“When the weather is nice, Germany is awesome.” My husband heard this not too long ago while watching Silas Nacita on YouTube, and he quotes that statement all the time. Personally, I think even when the weather is crappy, Germany is still beautiful, but you can definitely do more on sunny days.
We recently had an especially sunshine-y few days, and something about it just felt like beach weather. It made you want to lay on the sand and look out at sparkling water. Rheinland-Palatinate is not particularly close to any beaches, though. Ostend, Belgium is probably the closest, but that’s a 3.5 hour drive, and we just didn’t feel like spending 7 hours in the car.
So, I did a bit of research and found a beachy area that was not only in Germany, but still in the Eifel – and it was only an hour and a half away.
Now, it wasn’t a beach on the ocean – obviously – but the lake is huge and it’s gorgeous enough that neither of us really minded that fact. It was also a new experience for both of us as my husband had never been there before. (I always prefer to go places that neither of us has ever been to because then it feels like more of an adventure!)
We drove up on a Saturday morning, leaving the house around 10am. The drive itself was really nice once we got off of the Autobahn. Since we were coming from the south, we basically took the Autobahn up to Prüm, and then switched onto smaller roads. It was such a pretty drive that after a while, I kind of stopped paying attention to where we were, and then all of a sudden we were driving right past Eifel Antik. If I had realized that we were going to drive through Waldi’s town, I would have totally combined the two and stopped for a bit.
None of the roads were new to us, though, until we got closer to Schleiden. It was right around here that we got close to the Eifel National Park, and once we drove through Gemünd, we actually entered the park.
I cannot tell you how beautiful this area is. There were so many trees and hills and curvy little roads. It was a gorgeous day when we were there, so there were people on bicycles literally everywhere. We basically had to drive behind them all the way through the park because just as you would pass one group, you’d come upon another one. You can definitely see that this is a vacation area.
Since the beach was kind of on the other side of the lake, we drove through a big chunk of the park and around the lake itself. We couldn’t always see much of the lake because of the forests or the hills, but there was one point where we actually drove over the dam. It was so cool because, on the left side, we had the lake, which we were basically even with. And on the right-hand side, there was a really steep drop with a lot of greenery.
Once we got past this part, we didn’t see too many bicycles anymore. The drive got a bit steep, and we were twisting up a lot. After it leveled out at the top, we came to a smallish town called Schmidt (technically it’s a “suburb” of Nideggen, but it’s so small that it feels weird to call it anything other than a town). We were following the GPS, but we took a wrong turn and got a bit turned around here. I didn’t expect that the road we had to turn on would look like a little alley, so I took the bigger road that came right after it and ended up circling around the town.
We were a tiny bit concerned because the actual address of the beach is 99 Eschaueler Weg, but my GPS cut me off after the first 9. It wouldn’t let me enter 99. So, we just used the address 9 Eschaueler Weg and hoped there would be signs to follow once we got closer. Luckily, there were. We had driven so high up into the hills that we knew we had to drive down at some point, and that whole descent happened here.
We drove down a curvy little road that took us down fast. There is basically nothing down here except the parking lot, so we had no trouble at all finding where we were going. There was a parking attendant, and we had to pay 3 euros. The parking lot was completely full (and it was only 11:30am), so he directed us up this steep road to an overflow parking lot. We were super worried that would mean that the beach was swarmed, but it wasn’t.
I had read online already that it’s a bit of a walk from the parking lot, so we were already prepared for that. The road to the beach is an actual road, so very easy to walk. It’s a private road that goes to the beach area, so there was no traffic to contend with. I had read a lot of complaints online about how long the walk was, but I didn’t think it was long at all. It just took us maybe 10 minutes. We brought beach bags with us, and we saw a lot of people who were also carrying mini-coolers and picnic baskets. We didn’t even think to bring food.
The beach is on private property that belongs to an establishment called Eifel Beach Club. It’s a restaurant with views overlooking the lake, but you can use their beach even if you’re not going to the restaurant. There was a girl sitting out front with a little cash box, and we paid 6 euros for the two of us to go down to the beach. We scoped out a nice spot and laid our towels down.
I have to say that the beach was pleasantly open – meaning we weren’t packed on top of each other. When you walk down to the beach area, there are really two areas. On one side, you have the sandy beach, and on the other side, you have a grassy area. I would say the majority of the people were on the grassy side, which I didn’t quite understand but was nevertheless thankful for. The beachy side is on a hill that might be a bit too steep for some people’s liking, but the sand was so soft, and there were flatter areas to lay on closer to the water.
