One national park, two biosphere reserves, six nature parks, plus the magnificent Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz: Saxony-Anhalt is truly rich in natural beauty! But there are also plenty of enchanting small and large oases that perhaps not everyone knows about right away, but which are nevertheless breathtaking, genuinely green destinations. We present five particularly charming ones here:

1

Hanseatic town of Gardelegen and the ramparts

The ramparts with the Salzwedeler Tor stretch like a green ring around the town of Gardelegen
The ramparts with the Salzwedeler Tor stretch like a green ring around the town of Gardelegen © Bernd Wolterstorff

Fragrant meadows, green forests and heath land and in the middle of it all a beautiful historic town: The municipality of the Hanseatic town of Gardelegen in the Altmarkkreis Salzwedel with its 49 districts forms the third largest area town in Germany after Berlin and Hamburg! The green surroundings can be wonderfully explored on foot, by bike or by horse or Kremser (a cozy covered carriage). At least as attractive, however, is the core town of Gardelegen with its beautifully renovated half-timbered houses and the old town hall on the triangular market square. 

The highlight here is the green ramparts, including the Salzwedeler Tor and Stendaler Tor, which form a protective ring around the old town. They were created at the beginning of the 19th century from the former city fortifications, were redesigned several times over the years and supplemented by a double-row linden avenue. Here it is possible to stroll with pleasure, thoughts and soul become completely wide. After being restored in accordance with the preservation order, the fragrant green corridor has also been included in the state-wide Garden Dreams network - the current 50 historic parks and gardens of this feel-good program were selected to document the diverse history of garden art in Saxony-Anhalt. More info can be found here.

2

Central Elbe Biosphere Reserve with floodplain house and adventure trail

The Elbe - pulsating lifeline of an entire region
The Elbe - pulsating lifeline of an entire region © Daniel Fröhlich - stock.adobe.com

It is shy, is considered an excellent builder and is especially loved by children because of its cute appearance: The Elbe beaver is the heraldic animal of the Central Elbe Biosphere Reserve. Once threatened with extinction, the animal has found a safe home in the UNESCO-certified protected zone. Covering an area of 125,510 hectares, the reserve stretches a good 300 river kilometers along the Elbe throughout Saxony-Anhalt and is a true green paradise for nature lovers. 

As a unique biotope, the area includes wet meadows and quiet lakes, inland dunes and mighty oaks, serves as a floodplain and provides shelter for rare flora and fauna. You can hike, bike and boat here or admire the majestic flight of the black stork, crane and white-tailed eagle. The central point of contact is the Auenhaus Information Center, located between Dessau and Oranienbaum, with a variety of exhibitions and brochures. An exciting adventure trail leads from there through a pine maze directly into the realm of the Elbe beaver - those who did not get to see one in the wild can watch the droll fellow building dikes in this extensive open-air facility. You can find more information here.

3

Karst Landscape South Harz Biosphere Reserve

Roßla, is in beautiful destination for nature lovers and quiet connoisseurs
The karst landscape, here near Roßla, is a beautiful destination for nature lovers and quiet connoisseurs © HTV, M. Gloger

Fragrant orchards and vast beech forests, bright red corn poppies and white anemones, romantic villages and historic towns in the midst of this natural beauty - anyone who comes here will quickly fall in love with this green paradise. The protected area, which covers a good 30,000 hectares, stretches along the edge of the southern Harz region northwest of the rose town of Sangerhausen and was tropical seabed more than 250 million years ago. When the water disappeared, a unique gypsum karst landscape of zechstein deposits, depressions and mystical natural caves remained, in which rare bat species such as the "Great Mouse-Ear" live. Black stork, eagle owl and wild cats live in the forests, goats and sheep romp contentedly on sun-drenched meadows. 

The whole thing is a Dorado for quiet connoisseurs, and hikers in particular get their money's worth here, for example on the Karst hiking trail, which has been certified since 2011. There are also many opportunities for pony rides and carriage rides - and geo-caching on the Natura2000 GPS adventure trails is also very popular. You can find more information here.

4

Hiking and wine in the Unstrut Valley

In the Unstrut valley there are great hiking trails and nature trails through the intact nature
In the Unstrut Valley there are great hiking trails and nature trails through the intact nature © Saale-Unstrut-Tourismus e.V., Transmedial

Green vines as far as the eye can see: High-quality grapes for first-class products thrive on the sunny slopes and steep slopes in the wine-growing region between the rivers Saale, Unstrut, Weiße Elster and Ilm. Wine connoisseurs go into raptures, they love the Saale-Unstrut region just as much as nature lovers and active vacationers. The magnificent landscape with its historic sites, architectural treasures and living customs is a travel destination in a class of its own. And hiking on a route network of 1,300 kilometers goes well together with wine enjoyment. There are many enchanting wine trails that connect wineries, wine taverns and the most beautiful places in the green nature. 

The 17-kilometer wine route along the White Elster River, for example, which leads from Posa Zeitz Monastery to Trebnitz. Or the Bad Kösen Vineyard Trail, which runs for a good 11 kilometers along the Saale, past meadows full of wildflowers and magnificent vantage points. You can learn a lot of interesting facts on the Saale-Unstrut Wine Trail: on a beautiful 12-kilometer length, there are 26 information boards with information about the local wine - for little hikers, there are also five colorful information boards with topics suitable for children. You can find more exciting tours here.

5

Boat trip on the river Saale in Halle

The green surroundings of Halle can be best explored by excursion boat
An excursion boat is the best way to explore Halle's green surroundings © Thomas Ziegler, Stadt Halle (Saale)

Europe's largest carillon regularly rings out from the 84-meter "Red Tower" in the city center, there is a magnificent composer's house and great events - music has a high priority in beautiful Halle an der Saale. No wonder, since Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759), the greatest son of his hometown, left numerous traces here. His name is also borne by an excursion ship on which visitors can enjoy the green, idyllic river landscape all around after so much culture. "MS Händel II" from Halle-Saale-Schifffahrt regularly offers various relaxing tours. 

The range begins with the one-hour round trip, from Riveufer past the Peißnitzinsel, the Ziegelwiese with bathing beach, under the Bridge of Friendship and along the Klausberge. The trip to the Brachwitz Alps takes two hours longer, and of course coffee and cake are served on the way if desired. In Salzmünde, which is located somewhat to the northwest, a tour also starts that takes the music-loving region into account. On board of the "MS Händel II", the tour will be lively - however, no classical sounds will float over the Saale, but a lively Dixieland sound. You can find more info here.

Cover photo: An adventure trail leads from the Auenhaus information center into the countryside © Stadtmarketinggesellschaft Dessau-Roßlau mbH, Sebastian Kaps

In collaboration with IMG - Investment and Marketing Company Saxony-Anhalt

UNESCO World Heritage, the Brocken in the Harz Mountains and the Garden dreams and historical parks are good reasons for your vacation in Saxony-Anhalt. Even more? Sure! This way:

Vacation in Saxony-Anhalt

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