6 reasons Germany's summer is best for thrill-seekers
The Local · 2 Jun 2016, 17:00
Published: 15 Jul 2015 15:26 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Jun 2016 17:00 GMT+02:00
- The Local's ultimate guide to summer in Germany (23 May 16)
- 5 reasons to drop everything and go to Stuttgart right now (03 May 16)
There are many things that make the German summer great – beer gardens, lazing at the lake, the multitude of outdoor concerts and cinemas in the big cities. But to concentrate on just these things would be to forget the country's incredible landscapes and the wonderful opportunities it offers for adventure and fun.
Canyoning in the Allgäu
If wading through rapids, jumping off thundering waterfalls and abseiling down ravines sounds like something you would enjoy then the Allgäu is just the place for you.
This spectacular glacial landscape straddles southern Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The ample ravines and rivers make it the perfect canyoning terrain.
Guided tours are not hard to find and the experienced guides provide all the safety equipment and the necessary know-how to get you started. For the truly adventurous you can even give it a go at night time!
Punting in the Spreewald
For those who like to take things more casually a languid paddle through the Spreewald south-east of Berlin could be more your style.
The city of Lübbenau in the heart of the forest has been known as 'the city of punts' since the mid-19th Century when residents would use the wooden boats to navigate the impassable ancient forest.
You can still hire a Kahnfährmann – a ferryman – to take you through the narrow irrigation canals.
And if even that becomes a bit too much you can stop off at an idyllic Stübchen on the river and order yourself a pancake and a refreshing Apfelschorle.
Climbing in the Sächsiche Schweiz
The Sächsische Schweiz is a series of breathtaking rock formations jutting up from the plains and hills along the border with the Czech Republic.
This is where free-climbing was born and those who have the head for it can chose between over 1,100 faces of sandstone rock.
Climbing is a sport that requires training and expertise - and in the Sächsiche Schweiz strict rules are enforced to protect the sensitive rock. It is therefore necessary to sign up for training with one of the local schools if you do not have experience.
Hang-gliding in the Alps
Hang-gliding is another sport which requires serious training - and an aviation licence - before one can embark out into the wild on one's own.
But there are many opportunities to learn in Germany with over 200 authorized schools across the country.
The sport is most popular in the Alpine region, and these human birds are a common sight in the valleys around Garmisch in the summer time.
Riding along the Baltic coast
But if you're more comfortable operating at ground level – or almost – then look no further than a hack along the Baltic beaches of north Germany.
The Baltic coast has miles of sandy beaches perfect for galloping with a gentle sea breeze to keep you cool. In total there are around 6,200km of riding paths in Mecklenburg-Upper Pomerania and Schleswig Holstein, Germany's two most northern states.
There are also dozens of farms which offer lessons and guided hacks spread all the way from Flensburg on the Danish border to Ahlbeck next to Poland.
Wine tasting in Rhineland Palatinate
But then maybe all that exertion isn't your thing at all. No need to worry, there are plenty of opportunities for indulging yourself in the outdoors this summer too.
Why not try a wine tasting course in Germany's version of Burgundy, Rhineland-Palatinate?
The south-eastern state is home to the largest Riesling plantations in the world, hosts the world's largest wine festival – the Wurstmarkt at Bad Dürkheim – and, not that it's bragging, has the largest wine cask in the world too.
So chin chin!