Nature and recreation in the essence that Germany wishes to transmit as a tourist destination. This is reflected in a wide range of activities that can be carried out and that allow you to enjoy an active vacation in incredible natural landscapes.
Tourists, in turn, choose to enjoy nature that destinations offer and are increasingly interested in discovering and enjoying it. Germany has 104 natural parks, of which there are 16 outstanding spaces that bring together the most beautiful landscapes in the country.
Among them, picturesque maritime and river landscapes, islands, swamps, varied forest regions, and even high mountains stand out.
For these reasons, Germany was selected during 2019 as the best second option to vacation and immerse yourself in nature.
Next, we show you 15 natural landscapes that place the destination as a chosen one for nature tourism due to its recreational and natural proposal:
Berchtesgaden National Park
Unique panoramic views of the mountains, picturesque lakes, and lush green forests are the calling card of one of the oldest protected areas in the Alps: the Berchtesgaden National Park.
Located in southern Bavaria, the national park becomes a true landscape paradise for foodies and lovers of active tourism.
Hainich National Park
A virgin forest in the heart of Germany. In the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hainich National Park, world history goes hand in hand with its unique nature: the former military frontier today constitutes the largest cohesive area of mixed leaf forest in Europe.
The national park, which preserves its nature in the wild, in Thuringia is located in the south of the Eichsfeld-Hainich-Werratal nature park between the spa town Bad Langensalza and the Wartburg castle near Eisenach. In winter, the best way to get around this unique beauty is on a sleigh ride. In spring and autumn, hikers enjoy riding well-marked trails, such as the Rennsteig route.
Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park
The unique beauty of the mid-height mountain landscape of the last national park in the heart of the Hunsrück Nature Park in Saarland will delight the active visitor in search of nature with its red beech trees, mystical bogs, wildcats, and fantastic cycling and hiking options.
The rocky ridges and ragged cliffs that are discovered throughout the forest give a wild aspect to this national park, located in Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. In addition, those interested in exploring this phenomenon of nature more deeply, can sign up for a route guided by a qualified ranger.
Jasmund National Park
On the island of Rügen, visitors discover a natural beauty that the painter Caspar David Friedrich already fell in love with some 200 years ago: the chalk cliffs.
Germany’s smallest national park in Mecklenburg-Antepomerania has its great charm. Located in northeastern Germany, among its top attractions is the 117-meter-high Cretan coastline, as well as the Old Beech Forest of Germany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, more than 700 years old on the Stubnitz plateau. The options for exploring this unique landscape on foot or by bicycle are immense.
Kellerwald-Edersee National Park
The Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, which with its vast beech groves was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, impresses lovers of water and nature thanks to the Edersee lake and a wonderful mid-height mountain landscape. This park is an ideal alternative for the more active tourists and fans of water sports.
In the north of Hesse is this region that has recently been declared the Ancient Beech Forest of Germany, and which together with the Kellerwald-Edersee nature park represents one of the most popular holiday regions in the country for hiking, cycling, and water sports. Rarely are there so many dream options in the same region to experience active tourism?
Black Forest National Park
The extensive National Park of the Black Forest captivates its visitors with its rugged beauty. Passing through dense forests, you will discover the wild side of nature and some marvelous views.
With an area of 10,000 hectares, the Baden-Württemberg park is located within the Central / North Black Forest Nature Park and offers great panoramic views from its mountains of more than 1,000 meters high over the Rhine Trench and the mountain ranges of the Black forest. As rivers flow through the mountains and sparkling rays of sunlight pass through the treetops to converge on the forest floor, visitors will marvel at the beauty of centuries-old protected forests and idyllic mountain heaths.
Saxon Switzerland National Park
100 million years of natural monuments. Just a couple of train stations south of Dresden on the Czech border, a monumental world of rugged rock formations lies before the eyes of hikers, mountaineers, and nature lovers.
As the cradle of free climbing, the Saxon Switzerland National Park offers dream conditions for practicing this sport. 1,106 sandstone peaks exposed to the elements make this area of Saxony one of the most varied outdoor spaces with climbing walls in Germany. Meeting another fan on the mountain, in a space that covers more than 21,000 different sections of climbing, seems rather unlikely. Those who still do not consider themselves ready to practice this sublime art of climbing can first learn it in a specialized school in the area.
