Beaches along the Rhine Valley
The Rhine wends a long and gorgeous path from its source in the Alps to the Dutch delta; along the way you can find bask alongside Alpine lake beaches, on riverfront sunning spots, or ramble the wide open beaches where the Rhine flows into North Sea.
The Rhine tumbles out of Switzerland into Lake Constance, or the Bodensee, a grand body of crystalline water bordering Austria to the east and Germany to the north. In fine weather the lake and its banks are teeming with water sports enthusiasts and sun-seekers. The region all around the lake is a wealth of outdoor and sightseeing activities: fly in a zeppelin in Germany, cruise “the coast of Switzerland” or hear superb music at the Bregenz Festival in Austria.
Austria is no slouch when it comes to Alpine lakes, either! Lake Wörthersee is one of the largest and warmest high altitude lakes you can find, with an almost Mediterranean climate year round and a beautiful bathing beach just waiting for your travel-weary toes.
Germany is well endowed with lakes for freshwater swimming, but don’t forget that the ocean beaches of Germany are spectacular. On the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany shares the unique and fascinating Waddensee with Holland. The shallows allow you to walk the sea floor when the tide is out (always with a guide, by the way). When the tide is in, walk the sandy dunes at the foot of the seawalls along miles of oceanfront, or pedal along the seawall. For a snack, taste “red gold”, the sweet and nutty, tiny local shrimp.
The Baltic Sea is much calmer than the North Sea and the soothing beaches reflect this different climate. Chosen as a prime vacation spot, you can visit lovely sea towns and see gracious villas from another time, escaping to tranquil beaches all along this lovely coast.