Germans' favorite holiday spots
Island paradise or urban culture? Germans are spoiled for choice when it comes to summer holiday destinations, and most are never more than a short plane ride away. DW looks at Germans' favorite places to vacation.
Most popular island: Mallorca
Germans are spoiled for choice when it comes to nearby summer holiday destinations. But no other place attracts as many Germans in summer as Mallorca. Each year, about four million German holidaymakers descend on the Spanish island. It's just a two-hour plane ride away and is so popular that it's long been referred to as Germany's 17th state.
Most popular country: Spain
Mainland Spain is a big favorite among Germans. Almost 10 million tourists from Germany visit the Iberian Peninsula each year. Seaside spots like the Costa Brava and Costa del Sol are swarming in the warmer months, but Spain also has a lot to offer as a cultural destination. Antoni Gaudi's iconic and unfinished Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona is a major tourist attraction.
Beautiful and affordable: Turkey
A lot of money has been invested in developing Turkey's tourism industry in recent years, and it's beginning to pay off. Each year, more and more Germans visit the country for its seaside resorts and historical sites. "Many holidaymakers appreciate the fact that Turkey offers luxury holidays at affordable prices," says Alltours tour operator Willi Veerhuven.
On the rise: Greece
After battling through the crippling financial crisis, Greece seems to be making a comeback as a favored holiday spot. German travel agencies report a 30-percent increase in tourism this summer compared to 2013. The islands of Rhode and Crete are especially popular with German travelers.
Relax and unwind: Caribbean
Only seven percent of German vacationers opt for a long-distance trip. The most popular long-haul destinations include the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean (pictured), the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Australia and New Zealand are other dream destinations. But many people are put off by the expensive, lengthy flight. Plus there are many cheaper alternatives in the easier-to-reach Mediterranean.
Explore the Maya kingdom: Mexico
Mexico is another popular destination for Germans outside of Europe. There, it's possible to dance the night away in Cancun, sunbathe at the Gulf of Mexico, or feast on several different types of spicey "mole" sauce in Oaxaca. There are also new Mayan museums in Cancun and Merida, and the longest cable car in Latin America at the edge of the stunning Copper Canyon.
Avoiding the drag of jetlag: South Africa
South Africa is another strong competitor. Cape Town (pictured) is one of the most famous and picturesque cities on the African continent. The powerful waves around the Cape of Good Hope make the city a mecca for surfers from around the world, while the unique wildlife draws scores of nature-lovers. A big plus is that South Africa shares a time zone with Germany - so travelers are spared jetlag.
Beauty at home: The North Sea
But not everyone is keen to head abroad. Almost a third of Germans choose to vacation in Germany. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea are high on the list, as well as the East Frisian Islands and Sylt near the Danish border. Their are plenty of advantages to staying close: There's no foreign language to learn (just local dialects), and no need to exchange money or adjust to time differences.
Summer of adventure: German Alps
Northern Germany is popular among beach-lovers, but southern Germany also certainly has its charms. From hiking in the Alps, to exploring dense forests and relaxing on the shores of one of the many lakes - Germany has something for everyone. Those craving a bit of culture and shopping can make a stop in Munich.