If you love cheese, the area between the North Sea and the Baltic is the perfect destination. It's a real foodie heaven! Experiences with nature and fine food are the key ingredients of the approximately 500 km Schlweswig-Holstein Cheese Route that runs from Lauenburg through Lübeck, Kiel and Flensburg and then from the island of Föhr along the North Sea coast and the Elbe river to Hamburg before returning to Lauenburg.
The Cheese Route is set in Germany's cool north, a region encircled by the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Elbe river, bounded by a coastline formed by the wind and the sea, and host to a diverse natural landscape of droughts and floods, beaches, coastal mudflats, dykes, islands of all shapes and sizes and exceptional sunrises and sunsets set against the roar of the sea and the cries of the gulls. The narrow, flat land between the North and Baltic Seas depicts a familiar scene of lighthouses, trees bent in the wind, typical thatched cottages, Frisian cows and sheep grazing in lush pastures. But what few people realise is that the milk from these animals is used to produce more than 120 varieties of cheese.
And now for an insider tip
Schleswig-Holstein is a traditional cheese-making area whose speciality cheeses are still a real insider's tip. The Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route connects around 30 dairies across the whole region where passionate cheese experts lovingly produce cheese in the traditional way and in never-ending variety: delectably mild, full of tangy flavour or mildly aromatic, from cow's, sheep's or goat's milk. Cheese is so much more than an accompaniment to bread.
A slalom of flavour
Despite all the technical advances of the last few years, cheese has remained a craft defined by the artistry and passion of cheesemakers. Although you can buy direct from many dairies, watch the cheese being made and enjoy a tasting, this is not the case everywhere due to strict hygiene regulations. If you'd like to look around a cheese dairy, it's best to make an appointment in advance.
A land beyond the horizon
A magical energy draws people to the coast. It draws barefoot walkers, cloud-watching beach dreamers, people who love nothing more than to race through the waves and those who like to wait patiently in the harbour for the fishing boats' return. Follow the rhythm of the tide and leave your day-to-day routine behind. This is a narrow land between the North and Baltic Sea and at its narrowest point between Husum and Schleswig is only 36 km wide. However, there is more to this area that just coastline, lighthouses and mills.
Yet more interesting stops
Steeped in history, the charming inland landscape is characterised by arable farming and pasture farming. The farmhouses have remained intact to this day.
Every side of the road is lined with magnificent country estates, proud Herrenhausen manors, Baroque castles, brick Gothic, wonderful ecclesiastical buildings and countless museums, and with a varied programme of events on offer, the Cheese Route has something for everyone, even cyclists and hikers. Why not try it out for yourself?
Length: approximately 500 km
Theme: fine food, cheese dairies, sea, countryside
Behl/b. Plön: cheese dairy
Bendorf: Lohmühle cheesemakers (Käsehof Lohmühle)
Boksee: Ziegenhof Rehder farm
Cismar: abbey, Demeter cheese dairy (Demeter-Hofkäserei)
Dannau: cheese dairy (Bauernkäserei)
Lauenburg: old quarter, museums, castle ruins
Lübeck: UNESCO World Heritage Site, dairy, museums
Glücksburg: moated palace, Energy Adventure Park (Energie-Erlebnispark)
Holtsee: dairy cooperative, cheese cellar (Käsekeller), tours
Molfsee: historical dairy and garden, open-air museum
Owschlag: sheep farm (Milchschafhof)
Westerholz: farm (Ziegenhof)
Please book cheese dairy visits and tours in advance
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