Out and about in Germany’s lake district by canoe, raft or houseboat

It’s crazy: no matter where you ask around, everyone around you is on vacation far away from home. Then they fly to Italy, Spain or Portugal, just to dangle their legs in the water. The joke is that we have relaxation, tranquility and above all lots of great lakes right on our doorstep. And all this without the stress of the flight and the worry that your luggage will get lost on the way.

Your time out, our element

Brandenburg, Berlin and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania are the largest networked inland area in Germany and thus offer us countless opportunities for a break in nature. The only question that arises is: Are you more of a canoe, raft or houseboat type? As soon as that is clarified, you can start on the nature adventure playground.

© TMB photo archive/Julia Nimke

Happiness is closer than you might think: for example, start a canoe tour from Köpenick in the direction of Lake Dämeritz. Around the picturesque Köpenick Castle, through Müggelspree and Müggelsee, the idyllic New Venice with its small canals is waiting to be explored by you on the water side by canoe. The fresh air there is so good that you feel miles away from everyday life and just feels more located in Italy. And if you allow yourself to calmly dive into the cool water with your paddle, you will definitely believe that you have come closer to your dream holiday.

Ready for vacation? Get on the houseboat!

Or you can grab a houseboat and explore the Ruppin chain of lakes or the large Mecklenburg lakes for several days. Here you can perfectly enjoy your free time reading and dozing off, in the evening it is also a great idea to have a barbecue – and to eat there is pure natural cinema. During short breaks on land, you can also explore the picturesque villages in the area by bike. Who needs squeezing on a beach in southern Europe when you can let the wind blow in your face on the multitude of lakes without any disturbance? There is always enough sun and leisure opportunities.

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@ TMV/Gänsicke

What is really unique: the chance to do a round trip from Brandenburg via Berlin to Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. For example, start your trip in Brandenburg’s capital and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Potsdam, first to admire Babelsberg Palace there, before you pass the Havel and Berlin and can’t lift your jaw at all because of the most beautiful skyline. As compensation, we continue to Dömitz and the picturesque Plau am See. It is always worthwhile to take a break for water or swimming and to examine the historical town centers of the locations and to enjoy the local cuisine on this occasion. You like fish, don’t you?!

The really big tour

Practical: Around 900 kilometers of Germany’s lake district can be navigated with houseboats and rafts with a power of up to 15 hp without a license. After a thorough briefing on the rental, you will receive the charter certificate and can start your adventure straight away. Incidentally, this also applies to inner-city Berlin waterways. But be careful: For boats with 15 hp or more, a boat license is required everywhere. In certain areas, such a license is also a prerequisite for navigating them with houseboats or rafts, which is why it makes sense to inquire about them beforehand, especially on longer tours.

© Backstagetourism/Paul Stresing

In any case, you will quickly notice, like us, how close the time-out can be and how beautiful the closeness can be. You don’t need a plane to get away from the stress of everyday life. There’s another way. And as Hannah Gadsby writes so appropriately in her memoirs: “Nothing is as calming as the view of the water and this eternal blue”.

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For more inspiration, be sure to check out the Germany Lake District website.