Summer At Last: Beer Gardens, Swimming Fun, Strawberry Ice Cream

Waking up to the birds chirping, spending the day at the lake and meeting friends in the beer garden at sunset - that's what a perfect day in summer looks like for many people. This time of year simply puts you in a good mood. Some love to walk barefoot across a fragrant summer meadow with poppies and cornflowers, others take a refreshing dip in a forest lake, pick the sweet red fruits in a strawberry field or arrange to barbecue in the garden. Summer is also the ideal season for excursions and relaxing holidays in Germany. People are attracted to the long sandy beaches on the North Sea and Baltic Sea or to cycling and hiking in the countryside.

Cycling represents the new freedom. Hopping on a bike allows you to move through nature without a care in the world, and you're always on the right track when it comes to sustainability. 250 long-distance cycle paths with more than 750,000 kilometres of routes invite you to take a holiday on two wheels in Germany. In addition, there are numerous regional themed routes and certified CycleTravelRegions. Whether you are a recreational cyclist or an ambitious biker - this selection means that everyone will find the right itinerary for the perfect cycling holiday. Cycling is particularly pleasant in summer, when the sunshine ensures comfortable temperatures and the days seem endless. So where is the best place to travel? Everywhere is the honest answer. To make it easier to find your way around, here are two tips for great tours. The 600 km Danube Cycle Path, which is divided into daily stages, is particularly popular with German cyclists. The absolute highlights there are the UNESCO World Heritage City of Regensburg and Ulm Cathedral with the highest church tower in the world. An equally appealing alternative is the 123-kilometre Ilmtal Cycle Path in Thuringia. Located on the route is the UNESCO World Heritage city of Weimar, which was a centre of intellectual life in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries and attracted renowned poets as well as scholars, including Goethe, Schiller and Herder. Weimar was also the birthplace of the purist, functional Bauhaus architecture that has shaped modern urban planning worldwide.

Beer gardens, it should be mentioned here, can be found everywhere in Germany. As soon as it gets warm in the summer, young and old flock to the rustic outdoor pubs to enjoy a cool beer and hearty snacks in a relaxed atmosphere, often with a large group of friends. Nevertheless, it remains unchallenged that this beautiful tradition is pursued particularly extensively and in style in Bavaria. Some of the best-known classic beer gardens can be found in Munich. Whether at the Viktualienmarkt, in the English Garden or at Wiener Platz: as soon as the weather permits, everyone sits crowded around long wooden tables, enjoying a refreshing pint of beer and some snacks such as sausage, cheese, radish (also known as beer radish) and crispy pretzels.

Those who associate seaside holidays only with Mediterranean climes are missing out on some of the most beautiful beaches. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea in the north of Germany are wonderful bathing destinations with long, fine sandy beaches, a traditional bathing culture and still largely unspoilt nature. A popular beach destination is the Baltic Sea in Schleswig-Holstein. In addition to relaxing in one of the typical beach chairs, a wide variety of water sports - from diving to surfing to the trendy stand-up paddleboarding - attract visitors. A completely different atmosphere awaits holidaymakers on the East Frisian Islands on the North Sea. Long walks on the beach with sand between your toes and a view of the open sea are just as popular here as a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea. Hiking the mudflats reveals this unique coastal landscape with millions of migratory birds, and countless cockles and shore crabs.

The crickets are chirping, there is a smell of earthy forest soil and the sun makes twinkling lights dance on the leaves: It's summer in the forests of Germany. When it gets hot and stuffy in the cities, nature lovers are drawn to the shade of the trees - for hiking or cycling. There are many opportunities in the German low mountain ranges, which rise up to 1,500 metres between the Alps and the coast. One example is the Swabian Alb in southern Germany, a paradise for hikers with mysterious caves, wild valleys and magnificent distant views. The Albtrauf is spectacular, a 200-kilometre-long rocky ridge that separates the high plateau from the gentle Alb foothill and delights walkers with magnificent views over the Alb foothills. The Alb scores with the "Big Five": no less than five cultural and natural sites have been awarded by UNESCO, including the Limes, the former border between the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribal associations. If you are drawn to the north-east of Germany, you should pay a visit to the Saxon Switzerland National Park. The Elbe Sandstone Mountains with the famous Bastei Bridge are a hiker's paradise and captivate with a bizarre rock landscape and fascinating flora and fauna. The Felsenbühne Rathen, considered the most beautiful natural theatre in Europe, is also along the way.