Apple Picking is More Fun in Germany (My Experience in Altes Land)

Altes Land (meaning "Old Land") near Hamburg, Germany is a great place to go apple picking during the fall season!
[Always reaching because being short is hard LOL]
I’m a sucker for autumn and obsessed with all the basic fall activities so of course I HAD to go apple picking this year! I went last year, too, and it’s something I want to try and do every year because it just starts off the fall season in the best, most basic fall way.

But, you ask, aren’t you in Germany? Do they even have apple trees there? Isn’t it just beer and bread that grow on trees, harvested just in time for Oktoberfest?

The storefront of Jan Hinrich Feindt, a shop that sells fruit, vegetable, and regional products in Altesland, Germany
[We stumbled upon Jan Hinrich Feindt, a store that sells fruit, vegetables, and specialty regional products, and it has the cutest storefront imaginable]
Guess what – they do indeed have apple trees, an entire region of them, called Altes Land (which means “Old Land/Country.”) And it was only about an hour away from Hamburg, where I’m currently based – SCORE!

Apple orchard at Herzapfelhof Lühs in Altesland near Hamburg, Germany
[Thinking about all the apple pie I’m going to make]

HELPFUL INFO

The main street in the center of Jork, the capital of Altes Land
[The main street in the center of Jork, the capital of Altes Land, has pretty and old buildings]
You can find an interactive map here. For more information, visit the Altes Land website.

Half-timbered house in Altes Land near Hamburg, Germany

In my opinion, the best times to visit are spring because of the beautiful blossoms, and late summer/fall for apple picking! We went in early September and had perfect weather, along with alllll the apples. We picked the Santana and Jonagold because those were our favorites that were in season (both were a little sweet/tart and more crispy.)

Scroll to the end of the article if you want transportation info.

& A LIL HISTORY

The interior of the Tourist Info center in Jork in Altes Land, Germany
[The interior of the Tourist Info center – they have a map of Germany for you to place a pin based on where you’re coming from]
Why is it called “Old Land/Country”? No, not because it’s a place aging seniors flock to. Rather, it’s due to the Dutch settlers who originally lived there. They had to work on the land a lot in order to make it possible to grow crops there, and called the land that had been finished working on “Old Land” and the land that hadn’t yet “New Land.” Eventually, all of the land was completed and thus it was all called “Old Land.”

The Apfelsaftsack Obstohof Ueck, a store in Altes Land, Germany
[The Apfelsaftsack Obstohof Ueck was closed when we were there but in such a pretty building!]
But enough suspense – let’s cut to the chase! I spent most of the time at Herzapfelhof Lühs, probably the most popular place to visit in Altes Land (would love to go back and visit some of the less visited farms, but didn’t have time during this trip…) So, I’ll cut this article into two sections: Things to do at Herzapfelhof Lühs, and what to do in the rest of Altes Land!

HERZAPFELHOF LÜHS

APPLE PICKING DUH

Apple picking at Herzapfelhof Lühs is the perfect fall activity
[I’ll tell you a secret: I didn’t actually pick that apple #honestgram]
Let’s cut right to the chase, people. Apple picking is (arguably) THE MOST FALL ACTIVITY. Come at me with one that’s more.

Cart of apples at Herzafelhof Lühs in Altes Land, Germany
[I’ll tell you another honest secret: I just took this cart for the picture LOL #honestgram]
There are several other farms you can pick apples at, but the one I kept reading about over and over was Herzapfelhof Lühs. Their apples are organic and they have a ton of orchards and activities, so we went there!

We even happened to be there when a bunch of politicians were, so I got to listen to them speak (although it was all in German, but ya know, the experience, plus one of them had flecks of glitter in his hair which was interesting.)

Herzafelhof Lühs is a great place to go apple picking in Altes Land
{Herzafelhof Lühs]
Herzafelhof Lühs is a great place to go apple picking in Altes Land
[Another pretty building at Herzapfelhof Lühs]

TAKE A TRACTOR RIDE

You can take a tractor ride at Herzapfelhof Lühs, a place to go apple picking in Altes Land!
[The back of the tractor]
I mean it was like a 5 minute ride but still fun lol. It was also free. The tractor just takes you through some of the orchards at Herzapfelhof Lühs.

I’d imagine they probably only do this on weekends, but I could be wrong!

LASER YOUR APPLE(S)

You can laser a picture or words on your apple at Herzapfelhof Lühs!
[Some examples of lasered apples]
They actually have a machine where you can laser something onto your apple! Like WHAT? We didn’t do it as it’s a little pricey for what it’s worth, but it’s still really cool!

EAT OTHER FOODS (AKA CAKE)

Cake at Herzapfelhof Lühs
[Cake at Herzapfelhof Lühs]
Tbh the cake at Herzapfelhof Lühs was okkkkk, there are a ton of other specialty shops in the region that I think would have better desserts.

We went to Jan Hinrich Feindt later and their cakes looked AMAZING. We both wished we’d held off and went there instead!

TASTE APPLES & APPLE JUICE

Apple varieties offered at Herzapfelhof Lühs
[The apple varieties at Herzafelhof Lühs]
Inside the warehouse, you can try some apples before you pick to ensure that you take home the ones you actually like. This was helpful as I’d never heard of most of the varieties lol.

They also had different apple juices to try and a plate of apple infused gummies!

Inside the warehouse at Herzapfelhof Lühs in Altes Land, Germany
[Inside the warehouse at Herzapfelhof Lühs]
Inside the warehouse at Herzapfelhof Lühs in Altes Land, Germany
[Apples on apples at Herzapfelhof Lühs]

…& THE REST OF ALTES LAND

GET SOME SWEET PICS FOR THE ‘GRAM

Picking apples at Herzapfelhof Lühs in Altes Land, Germany
[Totally candid LOL]
I admit I took full advantage of this and in reality we just picked like 6 apples LOL. I literally only took the cart for photos haha. But ya know, gotta do what ya gotta do!

