With its 24 square kilometers, Lake Schaalsee is the largest lake in the UNESCO biosphere reserve of the same name. Nature is wild and beautiful. Crystal-clear clean water, fantastic hiking trails and many native animal species - all this awaits you on a trip to the biosphere reserve.
The Schaalsee landscape is located between Hamburg, Lübeck and Schwerin. It covers a considerable area, which was recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in 2000 and thus placed under special protection. The aim is that man and nature can live together in harmony. To achieve this, the region has been divided into three zones. The core zone is reserved exclusively for the development of nature. Here people have no access, and flora and fauna are allowed to develop freely. In the maintenance zone, cultural landscapes are maintained with the aim of preserving ecosystems. The largest part is made up of the development zone, where environmentally compatible land use is planned for the region.
The fact that the reserve was able to develop in this way is certainly due to its history. Until 1990, the inner-German border divided the Schaalsee, it was located in the restricted area. Nature thus had plenty of time to develop freely. Even after unification, the wild landscape was appreciated and preserved. The Schaalsee remains a border crosser: one part belongs to Schleswig-Holstein, the other to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
For both countries this is a huge joy, because: The Schaalsee is really an enrichment. Its water quality is excellent, the surroundings are fantastically beautiful, and numerous animal species such as cranes and water buffalo feel at home there.
The biosphere reserve is best explored both on foot and by bike. Besides the large Schaalsee, there are many other lakes that are definitely on the same wavelength in terms of beauty. A total of 150 kilometers of well-signposted hiking and biking trails crisscross the landscape, which could hardly be more varied. If you were just on the shore of a lake, a short time later you are already trudging through deep forest or looking over hilly and wide meadows.
A good starting point for an excursion is the Pahlhuus, the biosphere reserve's information center in Zarrentin. Here, visitors can learn everything about the development of the region from the Ice Age to the present day. There is also plenty of information on hiking and biking trails and many valuable tips. Admission is free - however, during the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Pahlhuus will be temporarily closed. Here you will find great routes.
The Schaalsee region can be experienced with all your senses. See the diverse landscapes, smell the scent of the trees and flowers, hear the birds chirping and gentle lapping of the lake and feel the clear air on your skin. Isn't there something missing? That's right, tasting, and there is a lot to enjoy here as well. Numerous people have made it their business to use the resources of the region to produce fine delicacies. Home-baked bread, cheese, juices, jams - these and many other products are offered at markets and in regional goods stores. Very sustainable and delicious! A highlight that ends up on the plates of many locals and visitors: vendace, deliciously fried in butter or smoked. The salmon-like fish is caught by fishermen in nets and offered fresh in the restaurants of the region.
In addition to all the beautiful nature, the biosphere reserve also has a lot of culture to offer. For example, the adventure market at the Pahlhuus, which takes place every first Sunday of the month from April to November, offers regional products and handicrafts. In addition, there is the opportunity to let the varying entertainment program of the Pahlhuus put a smile on your face.
And while you're there, take a look around the quaint fishing town of Zarrentin. The Cistercian nunnery, which is in very good condition due to its extensive and detailed restoration, is impressive. Exhibitions are held in the interior rooms, and concerts and other cultural events are held regularly in the refectory and baroque hall. It is quieter in the library, whose approximately 12,000 media invite you to browse. Don't miss: the fabulous monastery market "Kunst & Werk" (Art & Work) and the Christmas market, which are held inside and outside.
By the way: Lake Schaalsee and the many other lakes around it are of course also wonderfully suitable for boating, kayaking and canoeing. There are numerous rental stations and guided boat tours - with electric motors, of course, the pleasure of the guests should not have a negative impact on the beautiful nature of the biosphere reserve.
Cover photo: Gently resting water in the morning light - the Schaalsee offers many romantic views © Adobestock.com/Sven
Once experience how man had to cope in the Stone Age? In the Lake Dwelling Universe at Lake Constance in Unteruhldingen, visitors can find out how ...Learn more
When the big summer hustle and bustle is over, Germany's second largest island returns to its original charm and enchants with tranquility, undisturbed ...Learn more
In the nineties, the pioneer surfers at Munich's Eisbach wave were still being chased by the police. Today, Eisbach surfing is ...Learn more
The Tegernsee valley and its surrounding mountains, the Schliersee and the Spitzingsee, Bayrischzell and the Wendelstein form a kind of picture book Upper Bavaria. ...Learn more
The award-winning Ozeaneum, spectacularly embedded in the harbor skyline of Stralsund, takes its more than 500,000 annual visitors on a ...Learn more
The beer bottle with the swing top has made the Flensburg brewery famous - and around Germany's northernmost city port there are ...Learn more
Those who want to combine water sports with relaxing hiking trails and interesting bike tours will be thrilled by the largest contiguous reservoir area in Europe. Three ...Learn more
The latest eye-catcher in the Szczecin Lagoon is the "Pomeranian Cog UCRA", the magnificent replica of a medieval sailing ship. All aboard! ...Learn more
The beach of Binz on the Baltic Sea island of Rügen is known for its beauty. And with other dream bathing destinations, the sophisticated ...Learn more
Wind and waves created a beach whale landscape in the estuary of the Schlei that at most Astrid Lindgren could have imagined. When ...Learn more
Calling Maik Gutmann a passionate light hunter sounds a bit complicated, but it captures his passion exactly: The photographer loves ...Learn more