Germany’s Best Kept Secret – Mecklenburg Lake District


With my feet outstretched in our rental double kayak, we glided past a heron, endless green trees, and a shallow bank spotted with lily pads. It was a quiet, cloudless morning. Birds chirped to the rhythm of our paddling and the occasional pontoon floating by.

We brought our kayak to shore as we spotted a relaxing place to indulge in a mid-morning snack. There was a wooden bench for us to enjoy our food with a soothing view. A duck and her ducklings glided through the water and waddled up onto the grass, quacking occasionally.

Everything we needed was packed in waterproof bags and stored in the kayak – our tent, sleeping bags and mats, clothes, food, and water. We pulled out a tuna salad to split and each devoured a sausage and a few Haribo’s.

We paddled on through the charming and tranquil landscapes, eventually kicking our feet out of the kayak and letting the current take us. Later, we drifted to the shore of a campground, pulled our kayak up, and set up camp. We took an easy walk into the city to enjoy a hot meal and then called it a day. I sure could get used to this.

This is Germany’s Mecklenburg Lake District in a nutshell. It’s often called the land of a thousand lakes. It’s beautiful. It’s relaxing. It’s a perfect break from city life. How many places can you paddle through numerous lakes, canals, and rivers that are all connected so you can make a full circle kayaking trip?

Additionally, this district boasts about 250 miles of hiking and biking trails, winding through mostly flat enchanting landscapes of forests, lakes, rivers, and marshes. Fishing, boating, and water sports are also popular activities. It’s truly a fun destination for all ages.

Germany seems to be most known for its historic cities, Oktoberfest, and schnitzel. Approximately an hour and a half away from Berlin, the Mecklenburg Lake District deserves to be a place people think of when they hear Germany.

While there, our conversations revolved around how on earth this area wasn’t more popular. I can only assume that’s how the locals want it. But maybe that’s part of the beauty of this hidden gem. You feel like you are one of just a few let in on this well-kept secret.

Tips for kayaking in Mecklenburg Lake District

Bring a German phrasebook. Most people only speak German in this area, so knowing a few words can get you through booking a spot at a campground and ordering food at a restaurant.

Keep a lookout for someone selling beer and ice cream on a small boat. What’s better than gliding through the lake with a cold brew or delicious ice cream? That’s right, nothing.

If you come across a free shower, take advantage of it. At most of the campgrounds in this area, you have to pay to take one. It’s not very much, but hey it’s always nice to save a euro or two.

Have cash on you. Most of the restaurants and campgrounds we came across only take cash, and the small towns you go through don’t have ATM’s. We only came across one city with an ATM in our four days there.

Stay for at least four days. We stayed for four and wanted to stay longer. There are so many beautiful areas to explore here, and it’s nice to not feel rushed.

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