The Spessart-Main-Odenwald Region in Bavaria

Aschaffenburg, Schloss Mespelbrunn, Miltenberg, Amorbach, Wertheim

Top sights in the Bavarian Spessart-Main-Odenwald Region of Germany include Aschaffenburg, Schloss Mespelbrunn, Miltenberg, Amorbach, and Wertheim.

Schloss Mespelbrunn Castle
Renaissance Schloss Johannesburg in Aschaffenburg

The German Spessart-Main-Odenwald region is in the far northwest of Bavaria and borders similarly named areas in the state of Hessen. In contrast to most other parts of Franken (Franconia) that have traditionally been governed by the bishops of W├╝rzburg and Bamberg, most of this area was under the control of the very powerful archbishop of Mainz. He used much of the Spessart as his private hunting ground and as a result, the area has been sparsely populated.

Even today, the area has a relatively low population density despite its central location close to the geographical center of Germany. The only large town in the area is Aschaffenburg (70,000 inhabitants).

Two hundred years after the Spessart became Bavarian during the Napoleonic wars, the local accent is still more Hessian than Bavarian. It should not be too surprising, as Aschaffenburg is only half an hour’s drive from Frankfurt am Main and many locals commute daily to work in the Main metropolis.

Top Sights in the Spessart-Main-Odenwald Region in Bavaria

Top sights in the Spessart-Main-Odenwald region include:

  • Aschaffenburg has an impressive Renaissance palace with an excellent art collection, a Pompeian villa, and an impressive church.
  • Schloss Mespelbrunn is an impossibly romantic, tiny moated castle.
  • Amorbach has striking Baroque sights.
  • Miltenberg has some of the finest half-timbered buildings in Bavaria.
  • Wertheim has a lovely location at the confluence of the Tauber and the Main Rivers but is increasingly famous as a destination for factory outlet shopping.

Visitors can take advantage of the lovely nature and the Main River to enjoy numerous outdoor adventures including hiking, cycling, kayaking, and wine festivals. The Spessart has many pleasant restaurants and hotels with prices far lower than in nearby larger cities.

Tourist Information Office

Tourist-Information Spessart-Main-Odenwald, Bayernstra├če 18, 63739 Aschaffenburg, Tel 06021-394-271.

Transportation to Major Spessart Towns in Germany

By Train and Bus to the Spessart in Bavaria

Aschaffenburg and W├╝rzburg are major stops on the fast ICE (Inter-City Express) and IC (Inter-City) trains. ICE trains from Frankfurt take half an hour to Aschaffenburg and local trains 45 minutes – several trains per hour.

From Aschaffenburg at least hourly trains connects to Miltenberg (35 to 50 minutes) with at least hourly connections onwards to Wertheim by rail or bus (35 to 55 minutes). Hourly trains and bus 84 connect Miltenberg and Amorbach (15 to 20 minutes). Bus 8070 connects Wertheim and W├╝rzburg in just over an hour.

All German public transportation timetables can be seen and many rail tickets bought from www.bahn.de (German Railways) website. The Bayern Ticket is a great savings option when traveling on local trains in Bavaria only. (If traveling from Frankfurt, buy a ticket to the first station inside Bavaria and then use the Bavaria Ticket from there onward.)

By Car to the Spessart in Bavaria

The area is easily explored by car. Roads are in good condition and well signposted. The A3 from Frankfurt to W├╝rzburg and beyond allow for blisteringly fast traveling.

However, to appreciate the beauty of the area it is necessary to get off the autobahns and onto smaller country roads. In addition to the roads through the forested hills are scenic roads next to the curving Main River.

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Originally published on August 11, 2007.