You’d be forgiven for thinking that Grömitz’ cityscape comes out of a medieval picture book. The charm and surrealism of the architecture make you feel you’ve stepped right into a fairy-tale. There is nothing conventional about the Baltic. Grotesque gargoyles and melodramatic cathedrals litter a landscape that only becomes more dreamlike when enjoyed on horseback. Grömitz is snuggled into the shore of the Bay of Lubeck, where resort-style relaxation and sports are the order of the day.
The Baltic Sea is chilly and often murky, but it’s too unusual to miss if you’re a keen diver. With the right preparation and a cosy suit, you’ll be able to get a comfortable view of the famous 1914 warship wreck. The sea floor looks like an alien landscape, with formations so bizarre they were once thought to be a lost city or a UFO. In most parts of the world, you dive primarily for the sea life, but you dive the Baltic for its geology. As the largest brackish sea on earth, its marine life is still worthy of exploration, though. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot the critically endangered harbour porpoise. Ringed seals dive in the shallows, and forests of eerie Bladderwrack shelter smaller species of fish. The Baltic is a generous source for anglers, who can fish for cod and collect blue mussels.
Zoo-Park Arche Noah
As Grömitz’ most famous tourism site, the Zoo Park is a well-loved spot for visitors from around the globe. All the usual suspects are there, from lions to chimpanzees, but the resident ligers always steal the show. There are only 40 ligers in the world, most of which are housed in private zoos. Arche Noah is one of the only places open to the public that displays these rare and exquisite beasts. The grounds are compact and easy to navigate, and the small-town friendliness gives it a welcoming atmosphere. Children can hop on the free train or pass time in the playgrounds before the family settles in for a meal. The zoo allows you to feed many of the animals, with the goats being a firm favourite among little visitors.
Grömitz on Horseback
Horseback riding tours let you take in the settlement of Grömitz at a suitably lazy pace. Hikes and cycling tours are popular, and hop-on-hop-off bus tours are available for fast-paced travellers. Grömitz adores its sporting lifestyle, so if you want to immerse yourself in its culture, bridle paths are the most authentic way to go about it. Adventure rides will give seasoned equestrians the challenge they crave, and exceptionally disciplined Shetlands are ideal for curious, inexperienced riders. Trails transform from forested riversides into sandy beaches that go on for miles, and many of the Baltic’s stables also have banks, water hazards, and obstacles for those who prefer a harsher landscape. The stables in the region serve families of travellers, so they cater towards a range of experience levels. Grömitz’ beach excursions are a highlight and will take you all the way into the heart of Lubeck. Nervous riders can also take carriage tours.
Torsten’s Musik Pub is undoubtedly the most well-loved way to enjoy the traditional Gromitz lifestyle and cuisine. Beer connoisseurs will enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and world-famous Baltic beverages. Fruit and spice beers are traditional of Germany, with trendy pale and wheat ales giving scope to adventurous palates. Purists will suggest that Grömitz is not Grömitz without its Baltic ales. You’re unlikely to find them abroad, so take advantage while you can. Torsten’s friendly village ambience is ideal for families, and the fact that it’s surrounded by hotels makes it a choice spot for locals and travellers alike. If you’re a highbrow traveller, CappuVino serves up highballs and cocktails a minute from the beach.
Cismar Abbey is on Grömitz’ doorstep. Count Adolf IV had it built to house Lubeck’s Benedictine monks in the 13th century. Its monastic library is now housed in Copenhagen, but the abbey itself is frequently used as part of a local pilgrimage. It’s surrounded by secular buildings, a gallery, and a museum. An exquisitely carved 14th-century altar will take your breath away. Temporary exhibitions are held throughout the year, and a guided tour takes visitors through the monastery. An annual monastery festival is held for new and famous artists, who display their arts and crafts to global shoppers. Supporting programs will introduce you to jazz and modern rock the Baltic way. Every year the festival evolves to suit Grömitz’ constantly fluctuating culture, so you can visit annually and never repeat a single experience.
Every corner of Germany has its own culinary magic, and Grömitz is no exception. While Michelin hasn’t gifted the settlement with any stars, the greater Lubeck area has more than its share. Seafood is the foundation of the area’s gastronomic delights, as are schnapps and beer cocktails. Refined palates love the marzipan, which is served at fine restaurants throughout the year.
