Berlin, 15.09.2022 – According to a representative study by MyPostcard, Germany’s most successful postcard app, and the opinion research institute YouGov, more than half of those surveyed (55%) said that other factors are currently significantly more important than sustainability when planning a trip.
But if you’re looking to get away from it all for a few days before winter and still keep sustainability in mind, don’t give up. Fall means hiking time, and Germany offers excellent opportunities for this. And at the same time, ecological footprint can be kept as low as possible with a few handy rules such as an environmentally friendly journey by train or bus, consistently recycling trash and treating nature and wildlife with respect. MyPostcard presents five popular autumnal destinations, including tips for eco-friendly hiking in Germany. (Our sustainability tips can of course be applied to any of the regions listed here):
#1 Willingen: The first “Quality Region Wanderbares Deutschland”
Golden autumn in the Sauerland: the region offers excellent recreational opportunities with its colorful forests and fantastic views. Willingen, based in the Sauerland region and towering 550 meters above sea level, is the first certified “Quality Region Wanderbares Deutschland”. The wellness resort, which is also a Kneipp spa, offers perfect conditions for a healing climate therapy with an excellent network of hiking trails, terrain health trails, Nordic walking and biking routes.
> Tip: Sustainability starts with getting there! Due to its central location, Willingen is very easy to reach. To make the journey as environmentally friendly as possible, take public transport such as the train or bus. From the train station at Willingen (Upland), you can start your hiking adventure from the ideal place.
#2 Norderney Island: Hiking by the sea
The island’s dune landscape is a paradise for hikers: endless salt marshes, wide beaches and a beautiful dune landscape all offer you a unique hiking experience. Norderney has a well-developed network of hiking trails that make it possible to explore the island on foot. You can choose between a forest or dune hike, a tour on the Planet Trail or an adventurous route to the 1967 stranded shipwreck on the island’s east side.
> Tip: When you’re at the seaside, it’s tempting to take shells or stones home as souvenirs. However, out of respect for nature, take a photo as souvenir of the trip instead. Hikers can also spontaneously participate in regular “cleanups” (trash collection campaigns) at the beach, making an impact for a clean, healthy and plastic waste-free environment.
#3 Karwendel Mountains: Hiking in the mountains
Alpine pastures and breathtaking mountain lakes characterize the landscape of the Karwendel Mountains in Upper Bavaria: places like Krün, Mittenwald and Garmisch-Partenkirchen can be easily reached by public transport and are ideal starting points for hiking tours. The wide network of biking and hiking options offers a choice of easy panoramic trails or challenging summit climbs. Charming mountain huts provide the necessary refreshments and a well-deserved break.
> Tip: For between-meal snacks, using package-free food is a great idea. Reusable lunch boxes and drinking bottles can also save a lot of waste. If waste cannot be avoided, keeping a staple trash bag in your hiking backpack can be practical. Most of the time, waste simply cannot be avoided completely – that’s why a trash bag belongs in every hiking backpack as standard.
#4 Harz Mountains: A touch of Indian summer
The Harz Mountains offer hiking trails for every season, but it’s especially beautiful in the fall. Many routes are designed as circular hikes or can be hiked in stages. In September and October, the national park also offers all kinds of guided tours. The goal: to get to the top of the Brocken and to see the deer rut. At dusk in autumn, large deer vie for the favor of their female counterparts – a true natural spectacle.
> Tip: In order to disturb the wildlife as little as possible, hikers should not leave the signposted paths and should always keep a sufficient distance from the animals. It is also advisable to keep quiet and allow the wild animals their rest from dusk onwards. Of course, always refrain from feeding wild and grazing animals.
#5 Black Forest: A treat for hikers
Whether the sun is still shining with autumnal warmth or mystical clouds of fog lie in the Black Forest valleys, hiking in the Black Forest is an unforgettable experience. Through world heritage sites, such as the spa town of Baden-Baden, natural monuments and high above the peaks of the northern Black Forest, short walks to multi-day tours offer the perfect opportunity for lasting relaxation and regeneration from everyday stress.
> Tip: If you decide to go on a multi-day tour, you can also consider the sustainability of your chosen accommodation. On platforms such as Ecobnb, a network for sustainable tourism, hikers will find a colorful mix of accommodations that are making efforts to be environmentally friendly: So you can choose freely between hotels, guesthouses, organic farms and hostels in small mountain villages.
* Survey of the travel behavior of Germans in 2022 by MyPostcard and research institute YouGov: https://newsroom.mypostcard.com/umfrage-zum-reiseverhalten-der-deutschen-2022/
MyPostcard is Germany’s most successful postcard app and makes it possible to send personal photos as real printed postcards from anywhere via smartphone. With more than 70,000 designs, the company also has the world’s largest range of postcards and offers audio and video cards in addition to postcards and greeting cards. MyPostcard takes charge of printing, and delivering the personalized postcards worldwide with the help of an international printing network. The company, based in Berlin and New York, was founded in 2014 by designer and serial entrepreneur Oliver Kray (CEO) and is now successfully operating in the e-commerce industry with over six million downloads. Today, 35 employees work at the company. MyPostcard supports various social projects worldwide, including Amnesty International, All-Out.org, Terre des Femmes and in the past the #FreeDeniz campaign in cooperation with N24 / Axel Springer.
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