Germany’s oldest and largest national park is a wild and breathtaking ensemble of crystal-clear lakes, dense forests and majestic peaks. Countless hiking trails, cycling routes and even a treetop walk give you access to the abundant wilderness of the Bavarian Forest. The park’s protected status has ensured that wildlife can flourish without the interference of humans in vast sections of the national park and it’s not unusual to encounter foxes, lynxes and other wildlife in the first warm months of the year.
With snowfall, the Berchtesgaden area transforms into a winter wonderland, but rest assured that the iconic views of the Watzmann massif are just as spectacular when temperatures rise and spring arrives. If you dare, you can swim in the chilling waters of the park’s mountain lakes.
One of Germany’s most dramatic landscapes is tucked away in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, which is first and foremost known for the Bastei Bridge. Springtime here means incredible sunsets, all-day hikes and lush trees—a gorgeous contrast to the bizarre rock formations.
One of Central Europe’s last remaining primaeval beech forests occupies the heart of Germany in Thuringia. A raised boardwalk gives you the chance to look beyond the vast forest and down on the ground, and you can follow several hiking trails or cycling routes, join guided tours or follow the Wildcat Path to spot the European wildcat or other endangered species. Spring is not only the perfect time to spot wildlife, but the forested areas and meadows are in full bloom by mid-April.
Rügen Island in Germany’s north is home to beautiful beaches, forests, lakes and the Jasmund National Park, which encompasses all of this plus the mesmerizing white chalk cliffs of the Königsstuhl. In the spring, the observation deck grants spectacular views of the forest-clad cliff tops and the bright blue and turquoise waters of the Baltic Sea below.
Germany’s coastal regions have one more national park in store: the Wadden Sea is a unique ecosystem of beaches, sandbanks, mudflats and estuaries that provide a habitat for seabird species and marine mammals. A trip here in the springtime might reward you with the spotting of baby seals and nesting birds.
The Black Forest is probably the best known of the Germany’s national parks. Cuckoo clocks, rolling hills, dense forests and fantastic food come to mind. In the spring, the versatile landscape shows off its most magical side.