Architecture and Art
Cultural heritage explorers will be introduced to thousands of historical buildings and gothic artworks in the Lubeck area. If you travel from painting to painting rather than from resort to resort, Grömitz has more than enough art to inspire your creative side. The North of the Hanseatic is known for its beauty and intelligence, primarily because it was the foundation of the region’s international trade in the Twenties. You’ll find work from the Gothic, Renaissance, and neoclassical periods. The settlement is relatively untouched, so avid historical travellers will also be able to see Baltic churches, merchant houses, and sculptures. The area inspired three Nobel Laureates, including Thomas Mann and Gunter Grass.
- If you take a short trip out of Grömitz for the day, you can wind your way through the Heinrich and Thomas Mann Centre. Fans of Mann’s work will also be introduced to information about his most loved novel.
- The Buddenbrooks House Literary Museum is just outside Grömitz, and it’s acted as a salute to the Mann family’s work since the Nineties. Letters, first edition prints, and documents have been kept in sparkling condition.
- The new St Anne’s Museum Quarter has its own art gallery, which introduces you to contemporary and historic art. The architecture is late Gothic, and its exhibits focus on the way people, art, society, and religion interrelate. If you’re curious about Grömitz’ architecture, the gallery also gives you plenty of in-depth insight into the region’s eras. There is even a children’s exhibition, which is designed to inspire young travellers to ask questions and perhaps even create their own art. Special temporary exhibitions are held every year.
Like so many small towns, the soul of Grömitz’ nightlife can be found in its casual pubs, but if you’re looking for more sophisticated establishments, it has all the attractions you could hope for. Resort clubs, sports bars, and shopping are perfect if the sun hasn’t set yet, but once the stars are out, there are several nightclubs to see you through until morning. Blue Tanzbar and Cappu Vino are two of the most popular evening spots.
Life by the Sea
Any seaside town worth its salt is passionate about its water sports, and in Grömitz, boating is one of the most popular ways to spend summer days. The Super Sail Tour brings spectators and top sailors to the town every May. Sleepy Grömitz suddenly turns vibrant, with festive races and events to keep your weekend packed. The music program is almost as exciting as the boating. Popular bands like Rebel Tell and Lukas Kowalski have become an intrinsic part of the tour.
When to Go
The Baltic is intrinsically a coastal region, with a lifestyle that’s enhanced by plenty of sunshine.
- May’s temperatures are mild, and the sea is particularly clear at this time of year, so scuba divers should aim for Spring.
- July’s heat isn’t intolerable at an average of 24 degrees C.
- Winter weather frequently sinks below zero.
- Grömitz is a rainy area throughout the year, but the heaviest showers are experienced in January and December.
- During the winter, Grömitz quietens down, but snow draws an entirely different kind of tourist: skiing enthusiasts. There are 21 popular ski tracks in and around the village.
- Autumn suits cyclers well. The Schleswig-Holstein tour is a respectable 41 kilometres and stops off in Gromitz for a hard-earned rest.
- Cyclists who do the cycling trail during summer refresh themselves with periodic oceanic bathing.
Grömitz’ beaches are wide and white, with eight kilometres of coastline to enjoy. The three km promenade is dotted with playgrounds, stores, and 20 pieces of outdoor art. Spend a weekend at a local spa or stroll through the wildlife sanctuary. Anglers and hikers alike can enjoy the 400-metre pier, and kite surfers begin their adventures at the marina. Open-air events with seaside music and fireworks will light up your evenings, and the Brodauer Muhle will give you hours of golfing fun.
Grömitz’ Rustic Side
A mere 9 km outside Grömitz, you’ll find the Museumhof Lensahn, which dedicates its courtyard to agricultural lifestyles. Themed events and performances are offered periodically, and if you’re a vintage car enthusiast, you can buy those hard-to-find parts at absurdly low prices on most weekends. Public holidays and vacations are perfect opportunities to join the museum for themed brunches and vintage agriculture shows.
Grömitz gets more sunlight than most Baltic regions, and as Ludeck’s quieter cousin, it’s perfect for travellers who prefer a peaceful break far from the crowds. As a family destination, it keeps everyone occupied, from your youngest toddlers to your oldest friends. If you’ve never seen the Baltic, Grömitz awaits you in all its technicolour splendour.