Eule im Wildpark Eekholt
© CC0

The cry of the bird of prey is heard first. Seconds later, he swoops down to capture his prey. The falconer goes down on her knees for a moment as the mighty bird lands on her arm. The king of the air and many other impressive wild animals such as the wolf, wild boar and wild cat can be seen in the Eekholt Wildlife Park a few minutes’ drive south of Neumünster. And experience it up close: The zoo offers exciting activities all year round, from natural history bird tours to making your own honey and building American Indian tents. The “Haithabu” Viking Museum near Schleswig on the Schlei is also about old crafts that are being brought back to life: The museum is one of the most important archaeological museums in Germany. UNESCO added the Viking maritime trading centre of Haithabu and the Danewerk border fortifications to the list of World Heritage Sites in 2018. The entire site and the extensive programme impressively show how people lived in the early Middle Ages.

(Literary) history of a somewhat lighter kind – but actually just as indispensable – is a visit to a Karl May classic at the 11,500-seat open-air stage in Bad Segeberg: In the open air, Wild West fans can expect an unforgettable encounter with Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. In the Ellerhoop Arboretum – the “most beautiful garden in the north” – or when forest bathing in the nature parks, things are quieter. Incidentally, if you are cycling on holiday, you will always find places like those mentioned above along the 13 developed long-distance cycle routes across the state, which give you a feel for what Schleswig-Holstein is all about at its “green” heart.