In the low mountains of the picturesque Sauerland in North Rhine-Westphalia is the rural town of Halver. Just north of both the nature park Bergisches Land and the Ebbegebirge Nature Park, this rugged landscape is filled with small lakes and waterways, peaks and valleys.
The whole of town seems to have the powerful Nicolai Church at its very center, with all the streets radiating out from here. But, the locals tend to think of their town as being more green than urban, and with an estimated 85% of land being either farmland or woodland — you can see why!
Take a trip to the Karlshöhe or some of the higher peaks to get a great panorama of these mountains and a birds-eye view of the town. Or go one better and take a trip in a local hot air balloon to get a whole new perspective!
Halver has 4 very different nature reserves for you to visit when you are back on the ground. These include one near the small dam, one around the local limestone caves and another at the source of the Ennepe (which eventually feeds into the Ruhr). And it is at the latter reserve that you will find the quartz megaliths that have inspired some local legends.
There is also a hidden swimming pool in a small forest, and it is one of the largest of its kind in the state. It has a 40 meter water chute to keep the kids happy too, not to mention the great location! Certainly something you won’t find anywhere else.
Although, if you come here in the winter, swimming is the last thing you would want to do. ;-) It snows and snows here, making it a winter-sports mecca. There are opportunities to go downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, sleigh-riding and even dog sledding!
The local know when they are on to a good thing — and Halver can get very lively in the winter months — so it can make a pleasant change from the summer. The cold weather also makes it a great time to get to know the locals and sample some welcoming hospitality and an open fire.