Punting is the most popular way to get around in Burg
Burg is one of Germany’s best-kept secrets. A tiny settlement at the heart of the UNESCO-protected Spreewald Biosphere Reserve, where public transport, proficient English, and the internet are thrown to the wind – there’s arguably nowhere better to fully unplug.
The River Spree meanders through town in a complex network of knee-deep canals, trafficked only by the odd barge, bird, or dragonfly. You can steer your own punt – known locally as Kahnfahrt – under the thick green canopy, or get a Venetian-style ferryman to do it for you. More adventurous types can hire a canoe or kayak and paddle downstream at their own speed.
Spreewald gherkins are EU-protected and one of the biggest exports from Brandenburg state
The Spreewald’s wet, mineral-rich soil is fertilised by a salt spring 1,350 metres below the ground. The briny solution it produces is pumped into luxurious thermal baths scattered around Burg, where you can while away the hours between boating trips.
But this salty soil serves another important purpose in the Spreewald. Cucumbers grow in abundance here, and are pickled to produce Germany’s finest gherkins. They come in a variety of flavours – try the spicy Gewürzgurken, or the brine-pickled saure Gurken for what locals deem to be the best hangover cure.
Burg's numerous thermal spas take mineral-rich water from an underground salt spring
When to go?
The thermal baths stay hot all year round, but Burg’s scenery is most beautiful between June and September, when temperatures average around 20–25 degrees celsius. For an insight into the Spreewald’s fascinating mythical history, go in May when Burg’s hugely popular festival, ‘Night of the Myths’, is held.
Relais du Silence Kur- und Wellnesshaus Spree Balance
Where to stay?
Relais du Silence Kur- und Wellnesshaus Spree Balance – Burg, Germany
Elegant, modern Spree Balance offers spacious suites and a range of wellness services, including a ‘Cleopatra bath’ and traditional Hammam facilities. Just steps away from Spreewald thermal baths, this hotel wins rave reviews for its romantic smoked salmon and champagne breakfast.
Landhotel – Burg, Germany
Landhotel duly lives up to the health and wellness reputation Burg is known for. Guests can unwind in a luxury spa, or take advantage of the heated outdoor pool. Room types range from single to family-sized, up to a huge junior suite – all equipped with large beds and free WiFi. Mini-golf and a small farmyard helps keep the little ones entertained.
Spreewald Thermenhotel - Spreewald Therme GmbH
Spreewald Thermenhotel - Spreewald Therme GmbH – Burg, Germany
Guests can indulge themselves to no end at the lavish Spreewald Thermenhotel, with direct access to mineral-rich thermal baths and eight indoor swimming pools. There’s even a private riverside area with a king-sized bed, so you can sleep under the stars in summer. The breakfast is a big hit with Booking.com guests.