.