The holiday season begins, but before rest lies a long drive. If you want to arrive safely, you should plan enough stops.

We have identified the most attractive rest areas in Germany for this purpose: These motorway rest areas are not only there for refuelling, they are also worth staying at. Not only do they allow drivers to stretch their legs, they also score with other amenities.

Stressed travelers can relax on the A7 near Würzburg at the Gramschatzer Wald car park: the facility has a three-kilometre barefoot path – wellness for exhausted feet.

But the facility also offers the complete range of restaurants in a quiet and green environment. By the way: Quiet contemplation is possible in the Autobahn Chapel, which opened in 2015, on the grounds of the truck stop.

The first Feng Shui rest house on German autobahns (BAB 8) is between Stuttgart and Ulm. The system was built under aspects of the Asian theory of harmony and takes into account the “energy flows of the landscape environment”.

The food is varied and mostly certified organic, the ambience is pleasant and very green. For weary travelers there is a fountain intended to revive the spirits, as well as a “room of silence”.

Anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable here is really ready for vacation! The art rest stop on the A7 Memmingen – Ulm impresses with its imaginative design with turrets and curved walls. It’s colorful here and your eyes wander during the break.

The facility was designed by the Austrian Herbert Maierhofer as a total work of art. The chirping of birds can be heard in the toilets, the sanitary facilities are clean. And the Swabian specialties also ensure well-being.

Frankfurt’s skyline is on one side and the Taunus on the other. A stop is worthwhile on the A5 between Bad Homburger Kreuz and Nordwest-Kreuz Frankfurt. Because the service area offers a lookout tower as a highlight, which is modeled on Roman fortifications.

A spiral staircase with 100 steps takes you 25 meters up. From there a wonderful view opens up, which is even more beautiful when the sun is just rising or setting. Oh yes: If you don’t feel like scrambling after sitting in the car for a long time, you can simply take the elevator.

This facility on the A3 between Würzburg and Nuremberg regularly takes the top spots in elections and surveys. No wonder, because various restaurants, shops, a church, a hotel, a fitness center and an event hall, where trucker icon Johnny Cash has performed, are spread over 50 hectares.

There is also the adventure world of Strohofer with archery, GPS scavenger hunts, tepee overnight stays and a large climbing forest.

Admittedly, most holidaymakers have mixed feelings about the Irschenberg when driving south. Extensive traffic jams often form there. But the journey to the mountains usually takes you via the A8 and the section between Holzkirchen and Rosenheim.

After all: There is definitely a holiday mood in Irschenberg, because Germany’s highest service area offers a great view towards the Alps. Tip: It’s only a few steps to Dinzler, a “pleasure oasis” – according to self-promotion – with a café, restaurant, own coffee roastery including sales and vinotheque.

If you fancy a burger, Cindy’s Diner on the A10 between Frankfurt/Oder and Potsdam (on the Ostring Berlin) is the place to be. The menu includes fresh fries as well as specialties such as a mustard pickle burger.

But even more fun than the food is looking at the interior: The restaurant comes in the style of a real diner from the USA in the 50s. The desire for rock ‘n’ roll and for Cadillac and Plymouth grows…

And art again. The 24 Group, which operates a whole series of truck stops on German autobahns, has developed a new design concept and has hired graffiti artist Jace to create design highlights in the facility on the A9 (exit Großkugel).

A five-meter-long plane at the entrance and a swing for selfies are just two examples. In addition to the usual amenities – including a free fitness park – the Autohof offers travelers an integrated exhibition area for a wide variety of exhibits. The motto: “Culture on the Autobahn.”