Overview of Germany’s most beautiful national parks

Germany’s Top 25 Nature Reserves and National Parks

Germany has long been concerned about preserving local nature and species diversity of flora and fauna. Currently about a million hectares of German territory are set aside as zones where economic activity is completely forbidden or limited. At the same time eco-tourism is flourishing. This area not only allows travelers to relax in the most beautiful places of the country, but also teaches them to respect the environment.

Actively protect natural monuments, rare plants and populations of animals and birds, the Germans started in the 70s of last century. In a relatively short period, they were able to achieve impressive successes and instill in the population a new culture of nature management. That is why nature reserves and national parks in Germany are so popular.

The most famous nature conservation areas in Germany

Saxon Switzerland

Received the status of a national park in 1990. Occupies an area of more than 9 thousand hectares. The untouchable zones are gradually increasing. Tourist objects: Konigstein fortress; Bastai bridge, named after the gorge and the rock; Lichtenhainskiy waterfall – artificial formation, appeared due to the construction of a dam, periodically is closed. Hiking trails – about 400 km, there are many routes for climbers.


Spreeveld Reserve

Was founded in 1990 and is located 100 km southeast of Berlin. The area is cut by many streams and rivers and is covered not only by forests, but also by numerous arable fields and includes ancient Vendian villages. Getting to know the traditions of this people is part of the guided tours. The main attraction is the island village of Lede. As transport, travelers often choose boats or bicycles.



Germany’s only national park, which is located in the highlands. It occupies about 21 thousand hectares in the Alps. It borders Austria on two sides. Especially protected species include European roe deer and red deer. Attractions: several lakes, including Funtensee, Wachsmann mountain, towering at 2.7 thousand meters, the Church of St. Bartholomew, dated to the XII century.


Blisgau Nature Reserve

Location – the border area with France. The main plants of the reserve: beech trees, fruit trees, orchids (more than half of all species growing in Germany). Tourism is developed in several directions. Pilgrims pass the Way of St. James. Lovers of horseback riding can rent a horse or riding lessons. Those wishing to delve into history visit sites where traces of Roman and Celtic settlements remain.


Schleswig-Holstein Waters.

Founded in 1985, an area of 441.5 thousand hectares. In 1990 it was recognized as a biosphere reserve. Refers to the northern part of the country. Most of the reserve is covered by water. Despite the provision for a protected area, not only tourism is developed, but also some other human impact on the environment. Pebbles are mined, fish are caught, and cattle are grazed. For the most part, only a section of the coastal zone is protected.


Lower Saxon Watts

It is located in the north of the country, has an area of 345 thousand hectares and covers the coast of the North Sea. The natural beauties of the national park are: the only “floating marsh” in the region, saline meadows, rock ledges of different shapes. Tourists often visit the nursery, where they raise seals, the island’s old lighthouse, exhibition center, museum of local history and a unique attraction – “fence” of whale bones.

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Hamburg Watt Sea.

The park is located near the town of Cuxhaven on more than 13 thousand hectares. Founded in 1990, 11 years later expanded. The shallow sea, rich in food, attracts migratory birds, as well as those species of birds that need to fatten up to hatch their young. For this reason, seagulls, geese, ducks, common eider and other species that nest here are always abundant in the national park.


Rhön Nature Reserve

The Rhön Nature Reserve is located in the middle of the country and occupies land which has been cultivated and used by people for centuries. The Point Alpha memorial and guided tours inform about the former German-German border here. Wasserkuppe and its surroundings is a beautiful place for gliders. The orchards and pastures are sources of fresh produce that can be bought and tasted.


The river landscape of the Elbe.

The location is in the northeast of the country. In addition to the wild natural beauties, the reserve includes park areas such as the Dessau-Vörlitz and man-made attractions like the architectural complex in Dessau. Thanks to the river’s overflows, there are flood meadows, as well as all kinds of floodplains with their own peculiarities. One of the most popular cycling routes stretches for 860 km.



Year of foundation – 1990, area – 3 thousand hectares. The smallest of German national parks. It is named after the island where it is located. The chalk cliffs contain fossilized fossils, which become visible during erosion: broken pieces of rock fall down. Especially large chunks, when collapsed into the sea, become natural breakwaters. “The King’s Chair” is a natural viewing platform popular with tourists.



An unusual national park, divided into two parts by the town of Neustrelitz. It was formed in 1990, the local landscape is considered ancient, so it was decided to preserve it for posterity. The area abounds with small streams, ponds and rivers, and there are about a hundred lakes. Freshwater Lake Müritz is the largest of those that belong entirely to Germany. Rare fauna includes the black crane.


Badlands and lakes of Upper Lusatia

Reserve was founded in 1998 on an area of 30 thousand hectares. Is part of a nature park with the same name. Its characteristic feature is the abundance of water bodies, including 350 ponds. Some of them are actively used for economic activities, some – under a ban on the impact of people. One of the tasks of the reserve is the partial restoration of the forest area, which was cut down to create arable land and meadows for cattle grazing.

