#FridayFive – five mini break destinations in Germany

Tired of packed beaches in Spain? Today we reveal five German getaways off the beaten track where there’s lots of fresh air and room to relax.

Looking for a new holiday destination? When it hots up in the city, Germans know what to do. Those in the North head to one of two coastlines to cool off, while Southerners make for the lush green hills. Whether sea breeze or mountain air, we’ve got the ideal getaway for every type of holidaymaker.  

Fehmarn – island living
Driving over the Fehmarn-Sund bridge, you can see the idyllic island of Fehmarn unfold before you. Life here follows a mellow pace. You can windsurf, kite surf, fish, horse ride, jog, skate, hike, take a dip in the refreshing Baltic waters or simply soak up the sun on the white sand beaches. Or hire a bike and cycle through the golden rapeseed and wheat fields scattered across the island. The island’s main town Burg has a small harbour flanked by cosy cafes and restaurants for a leisurely lunch. The best beach spots for families and couples are in nearby Püttsee. Lemkendorf is a haven for surfers, while Gold and the Grüner Brink conservation area offer unspoilt natural landscapes.

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Sankt Peter-Ording – water sports & wind
Let the fresh sea breeze clear your head while you wander along Sankt Peter-Ording’s huge beach with no particular destination in mind. There’s more than enough room for everyone here, including kite surfers, windsurfers, dog walkers, drivers and – yikes – nudists! If the wind picks up, hire a traditional hooded beach chair or relocate to one of the cafes or stilt house restaurants nearby. After a spot of lunch you can stroll across the 1km long sea bridge in Bad or explore the tiny streets in Dorf. If it’s untamed nature, open skies, a beach and the sea you’re after, Sankt Peter-Ording is just the job.

Harz – action & adrenaline
Germany’s lesser known Harz mountain range certainly has a few surprises in store. Countless hiking trails criss-cross the Harz Nature Park with one of the most impressive leading to the Joseph Cross tower at an altitude of 580m. This viewing platform was modelled on the Eiffel Tower and offers breathtaking views of the South Harz on a fine day. Can you spot the Kyffhäuser Monument, the legendary resting place of Emperor Barbarossa, in the distance. Not afraid of heights? Try your luck crossing the world’s longest suspended bridge. It’s a massive 483m long construction weighing 118 tonnes and spanning the Rappbode Valley. A pendulum jump from the bridge promises an unforgettable adrenaline kick! Another way to traverse the valley is on a 1km long zip wire. Or take things a little slower by abseiling down the dam wall. Still think there’s nothing to do here?!

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Berchtesgadener Alps – mountains & lakes
Watzmann is Germany’s third highest mountain and a magnet for hikers and climbers alike. It towers above the Berchtesgadener Alps with the surrounding area offering hiking tours for all abilities. Our tip: follow the path down through the steep Saugasse canyon to Lake Königssee and the beautiful St. Bartholomew’s church. The landscape is known as “Steinernes Meer” meaning “Rocky Sea”. There’s a path to the lake that winds its way though some forty bends of stone walls and waves. Pack a camera!

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Palatinate Forest – pinot gris & paragliding  

Gentle mountain ridges interspersed with vineyards and meadows, and traditional Palatinate villages with tongue-twister names like Herxheim, Fußgönheim and Obermosche dotted between. Germany’s Palatinate area and the Palatinate Forest are brilliant boltholes in both summer and autumn, especially when the wine festivals are in full swing! Whether a Golden Riesling, a light pinot gris or a full-bodied red, wines from this region are a connoisseur’s dream. More of an adventurer? Tackle the treetop path to the biosphere house. Thrill seekers will delight in the challenging mountain trails or paragliding sessions, while pony trekking through woods and vineyards is another way of enjoying nature at a slower pace.

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Take a break from the hustle and bustle of your city and head to Germany for a long weekend in the countryside. Send us a postcard!

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