Water formed the “Holsteinische Schweiz” 10,000 years ago; more precisely, the melt water and moving glaciers of the Weichsel Ice Age. They forged great hills, smoothed them out again and formed small and large basins, wide and narrow valleys. The gift of this slow and, at the same time, formidable landscape gardener is a lake district with over 200 bodies of water, ranging from a small floodplain to the “Großer Plöner See” lake. These waters are surrounded by green belts: Bays full of reeds, shaded bathing spots, meadows that reach directly to the water. Curving hills rise from the shore, supporting forests, fields or even vineyards. “Holsteinische Schweiz” is appropriately home to the highest point in Schleswig-Holstein, the Bungsberg, 168 metres above sea level. The summit of the north, so to speak. Those who climb it – whether by bike or on foot – and then also climb the Elisabethturm, are rewarded with a view that stretches all the way to the sea. Even skiers use the slopes of the Bungsberg in snowy winters. The “Schwentine”, the green-blue lifeline of the lake district, also has its source in these heights. The 68-kilometre-long river connects 17 lakes with each other, allowing for an extensive waterway network. For water travellers, the varied landscape always offers new discoveries: Behind every bend in the river, in every new bay, a new world awaits. The wind does pick up on the larger lakes, but it is much more moderate than the stiff breeze you experience on the coasts. The warmer climate, therefore, invites you to spend relaxing sunny days on the numerous jetties and bathing spots that the endless shoreline is home to.
Hike through narrow paths or vast hilly landscapes, cycle past lakes and through forests, and picnic at the side of the road – in Schleswig-Holstein, six nature parks invite you on a discovery tour and a time out in nature.