Nature & Outdoor Activities
Unique places to swim with a wow effect
Bathing in the lagoon, swimming in the river or relaxing at the thermal spa: Germany attracts visitors with many original spots for people who love to feel refreshed in the water. We have compiled a list of unique swimming spots with the wow factor.
In a volcanic crater
Pulvermaar nature pool, Vulkaneifel (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Volcanoes once smouldered under the surface here, but now this region attracts swimmers: the Pulvermaar with its nature pool in the Vulkaneifel district offers an idyllic indulgence for all those who want a refreshing dip or simply to splash around. Almost a perfect circle, the 74-metre deep Pulvermaar was originally part of a volcano and is one of Germany's deepest lakes. Its crystal-clear, shimmering blue water is perfect for swimming, sailing and fishing. Visitors can relax on the many lawns, which boast views of the steep wooded slopes. When the birds then stage their concert and dragonflies flit across the water, it feels like you're in a fairy tale.
The coolness of the river
Isar, Munich (Bavaria)
Cool fun for cool people: this is what the Isar has to offer, as it snakes its way through the trendy Bavarian metropolis of Munich. Numerous swimming spots along the river lure in locals and international tourists seeking to cool off and relax on hot summer days, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. If it's your thing – and you're not afraid of icy cold water – you can also drift along with the river's current between Wittelsbach Bridge and Reichbach Bridge and other points along the river. An amazing added extra for Isar swimmers: the nearest beer garden is never more than a short stroll away.
Splashing about in the lagoon
Achterwasser, Usedom (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania)
Even if the surf gets choppy, you can still have a leisurely swim in the Baltic Sea waves at the Achterwasser lagoon on the sunny island of Usedom. Between Ückeritz and Zinnowitz, there is just a narrow spit of land separating the tranquil lagoon – which is formed from the Peenestrom river – from the open sea. While the nearby beaches are packed to the rafters in summer, the swimming spots at the Achterwasser lagoon offer pure bliss. The lagoon's water is often mirror-like in its stillness, perfect for swimming and various water sports. The sprawling meadows, fairy-tale forests and small, old-fashioned harbours nearby also draw in visitors.
A sea-like lake
Lake Constance (Bavaria)
What a backdrop! Swimmers in Lake Constance can enjoy a refreshing dip and the sublime panoramic views of the mountains. In good weather conditions, you can clearly see the Appenzell Alps glinting beneath the deep blue sky. Lake Constance in the far south of Germany is a goody bag full to the brim with beautiful nature and cultural gems. Numerous beach resorts and natural swimming spots also offer something for every taste. How does a swim at the Mili – a former military pool in Bregenz, which hasn't changed in 100 years – sound? Or Strandbad West in Überlingen, a bathing beach with its own island and views of the Alps? Even Reichenau Island in Lake Constance has its own lido. Germany's largest body of water is a paradise for swimming fanatics who enjoy culture and the beauty of nature.
Pools of paradise
Geroldsau Waterfall near Baden-Baden (Baden-Württemberg)
Wild swimming is the latest trend among nature lovers. No tickets, changing rooms or sunbathing lawns required, they just jump right into the water basin in the great outdoors. Geroldsau Waterfall – or more specifically, the pool of water underneath it – is one of these places of absolute paradise for wild swimmers. In the heart of the dense woods of the Black Forest, the waters of the Grobbach stream crash down into the depths with a loud roar to fill a turquoise pond. People who take the plunge here feel like they're in a Garden of Eden. It is particularly beguiling here in June, when the rhododendrons are in bloom and give off their sensual fragrance.
Blissful warmth on the moors
Großer Bullensee lake near Kirchwalsede (Lower Saxony)
With its blissful warmth, the Großer Bullensee lake between Rotenburg and Kirchwalsede is a swimming spot for spa fans. The water in the circular lake can reach temperatures of up to 30°C in summer. Its water is crystal clear with a black shimmer, as if it has a secret to hide. The reason for its dark shade is the water's high humin content. This comes as no surprise, as the Großer Bullensee lake is situated in the heart of the moors, around an hour to the east of Bremen. Hardcore swimming fans should head here on 1 January, when the New Year Swim is on the agenda, and around 100 visitors put their courage to the test and plunge into the ice-cold winter water.
An idyllic spot with a jetty
Hainbad, Bamberg (Bavaria)
This idyllic spot under old trees on the Regnitz river in Bamberg has been luring in sun worshippers to lounge around and swim in the river since 1935. Hainbad and its wooden jetty enjoy cult status. When closure was on the cards, it was met with fierce resistance. The historical river pool won out in the end: it was revamped and reopened in 2018. The traditional changing rooms in a wooden cabin are one of the pool's special features, and the keys to these facilities have been passed down from generation to generation. The wooden jetty on the riverbank is particularly popular among students, so much so that the locals have appropriately nicknamed it the "student barbecue".
Like the Romans
Kaiser Friedrich Therme, Wiesbaden (Hesse)
Swimming doesn't get much more luxurious than this! The historical Kaiser Friedrich Therme thermal spa is built on the foundations of an Ancient Roman steam bath and is every bit as elegant as its predecessor. Ancient-style decorations, high ceilings with magnificent pillars, precious ceramics and elegant frescos adorn the interior of this impressive bathing temple in the heart of Germany. Visitors to this thermal spa can sit in the Russian steam bath, subject themselves to a tropical ice rain shower or sweat it out in their choice of sauna. But be warned! Visitors need to be at one with nudity, as the spa is strictly swimwear-free.