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The beautiful landscape of Germany

avatar by Tripspi / February 13, 2021 / 12 min read

From the mainland to the islands, Germany is crisscrossed by outstanding cultural and natural landscapes. Many of them are unique in the world, fabulously beautiful and worth discovering all year round.

Whether high mountains, steep gorges or paradisiacal beaches: In this article we would like to talk about the beautiful nature and landscape of Germany and show you some of the most amazing places in the country.

What characterizes the landscape of Germany?

There are four major landscapes in Germany: In the north, the North German Lowlands; in central Germany, the low mountain ranges; and in the south, the Alpine foothills and the Alps.

The north of Germany is rather flat. The lowest point is 3.5 meters below sea level, the highest point is 200 meters. In the interior there are, among other things, heath landscapes and lake landscapes, where you can have a wonderful rest.

Typical for Central Germany are low mountain ranges and forest regions. Low mountain ranges are between 400 and 1500 m high and forested. The ridges and hilltops are mostly rounded and are located below the tree line.

The Alpine foothills are located in the south of Germany, in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, at an altitude of about 300 to 800 meters. The landscape in the Alpine foothills is flat or slightly hilly.

The Alps are a European high mountain range with peaks that rise above the tree line. The mountains in the Alps are mostly steep and often covered by snow. Germany has part of the Alps only in the very south

Here we would like to introduce you to the special features of Germany’s unique and varied natural areas - German landscapes at its best.

Forests

Throughout Germany, 11.4 million hectares of forest land are distributed among various dreamlike forests, each of which exudes its own unique charm. Around 90 billion young and old trees grow in German forests, with a total wood supply of 3.9 billion solid cubic meters.

99 percent of the forest in Germany consists of high forest. This is created through natural regeneration, sowing and planting. The high forest also includes the plenter forest, which is found almost exclusively in Bavaria (64.9%) and in Baden-Württemberg (31.6%). In the plenter forest, the trees of different ages and sizes are present in small areas and permanently mixed. This type of forest leads to a steady regeneration and harvest.

There are wild forests in Germany where you rarely meet a soul. They are ideal for keeping your distance and observing shy animals.

In Baden-Württemberg you can drive to the famous Black Forest, in Bavaria to the impressive Bavarian Forest, in Thuringia to the - yes, who would have thought it - Thuringian Forest, in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony to the pretty Teutoburg Forest and in the heart of Germany the Harz mountains scare three federal states at once.

Lakes

When it comes to water-based leisure, Germany is a true paradise. Hardly any other country in Europe has more lakes than Germany that are suitable for a day trip or as a vacation destination.

According to estimates, there are 15,000 to 30,000 lakes in Germany that are larger than 1 hectare. This includes all man-made standing waters, open pit lakes and reservoirs. Most of Germany's lakes were formed during the Ice Age and were left in the landscape after the glaciers receded. Geographically, most of the lakes are located in the northeast and southwest of the republic, but the most beautiful lakes in Germany are spread all over the map.

Germany's swimming lakes are also among the cleanest in Europe. Every year, the European Environmental Protection Agency tests thousands of lakes in Germany and Europe, and almost 90 percent of German lakes even regularly receive the best ratings.

Whether nature lovers, families with children, water sports enthusiasts everyone will find attractive offers that fit their own interests.  On some German lakes there are quite unusual accommodations, such as houseboats or cool lodges. They are perfect for a weekend, or a somewhat extended short vacation at the lake. For one or two weeks of vacation, there are many options for camping at the lake in Germany.

For beautiful lakes in Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is the best place to go. The Müritz is just under 18 kilometers long and almost 10 kilometers wide, making it the largest lake in Germany. Lake Constance is even bigger, but it also partly belongs to Switzerland and Austria.

Coastal areas and Islands

Germany borders two seas in the north: the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. On the German North Sea coast, the difference between low tide and high tide is very big. That is why here you can walk in the sea at low tide. This part of the North Sea is called the Wadden Sea.

The island of Sylt in the North Sea and the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea are two popular destinations. There are many beautiful beaches for swimming here. Many vacationers also come to the coast for kitesurfing, sailing and cycling.

White powdered sugar beaches and deep blue sea - this dream of vacation can be found not only in the Caribbean, but also Germany. A total of 77 islands in the North Sea and Baltic Sea belong to Germany - many of which are little more than a windswept rock in the sea and are home only to birds. But the somewhat larger, inhabited islands are among the most popular destinations in Germany, enchanting visitors with their austere natural beauty, dream beaches and maritime charm.

Each of the islands has its own character and special advantages. Those who have had enough of beach life will find sights and excursion destinations for the whole family. And of course, active vacationers will also get their money's worth, for example during beach walks, island and mudflat hikes, bike tours or water sports.

Five popular nature places in Germany

They look like landscapes from another planet and yet you can find them in the middle of Germany. Here we show you seven small natural wonders in Germany that you might not have expected.

Island Amrum

The North Frisian island of Amrum is one of the most beautiful destinations in Schleswig-Holstein. Pure North Sea fresh air, mud flats and a kilometer-long bathing beach invite you to an active and relaxing vacation.

The approximately 20 square kilometer large island of Amrum is located in the middle of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park. Characteristic is the ten kilometer long and up to one and a half kilometer wide beach "Kniepsand". It offers the perfect wave for surfers, sailors and kiters. From the accessible lighthouse, the sporting activities can be viewed from above.

Amrum is also exciting for birdwatchers: thousands of sea and shore birds populate the island during the breeding season and can be observed during mudflat walks. Amrum also invites you to relax in winter with thatched Frisian houses, fish restaurants and seafaring pubs.

