Nature & Outdoor Activities

Head for the Water: Beaches for Every Taste

From powder-soft sandy beaches to idyllic natural beaches for long walks: Destination Germany beckons for all kinds of bathing fun at the sea, lakes and rivers.

As Far as the Horizon

Usedom (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania)

Ahlbeck: pier on the Baltic island of Usedom Ahlbeck: pier on the Baltic island of Usedom ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

It is the longest and one of the most beautiful: the 42 kilometre long, approximately 70 metre wide sandy beach on Germany's second largest island, Usedom. This sunny island is picturesquely situated between the Baltic Sea, the Achterwasser lagoon and the Szczecin Lagoon in the far north-east of the country and beckons with its powder-soft sand. Sun worshippers will find their paradise here, as will families, and fans of naturism. One particular feature is Usedom's traditional seaside resorts, which are lined up along the coast and were already appreciated as holiday resorts by nobility and celebrities in the 19th century.

Swimming with Seals

Helgoland (Schleswig-Holstein)

Helgoland: Kegelrobbe Helgoland: Kegelrobbe ©Pixabay.com (the3cats)

Germany's only deep-sea island, Helgoland, is known for its red cliffs and also offers a delightful beach and bathing paradise on its neighbouring island "Düne". Regardless of the tide, Caribbean white, flat-sloping sandy beaches await here, which are never overcrowded even in the high season. However, summer visitors have to share the beach with seals and grey seals from time to time. They live here in large colonies and are quite trusting, as hunting them is prohibited.

Bizarre Beauty

The Darss Peninsula (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania)

Darßer / Fischland: Darßer Beach at sunset Darßer / Fischland: Darßer Beach at sunset ©Adobe Stock (haiderose)

The western beach on the Darss peninsula on the Baltic Sea always reaches one of the top places in ranking among the competing beaches. Its secret is its remoteness and raw, pristine beauty. The 14-kilometre-long sandy beach lies in the middle of the "Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft" National Park and stretches from the seaside and artists' resort of Ahrenshoop to the northern tip of the peninsula, which is crowned by a lighthouse. One special feature is the "wind-swept" trees that are bizarrely deformed by the constantly gusting wind and that protrude diagonally over the beach.

Bathing Beach with Tradition

Wannsee (Berlin)

Berlin: Lido on the Great Wannsee Berlin: Lido on the Great Wannsee ©Adobe Stock (Sina Ettmer)

The Wannsee Bathing Beach in the south-west of Berlin was opened in 1907 and so looks back on a history of more than 100 years. As the largest inland lakeside resort in Europe, the spacious family baths, which are listed as historic monuments, are a popular summer destination for Berliners who love to bathe. There is a 1,250 metre-long sandy beach with beach chairs, sun loungers and parasols, a water slide, playgrounds, boat hire and a promenade to stroll along. One quarter of the Baltic Sea sand-filled beach is a nudist area. All visitors who adhere to naturism, i.e. those who enjoy bathing or other sporting activities in the nude as God created them, are welcome there.

Bathing at High Altitude

Schluchsee (Baden-Württemberg)

Black Forest: Beach at Schluchsee Black Forest: Beach at Schluchsee ©Adobe Stock (Sina Ettmer)

Crystal-clear water, secluded bathing spots and idyllic views of densely forested mountains - summer visitors will find all this at Schluchsee in the Black Forest. The glacier lake, 930 metres above sea level, beckons you to take a refreshing dip when sultry heat makes it difficult to draw breath at lower altitudes, for example in nearby Freiburg or in the Rhine valley. The Seebrugg natural beach is popular with adults and the Aqua Fun adventure pool with the younger ones. In addition, water activities such as canoeing, stand-up paddling or a relaxing lake cruise along the shores are appealing. Those who enjoy the countryside enjoy nature on hikes, such as the Schluchsee Jägersteig with fantastic views of the lake, or varied mountain bike tours.

The Blue Eye

Edersee (Hessen)

Kellerwald-Edersee National Park: View of Lake Edersee in the sun Kellerwald-Edersee National Park: View of Lake Edersee in the sun ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

The 27 kilometre-long Edersee meanders through the Kellerwald-Edersee Nature Park in northern Hesse like a Norwegian fjord. The clear, blue-green shimmering waters, framed by beech and gnarled oak forests, invite you to take a refreshing dip as soon as the temperatures turn summery. Around the reservoir, bathing beaches invite you to linger. The eastern edge of the Edersee is reserved for active sports enthusiasts. There is surfing, sailing, diving and fishing. You can enjoy a magnificent view of the "blue eye" of the nature park from Schloss Waldeck, an 11th century castle that towers 120 metres above Lake Eder.