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Holstein Switzerland is a place of longing for everyone who loves nature: Deep blue and crystal clear lakes nestle in forested hills. The view stretches far across seemingly endless field landscapes. Hiking, cycling and canoeing are great fun here - and those interested in culture will also get their money's worth. We show you what there is to discover here.

Holstein Switzerland

Holstein Switzerland is located in the east of Schleswig-Holstein, roughly between Lübeck and Kiel, and extends to the Baltic Sea coast. The hill country is one of the most important tourist regions in northern Germany.


Holstein Switzerland - a trip to the mountains?

The Bungsberg is Schleswig-Holstein's highest elevation © AlbersArt - stock.adobe.com

Holstein Switzerland is located between Lübeck, Kiel and Neumünster and has a beautiful Baltic coast, but also gorgeous inland. When you hear the name of the region, you think of massive mountains. But the landscapes of Schleswig-Holstein and Switzerland could hardly be more different.

The name Holstein Switzerland goes The name "Switzerland" dates back to the 19th century, when travel to Switzerland was very popular. In order to make their own region more attractive to visitors, some areas gave themselves the name "Switzerland". The merchant Johannes Janus from Eutin was inspired: He opened a hotel at Kellersee near Malente, which he ceremoniously christened "Holstein Switzerland." Due to the great popularity of the accommodation, the name was initially transferred to the local train station, and later to the entire area.

And yet the Holstein Switzerland stands out The landscape is hilly, and you won't find Frisian plains here. The landscape is hilly; you won't find Frisian flatland here. However, it is not rugged here, the hills are covered with green vegetation, in spring the rape shines on the fields, which run undulating through the landscape. By the way: The highest place in Holstein Switzerland is the Bungsberg with 168 meters.

By train and bus comfortably to Bungsberg: Plan arrival.


Germany's first and only picnic region

Traditionally good - a picnic in Holstein Switzerland © Pasko Maksim - stock.adobe.com

In no other region picnicking is celebrated as much as in Holstein Switzerland. Every year, numerous events take place under the title "Picnic Summer", where people feast, chat and enjoy the surroundings.

Holstein Switzerland offers the ideal conditions for a cozy picnic. There are numerous dreamy places where you can sit down and enjoy. For example, at the empress's pavilion on the Prinzeninsel of Lake Plön. Or on one of the many comfortable park benches at the edge of the field. Or on a jetty. The possibilities could not be more varied.


Looking for a picnic partner? Off to the groom's oak

Via a ladder, contact seekers reach the knothole where they can post their letters or fish out requests © travelpeter - stock.adobe.com

In the Dodau forest there is a 500-year-old oak tree that has become a very special destination. People constantly make pilgrimages here, all with the same goal: to make new contacts. The motive varies: Some want to fall in love and make a commitment, others are looking for soul mates, others wish for a pen pal relationship.

But what does this have to do with the oak? The explanation can be found in the year 1891: On June 2, Miss Ohrt and Mr. Schütte-Felsche got married under this oak tree, after they had not had an easy time at first. The bride's father tried to stop the liaison, and so the lovers had to think of something to keep in touch secretly. They found the oak tree and exchanged love letters unnoticed through a knothole in the tree. The love was so strong that even the father finally gave his blessing and the wedding could take place under the oak tree, which was very significant for the couple.

Today is the groom oak even internationally known - and offers seekers from all over the world a romantic platform with its own postal address.


Inseparable: Holstein Switzerland and water

Water sports and sightseeing tour at the same time: Paddling on the Great Plön Lake you get many impressions of the beautiful region © penofoto.de - stock.adobe.com

Over 200 lakes are located in the wonderful landscape of Holstein Switzerland. And that's not all, the sea is also just a stone's throw away. The ideal place for water sports. Many of the lakes are interconnected, so variety is guaranteed on a canoe trip. Especially recommended are the lakes that are connected by and with the Schwentine are connected.

An absolute highlight among the lakes is the Great Plöner Lake. An oversized body of water of breathtaking beauty. If you love water sports, you've come to the right place: Here you can leisurely paddle around in a canoe, SUP, windsurf and canoe. Great tip: Explore Plön and the surrounding area by canoe. After all, two-thirds of the city area consists of water - and from there you can discover many cultural highlights. But more about that in a moment.

Wherever you want to go - The Holstein lake district attracts with numerous crystal clear lakes that could hardly be more beautiful. Take your time to explore as many as possible.

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Plön: Plan arrival.


Culture: castles, cities and museums

A journey back in time: Well-preserved historic buildings line the marketplace in Eutin © aro49 - stock.adobe.com

Not only the landscape is varied in Holstein Switzerland. The cultural program also has a lot to offer: Thus, in the far north you will find numerous imposing buildings, picturesque old town alleys and enthralling museums.

Let's stay in Plön for the time being. The town's landmark is easily recognizable even from a distance: At the Great Plön Lake, majestically situated on a hill, Plön Castle towers over the history-rich town. The most important Renaissance castle in the state was built in the 17th century during the Thirty Years' War and once served as the residence of the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein, later the building was used as a cadet school and boarding school. Finally, in 2002, the building was sold to the non-profit "Fielmann Academy", which now uses it as a training and qualification center. Some rooms are open for viewing by appointment, and classical concerts are held in the Knights' Hall. In the castle garden, many historic buildings from different eras can be admired, and those who want to learn more about the history of the origins of Holstein Switzerland are in the right place at the Nature Park House.

Another castle worth seeing stands in Eutin. The medieval brick building is surrounded by a moat in which the building is reflected. Truly a fabulous sight, just like the palace garden with its many works of garden art, which are now listed monuments. Tip: Complete your visit with a stroll through the city center. In the center is a historic marketplace, the alleys lead past old half-timbered houses and classicist buildings.

Who traditional craft would like to admire, visit the Dunkersche Kate in Bosau. The quaint 17th-century half-timbered house was once inhabited by master blacksmiths, linen weavers and farmers and used as a workplace. And the charm of past centuries has been preserved: The farmer's garden still displays planting typical of the region, and guests can bake bread in a traditional wood-fired oven in a bakehouse. In addition, changing exhibitions present arts and crafts of the region.


Picturesque bike paths

Some particularly beautiful cycling routes lead past the Great Plön Lake © SLindenau - stock.adobe.com

Holstein Switzerland is a paradise for people who enjoy physical activity in beautiful surroundings - for example, at the Cycling. There are many different thematic routes that allow you to experience the beauty of the region. The 5-lake tour, for example, takes you through beautiful nature, the mountain tour gets your pulse racing, and it gets romantic on the village tour, which takes you to romantic forester's lodges and through quaint villages. The routes are between 25 and 61 kilometers long and well signposted - there is something for every fitness level. Especially ambitious cyclists who want to be on the road for several days can choose the Holstein Switzerland Cycle Tour: a circular route about 200 kilometers long on which you can explore the most beautiful corners of the beautiful region.

Wide fields, unspoiled nature and an incomparable lake landscape - all this makes Holstein Switzerland an enchanting spot © Thorsten Schier - stock.adobe.com

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