April 2019

Bad Bentheim, Loxstedt and Schobüll

Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Budget spent: €228.82
Kilometres travelled: 454

As far as we experienced it, northern Germany is extremely camper friendly. I say northern because we haven’t visited the south yet. We crossed the border from the Netherlands into Germany at Bad Bentheim and drove up to Süderlügum where we entered Denmark.

We had no problems finding Aires, or Stellplatzen as they are called in Germany. We were there in April, which is before the peak season so it might be different during summer.

We often saw road signs depicting a camper. Twice, we decided to follow these signs and both times we ended up by a lake where there was parking designated to campers. These free spots have a 24-hour limit.

All-in-all, we didn’t stay in Germany long enough to give an extensive overview, but what we did experience was extremely positive for people who don’t necessarily want to stay at campsites and have all their own facilities.

Bringing your dog along to Germany is permitted as long as you meet all EU regulations for importing a pet. All dogs must be kept on a leash unless stated otherwise. You are expected to buckle or secure your dog while driving. 

Lake Speichersee Geeste

We selected this location using our usual method; pinpointing a lake on the map and driving there. When we arrived, it turned out to be the cooling water reservoir for a nuclear power station, which is also used as a recreational area. We decided to take a closer look and drove up to the entrance when we noticed four or five campers parked across from the regular parking lot. Turns out there is a large 24-hour Stellplatz.

This Stellplatz is free of charge and the toilets are clean and open to the public at specified times. From the parking lot it is only a short walk up to the 15-metre-high raised reservoir. On our way up, we saw three fire pits/BBQ areas, a basketball court, beach volleyball courts,  picnic fields, a children’s play area, a youth hostel and a large restaurant. Because the artificial lake is raised there are no trees creating shelter, making it ideal for surfing and sailing. Other activities on and in the reservoir include wakeboarding kayaking, diving and of course swimming. You can walk around the reservoir on the dyke, which is a 5.8 km walk.

Next to Lake Speichersee Geeste is a 50 hectare wetland, the Biotop am Speicherbecken Geeste, which is home to rare animal and plant species. It was created as an ecological compensatory measure for the digging of the lake: the water reservoir. It is not open to visitors, but there is a watchtower with binoculars to view the wetland.

Stoteler See

At Stoteler See (Lake Stoteler) there are three parking spots for campers to the left of the hotel. These spots have a 24-hour limit and there are no facilities. The spots are fine for a one night stop-over. The lake is ideal for dog walking and the area is okay. The parking lot is close to the neighbouring residential area and the surroundings seem to be a prime walking location as there was a constant flow of people arriving to go for walks. The lake was created during the construction of the nearby motorway, which you can hear constantly but we didn’t lose any sleep over.

There were a lot of people fishing, which makes sense because it is home to eel, perch, pike, carp, roach, rudd, tench and zander. The area also provides a habitat for waterfowl such as mallard, teal, greylag goose, water rail and coot.

Swimming is only permitted at the beach across from the hotel and I can imagine it being great to be able to have a refreshing dip in the lake. The beach has a beach volleyball court and there are changing and toilet facilities. The lake is also the starting point for its own hiking trail, but we wanted to push on, so we didn’t try that out.

Exploratory missions

We also keep account of our exploratory missions throughout Europe. If you want to know how we are doing, what we are doing or if one of us got eaten by a bear, make sure to check out our blog posts.

We live here now

We live here now

We’re in Sweden, a little over an hour’s drive from the house where it all started, and the proud new owners of a 100-year-old red cottage on the edge of a small wood.

An uphill struggle

An uphill struggle

It’s still raining—the first rain we’ve had since Gloria. It’s the kind of miserable rain that’s just hard enough to warrant turning on the wipers, but not enough to leave them on.