Ready for spring
Text: Marilena Stracke | Photos: Pixabay
Right now, plants and wildlife are slowly waking up from their winter slumber, and we are ready to witness it in all its splendour. Start planning your Easter break or sneak away for a cheeky weekend to welcome spring this March. We present a great selection of fabulous destinations to wave winter goodbye and enjoy the lush sceneries ahead of us.
Lakes, forests and mountains: when spring is just around the corner, most of us crave to spend time surrounded by beautiful nature. Across the DACH region, there are a number of inspiring locations to explore, so that you will return home with a ‘spring’ in your step.
Waiting for the cherry blossoms
One such beautiful destination is a range of hills called the ‘Kaiserstuhl’ (Emperor’s seat) in the German state of Baden-Württemberg near Freiburg. The formerly volcanic landscape is known to show early signs of spring each March and also has plenty of wonderful vineyards. It is blessed with a lot of sunshine, which makes a hiking trip that much more enjoyable. Different trails ensure there is the right challenge for everyone, with the longest trail measuring roughly 22 kilometres between Endingen and Ihringen. Make sure you look for the beautiful cherry blossoms, which are always in bloom very early here.
Another great spot for cherry blossoms is the rose garden in Bern. It not only looks like an ocean of soft pastel colours, but also offers some fabulous views of the city. More cherry blossoms can be found during a hike at Nuglar-St. Pantaleon. The much-anticipated season for nature’s Instagram-worthy cherry blossom beauty starts around the end of March.
Exploring lakes and forests
A mesmerising region during spring is the Vulkaneifel in Rhineland-Palatinate. Here, nature lovers can admire the maars. These ancient wonders of nature go back to volcano-related eruptions thousands of years ago. The volcanic craters are now filled with water thanks to numerous mineral springs and make for a beautiful landscape. It might be a little too early to go swimming, but it’s a perfect setting to take a deep breath of crisp air and have a little picnic in the sun.
The Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, located in the centre of Germany near Kassel, is as green as it gets. Think beautiful beech forests and, of course, the idyllic Lake Edersee. The park itself is part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage ‘Ancient German Beech Forest’. Here, you can find hiking trails as far as the eye can see and you can also learn about the extraordinary biological diversity of European beech forests up-close.
One of the most popular lakes in Austria is without a doubt the Green Lake in Styria. Each year, it fills up with crystal-clear spring water melted from the snowy mountain tops and turns into a natural spectacle with its unique emerald green colour. In winter, it almost disappears completely before it ‘magically’ emerges again in spring. The Green Lake gives a feeling of being somewhere in the Caribbean, if it wasn’t for the grand mountain backdrops. Make sure to check if it has fully filled up yet, as the timing changes each year and depends on weather conditions. Late spring is a better time to visit than on hot summer days, because you are not allowed to swim in the lake, as this natural gem is best kept untouched.
A bit of everything
If you are looking to combine lake views with mountain tops and also see some Alpine flowers, check out Lake Oberhüttensee in Austria. It’s around 1,860 metres above sea level and the landscape is simply stunning, portraying a rough beauty of its own kind. The area is best explored either on foot or with a mountain bike.
For those wanting to stay a couple of days in one place, have a look at Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut. The picturesque ancient salt mine village is a UNESCO World Heritage Region in a breathtaking mountain setting. It spreads along the shores of Lake Halstätter See, but due to space being limited, some houses have been built on stilts on the lake. 4,000 years of history can be discovered here, so you can combine exploring the surrounding nature with getting to know fascinating local culture.
Watching the signs of spring from above is an option if you pop by the Highline 179 near Reutte in Tirol. Still a bit of an insider’s tip, the suspension bridge measures an impressive 406 metres and is only held by four suspension ropes. The panoramic views from high above (114 metres) are simply beautiful, and the bridge connects the castle ruins Ehrenberg with Fort Claudia – a great day out for the entire family. Though make sure you aren’t scared of heights!
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