There was also a little fence separating the far end of the beach from the rest of it. This is the doggy beach – and it was so ADORABLE. The puppies were having so much freaking fun! They were playing and digging in the sand, and they were splashing in the water. Some people had little floaty things that the dogs were riding, and we saw a number of floating toys being tossed out into the water. It was so fun to watch the dogs play. There was even this one little baby bulldog who was so ridiculously adorable. We were watching him from our side of the beach and giggling to each other about how stinking cute he was. He got so excited that he ran along the water to the regular side of the beach, and his owner came running after him to get him back on the doggie side. Not five seconds later, though, he ran back to our side again, and my husband got so excited that he called him over to us. He jumped all over us, kicking sand everywhere, and stepping on us with his wet little paws. The man came running over to get him and was profusely apologizing, but my husband was like, “No apology necessary – I called him over here!” We told him that the doggie was so cute that we had zero issue at all with him letting us love on him for a few seconds!
I have to say that the people really took responsibility for their dogs. They kept them on the doggie side, they didn’t let them fight with each other, and they brought all kinds of toys for them. I did read a couple of complaints online about the sand having little doggie surprises buried here and there, but we didn’t go on that side, so I don’t know if that’s accurate or not. There was definitely nothing on the people side of the beach.
All in all, I would say we spent a good five hours at the beach that day. We soaked up the sun, swam, and drank a little beer. There is a walk-up bar on the beach where you can get ice cream, drinks, and hot food. We ate Bratwurst and drank Radlers. (I never liked the Bitburger Radlers before, but I have to say it is super refreshing on a hot day.) It was kind of weird to me that the beer was served in the glass bottles because I don’t think I ever went to a lake or beach area in Texas where glass was allowed. But, here it was, and everyone returned their bottles – I saw no broken glass anywhere.
There is so much to do at the Rursee (and the park itself), but we just wanted to have a beach day. So, we didn’t do much else. The only other thing we did was take a boat ride. My husband really loves water, and if there is a possibility somewhere to get on a boat, he’s ‘gonna do it. We had walked past a small dock on our way from the parking lot, so we went back to it and caught a boat from there. I’m not ‘gonna lie – the boat schedule is super confusing. Not just for me. My husband also couldn’t really make sense of it. But there are two boats who take turns coming back and forth to this dock (called Schwammenauel). I think they came every 20 or 30 minutes. It seems like they don’t follow the same plan each time, though. The first time the boat came, we asked the guy where it was going, and he said it was just going one dock down. So, we waited for it to come back again, and then he said it was going to Rurberg. So confusing. But we hopped on, and that particular route cost 17 euros (for two people). We paid at the bar, right where we got on. The ticket prices actually seemed kind of steep, but it was a very nice boat, and the ride was about 90 minutes. The drinks were not pricey at all, though.
We took a round trip from Schwammenauel to Rurberg, and there were at least two stops along the way. Had we taken the boat ride earlier in the day, we could have gotten off at these docks (which were at little towns), explored, and gotten back on later. But since we were winding down at that point and just wanted to sit and enjoy the views, we didn’t ever get off the boat.
We really enjoyed our mini beach vacay, and the lake is absolutely breathtaking. There is so much to do there that there is no way to do it all in one day. Next time, we would like to rent one of the boats and explore more of the lake. But I’d also like to take a stagecoach ride through the national park and see the Eifel Tigers.
Everything You Need to Know
Getting There – We used the address Eschaueler Weg 9, Nideggen. That basically just brings you to a roundabout on the edge of Schmidt (just before you actually reach the address). If you come from the direction we came, you get to this roundabout by turning on a little road that looks like an alley. The roundabout is painted on the ground (there is no center piece), and you’ll take a right – or the first exit. There is a big sign that says “Strand,” and that’s what you want to follow.
Paying – It’s 3 euros to park, and it’s 3 euros per person (adult) to use the beach. Everything has to be paid for with cash. I can’t remember how we paid for the boat tickets. That might have been with a card, but I’m just not sure anymore. You might plan for cash just in case.
Eifel Beach Club – There are no lockers to store your stuff. So, whatever you bring with you, you have to keep with you. We wanted to be able to swim together, so we laid our towels out fairly close to the water, and I didn’t swim out very far so that I could keep an eye on everything. Other people left their stuff unattended as well. There are bathrooms in the restaurant that you can use; however, if you choose to eat in the restaurant, just know that it has some pretty bad reviews. We chose not to eat there specifically because of the reviews, but you never know how accurate things are. I can say that the food we ate down on the beach from the little stand was wonderful, though.