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Palatinate Forest – Northern Vosges

A nature reserve in the border area of Germany and France. The largest forest in the country by area. There are completely coniferous areas, chestnut groves, mixed strips and sparse woodland. Tourists are attracted not only by them, the vineyards on the rocky slopes and almost exotic plantings of kiwi and fig, but also by the historical component. These lands hold the memory of the events of the past, only the ruins of castles found about 150.


Bavarian Forest

It occupies 24 thousand hectares along the border with the Czech Republic. Vast forest areas became a national park in 1970. The composition of the forest is mixed, with a predominance of conifers, its cutting is prohibited. Only hiking along paved trails is allowed here. Some species of wild animals are kept in enclosures during certain periods, either to protect them or to protect plants to which they may cause damage.


Lower Oder Valley.

A national park exists since 1995 in the Uckermark region on the border with Poland. The area is almost 10.5 thousand hectares. On the flood meadows there is the only polder in Germany of this kind. For cyclists there is a unique route that includes a section of the dam. There are observation areas and training routes for climbers. About half of the area is completely inaccessible to economic activities.


Fore-Pomeranian Lagoons.

Located east of the city of Rostock on an area of 80 thousand hectares. Like many national parks, was founded in 1990. The purpose of its creation is to observe the natural changes of the coastline of the Baltic Sea. Algae composition changes due to fertilizers penetrating into the soil. A special feature is the wind wattage, which does not obey the tides. The area is known as a staging ground for cranes flying south.


Swabian Alb.

Location – 40 km from Stuttgart to the southeast. The terrain is not homogeneous – a high plateau neighbors with mountain ranges and escarpments. In the reserve there are guides who are ready to accompany guests on horseback, on foot and in a kayak. There are many ruins of castles, abandoned settlements, closed monasteries and thermal springs where you can take baths and rest.



Occupies 7.5 thousand hectares of land in Thuringia. The national park appeared on the maps in 1997 to protect the beech forest. Species diversity of fauna is not as wide as in the neighboring nature reserves and national parks, but the ecosystem is very balanced, which allows not to worry about the population, both animals and plants. For tourists there is a special trail that allows you to view the area from different angles and heights.



Extends over 10.5 thousand hectares in North Rhine-Westphalia. Borders with Belgium, and on two sides rests in the cities. The beech forest is the reason why the national park was founded in 2004. It used to occupy a much larger area, but deforestation and pollution have done their work. There are about 900 representatives of the Red Book in this region, an impressive proportion of which are insects.

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Thuringian Forest

Located in the land of the same name in the center of the country. Depending on the time of year, the reserve offers different types of tourism and recreation: from hiking to skiing. Climbers choose the highest local tower to practice their climbs. There are tours to places associated with famous writers. Local museums and workshops offer insights into the history and traditions of the region.



Refers to the eastern lands of the country. This reserve is a place of contact between the natural and the man-made. Storks nest in the villages, forests frame ancient shrines, ruins of Greiffenberg and Grimnitz castles, ruins of old buildings of unknown purpose. In addition, there are well-preserved manor houses, as well as the monastery of Korin – a fine example of classical brick Gothic.



Documents on the establishment of the national park were signed in 2004. It occupies an area of 5.4 thousand hectares in Hesse. There is no railway connection to the park. Most of the percentage of vegetation here are beech forests, and they vary in species. Meadows and pastures are abandoned, hiking trails are laid out. Among the animals we can distinguish the forest cat, which was thought to be extinct until 2007.


The national park is located in the states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. In its present borders it was created at the beginning of 2006. 95% of the area is covered with beech and spruce forests, there are marshes and streams. The area of the park is 24.7 thousand hectares. In the past the border between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany was drawn here and there was a forbidden zone. Therefore, a large part of the territory remained untouched for decades. The park is working on restoring the lynx population.


Black Forest

Year of foundation – 2014, occupied area – about 10 thousand hectares. The protected forests of the national park are about 100 years old. From the escarpments and small hills there is a panoramic view of the Rhine and the surrounding countryside. Program visits to the Black Forest is very diverse. Depending on the season there is a choice of leisure activities: horses, skiing, boating. In addition to recreation here you can devote time to educational programs.



Located in the west of the country. Opened in 2015, its territory is patrolled by 16 rangers. The purpose of the new national park is to give nature a bit of a break from human activity and restore it to its former splendor. Red beeches have been protected, previously being cut down at an alarming rate. There is also a special program for wolves, for which a separate piece of land has been fenced off.

Germany’s 10 most beautiful national parks

Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich: Germany has an incredible number of ancient cities with their own atmosphere. Not without reason most of the tourists go there. But the other treasure of the country is the diverse landscapes and preserved nature. See for yourself at the 10 most beautiful national parks in Germany.

