13 lakes in Germany to visit this summer

by Kristi Adams
Stripes Europe

For me, there’s no better place to spend those long, sun-drenched days of summer than at a lake. Sure, pools are nice, but lakes capture beauty in a way that pools just can’t. Maybe it’s watching the wind dance across the water to whip up the waves, the soft rustling of shoreline trees, or the splash of a distant fish. There is just something about a lake that offers magic for the entire family.

Whether you’re looking to windsurf, scuba dive, hop on a sailboat, or just relax on a white sand beach (no kidding – we found some!) – these German lakes will have you wishing summertime would never end.

1. Köningsee – Berchtesgaden

Located in Berchtesgaden National Park, Köningsee is often cited as one of Germany’s most beautiful lakes and it’s easy to see why. With its crystal clear waters reflecting the peaks of the Bavarian Alps, Köningsee offers peaceful, natural beauty that’s hard to beat. 

2. Laacher See – Koblenz

A lake in a volcano? Yes please! The biggest lake in Rheinland-Palatinate is Laacher See, a water-filled volcanic crater near Koblenz. A forested ring of hills surrounds the deep, sapphire-blue water, creating a stunning backdrop for both swimming, boating, camping and hiking. 

3. Lake Konstanz – Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Four countries surrounding one lake makes Lake Konstanz an unlimited summer adventure. Visit the quaint downtowns of Konstanz, Friedrichshafen, Meerburg, Wasserburg, and Lindau. Tour a castle, explore an island of flowers and butterflies in Mainau, see a monastery, or a palace or two, in addition to enjoying everything the lake has to offer. 

4. Fühlinger See – Cologne

Fühlinger See is actually one of seven interconnected lakes near Cologne, and offers the most versatile water recreation area of this lake system. The lake also borders Blackfoot Beach, where visitors will find a white sand beach, palm trees, cozy pavilions, sun loungers – and of course, delicious tropical drinks. 

5. Langener Waldsee – Frankfurt am Main

Whether you want to swim, sunbathe, or just watch the sailboats float by, the largest leisure and recreation center in the Rhine-Main area has something for everyone. If you see signs for the Waldsee Sharks – don’t worry; that’s just the Langener swimming team for the 2017 Ironman competition. 

6. Werdersee – Bremen

Screech your way down a 50-meter-long water slide into the cool, blue waters of Werdersee. The lake is also used as a rowing and canoe course, but thanks to the generous waterfront spacing, both boaters and swimmers can simultaneously enjoy the lake in peace.

7. Chiemsee – Rosenheim

Situated in a picturesque alpine landscape is the largest lake in Bavaria – and third largest in Germany. Known as the “Bavarian Sea”, Chiemsee was also a favorite of King Ludwig II. It is here that he built the Herrenchiemsee Castle, modeled after the Palace of Versailles. 

8. Ammersee – Oberbayern

Take a deep breath and leap off a four-level jump tower, or try your luck at paddleboarding or windsurfing on the warm waters of Ammersee. There are also paddleboats, sailing lessons, horses, biking and hiking paths, to make this a wonderful excursion for the entire family.

9. Walchensee – Kochel

Clear waters with visibility up to 40 meters make Walchensee particularly interesting for scuba divers. Along the lake bottom is a series of wrecks to explore – including three aircraft, several boats, and even a Volkswagen Beetle. But you don’t have to be a diver to enjoy the wrecks. Catch a glimpse from the Herzogstandbahn, a gondola lift that runs over the lake. 

10. Lake Tegel – Berlin

With a total of seven islands, Lake Tegel offers steamboat rides, surfing and sailing, in addition to swimming and sunbathing. Don’t miss a trip to see Fat Marie, a 900-year-old oak and Berlin’s oldest tree. 

11. Plauer See – Mecklenburg Lake District

If it’s a water sports paradise you seek, you’ll find it at Plauer See. Sail, surf, dive, paddle, or fish at your leisure – and when your done, head over to one of the lake’s seven restaurants featuring gourmet multi-course menus. A fishing license is required, so you’ll need to pick one up at the Tourist Info center (Tourist Info Plau am See). The “holiday license” is valid for 28 days in a row, costs 20 euros, and can be extended for an additional fee. 

12. Bostalsee – Sankt Wendel

Camp, swim, sail, dive or catch the wave water slide this summer at Bostalsee, one of the most beautiful regions in the Saarland. The Hotel Landhaus Mörsdorf also offers all-inclusive package deals, to take the hassle out of planning. You can even catch a hot air balloon. 

13. Lake Schwerin – Schwerin

Visit a sparkling lake next to a fairytale castle. Catch a sunrise on the Marstall peninsula, climb an observation tower (the Kaninchenwerder), or check out the magnificent Schwerin Castle – which is on its own pristine island in the lake. 

Make time this summer to enjoy these amazing lakes sprinkled across Germany!

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