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Explore an epic coastline — the E9 along the Baltic Sea

Martin Eiselt (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Explore an epic coastline — the E9 along the Baltic Sea

Hiking Collection by Vanessa Kopp

6-13

days

3-6 h

/ day

97.4 mi

1,550 ft

1,575 ft

Miles of sandy beaches, rugged coastal forests, romantic fishing villages and World Heritage Sites: you can experience it all on the Baltic Coast Hiking Trail, a section of the E9. The entire route of the E9 European Long Distance Trail stretches from Portugal to Estonia, from the Atlantic coast to the Baltic Sea. Here, I present the section from the Hanseatic city of Wismar to the Baltic Sea resort of Zingst. Over almost 160 kilometres (100 mi), you get to know the varied landscape of the coast of Germany’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in eight days. The Baltic Sea has a lot of fine sandy beaches, but also marshes, salt marshes, coastal forests and cliffs.

On your hike from Mecklenburg to Western Pomerania, you pass through various nature reserves and unique landscapes with the Baltic Sea almost always in sight. The seaside resorts along the route also offer you a rich programme of culture, entertainment and northern German charm. Let yourself be surprised at how beautiful and diverse this coast is. You’ll hardly have to deal with any elevation gain along the entire route, as the coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is blissfully flat.

The infrastructure along the Baltic coast is impeccable and the route is well signposted. Since Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is popular with cyclists, you'll share the road with two-wheelers from time to time. If you don't want to walk the route in one adventure, the easiest way to reach each stage is by public transport from Rostock. You can find plenty of restaurants, supermarkets and hotels in all the towns you pass through. Only in Alt Bukow, your first overnight stop, is the choice somewhat limited. Even if the offer is otherwise abundant, it’s worth booking a bed in advance, especially in the summer months when many hotels on the coast are fully booked.

The best time for hiking is from spring to autumn. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is particularly colourful with rapeseed blossom in May; when you can expect bright yellow fields, lush meadows and the blue Baltic Sea. The coastal region is wonderful in summer and autumn too, especially as the sea reaches bathing temperature. Remember to keep a thin jacket handy at all times, even in summer as the sea breeze is often fresh. Don’t pack your rain jacket too far down in your rucksack though. The weather can change quickly on the coast. Take binoculars if you have them as the route takes you through many fantastic bird watching areas.

Martha Müller-Grählert from Zingst wrote of her homesickness in her song with the well-known line ‘Wo de Ostseewellen trecken an den Strand’ (‘Where the waves of the Baltic Sea come to the beach’). When you reach her hometown after eight days along the coast, you’ll easily be able to understand her love for the Baltic Sea coast.

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Der Ostseeküsten-Wanderweg (E9)

98.2 mi

1,600 ft

1,600 ft

Last updated: February 6, 2022

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Wismar to Alt Bukow — Baltic Coast Hiking Trail

    Difficult
    05:21
    13.0 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The seagulls are screeching, the water is lapping against the edge of the harbour, and there is a slight smell of the sea in the air. Welcome to the Baltic Sea. The first stage of your hike along the Baltic Sea coast starts in the Hanseatic city of Wismar. To get in the mood, it's worth taking a walk

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  • Intermediate
    05:00
    12.2 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today's stage starts around six kilometers from the water. So it's high time to hike back towards the coast and have the Baltic Sea waves within earshot. Alt Bukow is 38 meters above sea level, today's destination Rerik is only nine meters above the water's edge. Due to the gradient, you have a beautiful

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  • Intermediate
    04:16
    10.2 mi
    2.4 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Baltic Sea resort to Baltic Sea resort: This stage takes you from Rerik to Kühlungsborn. On the almost 17-kilometer route you hike along the rugged cliffs, enjoy wild and romantic natural beaches and find shade in the dense coastal protection forest. The Baltic Sea is always on your left. Shortly

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  • Difficult
    05:50
    14.2 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Continue east: You leave Kühlungsborn and follow the coastal path towards Warnemünde. The puffing of the steam locomotive Molli accompanies you the first five kilometers to Heiligendamm, also known as the "white city by the sea". Continue through the ghost forest until you can see the Warnemünde lighthouse

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  • Intermediate
    04:11
    10.2 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Off to the ship: You cover the first few meters of this hike by ferry. From Warnemünde you cross over to Hohe Düne and hike from there past the naval base to the Rostocker Heide. Here you will experience a special flora and fauna. Take some time, you might be lucky and see deer, weasels or gray herons

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    by Vanessa Kopp

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  • Difficult
    05:17
    13.0 mi
    2.5 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This hike takes you further and further along the beach, over the Fischland and onto the Darß. You will start in Mecklenburg and reach your destination after 22 kilometers in Western Pomerania. The Fischland is the land bridge to the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula. You continue to walk along the Baltic

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  • Difficult
    05:39
    13.9 mi
    2.5 mph
    125 ft
    150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Windy, wild and beautiful: This hike takes you from Ahrenshoop to the west beach in the Darss forest. Sandy beach, dunes and forest merge seamlessly here. The characteristic wind fleeing trees - trees that the wind has given its idiosyncratic shape - give the north-western tip of the Fischland-Darss

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  • Intermediate
    04:20
    10.7 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The last leg of your tour along the Baltic Sea coast takes you from Prerow to Zingst, the eastern end of the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula. On the dike or on the beach - depending on your mood - you hike almost ten kilometers to Zingst. There it is still worth a detour through the town and to the Bodden

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    97.4 mi
  • Duration
    39:55 h
  • Elevation
    1,550 ft1,575 ft

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