August 2016

Spreewald

If you are looking for day trips to do from Berlin, I can really recommend visiting the unique Spreewald area. The Spreewald is a picturesque section of the German state of Brandenburg. It was a designated biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1991 and is known for its traditional irrigation system, consisting of more than 200 small canals within the 484-square-kilometer area and 1000 kilometers of water streams. The landscape was shaped during the ice-age when the glaciers began to melt and the delicate network of streams was formed between small islands. Alder forests on wetlands and pine forests on sandy dry areas are characteristic of the region. The main town is called Lübbenau with approx. 18,000 inhabitants and the town has an extensive touristic offering for everyone who enjoys nature. The area is fantastic for walking, biking (you can bring your own bike on the train from Berlin or you can rent one there) and water sports.

A boat ride through the extensive network of streams is one of the most popular activities for visitors to the Spreewald. Let your ferryman punter take you through picturesque Spreewald villages, peaceful meadows, and stunning forests. They are very knowledgeable and you will learn many facts about sights, traditions, nature and you will definitely be treated to Spreewald gherkins along the way. If you rather explore the area on your own, there are many boat rental shops for you to stop by, get a map and a paddling boat so you can go off on your own. The traditional boats which take the tourists around, still shape the everyday lives of many Spreewald residents. For a long time, it was the only mean of transport. Every farm has its own small port and boat and people used them to bring their harvest home. Children were taken to school, the post and food were delivered using the waterways only. Today, there are bridges connecting one to shore to the other in most places, but some houses are still only available by water. Nowadays there are many restaurants and beer gardens along the streams with their own boat stops so you can find many places to shop, eat and enjoy.

Getting to the area from Berlin is an easy task. Trains run hourly and take approximately one hour from Berlin Alexanderplatz. If you choose Lübbenau as the town to stop, you can walk from the station to the port where the boats take off in only 15 minutes. The walk takes you through the picturesque old town, past some local art, historic houses, and restaurants.

A great day out in the unique countryside surrounding Berlin!

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