Cecilia Garland - Dec 12, 2011

Tropical islands in Europe may seem like a product of a slightly bewildered imagination. However, the inventive spirit of the Germans has produced a proper tourist gem – the world’s largest indoor rainforest. It lies only 100 km north of Dresden.

The Tropical Islands have become one of the most fascinating tourist landmarks in Europe as it essentially recreates an entire ecosystem which one would not locate anywhere near the old continent. Inside a massive, 2,000-square-meter dome one will find the largest indoor rainforest in the world featuring an impressive collection of endemic animal and plant species.

A visit there will not only be a highly instructive and educational one, but also offers a pleasant variety of activities for both active and demanding guests as well as those keen on a relaxing stay.

The dome is home to some 600 different species of plants, including many kinds of palms, fern and mangroves. Most of these were in fact brought there from the Pacific and South American regions. Local betel and Bismarck palms, fan palms and fishtail plants actually produce their own delicious fruit.

The bridge over local mangrove swamp offers fascinating views over the diversity of exotic plants. Similar to flora, local fauna amazes all who visit. Species like guppies, mouth brooding cichlids, red and shark catfish, black tambaqui or Asian arowana are properly at home there.

Eco-friendly visitors often seek information regarding the ‘green’ aspects of local structure and technology. They leave satisfied as the entire system is built with utmost care for the environment and anything that may be recycled, indeed is.

Tourists who come there to enjoy the tropical heat can relax on an artificial beach and even swim in the ‘ocean’, play a game of mini-golf or dine in local restaurants, bars, and enjoy a shopping spree.

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