#FridayFive – five of our favourite swimming lakes

The sea is too far away and you’re not a fan of chlorine? Luckily Germany has oodles of beautiful lakes suitable for swimming, most of which are surrounded by even more beautiful forests. We’ve compiled a list of five secret spots for water babes to escape to this summer.

1. Lake Eib, Bavaria

It’s the stuff of fairytales. Tucked away at an altitude of 1000 m in the middle of the Bavarian Alps close to the winter sport capital Garmisch-Patenkirchen is Lake Eib, or “Eibsee” as it’s called in German.  It’s one of the country’s most breathtaking lakes with crystal clear, turquoise waters. The northern shore has countless small bays which are the best spots for swimming. Pack a camera to capture spectacular views of Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze.

2. Lake Schluchsee, Baden-Württemberg

The largest lake in the Black Forest region also offers crystal clear waters. Once a glacial lake, part of the shoreline is blessed with white sandy beaches that attract swimmers and sunbathers alike. Thrill seekers and water sport fans can dive, windsurf or sail. Planning on visiting with children? They’ll love the huge outdoor pool with its giant slide.

3. Lake Edersee, Hesse

If sunbathing is not for you, head for Hesse’s Lake Edersee where there’s lots of fun to be had. Try out your skills at the waterskiing facility, or hire a boat and set sail for an hour or two. If you your feet on solid ground, there’s a hiking trail and cycle path around the lake. Or enjoy the reservoir’s tranquil blue water while relaxing on one of its banks. The lake is situated at the centre of the
Kellerwald-Edersee nature reserve, a world heritage site, so there’s always a peaceful spot to be found. Stroll beneath the enormous hornbeam trees after your swim and forget all about the hustle and bustle of the world beyond the woods.

4. Lake Sacrower, Brandenburg

The “Sacrower See” is a placid lake in Berlin’s sprawling metropolitan area. Unlike its more popular cousin, the Wannsee to the north of Potsdam, this lake is relatively quiet even during summer. One reason is that it’s situated in the Königswald nature reserve. Your reward for the longer journey to get there is the lake’s outstanding water quality. And don’t forget to take in the impressive forest setting before you jump in! Dedicated swimming areas offer flatter entry points and there’s ample shade for your picnic blanket beneath the tall trees.

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5. Lake Plön, Schleswig-Holstein

When people travel to Germany’s most northerly county Schleswig-Holstein, it’s usually the North Sea or the Baltic they’re headed for. But if you prefer swimming in fresh water, Lake Plön is only a few kilometres from the coast. The 28 km²  lake has a number of sandy beaches for you to dry off on between swims. Alternatively, hire a pedalo or canoe and paddle to one of the islands at the centre of the lake.

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