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On the trail of the Vikings

When two seas come as close to each other as the North and the Baltic Sea, ships will always try to find a way through. In days gone by the Vikings managed to do this via the rivers and lakes of Schleswig-Holstein, but an artificial waterway had to be built for large commercial vessels: the Kiel Canal. Even small boats are permitted, so a trip on the canal is a must for your itinerary. Beginning in Brunsbüttel the canal takes you all the way to the Hanseatic city of Kiel, one of the largest passenger ports in Germany. The harbour is located in the middle of the city and provides a vibrant backdrop for shopping or a tour of the sights.

Canoeing through Schleswig-Holstein

Situated between the bays of Kiel and Lübeck, the Holstein's Switzerland nature reserve is a paradise for water lovers. The river that takes you through this idyllic lakeland scenery is called the Schwentine. Along its course you'll see Plön, the ducal town on the shores of Great Plön Lake, as well as sleepy connecting canals and fabulous lakes that are perfect for swimming in. No less picturesque is the Trave river that stretches to the Baltic coast. The best way to discover this verdant, ever-changing landscape is from inside a canoe. From the waters of the Trave river, explore the maritime traditions of Lübeck (see picture), an old Hanseatic town and the cultural centre of the region, with its impressive brick Gothic architecture (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The river then flows into the Baltic Sea at the seaside resort of Travemünde.