Rocks and forests, castles and half-timbered houses: Franconian Switzerland around Pottenstein is perfect for hikers, climbers and people who just want to take a deep breath. By Matthew Schmidt

It doesn’t take long on this sunny morning before it becomes obvious: Fräulein Ziermann’s flair for stone. She is standing under an enormous boulder with her arms crossed. A young man is hanging on the wall in front of her and is not making any headway. “Hm,” says climbing instructor Janine Ziermann, examining the rugged surface with its holes and cracks. “Try the left kick and the right hand a little higher.” Works. Your student is already on the way up. His route is called “Hans im Glück”, difficulty level 5 minus.