Reisen in Brandenburg: why we love Fläming and what to do there.
As a Berlin resident, I take a lot of weekend adventures into Brandenburg. I’ve spent a lot of summers going north or east in search of the perfect lakes, but I only recently discovered the area of Fläming, in the south-east, and I fell in love with it.
Unlike a lot of Brandenburg, there are hardly any lakes and there are lots of rolling hills, which stretch for over 100km from the Elbe River to the Dahme River. The area is packed full with an incredible amount of unspoilt nature, and there are three nature parks - High Fläming Nature Park, Fläming Nature Park and Nuthe-Nieplitz Nature Park.
Fun fact, the name Fläming originates from the 12th century, when Flemish colonists came to settle in the region from the overcrowded cities of Flanders.
I visited for the first time one autumn, when I took a much-needed solo trip out of the city to spend some time with myself in nature and was overwhelmed with the beauty of the dense, ancient forests I walked through. The leaves were golden and the forest floor covered with brightly-coloured mushrooms, but the best bit was the lack of manmade noise: Berlin felt like a million miles away.
It’s no surprise, then, that my top things to do in the area are nature and relaxation based!
As well as Fläming, I also recently discovered inline skating, a sport popular amongst Germans that is surprisingly hard to learn as an adult! Luckily Fläming Skate is a place easy to learn (fall over) and get better, thanks to its 230km of public skate paths that run through the forest. There are a few different circuits you can take, and if you’d rather, you can also cycle!
This area is stunning, with rolling hills, thick forests and lush meadows, as well as numerous castles. My favourite way to really experience and immerse myself in the landscape is to walk some (or all) of the Internationaler Kunstwanderweg, a route with 28 art installations along it (finding them all feels like a grown up treasure hunt). The south route is my favourite, but walking both the north and south routes makes for a great two-day mini-break.
Around the town of Bad Belzig you can walk barefoot, feeling the calming effects of nature underfoot. Rather than being a specially designed trail with different surfaces underfoot, this is a ‘normal’ hiking trail, which feels much more enjoyable to walk.
This tiny corner of Brandenburg is home is native Japanese plants. You must visit in cherry blossom season to sit and sip tea in the tea house as the garden is soaked with pink and while flowers. The bonsai trees are also beautiful, and there are garden workshops and tea ceremonies on offer.
This 13th century Abbey is simply stunning, and it’s gothic buildings have an interesting history: home to monks, used to have power over the local population and used to make herbal liquor, which you can still try today. The surroundings are peaceful, and I highly recommend taking a picnic here.
Fläming is most famous for Beelitz Heilstätten, the creepy abandoned sanatorium. While you can no longer explore the empty buildings freely, you can ascend into the trees and explore from above. It’s pretty magical to get a birds-eye view of the forest and to see into the buildings from a safe distance!
In case everything else sounds too active (or you want to unwind after being active!), this is the place to do so. There is an indoor and outdoor pool and, of course, numerous saunas.
Trains run directly to Fläming from central Berlin. For details on where to stay while in Fläming, get in touch!