In the heart of the Black Forest, Ravenna Gorge comes alive with one of Germany’s most unique winter events.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the steep, wooded hills in Breitnau, the Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market exudes a homely atmosphere filled with spicy scents and unique tastes.
You can enjoy traditional crafts, Christmas music, and a diverse range of culinary items, all under the shadow of the impressive 40-metre-high railway viaduct of the Höllentalbahn.
In this article, I’ll provide all the essential details for 2023, including confirmed dates, opening times and where to stay.
Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market 2023
Breitnau’s Ravenna Gorge provides a natural winter spectacle in Germany’s Black Forest, enveloped by snow-covered, towering fir trees.
With its golden glow, the illuminated viaduct accentuates the serene beauty of the area and creates a cosy ambience amid the winter chill.
As you explore, you’ll encounter stalls featuring traditional crafts, handmade ornaments, and delicious Black Forest treats.
Local artisans proudly display wooden toys, glass-blown decorations, and hand-knitted winter wear.
To enhance the experience, don’t miss the comforting bratwurst, sweet roasted almonds, and the inviting warmth of a steaming mug of glühwein.
Dates and Location
Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market dates: 24th November to 17th December 2023.
Location: Ravenna Gorge, Breitnau, near Freiburg.
Opening times: Friday: 3pm to 9pm. Saturday: 2pm to 9pm. Sunday: 2pm to 8pm.
Admission: Tickets must be booked in advance. Book online. Free entry for children up to 15.
Payment: There is no cash machine onsite.
Tickets: On sale from 16th October at 10am.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, some options.
Gluten free: Yes, some options.
Public transport: Free shuttle buses from Hinterzarten and Himmelreich train stations. Some Christmas market tickets include the shuttle bus from Freiburg.
Parking: There are limited parking places. Taking the train is recommended. The parking fee is €7. Parking tickets must be purchasing in advance online or at the tourist information center. Your printed parking permit must be clearly visible behind the windshield.
Reason to visit: Scenic Ravenna Gorge location.
Food specialities: Organic chocolate fruit, handcrafted gin, hot baked apple liquer with cream, Black Forest specialties.
Where to stay: Hotel Hofgut Sternen is located 3 minutes from the viaduct and Christmas market.
Where to Stay for Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market
Staying near the viaduct is ideal to be close to the Christmas market in Ravenna Gorge. Hotel Hofgut Sternen is a good choice as it’s a short walk from the market, interesting sights and a few shops.
While Hinterzarten and Breitnau offer more facilities, many visitors prefer Freiburg. In this case, Hotel Rappen is an excellent hotel option.
I recommend you check out my German Christmas Market 2023 guide, which details the best markets across the country.
If you’re staying in Freiburg, you might also like to visit the Freiburg Christmas Market.
Location of Ravenna Gorge
Christmas in the Black Forest
Seasonal Delicacies from Freiburg: A diverse range of spreads, tapenades, fruit spreads, seasoning sauces, and pastes, all meticulously curated and presented in a glass. These items showcase the rich culinary tradition of Freiburg, giving visitors a taste of the region’s gastronomic expertise.
Organic Fruits and Chocolate: A delicious combination that caters to both fruit and chocolate enthusiasts. These products underscore the market’s commitment to organic farming and sustainable practices.
Wild Distillery Selections: Highlighting the spirits of the region, this stall features gin and whiskey, representing the local craftsmanship in distilling.
Nikolausi: A winter treat, this hot baked apple liqueur served with cream brings warmth and comfort, making it a sought-after drink during the chilly market evenings.
Black Forest Specialties: A showcase of the region’s culinary heritage, ranging from sweet treats to savoury foods, each item embodies the essence of the Black Forest.
Black Forest Farmers Cheese Raclette: Melted to perfection, this cheese raclette highlights the dairy tradition of the Black Forest, offering a creamy, savoury experience.
La Provence Drinks: A fusion of regions, here you’ll find homemade mulled wine, Bärentraum (mulled wine enhanced with blueberry liqueur), Crémant d’Alsace, and country wines from Provence in white, rosé, and red varieties.
Original Black Forest Tarte Flambée: Both hearty and sweet versions are available, serving as a testament to the region’s versatility in culinary creations.
Potato Snacks: Indulge in crispy potato spirals & potato wedges, a simple yet satisfying snack for those exploring the market.
Homemade Apple Punch: Made exclusively from regional products, this punch is a refreshing drink choice celebrating local apple varieties.
Mountain Farm Flatbread Roll: An innovative snack from the Upper Black Forest, this freshly grilled flatbread roll is versatile and available in hearty, vegetarian, or sweet variations.
Hot Chocolate: Perfect for the winter chill, you can enjoy this beverage pure or with an added shot tailored to your preference.
