Tourism in Schleswig-Holstein
Apart from being a location for industry, culture and higher education, Schleswig-Holstein is a perfect holiday destination as well. Marvelous sandy beaches on the North Sea and the Baltic and the deep blue sky with its mighty, towering clouds are just as typical of the Land between the seas as its rolling, green countryside and its lakes surrounded by forests.
Schleswig-Holstein is an ideal place for holidays for the whole family. The clear waters of the Baltic, its gentle waves and white beaches mainly attract families with children to the many seaside resorts along the entire eastern coast. Traditional roofed wicker beach chairs providing protection against the wind and sun, restaurants along the waterfront offering a view of breath-taking sunsets, and walks along the beach followed by a hot tea make Schleswig-Holstein appealing in the winter too.
Wide sandy beaches
Fans of waves breaking on the beach venture out to the North Sea islands of Amrum, Föhr and Sylt. The western coastline of the mainland also has wide, sandy beaches: St. Peter Ording is a paradise for sand-yachting. Birdwatching and beach holidays can also be combined on Germany's only island in the open seas, Helgoland. Each year in June, thousands of young seabirds plunge into the depths from the 60 meter high, steep cliffs of the red, rocky coastline to learn how to fly.
The Wadden Sea – World Natural Heritage Site
Life on the Hallig islands is governed by the ebb and flow of the tides.
The Wadden Sea National Park is another highlight on Schleswig-Holstein's west coast. It is one of 13 national parks in Germany and it holds the densest bird population in Central Europe. Hundreds of different bird species live and breed in the salt meadows of this unique natural landscape, which is regularly flooded by the tides of the North Sea, before drying out again. The tidal shallows serve as nursery grounds for young herring. Common seals and grey seals romp about on the sandbanks. The national park's exhibition and documentation center - the Multimar Wattforum - attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Schleswig-Holstein's nature offers its visitors a wealth of effective remedies: whilst swimming and walking, sea-water – which contains iodine – gets the circulation going and strengthens the body's defenses. Silt, as well as brine and mud are used in health-promoting applications at spas. In addition, there are rehabilitation clinics, which treat an increasing number of people from abroad.
Schleswig-Holstein is the ideal environment for a sports holidays: Nowhere else in Germany are there as many bike paths as there are here: away from the roads, along green meadows and forests, yellow fields of rapeseed, or past lakes and fjords in the fresh sea air.
Avenues and country roads attract motorcycling enthusiasts, and the bends in the rivers Treene, Eider and Schwentine draw canoeists and sport fishermen to the region. Golf and tennis players find well-maintained grounds, while yachtsmen and other water sportsmen find world-class and generously extended marinas.
Once a year, Schleswig-Holstein’s state capital Kiel becomes a Mecca for all regatta sailors: Kiel Week, the world's biggest yachting event, is held here in the last week of June. Hundreds of boats from home and abroad visit the Kiel Bay and make Kiel Week one of Europe's biggest festivals.