Every year, thousands of migrating birds such as geese and cranes break their journey at Lake Schaalsee, where there is now a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Like the birds, visitors here will find tranquillity in a natural setting.
Lake Schaalsee, with its islands and promontories, its inlets and extensive reedbeds, was formed by the glaciers of the last ice age and forms the heart of the biosphere reserve. The reserve is as diverse as the lake after which it is named. 150km of well-signposted hiking and cycling trails wind their way through a green patchwork quilt of woodland and wetlands, fens and undulating fields, taking in sleepy hamlets and picturesque villages on their way. For forty years, the lake straddled the border between East and West Germany. In 1990 the Mecklenburg portion of the Lake Schaalsee countryside in East Germany was declared a protected area, thus preventing the sell-off of part of Germany's family silver. Since then, the biosphere reserve has gone from being a tourism no-man's land to a popular holiday destination for nature lovers. Its protected status means that eagles and cranes, otters and kingfishers can still call this their home. Whether on foot or by bike, and whatever the time of year, this UNESCO biosphere reserve is the perfect place to observe and discover nature – or to relax and unwind.