Since the long stretches of coastline in what are today Germany’s states Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania became more accessible with the fast, affordable and reliable train connections from Hamburg, Berlin and Magdeburg that sprang up in the middle and late 19th century, the Baltic Coast between Glücksburg and Flensburg on the Danish border, Lübeck on a bay of the same name, the Hanseatic towns Wismar and Rostock, and the two islands Rügen and Usedom have become the most popular and important maritime destinations in Germany. Among those who enjoy the summer resorts, water and waves, healthy mineral sea air, and the whitewashed “spa architecture” that shines bright in the sun are nobility, along with military and political figures. Since the 1900s, prominent families from the major cities in Germany and other countries have frequented the surrounding areas Fischland-Darß-Zingst, the beaches and areas around Laboe, Damp, Heiligenhafen, Travemünde, Warnemünde, Kühlungsborn, Heligendamm, Graal-Müritz, Rerik, and the islands and peninsulas at Hiddensee, Jasmund, Wittmund and Mönchsgut on Rügen, as well as the so-called “imperial seas” at the seaside resorts at Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf and Bansin. An old tradition, particular to the eastern German Baltic coast, started in the century before last and continued on thereafter: the naturist beaches began on an esoteric and/or proletariat basis of a textile-free nudist culture. You can still indulge in this activity, if you wish, on the northern and western edges of Darßwald in the Baltic bathing area Prerow in the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. In Wustrow, Ahrenshoop and Zingst, as well as on the south beach of Göhren and in Thiessow on Rügen, you can find more nude beaches. You will also find them on the northern tip of Darß, called Darßer Ort, and in the area around Pramort. The selection is smaller but still there in Heiligendamm, Kühlungsborn-West, and Warnemünde. In Koserow on Usedom in the direction of Zempin, on the beach between Zinnowitz and Trassenheide, in Prora between Mukran and Binz, and in Schaabe, the water also pearls up directly on the bare skin of beachgoers. The Neuendorf beach on Hiddensee is also very popular among nude bathers. With some luck on a stroll on the beach, you may find the warm yellow and shimmering “Gold of the Baltic”, the amber famous to the region and of which many legends and myths have been told.
Sailing and water sports have continuously gained popularity in the Baltic Sea region over the last ten years. Today, skippers with boats of all kinds have a huge selection of marinas and ports both in the above-mentioned areas plus in and around Kappeln in the Angeln region, on the edge of the Schlei fjord and its largest city Schleswig, in and around Eckernförde, and at Weissenhäuser beach. There are more opportunities on the coast of the surfing paradise of Fehmarn Island, in Dahme, Grömitz at an Timmendorfer Beach, in the Baltic Sea bathing area Boltenhagen, on the island Poel in the Bay of Wismar, and in Dierhagen, Kühlungsborn and Nienhagen. All those water sport locations plus the many sailing and sport centers in the neighboring country Poland have made the Baltic an ever more popular vacation spot, not least because of the decent prices and modern facilities. Good infrastructure can be found, for example, in Świnoujście, Stepnica, Kamień Pomorski, Dziwnów, and in Darłowo, Kołobrzeg (which literally translated means “by the shore”), Trzebież and Wolin as well as on the inner waters near the cities and municipalities Miedwie, Drawsko, Lubie, Siecino, Pile, Wielimie, Bukowo and Resko. Those towns, too, continue to enjoy increased popularity among international tourists who come to relax by the water or who are searching for water sports to do.
The Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are also of course just a stone’s throw away, past Szczecin and Salzhaff, from the German border. The same applies to the island Bornholm and the entire region of Denmark’s “South Sea” islands, and you can reach the southwestern Swedish province of Skonen and the Schären archipelago further north. The island Aland is halfway between Stockholm (find route suggestion for Stockholm here) and Finland’s capital city, Helsinki, and can be reached by sailboat or motorboat. In turn, people who like boards and fast winds swear by the surfing areas between the port city Wismar and the Bay of Mecklenburg, as well as the coasts of the Fischland-Darß-Zingst and Ummanz peninsulas, the latter of which is Germany’s largest body of shallow water. In Dranske on the Wieker Lagoon is an annual competition called the German Windsurf Cup. It attracts hundreds of participants and thousands of guests. Other recommended surfing spots on the German Baltic coast are Lindhöft in the Bay of Eckenförd, near the vacation spot Orther Reede and the Westside of Orth on Fehmarn, Niendorf, the Borthener Ufer (shore) and Pelzerhaken in the Bay of Lübeck, Salzhaff and Pepelow in the Bay of Wismar, the places next to the Warnow estuary at the marina Hohe Düne (high dune) in Warnemünde, on the Saal Lagoon in Fischland-Darß-Zingst, near Wiek and Suhrendorf on Rügen, and in Karlshagen and Ückeritz on Usedom.
The large and versatile types of fish in the Baltic Sea make it a wonderful place to go for a fishing trip of any kind. The fish are plentiful throughout the year but the kinds vary by season, meaning you can come several times a year to catch a nice selection of species. Whether from the beach or boat, from the pier or a bridge, many freshwater and saltwater fish such as eel, garfish, flounder, pikeperch, common roach, bream, and others, populate the waters and bite according to the season. You can go fishing on the coasts of the many lagoons in the area as well as in the many bays in Schleswig-Holstein. According to the need of the fishers, equipped boats and fishing cutters can be rented almost anywhere along the Baltic Sea coast for surprisingly low prices. For the classic cod fishing in the parts of the sea around Rügen, the time between the end of April to the end of May and from September to December are the best in which to go. In these months, the inshore waters of Aneglei also promise good results in shallower waters, whether you are going reel fishing or vertical fishing with rubber fish or natural bait. From the beginning of June to the beginning of September, it is also a worth it to go on a little excursion to the very cool approximately 2000 shipwrecks further out at sea around the coasts of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. As a bonus, there are also large numbers of cod, salmon and sea trout scurrying around underwater in these areas. The numerous wrecks from various past eras also of course draw in divers of all ages. In the area around the eastern coast of Rügen near Lohme and Sassnitz, the wrecks of the fishing cutter “Friedrich Engels”, the steel freighter “Amazone” and the Danish gaff schooner “Harald”. The wrecks lie between 8 and 30 meters under the surface. There is also a German fighter jet from World War II and the remains of an English bomber plane. In the diving area near Kühlungsborn you will also find, besides the natural scree fields, the remains of a military glider plane directly at the beach, as well as a steel flying machine about 15 meters underwater approximately 1.25 nautical miles from the beach. In addition, the Bay of Kiel has the wreck of the freight ship “Tjalk” and in the Kiel Fjord rests the old canon boat “Brage”, both of which are a popular goal for a more exciting and multi-faceted diving excursion.
In total, 488 boats – of which 456 are sailing boats, 24 are motorboats, 5 are houseboats and 3 are catamarans – can be booked for a yacht charter in all over the area between the Gulf of Bothnia, the Flensburg Fjord, Saint Petersburg and the Szczecin Lagoon for a sail around the Baltic Sea with the new platform for marine enjoyment, YACHTICO.com. The majority of all boats have the model years between 2005 and 2012, and the price margin is between 500 and 6000 euro per week. Most yachts and boats, however, are around 1000 to 2500 euro for a weekly rental.