Hunsrück is a low mountain range in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is surrounded by the river valleys of the Moselle (north), Rhine (east), Nahe (south) and Saar (west). The landscape is mostly affected by farming and forestry.
The Hunsrück area is only populated sparsely. Notable cities are Simmern, Kirchberg (the oldest city of the region, with a historical market place), Kastellaun (with a beautiful castle ruin in its center and host of one of Europes biggest electronic music events (Nature One)), Idar-Oberstein (capital of the German jewelry industry) and Morbach and the small town of Hahn the location of Frankfurt-Hahn airport.
The Hunsrück is a low mountain range in Rhineland-Palatinate. It is bounded by the river valleys of the Moselle (north), the Nahe (south), and the Rhine (east). The Hunsrück is continued by the Taunus mountains on the eastern side of the Middle Rhine Valley. In the north behind the Moselle it is continued by the Eifel. To the south of the Nahe, the Palatinate is to be found. Characteristic for the region are its small villages with their mostly lovely inhabitants. The Hunsrigger, as locals refer to themselves, are defined by an old dictionary as thieving and sneaking people. This definition might originate from the talent people showed when selling their cattle on the local markets, but doesn't reflects today's self-understanding. Actually most people don't work anymore in agriculture. People are open, friendly and hostile. Villages show a great sense of togetherness, what also might show in local rivalry with neighboring villages or regions (e.g. the Eifel).
The German spoken in the area is a moselle franconian dialect. This dialect is mainly spoken by older locals. Younger generations speak mostly standard German, with only slightly influence of Hunsrigger Platt. Most people today are also able to speak English, otherwise they still have "Hänn un Feeß" (hands and feet) to express themselves.
The Hunsrück area is home of the low fare airport Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN). There are also regular bus connections from the airport to bigger cities in the greater area, such as Mainz, Koblenz and Frankfurt.
Public transport itself exists only rudimental. For getting around in the area a car is recommended. Cars e.g. can be hired at the Frankfurt-Hahn airport. Low traffic, however, makes bike rides attractive. Visitors should consider though the hilly landscape.
There are a lot of outdoor activities that can and should be done in this area. Whether riding your bike on one of the many bicycle routes or extended hikes through the beautiful landscape of the region.
There are also many local festivities that might be worth a visit and give a beautiful idea of the village life.
The near by rivers also give many opportunities, whether doing boat cruises on Moselle or Rhine, visiting one of many castles in the Middle Rhine Valley area, or enjoy a traditional wine festival.
Visitors interested in electronic music should visit the Nature One festival on the former missile base Pydna near Kastellaun on the first weekend of august.
Another Open Air festival is hosted at the same time in Raversbeuren, the Lott-Festival. It offers a broad set of different music and is also known as the "Woodstock" of the Hunsrück.
Food in the Hunsrück is considered as a poor man's food. If you have the opportunity you nevertheless should try it. Examples of typical Hunsrücker specialties are:
- "Dibbekooche" (pott cake), a dish mostly made of grated potatoes baked in a big pot with different kind of meat;
- "Kappes un Erwes" (cabbage and peas), actually sauerkraut with a mashed pea-topping;
- "Arme Ritter" (poor knight), a Hunsrücker version of french toast.
Restaurants offering this kind of food are hard to find. But on the different festivities in the area these foods still get served.
There is no special drink in this area. People enjoy a good glass of wine from the near by wine regions, as well as a chilled local beer.
There are almost no safety concerns in this area. Crime rates are low, the weather is modest. Knowledge of how to react, if standing in front of a wild boar might be helpful but is not mandatory.