German National Tourist Office figures indicated that for 2007 there were 724,721 overnight stays from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.
In comparision to 2006 the figure has increased by almost nine percent. TTN looks at what Germany has to offer these visitors.
An ideal family vacation destination, Germany contains a substantial number of theme parks, medieval castles and ski resorts for starters.
At Ruhpolding, a year-round resort town in upper Bavaria, is Germany’s first wave pool and an aquatic experience known as the Primal Ocean. This is a 175 sq m open air pool filled with salt water and a constant temperature maintained at 33°C, and features water jets, bubbling water, geysers and neck showers. The Ruhpolding Amusement Park has enough games and rides for the whole family, including a Baby Land for toddlers as well as tennis schools and golf courses.
In winter, Ruhpolding has a network of ski trails extending for 60 kilometres. There are four ski areas with instructors, winter hiking paths, a toboggan run and an indoor ice arena.
Bavaria’s charming snow capped peaks, flower meadows, lakes and dense forests attract summer visitors, who often opt to go hiking, mountain biking or even hit the rapids with a kayak. Neuschwanstein, the castle that inspired Disney’s castle is popular, as is bicycling around Lake Forggensee. There are spectacular views at Berchtesgaden National Park accessible via cable car, and equally good views from Germany’s highest lake, Lake Kِnigssee.
Adventures by Disney have created a magical route that takes visitors through Heidelburg, Rothenburg and Munichm where fairytales such as the Brothers Grimm, Little Red Riding Hood (she journeyed to Trendelburg Castle) and Rapunzel spring to life. Guests can also learn how to make pretzels at the Striffler Bakery or create their own teddy-bears at the Steiff Bear Factory.
The largest theme park in Germany is Europa-Park, home to nine rollercoasters and four hotels. Among the countless shows performed regularly at Europa-Park are an Ice Show, a Gladiator Show, an Acrobatics Show and a fully-recreated Globe Theatre where guests can see a light-hearted take on Shakespeare.
With over 50 attractions in eight themed areas, Legoland is located in Guenzburg, between Ulm and Augsburg, south Germany. At the Legoland factory visitors you can watch lego blocks being made. In Miniland over 50 million of these blocks were used to create miniature cities of Berlin, Frankfurt, Venice and Switzerland.
There is even a pristine white beach with a lagoon and a rainforest teeming with around 30,000 exotic plants in the very heart of Germany at The Tropical Islands Resort, 60 kms south of Berlin. Here authentic buildings from Bali, Borneo, Thailand and Samoa have been recreated.
At Phantasialand in Brühl (between Cologne and Bonn) there is a remarkable array of adventures including rafting, a ride on a wooden roller coaster, stunts from BMX bikers and musical and dance performances at On Broadway. Visitors can also experience Africa at the Black Mamba, plummet into rapids on a log flume ride, or watch unusual feats in the House of Illusions.