Open Water Swimming

Natural Lakes in SouthWest Germany

Eine Frau und drei Kinder laufen vom See an das nahe Ufer.
9 Beautiful Lakes to Cool off on Hot Summer Days!

BW-Story - Hirsch & Greif

9 Beautiful Lakes to Cool off on Hot Summer Days!

At last, summer is here! Time to be outdoors. And when the sun is hot, cool off in the water. Whether you call it open water swimming, wild swimming or just swimming outside, SouthWest Germany’s clean, clear lakes are perfect for this natural way to enjoy the water. And the surrounding woods, meadows and greenery are all part of the experience. So, relax and recharge your batteries. Just be sure to watch where you are diving; even better, go in feet first! Just as the hashtag #respectfornature suggests .

Here are 9 of our favorite lakes for open water swimming in SouthWest Germany:

Ehmetsklinge Reservoir.&nbsp;</span><span>Magical!

1# KraichGau-Stromberg

Ehmetsklinge Reservoir. Magical!

Blick auf den Stausee Ehmetsklinge im Kraichgau, mit den bewaldeten Hügeln im Hintergrund.
In the Kraichgau region, the Ehmetsklinge Reservoir is great for swimming and water sports. | © TMBW, Foto: Stefan Kuhn
Ein Junge und ein Mädchen springen von einem Holzsteg ins Wasser.
In the Kraichgau region, the Ehmetsklinge Reservoir is great for swimming and water sports. | © TMBW | © TMBW, Foto: Stefan Kuhn

Surrounded by meadows, this is a lovely place to spend a day swimming and sunbathing. Between Stromberg and Heuchelberg, in the heart of the beautiful Kraichgau region, Ehmentsklinge Reservoir is all about fun. The water is super clean, and pedal boats provide extra entertainment for families. The spacious lawns provide plenty of space and the café offers refreshments. What are you waiting for?
One hour northwest of Stuttgart.

Titisee Lake. What a Treat!

2# Black Forest

Titisee Lake. What a Treat!

Blick über den idyllischen Titisee im Schwarzwald mit der Tretbootanlegestelle.
At Titisee Lake, guests find beach bars, cafés, changing rooms and toilets for the perfect swimming experience. | © TMBW

The path round this lake in the Black Forest is a favorite for hikers. But, on a hot day, everyone wants to go for a swim in the sparkling, clean, clear water. Only electric boats are allowed, and special areas are set aside for swimming. Add in beach bars and cafés, changing rooms and toilets and Titisee Lake ticks all the boxes. It’s what summer is all about. 
40 minutes southeast of Freiburg.

Tiefer See Lake in the Maulbronn UNESCO World Heritage Area

3# Kraichgau - Stromberg

Tiefer See Lake in the Maulbronn UNESCO World Heritage Area

Blick auf einen Natursee in dem Menschen baden. Das Ufer ist teils bewaldet.
For visitors to Maulbronn Monastery, Tiefer See Lake is a real insider tip. | © Stadt Maulbronn

Here's a real insider's tip. Close to the historic Maulbronn Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is Tiefer See Lake. In German, the name means "deep lake," and it is both clean and clear. In addition to a beer garden and café, there are modern changing rooms, showers and toilets. On weekdays it can be very quiet, especially at dusk: just you, the water, and the surrounding trees. Magic!
50 minutes northwest of Stuttgart.

Obersee Lake. Fun for All Ages.


Obersee Lake. Fun for All Ages.

Blick vom See auf das grüne Ufer mit Rasenfläche und Bäumen. Ein Teil des Sees ist abgesteckt - darin planschen Kinder. Vor der Absperrung liegt eine riesige Gummikrake.
Obersee Lake is located in rural Upper Swabia near Kisslegg. | © Alexander Savarino
Eine Frau und drei Kinder laufen vom See an das nahe Ufer.
Near Kisslegg, Obersee Lake provides fun for all ages. | © TMBW | Bild: Stefan Kuhn

There is something for everyone at Obersee in Kisslegg in the southern part of Upper Swabia. Think beach volleyball, table tennis and a playground. And, of course, swimming. Take a dip in the lake or do a few laps in the heated 25-meter pool, complete with diving platform. Little ones will love jumping and splashing in the special mud area. Older kids and adults can go rowing, canoeing or stand-up paddle boarding.
Two hours southeast of Stuttgart.

