From bell tents deep in the evergreen mountains of the Black Forest to camping pitches overlooking Bavaria’s towering medieval spires, Germany is a camper’s paradise. There are over 1,000 camping and caravanning sites throughout Germany offering endless possibilities for adventures. Facilities can be as slick or back-to-basics as you wish. There are secluded, lowkey campsites like Camping Brunnen for those that want to get back to nature, and resorts with pools, spas and even golf courses like Camping Arterhof for those that want a little more entertainment.
Here are five reasons to back your bags and head off on a camping holiday in Germany:
Lakeside camping spots and river dips
It would take a lifetime to explore Germany’s wild swimming spots. From Lake Schaaslee’s reedbeds and inlets to the sandy shores of the River Rhine, you don’t have to be on the coast to enjoy crystal-clear waters. Camping Schluchsee, in the heart of a Black Forest biosphere reserve, has pitches and caravans meters from one of the cleanest lakes in Germany. Wildlife is abundant, and each year, migrating cranes and birds break their journey here. Towards Neckar Valley, Freizeitcenter Oberrhein campsite in Baden-Württemberg has surf-boards, canoes and electric boats for hire on the adjacent Rhine River. In Bavaria, Camping Arterhof has an onsite thermal pool and Baden Baden’s famous spas are nearby.
Family-friendly campsites and activities
Camping is a popular year-round pastime in Germany, and since many campsites are family-owned and run, they know how to cater for families of all ages. Whether facilities are extensive or not, most will welcome kids with communal playgrounds and games to play while parents kickback. Camping Arterhof is run by the Kur-Gutshof family who throws everything at providing an action-packed guest experience. From an onsite petting zoo, with sheep, pygmy goats and Canadian geese roaming free, to an award-winning series of natural pools, families are content to stay put here for days on end. Over in the Black Forest, Camping Kirchzarten is a family run campsite with big views, water sports, mini-golf and a swimming pool. In winter, Kirchzarten offers Nordic skiing and winter sports, too.
Hiking trails and walking holidays
Germany has over 200,000 kilometres of walking trails with signposts crisscrossing through the depths of forests, around sea-like lakes, past medieval castles, and up and over mountain passes. Most of these trails traverse Germany’s 16 national parks and 14 biosphere reserves, home to wild coastal landscapes in the north, and wolves in the south. One of the most popular hiking routes is the Black Forest’s Schluchtensteig Trail, which meanders from the forest’s understory to the 1,000-meter heights of the Black Forest National Park. Further south, the UNESCO-Swabian Alb Biosphere is home to trails that submit the imposing Jura mountains and dip down to the Danube Valley. Alternatively, the Bavarian Forest National Park has over 300 kilometres of marked footpaths, some of which takes you along the park’s glacial lake, Rachelsee. Black Forest campsites nearby include Camping Kirchzarten, and in Bavaria, hiking trails meander past Camping Brennen.
Local specialities and wine tours
Bordering nine countries, it’s no surprise that Germany is a melting pot of tastes. Whether you’re into local food cooked on the campfire or splashing out on Michelin star restaurants, Germany’s gourmet experience won’t disappoint. Better known for its beer (and, of course, there are hours to be wiled away in one of the many beer gardens or beer festivals), Bavaria is also home to world-renowned winemakers. Franconia has over 6,000-hectares of picturesque vineyards and speciality cellars; don’t miss Heckenwirtschaften where winemakers invite guests into cosy cellars for regional food and drink. In The Black Forest, over 300 chefs have Michelin stars or similar, but you don’t have to be lavish to sample the region’s prized ingredients. Menus at inns and cosy restaurants include venison Baden-Baden and bibiliskäs with brägele — cheese with herbs and roast potatoes. Campsites like Freizeitcenter Oberrhein and Camping-Grafenlehen have their own cafes, bars and restaurants that reflect regional traditions.
Glorious roads and panoramic routes
Romantic Road, Wine Route, Fairy-Tale Route, and, even, Volcano Route: Germany isn’t shy of organised road trip fun. This is one of the best places in Europe to take to the open road and let the storied villages, forested national parks and mountaintop castles unfold. Since campsites often offer caravan, lodge, or cottage rentals, as well as tent pitches, there’s also no need to have the car packed to the brim. In Germany, there’s a road trip to cater to all interests. In the South, The Black Forest Panoramic Route from Feldberg to Waldkirch takes in views across the Rhineland Plain to the Vosges mountains, and the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse, Germany’s oldest scenic road, connects Baden-Baden and Freudenstadt. The Black Forest Spa Route takes in 270 kilometres of thermal baths and mineral springs, while The German Alpine Road shows off some of Germany’s most impressive peaks. Germany’s lesser-visited coast is equally full of spectacular landscapes, including the chalky cliffs of Jasmund National Park and the 4 km Baltic beach at Kühlungsbor.
Camping in Germany is a wonderful holiday whether you’re looking for rest and relaxation or outdoor adventure. With caravans, lodges, cabins, cottages and pretty pitches on offer, there is something to suit everyone. Find more inspiration and get planning by taking a look at CampInn’s campsites in Germany.