Deep in the north, where the rain buries ... Of course, it's just a nasty prejudice that Schleswig-Holstein, the state with two seas, often has bad weather. There is no such thing anyway: in truth, the coastal wind only blows visitors' heads clear. Lighthouses, mud flats and houses under cozy thatch define the image of a region with numerous attractions.


1

Wadden Sea National Park

Rubber boots, stiff breeze, Tidal flat walks and always a hot drink within reach - those would be about the things that come to mind when you think of Wadden Sea immediately come to mind. As a worthwhile nature excursion destination, the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea is one of the biggest attractions in the entire state. The Wadden Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve anyway, but it is also an official bird sanctuary and flora-fauna habitat of the EU. And what does it actually include? Quite simply, the national park stretches from the German-Danish maritime border in the north to the mouth of the Elbe in the south. Another fact: With an area of over 4410 square kilometers, it is the largest national park between the North Cape and Sicily. Wow! 

More info about the Wadden Sea National Park can be found at here.

2

Holstein Switzerland

Don't worry: This part of Schleswig-Holstein is only as beautiful as Switzerland, but rarely as expensive. The largest nature park in the state is located in Ostholstein between Kiel and Lübeck. Characteristic for its charm are the lovely hill ranges and the more than 200 lakes in the region. Idyllic places like Eutin, Preet or Bad Segeberg are also popular destinations in Holstein Switzerland. For lovers of northern German history is Eutin Castle at Großer Eutiner See is an interesting place to go. If instead you feel like a casual day at the beach, you'll find it at the Lake Plön found. There we recommend especially the bathing place on the Plöner Prinzeninsel - and not only because of its inviting name. It is pleasantly quiet here even in the height of summer, because this stretch of beach can only be reached on foot or by bike. 

In our article on the Holstein Switzerland you will learn more.

3

Lübeck

Anyone who grew up with the old brown 50 DM bill knows the landmark Lübeck probably, because it showed the famous Lübeck Holsten Gate and pointed out that Lübeck was once the proud capital of the Hanseatic League. If you plan to make a photo stop at the Holsten Gate, you can also take a detour inside the building to the city history museum - for example, to learn more about the legendary Brick Gothic in Lübeck. There are 42 buildings in Lübeck alone that are attributed to this typical northern German architectural genre, the most famous of which are certainly the four churches of St. Marien, St. Petri, St. Aegidien and Lübeck Cathedral. The entire Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you don't just want to stroll around in amazement, but also want to learn something about Lübeck at the same time, you should take a Leadership book in the old town. It costs only 12 euros per person. But one question still needs to be answered: Why is Lübeck considered a marzipan city? Supposedly, marzipan was invented in Lübeck after a famine in the 15th century, when there was only sugar and almonds left in the city and "bread" is said to have been made from them. Historians, however, have good reason to believe that marzipan was invented in the Orient. Well: The Marzipan Museum of the famous producer Niederegger is in Lübeck anyway.

More info about Lübeck is available here.

4

Glückstadt

In the shadow of Schleswig-Holstein "big cities" like Kiel, Lübeck or Flensburg the melodious Glückstadt on the Elbe with its 12,000 inhabitants holds its own. Its chic historic old town with its narrow streets and picturesque harbor pier has its charms. Especially in summer, a visit to Glückstadt is a good idea, not least because of the tasty "Matjes" for which they are known throughout the region. There is even the option of booking a "Matjesgang" - a one-hour guided tour with experienced Glückstadt residents who know all about herring fishing. (60 euros for a Group tour with a maximum of 25 people). Fun fact: Glückstadt is the only town in Schleswig-Holstein that was founded by a king. The Danish one, however - it was Christian IV, who had Glückstadt completely rebuilt in 1617 according to plans on the drawing board. The Dane did a good job. 

More info about Glückstadt is available here.

5

St. Peter Ording

Of course, you could also start with the fact that St. Peter Ording is the only German seaside resort that has its own sulfur spring and therefore officially operates as a "North Sea spa and sulfur bath". Or that the bathing area of St. Peter Dorf is particularly popular with nature lovers, and there guided mudflat walks launch. But that would only be part of the truth. The real reason why half of Hamburg plus visitors from all over Germany head for St. Peter Ording in the summer is probably the twelve-kilometer-long, magnificent sandy beach with its legendary pile dwellings. From there, you can watch the sun set over the North Sea in the evening while relaxing in one of the five Pile dwelling restaurants dine. Menu? What do you think: There is fresh fish ...

More info about St. Peter Ording is available at here.

6

Kiel

With a population of around 250,000, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein is also the largest city in the state. The many students also make Kiel a young, energetic coastal metropolis with a lively café, bar and restaurant scene. Kiel is a water city: The Kiel week for example, in 2021 from June 19 to 27, is considered the largest sailing event in the world, but also a summer festival and cultural festival. The port city on Germany's Baltic coast boasts the mighty Naval Memorial with viewing platform or the Kiel aquarium has a few more maritime points of contact, but also offers its visitors something to do in the city center: The St. Nicholas Church for example, is the oldest building in Kiel and a good example of the popular brick Gothic style in northern Germany. 

More info about Kiel is available here.

7

The Hallig Islands

Romantics and people in search of a little solitude are likely to be interested in the ten Halligen in Schleswig-Holstein. However, you have to be able to withstand a little tension. A Hallig is a very small marshland island that, unlike a "normal" island, is always flooded at high tide. Nevertheless, people live on five of the ten unique Halligen in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea, and even vacationers are welcome. How is that possible? The few farms on the Halligen Langeneß, Oland, Gröde, Hooge and Nordstrandischmoor are all situated on artificial hills. This avoids flooding of the houses ... that is, most of the time. On Langeneß, by the way, most people live permanently: 100 people, surrounded by the wide sea. So it's easy to understand what Theodor Storm meant when he spoke of the Halligen as "floating dreams". 

More info about the Halligen is available here.

8

Timmendorfer Strand and Travemünde

The Timmendorfer beach is often referred to as the "bathtub of Hamburg" and Travemünde as a suburb of Lübeck. This may be true, but both tend to lead in the wrong direction, because even without the respective metropolitan references, both the famous beach and the noble seaside resort are attractive destinations. Timmendorfer Strand alone because its car-free promenade is appreciated and used in every season as a meeting place with a view of the Baltic Sea. The wide sandy beach in Timmendorf is less suitable for lovers of secluded and rather quiet water fun, but for such purposes, the smaller baths are located at the beach. Niendorf and Hemmelsdorf is only a stone's throw away. And as far as Travemünde is concerned, from here you can not only use the ferries to Scandinavia or visit the maritime museum in the 1539 built Lighthouse but also visit the beach chillax and occupy one of the 1060 beach chairs in the community. 

More info about Travemünde is available at here.

Cover photo: A walk on the Travemünde pier will make you feel much closer to the Baltic Sea © Adobestock/HHBCK

Geschrieben von Harald Brown

Travel and culture journalist Harald Braun, a native of the Rhineland, lives in the countryside of Schleswig-Holstein, regularly escapes to Australia in winter, likes FC St. Pauli, South Tyrol and, increasingly, selected corners of Germany that he has recently discovered - such as the "Greif" harbor crane in front of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, where you can spend an excellent night.

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