Ancient woodland, meadows and pastures, heathland and babbling brooks, the hilltops of the Elbhöhen, Göhrde state forest and the hilly landscape of the Drawehn – that is how much variety the Elbhöhen-Wendland nature park at the easternmost tip of Lower Saxony has to offer. Wetlands and dry habitats are cheek by jowl here, making the nature park home to many species of plant and animal life, including some rare ones. Around half of the 1,160 square kilometre area is a dedicated landscape or nature protection area. Varied land use, tranquil villages with hay hotels, farm shops, meadow orchards, half-timbered little towns perfect for a stroll… the nature park offers authentic rural life, sustainability and proximity to nature.
The many well-maintained circular villages of the Wendland are also typical for this sparsely-populated region. They are of Slavic origin and traditionally have just one entrance to the village square, which is surrounded by a circle of gable ends of the barn-style houses typical of Lower Saxony. The plots of land that belong to the farms surround the circular village and provide a cultural landscape divided up like pieces of a cake.
The Elbhöhen hills, the Göhrde-Drawehn ridge and the Nemitzer Heide are perfect for hiking. Cycling through the beautiful, varied landscape is wonderful along the “Grüner Band” (green ribbon), a nature protection project that extends across state borders. You can also discover the unique cultural and natural landscape of the Wendland on a cycling trip along the Wendland-Tour route. A hike along the Klötzie-Stieg hiking trail will lead you from the steep hillsides of the Elbe river to orange lilies. The “Alte Jeetzel” river is perfect for a canoeing trip through the Wendland.
The German “Fachwerkstraße/German Half-Timbered House Road” – a route taking in many half-timbered houses – meanders its way through 1,000 years of history stretching around 3,000 kilometres from Hitzacker on the Elbe river to Meerburg on Lake Constance. The German “Storchenstraße” route, which passes through the Elbhöhen-Wendland nature park and the Elbe Valley biosphere reserve, is also well worth a visit. Numerous sights, regional cafes and restaurants line the route. The “Route der alten Obstsorten” (old fruit species route) is a real natural experience, leading you to unique meadow orchards, enchanting tree-lined roads and magnificent old trees.
It is directly next to the Elbe Valley Lower Saxony biosphere reserve.