SUP Germany: Top 5 Paddleboard Spots

SUP BLOG

When people think SUP they often picture someplace like Hawaii. What you might be surprised to know is that Central Europe is chock-full of paddleboarding in its own right. We’re going to give this region its due and devote a few posts to the extraordinary paddling opportunities a little closer to home.

For most of us making use of our boards means picking a destination we can get too without hassle, palm trees or not. If you’re willing to trade visions of Waikiki’s boardwalk for the reality of lakefront bier gardens you won’t be disappointed. Are you ready to SUP Germany yet?

Our Central European SUP spots are all so pristine you’ll forget there’s any place else to paddleboard. The high points don’t stop at the shoreline either. Each of our picks has it going on whether you’re on land or out on the water.  Alpine scenery, easy access and even some historical architecture make our lists real crowd-pleasers. It’s hard to imagine but some families do have a member or 2 that haven’t converted to the SUP life, YET. They’ll appreciate the land based action while you get your paddle on.

  1. Chiemsee: The Bavarian Sea

What’s cool besides SUP: Island hopping + architecture in the Alps

Surprisingly you can find as much use for your wetsuit as your lederhosen in Germany’s southernmost state. Lake Chiemsee is fed by 3 major rivers and nestled into the region’s characteristic Alpine scenery.

Hop the train from Munich and pull into Priem en Chiemsee in an hour. From there, take the “Chiemseebahn” to the harbour. If you have any Thomas the Tank Engine fans, they’ll enjoy the ride on a real live steam train from the 1880s.

There are several surf & SUP schools with rental boards, tours and SUP yoga classes along the coast. Outside of the high season from May through October you may need to source your own board.

Try island hopping Bavarian style. SUP or ferry, you choose:

  • Herrenhinsel:
    The biggest island, home to King Ludwig II’s Herrenchiemsee Palace. This masterpiece of baroque architecture is a popular tourist site in its own right.
  • Fraueninsel:
    This island is a perfect medium and hosts a few bier gardens, Frauenworth Abbey and even a hotel if you’d like to stay overnight. If you are into winter SUP and the lake isn’t frozen, grab your dry suit and check out the Christmas Market.
  • Krautinsel:
    “Cabbage Island” is small, idyllic and a great spot to plant yourself for a nap. You won’t find any restaurants here so pack your own picnic and enjoy. Don’t forget the beer!

2. Großer Plöner See

What’s cool besides SUP: camping, fishing, bird watching

Großer Plöner See is as far from Bavaria as can be in Schleswig-Holstein. This lake has a lot going on and is well set up for SUP & camping trips. The water here is calm and the wildlife is plentiful. If you like to fish this is a great spot to break out your tackle either on shore or from your SUP. Any non-SUPing companions will have plenty to do with kayak rentals, sailing and even skiing on this massive lake.

3. Steinhuder Meer

What’s cool besides SUP: cycle, sunbathe, smoked eel

Just a stone’s throw from Hanover you’ll find the largest lake in northwest Germany.  Steinhuder Meer is a relaxing spot for a weekend trip if you are more interested in SUP & cycle filled days with the family than party-fuelled nights.

This quiet little area is great for taking kids as the water is calm and only 6’ at the deepest. From the wide, sandy beach paddle out to the man-made islands in the middle of the lake. Take in the views which are beautiful in all 4 seasons before heading back to shore for some of the area’s famous smoked-eel.

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4. Müritzsee

What’s cool besides SUP: beech forests, marshes, hornless cattle

Part of system of more than 130 lakes, Müritzsee can’t be missed. You could easily spend several days SUPing Germany’s lake region and exploring its Beech forests. This area is also dog-friendly, loaded with cycling trails and popular with both paddleboarders and kayakers.  If you’d like a mini SUP adventure through an area you’ll actually need to navigate, this is it.

5. Wannsee

What’s cool besides SUP: Bridge of spies, Berliners with and without bikinis

Nestled between Potsdam and Berlin, Wansee might be the most interesting spot on our list. Hop on a train from Berlin and you’ll reach this classic weekend getaway in about 30 minutes.

Break out your inflatable SUP and take a historical paddle under the Gleincke Bridge AKA “Bridge of Spies”. This was actually the border between East and West during the cold war and legend has it, was a practical place for spy swaps. If keeping it light is more your style, you can also paddle over to the local nude beach for your dose of family friendly FKK.

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6. Eibsee

What’s cool besides SUP: the water is seriously BLUE

Ok, so we couldn’t make this list without including Lake Eibsee, anther Bavarian Gem. This lake doesn’t have a load to do on land aside from hiking in the immediate proximity but it’s too beautiful to be missed in any season.

Head down to the border of Lichtenstein and you’ll find this stunning Alpine lake. If you are coming by car, the drive here is spectacular. You could also hope a bus from the nearby town of Garmisch if you don’t have your own ride. With water this blue you and your SUP will need to be pried out at the end of the day.

A Big Bluefin Thank you:

The campervan man for his gorgeous shot of Lake Eibsee which we’ve used as our cover photo.

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