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The most beautiful national parks in Germany

European Park Day is celebrated on 24 May every year. Its aim is to protect natural areas. We have chosen the eight most beautiful parks in Germany for you.
Black Forest National Park
The forests of the Black Forest are dense and dark. Since the beginning of May 2014, this area in the south-west of Germany has been a fully-fledged national park. Rare bird species such as the capercaillie find refuge in the dense forests of spruce and beech, while its marshes are home to the endangered European common viper.
Jasmund National Park
The Baltic island of Rügen is known for its cliffs. The German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich made them a monument in his well-known work “White Cliffs on Rügen”. Add to that the island’s centuries-old beech forests and you have the perfect setting.
Müritz National Park
The Müritz National Park protects part of the Mecklenburg Lake District. In the water-rich landscape, it is possible to see virgin forests and to observe birds such as ospreys on its more than 100 lakes. Much of the park can be explored by boat or canoe.
Hainich National Park
“Jungle in the middle of Germany”. This is how the Hainich National Park in Thuringia is also known. In its forests, visitors can observe wild cats or travel through the treetops on specially constructed hiking trails.
he forests of the Black Forest. Since the beginning of May 2014, this area in the southwest of Germany has been a fully-fledged national park. In the dense forests of spruce and beech, rare bird species such as the capercaillie find refuge here, while its marshes are home to the endangered European common viper.
West Pomeranian Lagoon National Park
Also called ‘Baltic Sea Lagoons’, the islands that make up the park are islands or peninsulas separated from the Baltic Sea. The marshes and waters of the National Park are an important resting place for different types of migratory birds. For example, cranes, which arrive in their thousands every autumn on their way south.

Saxon Switzerland National Park
The rock formations in this park have been a favourite destination for climbers for 150 years. Some of the peaks are reached by stairs, making them easily accessible to visitors. From the heights it is possible to appreciate a wonderful panorama of cliffs, ravines and forests. A real dream.
Berchtesgaden National Park
This is the only German national park in the Alps. Located in southeastern Bavaria, this protected area is marked by the crevasses that characterise its steep rocks, but also offers green meadows and lakes. Marmots, eagles and chamois are native to this area.
Black Forest National Park
The forests of the Black Forest are dense and dark. Since the beginning of May 2014, this area in the south-west of Germany has been a fully-fledged national park. Rare bird species such as the capercaillie find refuge in the dense forests of spruce and beech, while its marshes are home to the endangered European common viper.

Featured

New tourist route of historic gardens

Por TPN/Lusa, in NoticiasTurismoNorte · 13-05-2021 

Northern and Central Portugal now offers 12 “Garden Experiences”, a new tourism product that brings together “29 historic gardens” and helps promote local security in times of pandemic.
The Vale Abraão Forest, the Casa de Mateus, the Vidago Park and Pedras Salgadas, in the district of Vila Real, the Casa do Campo, in Celorico de Basto, the Tibães Monastery, in Braga, the Quinta da Aveleda, in Penafiel (Porto district), the botanical gardens of Porto and Coimbra, the Quinta das Lágrimas, in Coimbra, the Mata do Buçaco, in the district of Aveiro, or the Penha Park, in the district of Braga, are some of the historic gardens included in the 12 tourist routes that are already available and marketed, announced the heads of the Association of Historic Gardens of Portugal, during the press conference to present the 12 ‘Garden Experiences’, held at the Soares dos Reis Museum, in Oporto.

“Gardens are environmental tourism, safe tourism and not mass tourism. Gardens are one of the areas of tourism that can be safely opened [in times of pandemic],” said Manuel Sousa, an architect and specialist in historic gardens in Portugal, during the press conference of the Portuguese Historic Gardens Association.

Manuel Sousa assumed that it is difficult to create a tourism product from scratch, but stressed that the future goal is to “grow with more experiences and continue to develop this product for the rest of mainland Portugal and the archipelagos of Azores and Madeira, as well as to internationalise the product”.

“It was an effort to transform this product [Portuguese historic gardens] into a tourism product with a new dynamic. It was a field study, talking to the owners, characterising (…). It was necessary to create a sellable product for tourists,” he explained.

The “packs” were conceived in a diversified way, with different durations, in a flexible way, as it is the visitor who can add more time or more places to his experience.

The packs include guided tours by the owners or their representatives, but if the visitor wants to explore on their own, there are also suggestions to visit new places or revisit them in a new context,” said Teresa Andresen, in a note handed to journalists during the press conference.

Associated with these tourism proposals are two travel agencies – Club Tour and Travel Tailors – that market the product and can help visitors make reservations, as well as give advice on where to eat or stay.

The Association of Historic Gardens of Portugal, created in 2003, now has more than 200 members who own some of Portugal’s most outstanding gardens.

