Information and Tourism
Situated at the bottom of the Jutland Peninsula, Schleswig-Holstein looks on one side to the North Sea and on the other to the Baltic. It is the obvious seaside choice for many a German holidaymaker, with its unspoiled beaches, sand dunes and endless sea vista. A lack of reliable sunshine doesn't seem to detract from the experience.
At low tide, the North Sea coast throws up all sorts of mudflat treasures, including crabs and mussels. The Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, a vast area of natural beauty, is a major attraction here. So too is Heligoland, a tiny red-rocked archipelago retreat that is a real jewel in the state's crown. Its wild beauty, shaped by the sea, has inspired many an artist. The state's Baltic coastline is an entirely different place. With seas that are inexplicably calm on most days, a beach holiday here is a far less windswept affair.
Inland, in an area known as 'between the seas', there are farms, fields and orchards. There is also the Kiel Canal, plied by cruise ships that stop off at Schleswig-Holstein's towns and cities, including Rendsburg, a place that is undeniably proud of its rich history and lively cafe culture. In the south of the state, the Lauenburg Lakes National Park offers lakes and forests in abundance, making it a paradise for horse riders, cyclists and anyone who likes to mess around on the water.
The capital city of Kiel doesn't immediately strike you as the sort of place you would like to spend your holidays. Bombed extensively in World War Two, the rebuilt version isn't to everyone's tastes. On the other hand, if boat-watching is your thing - and we're talking big boats here, including huge Scandinavian ferries and majestic yachts - then you will certainly be well entertained.
The other main city in Schleswig-Holstein is Lubeck. In complete contrast to Kiel, Lubeck's medieval origins are well-preserved. Its 1,000-strong inventory of historic buildings is more than enough reason to explore the city's streets.
Schleswig-Hostein Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Germany
- Main city or administrative centre: Kiel
- Population: approximately 2.9 million
- Language: German
- Area: 6,090 square miles / 15,775 square kilometres