Tiroler See Lake&nbsp;</span><span>in Hohenlohe.

5# Hohenlohe

Tiroler See Lake in Hohenlohe.

Panoramablick auf den See inmitten von Wald. Die Ufer sind begrünt.
A bird’s-eye view of Tiroler See Lake near Forchtenberg in Hohenlohe. | © Touristikgemeinschaft Hohenlohe, Andi Schmid

Don't be confused by the name. The Tyrolean Lake, the Tiroler See is located in the southern part of the Hohenlohe region. Even in the middle of summer, this unspoiled destination is peaceful. But this natural lake has everything you need for swimming, including a café and beer garden. There's even a special area for non-swimmers, so kids can splash and play in the water safely.
One hour northeast of Stuttgart.

Windgfällweiher Lake. SouthWest Germany’s Highest Swimming Lake.

6# Black Forest

Windgfällweiher Lake. SouthWest Germany’s Highest Swimming Lake.

Panoramablick auf einen See mit blühendem Ufer im Vordergrund. Auf der anderen Seeseite steht eine Holzhütte am Ufer. Dahinter erstreckt sich ein Nadelbaumwald.
In the Black Forest, Windgfällweiher Lake is surrounded by trees. | © Hochschwarzwald Tourismus GmbH

Southwest Germany's highest swimming lake is awy from it all, set between its bigger and better known neighbors, Titisee and Schluchsee. Windgfällweiher scores for its beach, but it also offers windsurfing and paddleboarding. Add the Baywatch Bar and toilets, and you can see why this is an insider's tip for back-to-nature wild swimming!
45 minutes southeast of Freiburg.

Degersee Lake. A Hidden Gem.


Degersee Lake. A Hidden Gem.

Blick von oben auf einen See, in den ein Holzsteg führt. Badegäste liegen auf den Grünflächen am Ufer und schwimmen im Wasser. Es ist auch ein kleines Ruderboot zu sehen.
Near Tettnang, Degersee Lake is warm enough for swimming in early summer. | © Felix Kästle

When only the big and brave are swimming in Lake Constance, Degersee is already warming up. This sheltered spot in southern Upper Swabia has a shoreline for swimming far from the crowds. Locals say the sun shines longest on the terrace of the Degerseestube, the cheerful beer garden and restaurant overlooking the water. On the other shore are marshes popular with bird watchers.

90 minutes east of Konstanz.

Schömberg Reservoir. One of a Kind.


Schömberg Reservoir. One of a Kind.

Blick über einen See mit Strand. Dahinter ist die Häusersiluette einer Siedlung mit Kirchturm zu sehen. Der Himmel ist blau mit kleinen Wölkchen. Bäume rahmen den Blick ein.
In the Swabian Alb, the Schömberg Reservoir is a lovely spot to relax. | © Zollernalb-Touristinfo

Swimming lakes are rare in the porous limestone hills of the Swabian Alb. But the building of a dam has created a magnificent body of water for summer swimming. And there's more. From pedal boats on the lake to the nearby miniature railway, petting zoo and adventure park, children are kept busy and happy. A great day out!
One hour southwest of Stuttgart.

Gifizsee Lake. Magnificent!

9# Ortenau

Gifizsee Lake. Magnificent!

Blick über einen See bei Abenddämmerung. Der Himmel ist Wolkenverhangen. Rechts liegen Segelboote vor Anker. Im Hintergrund befinden sich bewaldete Berge.
Near Offenburg, Gifizsee Lake offers a wide variety of fun water sports. | © Ulrich Marx
Ein Mann und ein Mädchen planschen in einem See. Das Mädchen fliegt aus dem Wasser und hällt sich die Nase zu.
On a hot day, young and old alike love to cool down in a natural lake. | © TMBW

Here's a novel triathlon challenge for this summer. First discipline: jog three kilometers around Gifizsee Lake. Second discipline: jump into the lake and swim. Third discipline: chill out on the shore for the rest of the day. Rumor has it that there are locals in Offenburg who do this triathlon every day. But even more activities are on offer. Rent a boat, play ping-pong or beach volleyball, barbecue in the special area. Or relax and have a beer in the café.
40 minutes north of Freiburg, 90 minutes southwest of Stuttgart.

Open Water Swimming in SouthWest Germany


Open Water Swimming in SouthWest Germany

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