The good times will come again

The COVID-19 virus pandemic caught us by surprise here at Gatrooms, during a period of high occupancy, investments and improvement projects. Things were going smoothly, but then all of sudden our world changed. Like everyone else, we have reacted as quickly and efficiently as possible to the current situation.

People say that change is good, but it can also be painful.
In our case, the Gatrooms philosophy has taught us a valuable lesson: you can always be more flexible than you think. Until now, we believed that being flexible was making sure our guests had everything they needed during their stay. Recently, all that has changed: guests can now cancel their reservation if they are unable to travel and rebook their stay for whenever they think they will finally be able to make it to the city.

If there was any room for improvement in terms of cleanliness and hygiene, we have made changes; we have doubled down on cleaning measures in the rooms; and dispensers filled with hand sanitizing fluid have been installed throughout the hotel. We also make sure that the safety distance of 1½ meters between staff or guests is maintained in the communal areas such as Reception or the breakfast room. Perhaps, after all this, people will continue to use sanitizer and take more care to wash their hands thoroughly.

We have also changed the way we work: the team at Head Office currently work from home and the hotel staff take every precaution to avoid spreading or being infected by the virus, following the safety guidelines published by the World Health Organization to the letter.

If any changes are made or new orders given by the authorities, we will be sure to accept them fully and put them into place at Gatrooms immediately. But we will worry about that if and when the time comes‒for now, let’s all keep positive and look forward to when the lockdown is lifted, and we can greet and hug each other freely again.

Gatvoices #2

At Gat Rossio we promise you an unforgettable, worry-free break. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go to plan, but our Maintenance Manager Carlos Viegas knows how to provide guests with a perfect hotel stay: he quickly and efficiently solves any technical problems that may arise to make sure that nothing gets in the way of fun and relaxation. Carlos is known for his professionalism and doing his job with a smile!

In this poem, Carlos tells us that the secret is that he loves what he does at Gat Rossio, even if he is sometimes dragged out of bed on his day off!

Usually, if you like what you’re doing, you’re doing just that: doing what you like. It’s not really work, it’s passion.

If you work with passion, it becomes love. You no longer get tired or stressed; you always find a way out.

When you don’t get tired doing what you do, you have more time, space and energy for yourself and others.

When you’re not caught in the illusion of time, you have more of it to dedicate to yourself and those around you.

If you don’t have time for yourself ‒ to create, to care, to love ‒ what do you have left to offer?

If you don’t love yourself, how can you love others and appreciate them or learn with them?

If you can’t find what it takes inside you, do you intend to find it on the outside or in others and let life choose for you?

If you rely on others’ opinions and incentives, good or bad days, where is your freedom?

I believe that if we make mistakes or fail sometimes, we should unconditionally accept, forgive and love the most important person in our lives: ourselves!

The important thing is to do the best you can. Even in difficult situations, we should cooperate and stop pointing fingers.

Cool, alternative neighbourhoods in Berlin

There is plenty of contrast in our selection of alternative neighbourhoods in Berlin that are well worth discovering: some have a revolutionary punk past, while others are defined by their Art Nouveau architecture from the early 20th century. What makes them all interesting is the way they have capitalized on their history and adapted to become modern communities with plenty to offer.

 
Friedrichshain

@shellfish

Traditionally the epicentre of alternative culture in the German capital, this area is famous for the riots that took place here after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. The buildings that were once occupied by activist squatters have now been converted into elegant boutiques and coffee shops. However, the neighbourhood’s revolutionary vibe can still be found in places such as the RAW complex, a collection of artistic spaces and events venues with an industrial flair.

Kreuzberg

@artejulia

Kreuzberg was the heart of West Berlin punk with squats such as Kopi and SO36, which are still standing today. While the neighbourhood still has a slightly non-conformist feel, it is very much part of the hipster scene. The indoor Markthalle Neun offers food from around the world on Street Food Thursdays.

For more on Friedichshain and Kreuzberg, visit https://whereis.gatrooms.com/travel-smart-in-berlin-friedichshain-kreuzberg/

Graefekiez

@culturetrip

At first sight, this looks like a bohemian neighbourhood that has rigorously preserved its historic buildings. When you dig deeper, you learn that behind the Art Nouveau façade lies Berlin’s tech centre, packed with startups and bars that accept bitcoin as payment. The Admiral Bridge is the perfect spot for a picnic.

Treptow

@stewi

This neighbourhood is a green paradise thanks to its numerous parks, including Planterwald and Treptower Park. If you take a stroll down streets like Lohmühlenstraße, you are likely to come across new-age nomadic workers bent over their laptops in hipster coffee shops. At night, the indoor Treptow Arena hosts concerts and parties, making it the hottest venue in East Berlin. 

Don’t forget about other cool neighbourhoods such as Kreuzberg, Rixdorf, Schillerkiez and Neukolln. You can read all about them here: https://whereis.gatrooms.com/kreuzberg-and-rixdorf-and-schillerkiez-in-neukolln/