Lakes in Germany

The Hopfensee near Füssen

The Allgäu region has some of the most beautiful lakes in Germany. Hopfensee is located near Füssen in the Upper Allgäu near the border with Austria. The lake has a shore length of 6.8 kilometers and is considered one of the warmest pre-Alpine lakes, which is why it is a popular destination for a lake vacation. There is a lido with a very gently sloping shore, which is why many families with children spend their vacations here. With a pedal boat or rowing boat you can perfectly head for a few secluded spots for swimming or fishing. In the surrounding area you can hike wonderfully and admire the view of the mountains from the castle ruin Hopfen.

Chiemsee

About 60 kilometers southeast of Munich lies the beautiful Chiemsee, also called the Bavarian Sea. At just under 14 kilometers long, it is the largest lake in Bavaria and the third largest of all lakes in Germany. The lake is surrounded by a panorama of the Alps and attracts swimmers and water sports enthusiasts every summer. Particularly popular here are surfing, kite surfing, sailing or a raft trip on the Alz.

Bavarian Forest

The Bavarian Forest stretches over 100 kilometers along the border between Bavaria and the Czech Republic. With numerous recreational opportunities you can get to know the Bavarian Forest and discover the unique nature. Hiking enthusiasts, for example, look forward to the longest hiking trail in Germany with a length of 660 kilometers. The Goldsteig trail stretches from Marktredwitz to Passau. But also numerous shorter long-distance hiking and mountain trails for young and old stretch through the dense forest and lead to incredible viewing platforms, such as the Almber, the Gipfelstein or the Hirschenstein lookout tower. You can find more exciting adventure offers in the Bavarian Forest here. Follow in the footsteps of Winnetou and Co. and learn archery, take a canoe tour on one of the numerous rivers, use the various bicycle and mountain bike trails and discover the most curious animals in the expedition village Grafenau. The Bavarian Forest also boasts a number of castles, palaces and museums. You will definitely not get bored here!

Zugspitze

Also located in the Wetterstein Mountains, the 2,962 meter high Zugspitze forms the highest elevation in Germany. The Zugspitze, over whose summit the German-Austrian border runs, is a very popular lookout mountain, from the top of which a 360° panorama opens up to one over four countries and 400 other two- and three-thousand-meter peaks in the Alps. Three mountain railroads provide easy access to the Zugspitze, which, in addition to a summit cross, is equipped with a transmitter, a weather station and several ski resorts. The three glaciers located on the slopes of the Zugspitze offer wonderful natural experiences. Alpspitze, also towering over Garmisch, is connected to Zugspitze by a famous high alpine ridge walk, the Jubiläumsgrat. At the foot of the Zugspitze is the Eibsee, which is often counted as one of the most beautiful lakes in the Bavarian Alps due to its deep green water and location.

Hainich National Park

The Hainich is the largest contiguous deciduous forest area in Germany and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011. In the area of the national park, nature is largely left to its own devices, so a primeval forest awaits you here in the middle of Germany. Absolute highlights include the treetop trail, which offers wonderful views over inaccessible parts of the forest, as well as the special fauna (including wild cats!). For a truly unforgettable stay, visit the Hainich in spring - a spectacle of blossoms awaits you that seems to come from a fairy tale.

Saxon Switzerland

Saxon Switzerland, with its impressive and idiosyncratic rock formations, where cliffs, gorges and caves alternate with green forests, is one of the most impressive landscape phenomena in all of Germany and can easily keep up with international natural wonders. Whether you like hiking or not, the Elbe Sandstone Mountains are definitely worth a trip, especially for those who want to get to know their own country from a whole new side.

Cold water geyser, Andernach

With its 50 to 60 meter high fountain, the geyser near Andernach is considered the highest cold-water geyser in the world. This means that unlike the geysers in Iceland, for example, its eruptions are not based on hot water but on carbon dioxide contained in the water. Or to put it even more simply: the geyser behaves like a gigantic bubble bottle that someone opens after shaking it.

In fact, this is not entirely a natural phenomenon. Only a borehole drilled more than 300 meters into the ground in 1903 created the narrow maw through which the water hisses out for eight minutes about every 100 minutes today.

Why travel to Germany?

Mountains, forests, lakes, cities and the sea: Germany as a vacation destination can hardly be surpassed in terms of its scenic wealth. But it also offers undreamed-of culinary, artistic and cultural diversity. During a short vacation in Germany, discover the many charming regions that have so far remained undiscovered due to wanderlust, and fall in love anew with the old familiar.

Germany offers fantastic vacation areas, starting with the coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, to impressive mountain and lake landscapes like the Black Forest or the Laacher See, to exciting metropolises like Berlin or Munich. Whether an active vacation in the Alps, a wellness trip to the Allgäu, a city trip to Hamburg or a family vacation at Lake Müritz - Germany has the perfect destination for every taste and every budget.

Its scenic wealth makes traveling in our homeland incredibly varied and exciting. Nearly 100 nature parks and bioreserves as well as over 200,000 km of hiking trails, clean swimming lakes and secluded beaches, and many grandiose landscapes make Germany an extremely popular destination for a relaxing short vacation in Europe. Here we show you how to plan your trip with Tripspi. 

When traveling make sure to protect the environment and the beautiful landscape of Germany. Our 5 tips to travel more sustainably will show you how to do that! 

Have you been to Germany? Then share your trip with our community and give others personal information and helpful tips!

 

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