Who doesn't love a good picnic? As the temperatures begin to dip below freezing here in Germany, I can't help but look back wistfully on warm summer days when it was quite clear the best thing to do was lounge out on a picnic blanket with snacks and a book, enjoying the feeling of the sun on your face. It's been freezing and gray for weeks now and I am actually convinced I've forgotten what the sun looks like! With picnics on the brain, I've compiled a list of my top 5 favorite picnic spots in the world.
1. Bannwaldsee, Bavaria, Germany
Bannwaldsee is a gorgeous lake about 10 minutes up the road from Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria, Germany. There is nothing like a picnic lunch in the middle of a lake surrounded by a 360 degree panorama of the German alps. To enjoy this experience, enter the Bannwaldsee campground and go to the main office to rent a paddle boat. It costs 10 euros for 2 hours but they are not strict about the rental time and we kept it out on the water for 3 hours without any trouble. The paddleboats here are large, with a little deck on the back of each where you can stretch out your legs and soak in the rays. If you haven't brought your own picnic lunch, the campground quickshop sells bread, meats, fruits and snacks at affordable prices.
2. Hydra, Greece
Hydra is a small island just off of the coast of Athens. It is incredible. It was wonderfully hot when we were there in late October and I loved sitting on the rocks with my toes dipping into the Aegean sea, munching on a greek gyro pita. You can get to Hydra by taking a bus or taxi from Athens to Pireaus and then hopping on a water taxi.
3. The Tuscan Countryside
If I'm being honest, anywhere in Tuscany will do. We ate picnic lunches almost every day outside of our B&B and it was an experience I'll never forget. Pick up some focaccia bread, olives, sundried tomatoes and prosciutto Toscana at the market and take in the incredible views. The little town of Fiesole, which sits above Florence in the surrounding hills, has some great picnic spots. Many of these spots have panoramic views of Florence - so breathtaking!
4. The roof of Le Corum in Montpellier, France
Le Corum is a large conference center in downtown Montpellier, an easy walk from Place de la Comodie. The roof of Le Corum is accessible to all by way of the stairway at the front of the building, and it provides a stunning view of the city perfect for relaxing and enjoying the day. On weekend nights (particularly in the warmer months) there will be lots of young students enjoying a few beers with their friends, so if you're looking for something a bit more private I'd suggest heading over on a weekday. Enjoy a crepe and the view, you'll never forget it!
5. White Face, Simi Valley, CA
It's a definite hike to get to but the view is unmistakably worth it. White Face is easily my favorite place in southern California and it's easy to see why. There are lovely views in all directions, trees to recline under and the most perfect hills I've ever seen in my life. Pack a picnic lunch in a backpack and make the climb. Read how to get to this hike here.
Have you been to any of these places? Would you go? Where are your favorite picnic spots?