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Fjords, Castles and Fairy Grottoes

The Saale will lead you through extremely varied scenery into the heart of central Germany. As it leaves the Rennsteig, a hikers´ paradise in the Thuringian forest, the Saale has pale beaches which mark the edges of its charming riverbank meadows, canyons with steep walls of chalk and green vineyards. This is a land of castles and historic towns where you will come across traces of Goethe and Schiller, Novalis, Bach and Napoleon.
The fascinating "fairy grottoes" in Saalfeld are not to be missed. The region around the theatre- and festival resort of Rudolstadt has been named "Rudolstadt Riviera" by watersports enthusiasts.

All about the "Tuscany of the East"

In the old university city of Jena, a lot of culture awaits you: Schiller´s Garden House and a Goethe memorial site. But also the Zeiss Planetarium, the Botanical Gardens and the Dornburg Castles are worth a visit. Another excursion would be to Weimar, Erfurt, Gotha or Eisenach as they are not far from Jena along the Classics Route. In Naumburg, with the famous cathedral towering above, or in the Residenz town of Weissenfels, you can taste the delicious wine that is thriving on the sunny slopes along the Rivers Saale, Unstrut and Ilm, a region that is called "Tuscany of the East" by its inhabitants. But the Unstrut is not only famous for its exquisite wines, it is also home to proud castles, which invite you to go sight-seeing. The many-towered cathedral-palace-ensemble in Merseburg (see picture above) catches your eye from far away, the cathedral is also an important building on the Romanesque Route.

Before the Saale flows into the River Elbe, it will introduce you to Halle, another cultural gem and the city where the great composer Händel was inspired to compose the famous "Water Music".