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Off the Beaten Path: 8 Underrated Gems in Germany

Are you planning a trip from Delhi to Germany? If yes, get ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime. Germany attracts travellers with fairytale castles, charming Christmas markets, and historic cities like Berlin and Munich. But beyond the usual tourist trail lies a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From natural landscapes to medieval towns steeped in history, here are 8 lesser-known destinations that promise an unforgettable German adventure:

  1. The Eifel National Park: 

Located in western Germany, this volcanic wonderland has magnificent landscapes, lush forests, and serene crater lakes. Hike to the summit of the Maars (extinct volcanic craters) for breathtaking panoramas, explore the ancient underground network of the Maars of Manderscheid, or cycle along scenic trails. Nature enthusiasts can spot rare birds and diverse wildlife, while history buffs can delve into medieval castles like Burg Eltz, a 12th-century marvel perched on a rocky outcrop.

  1. Saxon Switzerland National Park: 

This picturesque region in eastern Germany is a paradise for outdoor lovers. Hike through the dramatic sandstone rock formations of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, with their jagged peaks nicknamed "The Painter's Easel." Take a boat trip on the Elbe River, admire the Bastei Bridge - a neo-Gothic masterpiece spanning a gorge, or hop on the Kirnitzschtal Tram, one of Germany's oldest narrow-gauge railways, for a scenic journey through the valley.

  1. Mecklenburg Lake District: 

Escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of a thousand lakes. This enchanting region in northern Germany offers a network of waterways connected by canals, making it ideal for exploring by boat or kayak. Cycle along charming villages, visit the Müritz National Park - home to diverse flora and fauna or explore the town of Waren (Müritz) with its medieval harbour and historic churches.

  1. Quedlinburg:  

Step back in time in this enchanting half-timbered town in Saxony-Anhalt. Quedlinburg features the largest collection of half-timbered houses in Germany, with over 1,300 structures dating back to the Middle Ages. Explore the magnificent collegiate church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, climb to the top of the castle for panoramic views, or wander the charming cobblestone streets lined with shops and cafes.

  1. Lüneburg Heath: 

Immerse yourself in a sea of purple during the heather bloom season (late summer to autumn) in this unique landscape in northern Germany. Hike or cycle through vast swathes of purple heather, visit the historic centre of Lüneburg with its Gothic architecture or explore the serene monasteries scattered across the region.

  1. Medieval Town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber:  

Transport yourself to a fairytale with a visit to this perfectly preserved medieval town in Bavaria. Rothenburg ob der Tauber boasts well-preserved city walls, cobbled streets lined with colourful half-timbered houses, and a charming market square. Explore the Plönlein (Little Square), one of the most photographed spots in Germany, climb the Town Hall Tower for panoramic views, or wander the Christmas Market during the festive season for a truly magical experience.

  1. Triberg Waterfalls: 

Witness the power of nature at the Triberg Waterfalls, Germany's highest waterfalls. Located in the heart of the Black Forest, these cascading falls plunge 163 meters through a lush green gorge. Take a leisurely hike to the top of the falls, ride the historic Triberg Waterfalls Railway for a unique perspective, or visit the nearby town of Triberg with its traditional cuckoo clocks and Black Forest charm.

  1. The Island of Rügen:  

Discover the beauty of the Baltic Sea on the largest island in Germany. Rügen offers a diverse landscape of chalk cliffs, sandy beaches, charming fishing villages, and the Jasmund National Park, famous for its ancient beech forests, known as the Stubbenkammer. Explore the seaside resorts of Binz and Sellin, visit the spectacular Jagdschloss Granitz hunting lodge perched on a hilltop, or take a boat trip to the nearby island of Hiddensee for a car-free escape.

Essential Tips to Keep in Mind:

  • When travelling from Delhi to Germany, consider booking your flights early for cheap fares and better seats. Plus, reserve round-trip tickets instead of booking a separate flight from Germany

  • Train travel is efficient and scenic, purchase a travel pass for savings.

  • Book centrally located hotels in walkable areas for easy sightseeing.

  • Pickpocketing can occur in crowded areas, so keep valuables secure.

  • Many places accept cards, but some (like markets) prefer cash.

  • Try local specialities like sausages, pretzels, and regional beers.

  • Tipping is not expected but appreciated for good service (round up the bill).

  • Remember, a few German greetings go a long way.

So, ditch the tourist crowds and embark on an adventure to these hidden gems. Germany offers a wealth of experiences beyond the well-trodden path, waiting to be discovered by curious travellers.

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