The natural landscape of Germany is far from what you’d expect of a country renowned for its industrial prowess and meticulous attention to detail. The countryside of this European nation reflects a more relaxed Germany that few seem to know about. Its fairytale forests, enchanting castles, crystal clear lakes and a wild coastline are just begging to be explored. Here are Mundana’s picks for five natural gems in Germany.
The Harz Mountains
The Harz National Park lies in Germany’s often overlooked north. But it’s not just the winding backcountry roads that you can look forward to. The Harz National Park offers picturesque scenery and the chance of adventure. Start your visit at the vibrant turquoise Blue Lake (Blauer See), in fact manmade, the result of mining activity in the region. Summer in the Harz Mountains just wouldn’t be the same without a visit to Pullman City Harz. Germany’s answer to the wild west, you’ll feel as though you just stepped back in time to the American Frontier. Finally, you can’t leave the area without taking a ride on the narrow gauge Harz Steam Railway. Be sure to ride it all the way up to The Brocken, the highest mountain in northern Germany.
The Black Forest
Measuring something in the region of 90 miles long and 30 miles wide, the Black Forest is Germany’s most famous tract of woodland. Begin in Triberg, heir to the famous Black Forest gateau recipe and also surrounded by impressive scenery which includes one of the country’s highest waterfalls. Head north to Bad Wildbad and hop on a cable car up to Sommerberg. There, the Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald is reached by a wooden aerial walkway: it’s one part art installation, one part viewing point, and two parts family fun. Just don’t forget to bring some euros with you: once you have taken in the beautiful view from the top you can ride the slide down to the bottom for a quick and oh so stylish exit.
The Rhine and Moselle Valleys
Few can resist the languid charm of a river cruise along one of Germany’s pretty waterways, whether a week-long journey along the Rhine or a day’s jaunt up and down the Moselle. The waterfronts are lined with impossibly quaint townhouses, behind which vineyards and forests face off across the river. Atop the highest hills you’ll encounter a glut of romantic castles, the perfect excuse to hop off and stretch your legs. In the many enchanting villages that spill over the lower slopes and flood plains, you’ll find a plethora of irresistible pavement cafes.
Jasmund National Park
Northerly Rügen island is home to the Jasmund National Park. Famed for its breathtaking white cliffs, idyllic beaches and abundant wildlife, this might be Germany’s smallest national park but it punches well above its weight. Feel the breeze on your cheeks as you hike all 8.5 glorious kilometres of the Jasmund National Park Walking Trail. Bird watchers will adore the area. From the chalk cliffs, we recommend packing a blanket, your favourite snacks and a pair of binoculars. You should be able to spot anything from the common Swallow to the Crane or White-Tailed Eagle. Leave your technology at home so that you can genuinely appreciate the idyllic setting that you find yourself in.
The Bavarian Alps
Located in Germany’s far south, the Bavarian Alps are arguably its prettiest area, famed for being home to the most beautiful castle in the world. Iconic Neuschwanstein Castle inspired Walt Disney to create the Magic Kingdom. The 2962 metre high Zugspitze is Germany’s highest peak. Base yourself at the lively resort of Garmisch-Partenkirche for excellent skiing in winter and delightful summer hiking trails. Munich, with its atmospheric beer halls and verdant parks, is tantalisingly close by. The Bavarian Alps can be seen from the city on a clear day.
It’s a country like no other, with natural gems galore. Germany has pretty much everything you could hope for from a holiday destination. Why not start planning the trip of your dreams? Speak with one of our team here at Mundana to discuss our bespoke packages.