We are always up for a little trip. But where to go? Tired of the ice cream shop around the corner or the crowded city park? Anyone wanting to experience nature is lucky: with 16 national parks almost all German states (except the city states of Berlin and Bremen) have a national park within their borders.
Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Lower Saxony Wadden Sea (Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Lower Saxony)
These are three national parks which are dedicated to the mudflats. If you’d like to take a walk on the seabed, you’ve come to the right place. At low tide, the most diverse snails, clams, crabs, lugworm and many other animals can be found. Seals are located here and the changing of the tides can be observed from the dunes.
Bodden landscape (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
Half of this area consists of parts of the Baltic Sea. You can see how wind and water have shaped the coasts. It can get so windy that even the water levels change. Especially in the fall, the dunes and lakes are beautiful to look at. Also at this time you can observe cranes.
On the island Rügen a popular attraction are the chalk cliffs at the coast. The highlight is the 118 meter high cliff “Königsstuhl”. With 3,003 hectares Jasmund is Germany’s smallest national park.
Müritz consists largely of beech and pine forests, numerous swamps and over 100 lakes. The fragrant orchid can only be seen here in all of Germany. Also visitors might encounter white-tailed eagles and ospreys.
Harz (Lower Saxony & Sachsen-Anhalt)
With 24,700 hectares the Harz is Germany’s largest national park. There are swamps, forests, clearings, but the most visited place is the Harz’ highest mountain: the Brocken. Also the lynx lives here again; it was previously extinct for 200 years.
Eifel (North Rhine Westphalia)
The famous Eifel has a lot of forests, lakes, streams, open grassland and 240 kilometers of hiking trails. More than 900 endangered plants and animals find a home here. In addition, the Eifel was awarded the title “Star Park” as many stars are clearly visible at night.
Do not miss the rest in part 2!