A place where you can enjoy the beauty of the German Baltic Sea, without having to put up with the endless crowds of tourists that can be found in places like Fehmarn island. With a strong maritime tradtion, Heiligenhafen has much to offer to those sailing enthusiasts looking for a peaceful yet colorful getaway.
On the German Baltic Sea shore there are plenty of beautiful places where a sailor can enjoy a good time on the water, but if you want to capture the real experience of the region, you have to make a stop in the lovely fishing village of Heiligenhafen.
enthusiasts can find it the northern part of Germany, near the border with Sweden, just to the southwest of Fehmarn island, another great sailing destination. Being part of the south Baltic Sea, the area enjoys a mild climate and since it’s not as popular as Fehmarn island, it’s less crowded.
Travel & Arrival
This fishing village is visited by many northern Europeans, especially Swedes and Dutch crews who come across the border for some weekend fun. There are many ways to get here but none as quick or comfortable as flying in. The most obvious choice would be Lübeck airport which lies 88km to the south and which is accessible via the E47 road for the transfer. Since this is not a major resort, don’t expect many transfer options.
Another way of getting here is by land, via the same E47 road which also leads to the more famous Fehmarn island, the German’s summer weekend playground. This connects with big cities such as Lübeck or Kiel (E45), thus offering groups more mobility in the region.
By water there are many ferry connections not only from other German ports on the Baltic Sea, but also to Denmark and Sweden. The closest ferry links are in Puttgarden on Fehmarn island and in Kiel which is about 70km from Heiligenhafen.
Avant & Apres Sail
The whole village exudes that old German architecture which is so pleasant to the eye as it is reminiscent of previous eras, with houses made out of brick and with wooden beams sticking out from the buildings. However, you’ll find that there aren’t that many landmarks to attract guests’ attention, but you can always travel to Kiel for a lesson in maritime history.
What does put Heiligenhafen on the map is the shopping. First off, you’ll find that there are a lot of liquor stores here which are used extensively but the people from north European countries where alcohol is more expensive. They just pop across the border, stock up on anything from liquor, wine and beer and then go back home. Then, there are a lot of shops downtown and along the waterfront selling nautical souvenirs, which can be considered a treasure for tourists and enthusiasts. Also, there’s a flea market that sells a wide assortment of merchandise with the possibility of negotiating the prices.
Heiligenhafen has also many good restaurants that any suit any budget. One thing is for sure, you won’t go hungry while here. There are plenty of kebab and pizza places but also a la carte restaurants where you can eat typical German specialties, such as the infamous schnitzel, but also some seafood recipes too.
Events & Actions
The best time to come to Heiligenhafen is undoubtedly in summer, when the shores come alive with all the vessels and crews. This is also the time when the city celebrates the so-called Harbor Festival (July 10th) and the biggest fishing event in Germany, the June Cod Festival, not to mention the biggest catamaran event in Germany, the Fehmarn-Rund Race, also in August. So, all in all, you won’t get bored on the lovely shores of the German Baltic Sea if you choose to come to Heiligenhafen.