If the Black Forest is Germany’s dark secret, a place of goblins and ghosts and the occasional slice of devilish gateau, its easterly cousin, the Bavarian Forest, is all easy-going charm and woody innocence. A lumberjack’s violent fantasy, the forest comprises a seamless landscape of undulating hills, winsome spa towns and dense woodlands, criss-crossed with comely copses and titillating trails for bikers, hikers and cyclists.
Located slap-bang in the centre of this leafy nirvana is Camping Schnitzmühle, arguably the first really cool campsite in the country. Unlike most German sites, this one is run by young people determined to make the tenting experience considered and comprehensive, as well as energetic. The owners in question are Sebastian and Kristian Nielsen, who adopted their parents’ hotel business a few years back and have lovingly transformed it into a funky one-stop-shop for all things outdoorsy. Not only did they give the hotel’s interior a modernist makeover, they also overhauled the restaurant, added the capacious camping area, constructed an expansive spa and built a beach area around the site’s natural lake.
The Nielsen brothers’ rejuvenating spirit haunts the whole site, and in a good way. Its several acres, located right next to a pretty section of the Schwarzer Regen river, are green and airy, peppered with trees, bushes and flowers. Even without the funky extras it would be nice, but when you discover the delights of: the Bongo Bar (a thatch-roofed drinks bar surrounded by sand and deckchairs); Stonehenge (a cheeky replica of the great British landmark that doubles as an open fire and grill place); and the Group Camping section that has adventure facilities and experienced instructors leading rope-climbing, canoeing and mountain-biking escapades – well, it’s hard not to be impressed.
Being blessed with two rivers – the Regen and the Schwarzer Regen – means water- babies are going to feel totally at home here. Stroll around for a minute or two and you’ll find a lovely natural swimming spot, whilst you can easily arrange canoe trips on site (€36 per canoe for 2 adults/2 adults and a child). A shuttle bus whisks you to a starting point and you make your own way back to Schnitzmühle.
The surrounding area isn’t short of charming countryside or traditional towns and villages. Some leave you a bit cold, though others have high rural appeal. Arnbruck for example, is world famous for its superior glass production and a perfect place to pick up some quality wine glasses at decent prices for all your drinking exploits at home. Nearby Viechtach has some cafés and gives insight into small-town Bavarian life.
Back at the site, if you don’t feel like breaking out the barbie, take advantage of the hotel-restaurant, which combines Thai and Bavarian specialities with truly superb results (the mixed tapas is especially good, though it’s neither Thai nor Bavarian, but who cares?). Behind the hotel lies the camping reception, which also boasts a well-stocked kiosk offering everything from lovely local Weizenbier to the equally lovely freshly baked bread.
The nearby beach and lake, located along a path on the other side of the hotel, is the perfect place to cool off and sunbathe. And if you’re feeling even more indulgent, the spa is just a short aloe-vera-face-scrub- throw away. But if you don’t feel like leaving Schnitzmühle to enjoy some real R&R, there’s absolutely no need to.
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ReviewsAdd Your Review
some kind of magic...
... means staying at adventure camp Schnitzmuehle.
I have been there for about 4 or even more stays during 10 years...
Even though life changes and so does Schnitzmuehle, it is and always was a pleasure to stay there.
One of the best to mention about the campsite is, it functions with less rules and almost no notice signs on the whole place. Great!!!!
If you go there in August and September you'll find it very crowded because everyone is on holiday. But if you can stay there besides the main season and you will find nature, peace, "the jungle folks", a calm lake, many attractions in the bavarian forest area.
If you drive over the bridge to Schnitzmuehle you leave your past behind and dive into the special energy of the presence of this place! Enjoy!
We spent 12 nights on this excellent campsite site that has good amenities: shop with essential provisions (bread, local beer, camping gaz,...); clean and spacious shower blocks (minimal queuing needed); and friendly staff (wie geht's? ja, es passt...! - and you don't pay 'til you leave). The whole site has a laidback and friendly atmosphere, even when it was full and busy at the weekends. The direct access to the 'lazy' River Regen was great - we spent much time floating down in the sunshine... The site's really close to local town Viechtach for supermarkets and authentic Bavarian feel, keeping costs down and the chance to not be a tourist. And it's within day-trip-distance of the wonderful old cities of Regensburg and Passau, the stunning scenery of the mountains and woods, and the Cold War Border charm of Bayerisch Eisenstein. If you've got kids, there are several attractions nearby to keep 'em occupied: summer toboggans and the amazing WaldWipfelWeg (quicker if you google it) to name but two. Only downside was the sharp stone gravel used on parts of the pitches to repair them - a tad spiky under barefoot and potentially damaging to groundsheets - guys, please try something more tent-friendly if you can! :)
An idyllic spot nestled on a spit of land between two rivers, we stayed here in early September 2013 and had a wonderful 5 night stay.
The site itself is well maintained with spotless facilities, convenient electric/water points and a relaxed and helpful staff. We had a spacious pitch right on the river bank meaning we could use the shallows as a natural fridge for our beer. We were camping for the first time abroad with our dog and we had no problems what so ever.
We found we were just about the only British there, with mostly German, Czech or Austrian families and adult groups occupying the rest of the site. (Not surprising considering the proximity to both borders)
The site also houses a rather fancy hotel and spa, which was busy mainly at the weekend and a fantastic restaurant serving Thai- Bavarian fusion, hard to imagine, but it worked really well.
Would highly recommend to all, would be especially good for families due to the adventure camp activities and safe shallow waters of the river, but equally good for couples or groups wanting to explore the area.
Space, freedom, and room to breathe.
Space, freedom, and room to breathe. We stopped here with our VW planning to spend a night and ending up staying for 3! The owners couldn't have been more helpful and the onsite restaurant surpassed our expectations (*still hankering for that goat's cheese). We also rented canoes for about 40 euro (as far as I can remember) – the lake was also good for swimming. Would thoroughly recommend.