Expansive stretches of green, untouched natural bounty, a countryside with cobbled stone ways and Bavarian houses or futuristic architecture and city planning—all offer a taste of German sustainability. Whether on the road exploring unique cultures of big cities or finding off-beat experiences along the way, a traveller can seamlessly enjoy new escapades without worrying about their carbon footprint. We’ve rounded up three ways to have a feel-good holiday in Germany while relishing heritage, nature and innovation.
In spring, acres of almond trees blossom in clusters of pink. Blooms of kiwis and figs dot the summer gardens and autumn evenings meander with the scent of freshly harvested grape vines. Each moment in the wine country of Palatinate is soaked in relaxation, enchantment and the thrill of local discoveries. Located in western Germany, the Palatinate region ranks as the largest Riesling producer in the world and the biggest red wine producer in the country. The 85-kilometre-long German Wine Route packs endless sessions of swivelling and sipping delicious wines, biking trails on roads lined with medieval castles and fortresses, visits to quaint villages and scenic vineyards and hikes through the Palatinate forest.
On your next visit, shift down a gear and learn the craft of winemaking from the masters of the Old World. Along the way, stop at Bad Dürkheim which houses the world’s biggest wine barrel and hosts the world’s largest wine festival, Wurstmarkt. Soak in the countryside’s sweeping views through a cable car up to Riet Castle, enjoy the cobbled pathways and Roman timber architecture of the small villages and feast on hearty local meals at taverns, cafés and speciality shops. Ample eateries will pair wines of the region with local fare and seasonal produce. Behind every leisure experience in the region, is the thought of conscious living without wasting resources that allows a traveller to relish every bit of the untouched landscapes. germany.travel/en
The German reputation stands tall for sustainable design and cutting-edge projects that cater to every sphere of life. Concepts of mindful living, reduction of waste and curbing overconsumption can be seen across architecture, fashion design, food, urban farming and city planning. For travellers that enjoy contemporary living and are rooted in the sustainable movement, the best of Berlin can be unearthed through circular economy tours.
If you find yourself intrigued by local crafts, book a tour of Berlin’s fashion and textile industry. Immerse yourself in creative projects using zero-waste design and upcycled fabrics and enjoy a German spin on thrifting culture. Travellers who seek exclusive food experiences can trace the city through a gastronomic map where establishments focus on new ways to stop food waste, cook with leftovers and preserve bacteria while plating gobsmacking fare—being one of the top vegan cities in the world grants Berlin an added advantage. If your interest is rooted in urban spaces and futuristic architecture, book an art and design tour with experts and traverse Berlin’s cityscape through transition towns, experimental communities, design labs and revamped creative spaces. circulareconomytours.com
In the foothills of Central Europe, travel back in time as you set food in Bavarian Forest’s hiking grounds. Two nature parks and a National Park offer a primaeval getaway in the lap of nature. Perfect for luxury stays, active family vacations, or even wellness breaks, there is something to spectate for everyone. Turn to forest whispering as you discover beautiful geotopes, fascinating canyon grounds and waterfalls in the deep forests from wilderness camps. Engage in foraging, birdwatching or kayaking or go rogue on foot to soak in the charm of the protected reserves.
For a dose of art and culture, discover glass blowing and glass attractions inside the forest, head to the kite museum, amble along monastery and church-lined roads or witness mythological stories unfold on open-air stages. Lastly, find yourself immersed in local customs around Pentecost and Easter, and tune into an array of folk festivals showcasing a musical rendezvous. Finally, check into eco-lodges or climatic health resorts to experience the magic of a Kneipp treatment. bayerischer-wald.de
To find out more about travelling in Germany, visit www.germany.travel/en/
Muskaan Gupta travels with a camera that doesn't fret to capture touristy pictures and believes visiting local markets is the best way to unearth a city's gems and jewels. She is Junior Writer (Native Content) at National Geographic Traveller India.