Magdeburg, the capital city of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, not only stands out due to its Gothic cathedral and the “Green Citadel” designed by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It also boasts green gems such as Germany’s first public park, the Klosterbergegarten, which was created by the landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné. In fact, Magdeburg is currently the second greenest city in Germany and invites its guests to come and enjoy a rendezvous with culture and nature.
Saxony-Anhalt is home to a number of highlights for visitors who want to enjoy their holiday in a natural environment, for example the Harz National Park, the Harz Nature Park and the South Harz Karst Landscape Biosphere Reserve. Sustainable tourism is a top priority in these particularly stunning rural regions. The Harz National Park was the first national park in Germany to be accepted into the “European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas” in 2005.
Between the peaks of the Brocken mountain plateau and the chains of foothills of the foreland, the Harz is home to an extremely diverse landscape like virtually no other area in Germany. Its deciduous, mixed and coniferous forests, deep gorges, wild rivers and rolling mountain meadows all enable visitors to experience the wonders of nature in a truly unique setting. When it comes to their flora, the nature parks in the Harz region boast one of the widest varieties of different species in Germany.
The Harz also offers its guests the opportunity to experience a leisure activity that is both trendy and traditional: a hike through the heart of nature at its best. A multitude of well-maintained and signposted hiking trails covering a total distance of well over 600km not only lead visitors up the legendary Brocken mountain, but also to many other natural highlights.
The following trails represent just a small selection of the hiking routes on offer:
the Harzer Hexen-Stieg (Harz Witches Trail), Goetheweg zum Brocken (Goethe Trail to the Brocken mountain), Teufelsstieg (Devil’s Trail), Selketal-Stieg (Selke Valley Trail) and the Harzer Klosterwanderweg (Harz Monastery Trail). The special hiking tours led by the rangers of the Harz National Park also come highly recommended, for example the “Unterwegs zu den Luchsen” (Visiting the Lynxes) hike.
These websites also contain information on tour planning, places to visit, accommodation options, café and restaurant recommendations and information on regional specialities. Cycling fans will be pleased to hear that the Harz region also offers visitors the chance to experience its natural landscapes on bicycle tours.
Saxony-Anhalt is additionally home to six other nature parks covering a total area of more than 460,000 hectares:
Saale-Unstrut-Triasland Nature Park
This landscape located to the north of the towns of Naumburg and Freyburg offers more than a hint of Mediterranean flair thanks to its vineyards, rolling river valleys, orchids and castles.
Lower Saale Valley Nature Park
This world of discovery is located between the city of Halle (Saale) and the town of Bernburg and features a combination of extensive untouched floodplains and a rugged rocky landscape.
Düben Heath Nature Park
The largest connected forest in Central Europe is located between the town of Lutherstadt Wittenberg and the city of Leipzig and is not only a perfect location for cranes and sea eagles, but also a paradise for nature lovers.
Fläming Nature Park
Located to the north of the river Elbe, the Fläming Heath region is a top recreational location for cultural travellers in Lutherstadt Wittenberg and the Bauhaus city of Dessau-Roßlau.
Drömling Nature Park
Located at the heart of the southern Altmark region, the park attracts visitors with an area known as the “land of a thousand ditches”. With its system of ditches covering a total distance of over 1700km, this landscape represents the largest fen area in Saxony-Anhalt.
Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve
In this reserve at the heart of the “MARTIN LUTHER I BAUHAUS I GARDEN KINGDOM” World Heritage region, the river Elbe has created a unique natural landscape.