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Women in traditional costume in the Spree Forest
Brandenburg has a total of 13 holiday regions, all located around Berlin, Germany's capital city. They include the charming, picturesque villages of the Havelland, the unspoilt countryside of the Uckermark to the north west, the palaces and parks of Potsdam, the castles and dense beech woods of the Fläming region and some of the world's most remarkable riverside scenery in the Spree Forest.

The Spree Forest, one of Europe's most fascinating regions, is located 100 kilometres south-east of Berlin. Brandenburg's Spree Forest Biosphere Reserve is unique in central Europe, a UNESCO protected conservation area whose landscape was formed 20,000 years ago following the last Ice Age. Island farmsteads linked together by watercourses large and small are a characteristic feature of the Spree Forest, the "Venice" of Brandenburg. You can take a trip around the watery labyrinth in a traditional wooden punt, starting out from one of the many quiet villages where customs and handicrafts from days gone by are still being kept alive.

The Havelland region, the countryside to the west of Berlin, is characterised by its fascinating rivers and lakes. This densely forested area with a network of waterways is an ideal location for waterborne tours, cycling, horse riding and walking. Visitors interested in history can discover places associated with the 19th century German writer Theodor Fontane, or explore Prussian palaces set in parkland.

The Fläming area is regarded as a paradise for walking, cycling and roller blading. Cyclists and skaters enjoy the ever-changing countryside as they bowl along the 175km long "Fläming Skate“, the longest inline skating track in Europe. Delightful little towns such as Belzig or Jüterbog with their ancient centres reflect the region's past and present.

The Dahme Lakes and the Oder Spree Lakes between Berlin and Frankfurt an der Oder form a captivating romantic landscape dotted with tranquil villages, manor houses and churches. There are around 270 lakes here, and excellent moorings that are ideal for canoeing or motor boat tours. Lake Scharmützel and Lake Schwieloch are perfect for sailing.

The Prignitz and Ruppiner Land regions extend to the north and north-west of Brandenburg. The Prignitz is Brandenburg's least populated area, although it has been inhabited the longest. The Elbe Valley Meadows biosphere reserve in the Prignitz region is good cycling country and the thermal baths in Bad Wilsnack are a fantastic place to relax after a day's exertion. The Ruppiner Land region offers an abundance of water, with more than 170 lakes as well as canals and rivers, making it ideal for exploring by canoe, motor boat or houseboat - no licence required. Rheinsberg Palace is a cultural gem in an enchanting setting.

The Uckermark region in north-east Brandenburg is the place to go for nature reserves, it has the Lower Oder Valley National Park, the Schorfheide-Chorin biosphere reserve and the Uckermark Lakes nature reserve. The picturesque Finow canal flows peacefully through the gently rolling hills of the Barnimer Land region. Surrounded by the lakes and woods of the Schorfheide reserve, Barnimer Land is ideally situated for pleasant excursions taking in the Niederfinow ship lift and Chorin Abbey. Brandenburg Oderland, the region between Berlin and the river Oder, is marked by the expanse of the Oderbruch, a drained area of marshland on one side contrasting with Brandenburg's Switzerland on the other. Stately homes and parkland are reminders of the days of Prussian aristocracy.

The undulating hills, lakes, rivers and patches of moorland in Lower Lusatia and the Elbe-Elster Land region have a charm of their own. In many places disused mining sites have been transformed into recreation areas around lakes.

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Highlights in brief

  • Potsdam
    Palaces and parks, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage

  • Werder (Havel)
    Tree blossom town with historical centre
  • Rheinsberg
    Rheinsberg Palace and Kurt Tucholsky memorial
  • Cistercian Abbey at Chorin
  • Bad Saarow
    Health resort with thermal baths
  • Neuzelle
    Cistercian Abbey
  • Tropical Islands resort
  • Lübbenau
    Spree Forest harbour
  • International Construction Exhibition “Fürst Pückler Land“
  • Fläming Skate track