Friday, March 14, 2008

Visit Germany: The forgotten holiday superpower

Visit Germany: The forgotten holiday superpower by Andrew Regan

When it comes to Brits going abroad - Germany isn't the first place to spring to mind as a top holiday destination. Those looking for hot sun and sandy beaches tend to head for more southerly European countries, such as Spain, Portugal or Italy and those who are after Alpine environments tend to prefer the famed ski resorts of France, Switzerland or Austria.

However, this large European nation does have a prospering tourism industry, and there are plenty of visitors from the UK who have fallen in love with Germany's medieval towns, vast forests and vibrant cities.

The Black Forest is one of the most well known regions of Germany; a wooded mountain range in Baden-Wuttemberg, its highest peak stands at 1493m high. The forest is largely made up of pines and firs, and is criss-crossed with numerous long distance walking trails which make it a haven for walkers and hikers. Along the way, visitors will find impressive lakes such as Titisee, which has its own sand beach (and plenty of opportunity for water sports), and animal lovers can observe a range of fauna such as the Hinterw√ɤlder Black forest cows, the giant earthworm - Lumbricus badensis (which is only found in the Black Forest region), as well as eagles and owls.

When it comes to accommodation, travellers are spoilt for choice; at the budget end of the scale, Germany's numerous campsites provide a cheap and cheerful place to pitch a tent; for a slightly more comfortable stay, renting a self catered holiday villa or cottage is ideal, and if you've feeling flush, a stay in one of Germany's castles will allow you to experience what it would be like to be a Count or Countess for a night or two.

Germany is also famed for its river scenery and has a wide variety of different riverscapes to experience, from the mountain streams of Bavaria, to the Rhine Valley which forms part of a UNESCO world heritage site. The Danube and its tributaries is another mighty river which has moved people and cultures for centuries, from Stone Age hunters, to Roman Emperors. River trips on Danube are a popular way of seeing Germany, where visitors can go at their own pace and stop at the many beautiful riverside settlements which host numerous festivals throughout the year.

And finally, for beer lovers, Munich's Oktoberfest is compulsory; this sixteen day celebration attracts some six million people every year during late September and early October. The festival is touted as the world's largest fair, and beer plays a central role in the celebrations with special varieties brewed just for the festival.

With a wide range of outdoor activities, pulsating cities and plenty of history on offer, maybe it's time you gave Germany a try?

About the Author

Andrew Regan is an online, freelance author from Scotland. He is a keen rugby player and enjoys travelling.

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