The journey is the destination – hikes along the River Schlei in Germany
© Henrik Matzen
Between the towns of Eckernförde and Flensburg in the northernmost German state, Schleswig-Holstein, a magnificent estuary winds its way into the Baltic Sea. Over 26 miles (42 km) long and 2.5 miles (4 km) wide at its largest point, the Baltic Fjord Schlei is a wonderful stretch of water. On these 12 hikes, we lead you through the gently undulating landscape around the Schlei. Walking through quiet forests, blossoming meadows and along the gentle coastline, you quickly understand why the region is a designated nature reserve.
The Schlei doesn’t just boast cultural landscapes and beautiful riverbanks, its ancient settlements lining the shore offer centuries of history. The most famous settlement is the Viking town of Haithabu which was an important trading center in the early Middle Ages. You can relive this history in various museums in the village. In addition, if you are interested in culture, the small fishing villages and the pretty old town of Schleswig are wonderful places to explore.
In summer, countless beaches along the Schlei, small lakes and, of course, the Baltic Sea are ideal rest spots during your hikes — so don't forget your swimwear! The small villages and towns dotted along the Schlei have various accommodation options to rest up for your hikes. You can also shorten some of the hikes by hopping on a boat and cruising down the fjord.
Let yourself be inspired by the routes and hiking trails through the Schlei Nature Park. Nowhere does the expression “it’s not the destination, but the journey that counts,” ring more true than here.
The Danewerk - Danish Danevirke - is an ancient rampart on the former German-Danish border. For centuries, the Wall has been extended and expanded and today you can clearly see its traces in the vast landscape. On this round trip we lead you to the most impressive remnants of Danewerk. You can also complete your hike with a visit to the Danewerk Museum or the Viking village of Haithabu.
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This leisurely walk will take you across wide rape fields to the Schleienge Rabelsund. In the thatched houses on the Schlei shore was until the 1960s, a cozy restaurant, but now there are cottages. Nevertheless, the tranquility and beauty of the place has not changed: At Rabelsund you sit on a bench in the shade of a gnarled tree and look out to the water.
The municipality Fleckeby is located on the southern shore of the Schlei and is separated from the shore only by a small moorland: the Hirschholm Moor. On this tour you will walk through the moor on footbridges and quiet paths, stroll along the Schlei shore and pay a visit to the manor house Louisenlund. From there it goes on forest roads back to the starting point.