THE SHOPS HAVE REALLY COOL PRODUCTS

The Jan Hinrich Feindt shop sells fruits, vegetables, and specialty regional products
[Love the decor here]
And most are organic and regional!

The above photo is the Jan Hinrich Feindt shop I mentioned earlier – in addition to cakes and DELICIOUS flammkuchen (kind of like pizza on a tortilla and it’s sooo good and you should definitely try it when you’re in Germany!) they had a shop, too!

Jan Hinrich Feindt has the cutest outdoor seating
[Outdoor seating at Jan Hinrich Feindt – they even have a cute wooden swing!]
I’d highly recommend going in even if you don’t plan to buy anything – it’s really well-decorated and adorable! They sell other regional fruits and veggies, too.

Obsthof Hauschildt's FruchtBar sells fruit from a vending machine!
[This was my favorite thing ever]
This was the coolest thing! It was like a vending machine for fruit!! It was right near the Jan Hinrich Feindt store and we didn’t actually get anything, but just thought it was super funny.

To find it, just put in “Obsthof Hauschildt’s FruchtBar” into the GPS.

Alcohol at Herzapfelhof Lühs in Altes Land
[Products sold at Herzapfelhof Lühs – yes, they sell more than alcohol LOL this is just what I happened to take a photo of]
These are a bunch of different types of alcohol for sale at Herzelhopf Lühs. We didn’t actually buy anything (and one lady we talked to mentioned that the apple gin we were considering purchasing was really bad – so swerve there lol.)

GET YOUR LEARN ON AT THE MUSEUM

The front of the Museum Altes Land
[The front of the Museum Altes Land]
And it’s free, so like, why not? It’s all in German which is kind of a bummer, but still fun to look at all the old antique stuff they have. It’s all about the history of the region etc.

THE HALF TIMBERED HOUSES

Half-timbered House in Altes Land in Germany
[I need a half-timbered house in my life]
I admit this is why I go anywhere in Germany. I have developed what I think is a healthy obsession…

The Volksbank in Altes Land is a half-timbered house
[If only all banks looked like this]
Even the freaking bank is cute!! We even saw one of those houses (pretty much looked just like the bank) for sale for €250,000 (about $280,000) which is NOT BAD AT ALL. I am not kidding when I tell you I seriously considered it for a second…

DON’T HAVE A CAR? NO PROBLEM!

A trailer attached to the back of the bus to Altes Land has plenty of room for bikes!
[The trailer attached to the bus is just for bikes LOL]
Bring your bike to Altes Land near Hamburg, Germany!
[We took our bikes on the bus, then biked around the area which I’d highly suggest! It’s really flat and spread out, so it was nice to have a bike rather than walk]
There’s now a bus that goes to Altes Land! You can take the train to Buxtehude station and then take the 2040 bus to Jork. Expect it to take about 1.5 hours if you’re coming from somewhere near the city center in Hamburg.

You can also find some other transportation options listed here.

Bike path in Altes Land
[Bike path in Altes Land]
It’s such a bikeable place so I’d highly recommend bringing your bike if you have one! Especially since it’s a pretty big area and flat so it’s easy to get around.

Tractor with apples in Altes Land, Germany
[A tractor carrying a bunch of apples]
Or, you can drive, which will take about an hour. You could even walk, which according to Google Maps takes about 4.5 hours (although you’ll also have to take a ferry.)

Wooden crates in Altes Land
[Love a good wooden crate stack]

WANT TO REMEMBER FOR THE FUTURE? PIN IT!

Altes Land (meaning "Old Land") near Hamburg, Germany is a great place to go apple picking during the fall season!

Altes Land (meaning "Old Land") near Hamburg, Germany is a great place to go apple picking during the fall season!

Altes Land (meaning "Old Land") near Hamburg, Germany is a great place to go apple picking during the fall season!

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10 thoughts on “Apple Picking is More Fun in Germany (My Experience in Altes Land)

  1. This looks like such a fun day! The surroundings are so pretty too! I feel like I can see that the buildings are inspired by the Dutch but that might just be my mind playing games with me because you told me, haha 😉 either way, it’s looks super cute and I would love to go one day!

  2. I blooming love apples! I have to admit, I have never been apple picking as a tourist as I’m from the countryside…we’d always just pick apples from our, or our neighbours’ trees. It didn’t seem like an activity…it was just something you do when you want to eat apples (or make apple crumble or cider.)

    Now I *don’t* live near apple trees I can totally see the appeal. Although I’m not sure i’d pay to have things lazered into the fruit!

    p.s. what were the cake? Were they apple related too?

    1. Haha and they taste soooo much better when picked! I’m not a huge fan of supermarket apples tbh, but picked right off the tree they’re delicious! Especially since they don’t have that wax covering yet…

      That sounds so nice, though! I always wanted to have fruit/vegetables in my backyard. One day! We actually did go and pick apples at my friend’s parent’s house the week after (which is why we only picked a few in Altes Land haha) and it was so cool! Definitely not something I experienced living in the city.

      Oh gosh I can’t remember what the cakes were! I think one was some sort of berry/sliced almond thing and the other was berry/fruit crumble. So I don’t think they were actually apple related at all haha!

  3. I agree, apple picking is a wonderful fall activity! It looks like such a fun day and I love the idea of the fruit vending machine. And the laser writing on the apples is kinda funny but cool!

    1. Yesss it’s the best! Yeah the I kinda wanted to do the laser thing, but since I would end up eating it anyway I figured it wasn’t really worth it haha. But yeah the fruit vending machine was so cute!

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