Germany’s only national rock park is also considered one of the most spectacular hiking regions in Europe. For example, along the 112 kilometers that the varied Camino de Los Pintores covers, there are spectacular views. Cyclists will discover unusual rock formations on the Elbe River Cycle Route, which runs directly next to the national park. In the Saxon Switzerland national park itself, there are also many passable paths.
Harz National Park
Located in the northernmost mid-altitude mountains of Germany, this national park is immersed in the Harz Nature Park and Geopark, considered one of the most popular hiking and cross-country skiing areas in the north of the country. With a mix of ancient myths and rugged scenery, it is a popular year-round destination in Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony.
If the visitor is not afraid of witches, they can dare to cross legendary forests and mysterious high-altitude swamps on well-marked routes, such as the Goetheweg or Harzer-Hexen-Stieg routes. Another striking image is that of the Brocken in Saxony-Anhalt, a 1,132-meter-high summit that often disappears into the mist, giving rise to witch stories.
Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park
The Wadden Sea, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and the largest cohesive region of marshlands in the world, fascinates with its dunes, beaches, and fauna of very peculiar beauty.
In this unique national park, as well as a UNESCO biosphere reserve, in the northernmost Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein, the possibilities for holidays and relaxation are as endless as the sky itself.
Barnim Natural Park
With its forests, serene lakes, and intricate fords, the Barnim Nature Park is a unique area of idyllic nature. Harvesting is dispensed with here, the fjord horses that inhabit it already act as “landscapers” turning this place into a combination of forest and grass.
Before the gates of Berlin, a unique adventure park for hiking and nature lovers stretches over an area of 750 square kilometers. A well-laid network of interactive trails and paths such as the Route of the 66 Lakes runs through ancient bogs and perfectly spherical depressions washed by the waters.
Hohes Venn-Eifel Nature Park
The nature park on the German-Belgian border attracts the visitor with picturesque castles, imposing palaces, and endless wild daffodils in full bloom.
The spectacular scenery of the Hohes Venn – Eifel Nature Park encompasses the Eifel National Park where the vast amount of forest and water, the unique high marshes, and the extensive peaks stand out. Countless rivers, lakes, and colorful diversity of species give it a very special charm.
Uckermark Lakes Nature Park
In the impressive landscape of gentle hills of the Uckermark Lakes Nature Park with an extensive forest and 200 crystal-clear lakes, you can enjoy swimming, canoeing, and enjoying nature.
This cultural landscape of almost 900 square kilometers, which attracts lovers of canoeing with 100 kilometers of crossing, is located in Brandenburg. Those who are more “dry” have 600 kilometers of marked trails for cycling or hiking, such as the “Uckermärker Landrunde” route.
Schlei Nature Park
Those seeking tranquility and an escape from the routine will feel welcome in this holiday region in northern Germany, with its unspoiled villages, vast meadows, idyllic lakes, and comfortable trails.
In the northernmost area of the Schleswig-Holstein nature park, everything can be done more slowly. In this way, you can enjoy more of the charm of the landscape and leave the routine behind while cycling, hiking or sailing.
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Bliesgau
The UNESCO-listed Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve will dazzle you with its orchid-filled meadows, beech forests, a diversity of rare wildlife species, and its impressive floodplain landscape. By conventional or electric bicycle, on foot or by horse-drawn carriage: no one here stands still.
The UNESCO biosphere reserve of Bliesgau is located in the most southeastern tip of Saarland on the border with France and due to the landscape of gently rolling hills, it is known as the Tuscany of Saarland. Natural beauty awaits the visitor with numerous peculiarities.
Rhön UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
In the heart of Germany is the unique mid-rise mountain landscape of the Rhön, which magically attracts the tourist thanks to the diversity of its landscape, the excellent sport aviation, and water sports options, and a Park of Stars.
The natural paradise that many know as the “land of open spaces” is located in the triangle formed by Bavaria, Hesse and Thuringia. Hikers and cyclists can discover ever-impressive paths that leave behind orchard crops, meadows, and Rhön sheep grazing peacefully.