Highlight: The Aartalbahn railway
Experience the beauty of the region for yourself – from a very special perspective: The Aartalbahn railway links the cities of Wiesbaden and Diez, running through the beautiful Aar valley. Since the line was phased out in the 1980s, vintage steam trains run up and down the track, with old locomotives and restored coaches and handcars. A real regional highlight!
The tracks are currently being modernized. The trains are planned to be running again in time for the State Horticultural Show in 2018. Until then, the historical railway stations and sections of the track with the amazing tunnels are well worth a visit in their own right. And even without the steam train moving on it, the Aartalbahn is the longest monument in Hessen.
In addition to the glorious countryside there are various stations along the line that are real eye-catchers – some historical, some modernized on various occasions. So a trip with the old steam train is a bit like travelling back in time, to be precise to the days of the Kaiser and the early 20th century, which was the heyday of the Aartalbahn. Today, the steam and diesel museum trains of the Nassauische Touristikbahn regularly run along the original tracks – from 1 May to 3 October.
Two state capitals are not far from Hofgut Georgenthal and can be easily reached: Mainz is the capital of Rhineland Palatinate and Wiesbaden is Hessen’s capital. Only the River Rhine lies between the two. In Wiesbaden there’s culture, shopping and events to enjoy, or you can visit the Hessen State Parliament.
Rhinos, giraffes, elephants and the like await you at Opel Zoo outside Kronberg. It’s the second-largest zoo in the Rhine-Main region after Frankfurt Zoo. There are guided and themed tours, petting zones for the kids, playgrounds, pony and camel rides – and definitely something for everyone.
With its peak at almost 900 metres, Grosser Feldberg is the highest mountain in the Taunus range and worth a visit if only for the stunning view. In good weather, from the viewing platform 40 metres up you get a view as far as Frankfurt. Incidentally, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was one of the first to take in the view.