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Wind and waves created a beach whale landscape in the estuary of the Schlei that at best Astrid Lindgren could have imagined. When the state wanted to sell it off, a foundation stepped in to protect nature and keep the pilot islands accessible to the general public.

Reading sample from the Dumont escapades: 52 small & big escapades in Schleswig-Holstein at the Baltic Sea

Time out. Adventure. Joy of life.

This article is from the book 52 small and big escapades in Schleswig-Holstein at the Baltic Sea from DuMont Reiseverlag.

Whether hiking, biking, paddling or simply quietly enjoying nature - 52 irresistible excursions into the countryside await. For a few hours, a day or a weekend; alone, with friends or family - there is quite simply more to experience than the familiar. So get outside! - Get out of the daily grind - quickly and easily - 52 adventure reports and orienteering maps, over 200 great photos and all the necessary info in one volume - For any time budget, without financial outlay - With free GPX data. Written by Stefanie Sohr.


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Shortly before eleven o'clock in Kappeln on the Schlei. The sun is shining, the steamer is sounding. On the deck of the MS Stadt Kappeln, Danish and German vocabulary mingle with the cries of seagulls. The former Russian motor ship glides slowly out of the harbor. And if excursion steamers didn't exist yet, they would have to be invented. What other means of transport offers fresh air and fresh waffles at the same time? The Schlei winds through an idyllic landscape, past gently rolling fields and lush green meadows. At the flashing white thatched cottages of Rabelsund, the scent of the sea becomes more intense, the wind fresher. After a short stop in the fishing village of Maasholm, the ship heads for Schleimünde, the point where the Schlei and the Baltic Sea meet. It's amazing how reliably islands trigger a feeling of adventure and great freedom. Islands, of all places, are basically the epitome of limitation. But it works even on the smallest ones, like Lotseninsel, which is not really an island but the end of a headland.

The treasure island: The "Förderverein naturnaher Wasserwanderplatz Schleimünde" (Association for the Promotion of a Near-Natural Water Hiking Site at Schleimünde) cares for and operates the former shelter harbor at the mouth of the river Schleim. © Volko Lienhardt

Let's go!

The 112-hectare peninsula is largely protected and may not be entered over a wide area. Thus, the outermost tip can actually only be reached by boat. A tiny piece of land in the sea, big enough for everything that makes an island: a harbor of refuge that is immensely popular with sailors, a green-and-white-striped lighthouse, a conference center where private individuals are also allowed to spend the night when gaps in bookings open up, and the Giftbude (www.facebook.com/lotseninsel). The former harbor pub now serves the best regional cuisine. The MS Stadt Kappeln gives its passengers 30 minutes to explore the little wonderland. That's enough to circle the island about ten times and take part in a free guided bird tour. Schleimünde is smaller than Lummerland. But it is definitely a good idea to return only with the second ship three and a half hours later. Leaning against the flood protection wall on the boardwalk is a great way to squint in the sun. And the Baltic Sea is as blue as it was before Saltkråkan.

By train and bus comfortably to Kappeln on the Schlei: Plan arrival.

There's not much more you can do on Pilot Island than let your legs and soul dangle. © Volko Lienhardt


Great freedom in the smallest space. Check the schedules of the excursion boat beforehand; Not on all days is the extension of the stay possible - and that would be too bad.
There & away
Visitors can park free of charge and close to the harbor, e.g. in Feldstraße (third right after the bridge).
Best time
Summer. Timetables e.g. under www.schlei-ausflugsfahrten.de
Duration & Route
5 hrs and some steps for the island circumnavigation.
Picnic is good (poison booth though).

DuMont Escapades: Side trips, excursions, mini-vacations

For all those who want to get out of the daily grind quickly without having to travel far! Eskapaden are the new active guides from DuMont: Whether hiking, biking, paddling or simply quietly enjoying nature. The Eskapaden offer 52 small and large excursions and mini-vacations in Germany's most popular regions and cities. Whether for a few hours, a day or a wonderfully long weekend, whether alone, with friends or family - irresistible excursions into the countryside await. So off you go outside!

Further readings from the Dumont publishing program

Cover © Volko Lienhardt