Crepes, Waffles, and Drinks: Skillfully prepared crepes and waffles accompanied by mulled wine and non-alcoholic punch, bringing sweetness to your market experience.
Homemade Goulash Soup: A hearty option, this soup provides warmth and sustenance, capturing the comforting culinary traditions of the region.
Assorted Beverages: The market offers Feuerzangenbowle, eggnog punch, Schwarzwaldmarie, and Adventshugo, ensuring there’s a drink to suit every palate.
Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Black Forest Salt: Sourced directly from the Black Forest region, this salt is known for its distinct flavour and purity. It serves as both a culinary ingredient and a representation of the region’s natural resources, making it a popular purchase for visitors.
Provence Specialities: Bringing a touch of French charm to Ravenna Gorge, you can find honey, wine, and soap, all hailing from Provence. These products showcase the rich agricultural and artisanal traditions of the French region.
Homemade Liqueurs and Brandy: Celebrating the region’s spirit-making traditions, these drinks offer a taste of the Black Forest’s craftsmanship. Each bottle encapsulates the flavours and essence of the area.
Sewn and Embroidered Gifts: Crafted by local artisans, these items reflect the region’s rich textile traditions. Each piece is a work of art, from intricate patterns to region-specific designs.
Titisee Train Station Shop: Located in Titisee, this shop is a trove of traditional items, including carvings, masks, wooden toys, handicrafts, and festive decorations. Each item pays homage to the artistry and craftsmanship of the region.
Wooden Lanterns and Decor: Crafted from old wood, these items range from lanterns and bottle lamps to hand-painted Christmas cards and decorative pendants. They add a rustic charm to any setting, embodying the spirit of Ravenna Gorge’s natural beauty.
Driftwood and Wood Art: From driftwood fir trees to Black Forest guardian angels and beaded surprises, these artistic creations blend nature with artistry. You can also find wooden figures, animal carvings, and nativity scenes carved with precision and detail.
Sustainable Hair Brushes: Produced sustainably in the Black Forest, these hair brushes are a testament to the region’s commitment to eco-friendly products. Crafted with care, they’re both functional and reflect local craftsmanship.
Sculpture and Stoneware: Offering a diverse range, including soap dishes, knife sharpening stones, and sinks, these items are crafted from quality materials. Each piece, whether functional or decorative, showcases the skilled handiwork of local artisans.
I suggest visiting Visit Black Forest, the region’s official website, for an extensive guide on things to do in winter.
Here is some information on sustainability at the market and a few ways you can be more sustainable during your visit to the Black Forest region this Christmas, particularly in Ravenna Gorge:
Sustainable Energy Consumption: The Christmas market in Ravenna Gorge is designated as a “Green Event BW”, signifying its commitment to eco-friendliness. The electricity for the market comes entirely from renewable sources. The innovative use of LED technology, especially to illuminate the viaduct, ensures reduced power consumption.
Reduced Waste Production: To curb environmental damage, the market has ceased the distribution of single-use plastic tableware. Instead, they’ve opted for more environmentally friendly alternatives like cardboard, bamboo, or wood. When purchasing drinks, disposable tableware is avoided entirely in favour of reusable cups or glass bottles, supported by a deposit system. Bringing your own fabric bags for shopping is also encouraged to minimise waste further.
Support for Local Craftsmanship: Emphasising local talent, the market prioritises regional artisans who display the area’s unique craftsmanship and special features. Many of these items are handcrafted, demanding extensive time and effort. The intention is to promote local craftspeople and uphold and communicate the Black Forest’s rich heritage.
Regional Musical and Culinary Offerings: Local artists, utilising traditional regional instruments, dominate the musical scene at the market. Furthermore, all food and beverage vendors hail from the Black Forest, majorly incorporating local products. This ensures that traditional specialties, be it trout, Black Forest ham, or regional schnapps, remain a staple.
Digital and Sustainable Printing Solutions: To further the cause of sustainability, tickets for entry are digital, negating the need for paper. Meanwhile, the event flyer, printed on 100% sustainable paper, comes from an eco-conscious printing company in Freiburg that operates solely on green electricity.
Efficient Transport Solutions: The market’s shuttle bus stops near key transportation hubs, like the Himmelreich and Hinterzarten train stations, promoting the use of public transport. While there’s limited parking near the market, visitors are urged to opt for public transportation, reducing the carbon footprint.
Promotion of Hydropower: All electricity requirements for the market are addressed through hydropower, sourced from plants on the High Rhine and smaller units within the Black Forest. Furthering energy conservation, the market utilises energy-efficient LED lamps for lighting, limited only to market operational hours.
Remember, every sustainable action, no matter how small, contributes significantly to preserving the beauty and integrity of the Ravenna Gorge and the wider Black Forest region.
Comment below if you want to leave a review of the Xmas Market.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Ravenna Gorge, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.