Once upon a time, two storytelling brothers called Grimm spent their days writing fairy tales inspired by the German towns and countryside they grew up in. Now, those stories, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty among many others, are known the world over and lovers of them, young and old, will really appreciate this drive.
Known as The Fairy Tale Road, this route takes you on a fantastical tour of the famous places where the stories began. Collect your hire car in Frankfurt and start your journey in nearby Hanau where the Grimm brothers were born. From there, follow the road north to Bergfreheit for your first fairy tale stop at the house of Snow White and if you time your visit to arrive on the second Sunday in any month, you and the family will be able to meet Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in person.
On the way to the next town, you’ll pass through the forests of the Schwalm Region which are said to be the inspiration for the tales of Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. Park up for a while to enjoy a walk and a picnic in these dense woodlands, but get your little ones to keep an eye out for wolves and witches. You could even let them leave a trail of breadcrumbs so you can find your way back to your hire car! Drive beyond the woods and you’ll soon reach the house of Little Red Riding Hood in the forest town of Alsfeld, a place where you’ll feel like you’re walking through an illustration from a fairy tale book. The medieval, wooden framed, wonky houses, narrow alleys, quaint stores and cobbled streets here make it easy to make believe.
One of the last major stops on The Fairy Tale Road is the town of Hamelin, where you can follow the lines of thousands of painted rats along the route of the infamous Pied Piper. They will guide you to various sites around town, including the Pied Piper’s House which has a restaurant (there are no poison apples or rats on the menu) and if you visit between May and September you can catch an open air performance of the story.
Finally, no fairy tale tour would be complete without a castle and on this route, there are two which are well worth a visit. Just an hour and a half from Hamelin is the Trendelburg Castle where Rapunzel famously let down her hair, but for the real fairy tale experience, you can head just a further 15 minutes down the road to stay overnight – not a hundred years like Sleeping Beauty did – at the Sababurg Castle.
Whether you choose to return your hire car to Frankfurt, which is a two hour drive from Sababurg, or return it to a local drop off point is up to you. We can help you make the arrangements to suit your needs but sadly, we don’t hire magic pumpkins or horse-drawn carriages, not since our Fairy Godmother hung up her wand for retirement…