While many Germans flee their country for Italy, Greece and Spain in summer, there is no need to leave Germany’s borders for a beach vacation. While it may not be swimsuit weather year-round, every inch of the country’s sandy corners are filled in the warmer months.
Whether you swim in the Baltic’s wide, white, sandy beaches, swim for island life or engage in the Germans’ zest for lake swimming, you will be surprised at the quality of beaches in Germany.
Ruegen – The largest and most visited German island is – of course – the site of some of the country’s best beaches. It also averages 1,800 hours of sun each year, making Rügen one of the sunniest places in Germany.
Sylt – Called Königinder Nordsee (Queen of the North Sea) its white sands against Rotes Kliff (red cliffs) are a little otherwordly, as if you landed on a different planet and not just one of Germany’s best beaches.
Kuelungsborn Beach – Pristine waters give way to sandy beaches which come up to the short town. Not just small, all the buildings here may be no taller than the trees to make this Ostsee beach the star.
Hiddensee – Located to the west of Rügen, this car-free island in the Baltic Sea is relatively unknown to outsiders – but that is changing. The majority of its west coast is an idyllic sandy beach buffeted by dunes. The beaches of Kloster and Neuendorf are well-maintained and the softly sloping sands of Vitte make it a pleasant beach for small children.
Travemuende – Located near lovely Lübeck with its distinctive Hanseatic brick architecture, this seafaring destination has been going strong since 1802. Travemünde is where the Trave River empties into the Baltic and it is actually Germany’s largest ferry port with connections to Scandinavia, Russia, Latvia and Estonia.
Warnemuende – A seaside resort next to surprisingly charming Rostock, this was once just a small fishing village founded in 1200. Today’s visitors are more likely to spend their time sunbathing, swimming and sailing. This expanse of sandy beach is located at the junction of the River Warnow flowing into the Baltic. Step back from the beach and climb the iconic lighthouse from 1898 for an unbeatable view.
Ostseebad Ahrenshoop – This peninsula stretches into the Baltic and features a 14-kilometre-long beach backed by sand dunes. Feel free to kick off your shoes and feel the sand beneath your toes as this area is maintained as an environmental conservation with designated dog beaches located elsewhere.
Sankt Peter-Ording – Long stretches of sandy beachfront extend side to side and far out into the water. The dramatic tides create additional sunbathing space at low-tide, while at high tide kite surfers and swimmers rule the beach.
Usedom – Another Baltic Sea island, divided between Germany and Poland (like nearby Stettin), is a summer destination. It is one of the sunniest locations in Germany and it has a 45km-long coastline of sandy beaches. The Sonneninsel (Sunny Island) offers seaside mansions, hotels over the water and leisure activities like cycling, horse riding and thermal spas.