It’s tempting to think that for the best lakes you have to head deep into Brandenburg. Located just east of city limits in a Naturschutzgebiet, the glacier-formed Stienitzsee proves this not to be the case: 220 hectares of clear water with a shoreline offering everything from dense forest to golden sand. And despite all this, being just an hour from Mitte, you are guaranteed to find a nice spot on even the hottest of Saturdays. The water is a 15-minute cycle from S-Bahn station Strausberg, with a lovely route through the forest to the northern shore and its tree-covered boardwalk. Following the shoreline, you will find numerous shady spots plus a sunny grass patch, with the initially shallow water perfect for easy bathing and voyages by boat and paddleboard. Entry points can also be found on the western shore, while those wanting sand between their toes can head to Strandbad Stienitzsee for a small entry fee. Whichever spot you pick, a swim around the lilies and tiny fish shoals is a perfect summer stress reliever. (Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Benji Haughton)
Stienitzsee, Rüdersdorf bei Berlin, 15378; map
You can reach the lake in around an hour by S-Bahn and bike or 45min by car. Drivers can park in the town of Hennickendorf and continue on foot.