Our Sauerland

The Sauerland

More than 5,000 square kilometers of space for all kinds of vacation and excursion experiences - that's what the Sauerland has to offer. This size makes it the largest contiguous vacation and recreation area north of the River Main. The region stretches across several districts: the Olpe and Märkisch districts, the Hochsauerland district and the Soest district, all of which are located in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, the Hessian municipalities of Willingen and Diemelsee are also part of the Sauerland region. Around 1.1 million people live in this area.

The Sauerland is full of experiences - in the landscape and with the landscape. As befits a picture-perfect low mountain range, it swings gently between mountain and valley. The region comprises three nature parks, five large and many small lakes nestle like blue gems in the countryside. Beneath the earth lie stalactite caves and numerous visitor mines, and there are also a variety of excursion destinations throughout the region. Out in the fresh air, locals and holidaymakers go hiking, cycling or climbing. Or they can visit indoor attractions such as fun and adventure pools, saunas and spas, amusement arcades, technology museums and exciting exhibitions. They all promise plenty of adventure all year round.

The Sauerland is also popular in winter: with more than 130 lifts and 300 hectares of pistes as well as 500 kilometers of high-quality cross-country ski trail networks at high altitude, it is the largest winter sports region north of the Alps. Sledging, tobogganing, winter hiking and horse-drawn sleigh rides provide further winter enjoyment.

So it's no wonder that more than 2.5 million people visit the Sauerland every year and spend almost 8 million overnight stays here. This makes the Sauerland a top vacation region in North Rhine-Westphalia.

But where does the name "Sauerland" actually come from? This regional name can be traced back to the 14th century, but its origins date back to the 12th century. It presumably referred to the "southern country" - at least if you looked from the Westphalian centers of Dortmund, Soest and Münster at the time.

The Sauerland dialect (Siuerlänner Platt) is a Low German language in its own right. Many of the words from it are still used today by the locals in the Sauerland in everyday language: "Woll" as the end of a sentence, "Mauken" for feet or "Schnuck" for sweets.

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