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Bavarian Forest National Park

Endless forests, deep lakes, high mountains. It’s just like in the good old Baba-Yaga fairy tales! It’s easy to see why the Bavarian Forest was Germany’s first national park. The untouched and “untamed” wilderness encourages hiking. There are plenty of trails for hikers: strolling through the ancient thickets, it’s like stepping into a magical world. Most of the area is tree-covered, but rocky peaks break through the canopy at times, and tranquil lakes appear between quiet glades.

Bavarian National Park

Harz National Park

The wild, wonderful, fantastic Harz National Park is a delight for nature lovers who want to explore a pristine part of the world. The park used to be part of the border between East and West Germany – similar to the current Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. This special position helped preserve the ecosystem. Almost entirely forested, the park includes a section of the Harz mountain range that is home to noble graceful deer, shaggy raccoon dogs, and sensitive bobcats.

Harz National Park

West Pomerania area

Hugging the Baltic coast, the West Pomeranian Zone National Park is not like its counterparts. Its rugged charm and “jagged” coastline create a unique and strangely beautiful landscape. With cold waters licking the shore and big waves crashing on the rocks, West Pomerania inspires the visitor with a sense of awe at the mighty power of nature. The beaches slowly rise up to the Baltic and then turn into sparse forests. Red deer and wild boars roam the thickets, and each year more than 30,000 migrating cranes descend on the park to continue their incredible journey.

Western Pomerania National Park

Eiffel National Park

Located on the western border with Belgium, the Eiffel National Park has been heavily logged at one point due to rampant charcoal production. These days, environmentalists are attempting to restore this area to its former lush beauty. Anti-personnel mines left over from World War II are another “footprint” from the past. Don’t be frightened, these areas are forbidden to visit. But it’s not all that sad! The park has over 240 kilometers of trails and paths for hikers and bicyclists. These trails help visitors truly immerse themselves in nature’s beauty. Magnificent rivers and lakes are scattered around the hills and forests.

Eifel National Park

Kellerwald-Edersee National Park

Ancient beech forests and beautiful green hills remembering the Middle Ages are the Kellerwald-Edersee Park, named after the lake (Edersee). The stunning blue waters are the heart of the park. Many paths winding through the trees take you to hidden “gems” hidden among the thickets. The rock formations date back to the last ice age. They turn into lush meadows, and shrubs and young trees turn into full-grown forests. Endemic animals such as bats, wild boars and rare birds live here.

Kellerwald-Edersee National Park

Hamburg Waddenze National Park

This park stretches so far out to the horizon and the sun glistening over the water that it’s not immediately clear where the mud and sandbanks end and the North Sea begins. Located near Hamburg in the north of the country, the national park consists of three islands, which along with the vast mud hills form most of the area. The picturesque and wild beauty of the region and attracts tourists. You will be amazed at the vast numbers of birds and seals frolicking in the waters or basking in the sun. If you go to Neuwerk Island, you will find interesting historical sites.

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Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park

Jasmund National Park

Jasmund Park is very similar to the White Cliffs of Dover in the United Kingdom. Because the main feature of the territory remains the dazzling rock formations overlooking the Baltic Sea. Reaching a height of 117 meters, these striking peaks and slopes are partially covered by beech forests. The Jasmunda Hiking Trail takes you through a variety of ecosystems and showcases dramatic views. A gem dating back to the Cretaceous Period, the park will amaze you with perfect blue waves and snow-white spurs reflecting in the water.

Jasmund Park

Saxon Switzerland National Park

This amazing park is located in the east of the country, on the border with the Czech Republic. Its rocky landscapes and deep canyons are marvelous. Visitors to Saxon Switzerland head to Karolafelsen, where they are greeted by magnificent views of the forests and gorges far below. Over 100 kilometers of trails await hikers, with magnificent panoramas and a variety of ecosystems in front of you. Climbers love the park, as the geological formations and rock outcrops are perfect for ascents of varying difficulty.

Saxon National Park

Black Forest National Park

Delightful hilly areas covered with dense (there’s no other way to put it) forests and an unspoiled environment are what attracts tourists to the Black Forest National Park. Beautiful shades of lush foliage, mosses and grasses, yellow, blue and red flowers create a mosaic from which it is impossible to take your eyes off. Crystal clear babbling streams cut through the forest and reflect the sky. A serene world full of hues, sounds and life! The beautifully preserved landscapes have remained unchanged for centuries, which is why the Black Forest is so pleasant to visit. Trails lead to protected areas – such as the Allerhaligen waterfalls. Running down the hillside, the iridescent cascades create a fairy-tale atmosphere.

German Black Forest National Park

Berchtesgaden National Park

Now that you’ve admired the east, north and west of Germany, take a look at the south of the country. At the center of the Berchtesgaden National Park lies the enormous Lake Königsee, surrounded by magnificent snow-capped mountains. These are the Alps, they dominate the area. Below the gray cliffs is a sea of dark green trees. Each successive landscape is more beautiful than the previous one, there is no limit to the variety. Mountain trails, stunning flora and fauna make the region enchanting. That’s why this park ranks #1 on the list!

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