Great Escapes for 2022

 I had originally thought of making a list of the best tropical islands to run away to but, as with most memorable travel experiences, I experienced a bit of a detour in getting there when I came across this little gem.

I’m talking about Spreewald, Germany. Spreewald refers to the forested area in the state of Brandenburg, just over an hour by train from Berlin. The area is a designated UNESCO heritage site and clearly a world away from the city experience. Looking for a reason to go? 


You know, those tiny pickles that contain 20% of your daily recommend dose of vitamin K. The local farming industry around Spreewald is all about the gherkins. Take a picnic and explore the countryside by bicycle or, for true pickle aficionados, there is a 6 day bicycle tour that covers the entire Gherkin trail.


 Yes, just like the ones in Venice but with less people and more trees. There are over 1.5 km of canals that wind through the forests dotted with fairytale-like cottages on the banks. Hire a boatman or paddle yourself with a canoe or kayak.


Germany is probably not the first country that comes to mind when thinking of a tropical escape, so this one is just too offbeat to ignore. Spreewald is home to  the Tropical Islands Resort. A theme park of sorts, complete with a rainforest, tropical village, “Icelandic” hot air ballooning and your choice of overnight accommodation – indoor or outdoor furnished tents, rooms or a luxury lodge. Your guess is as good as mine as to what “Icelandic hot air ballooning” actually means. That alone could be worth a visit to find out.

Ready to explore Spreewald and more of Germany’s secrets?  

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