Since the Internet began to bring the world’s little known holiday destinations to everyone’s front room, greater numbers of people than ever before are choosing to shun the holiday destinations of the masses. Travellers with a thirst for new destinations and new experiences are travelling off the beaten track. Discovering areas of Europe and beyond rarely visited by their fellow countrymen.
One such European destination is Timmendorfer Strand, Germany. Situated on the edge of the Baltic Sea in the Bay of Lubeck, it is 10 miles north of the port city of Lubeck and 12 miles southeast of Eutin. Of the one million visitors arriving annually, only around 2% visit from outside Germany – but times are changing.
Timmendorfer Strand has long been the favoured destination of Germans seeking the spa and wellness benefits of an invigorating, yet relaxing holiday. Its 5 miles of golden sand beach and pier also attract visitors young and not so young to take a more active break enjoying all types of water-sports.
You may choose to visit Timmendorfer Strand as part of a touring holiday. A few days stopover can help relax the mind and rest the body, before continuing your journey. For those who choose a week (or longer) break from the rigours of day to day living, there is plenty to interest everyone away from the beach.
Exploring the town and surrounding area will find monuments, memorials, parks and properties of all types and styles. There are cycle trails, guided tours, museums and places of interest for all ages. Mix all that with breaks at the numerous restaurants, beer-gardens and cafes, and your daily itinerary will be full from morning to evening.
Things to do in Timmendorfer Strand:
In the late 19th century, German nobility began building second homes in Timmendorfer Strand, so they could easily access the numerous benefits of the spa waters so prevalent in northern Germany. Today, with the numerous purpose built spa hotels and retreats, tourists still flock to the area to enjoy not just the waters but wellness regimes, beauty treatments and therapies that go with modern spa breaks. The finest creams, ointments, and oils are used alongside face and body packs of mud, silt and algae, to rejuvenate, exfoliate and enliven the skin, leading to a wholly revitalised you.
For those whose holidays are all about fitness and activity, the beautiful sandy beach can provide it all. You can relax and enjoy watching high quality national and international beach volleyball tour matches in a purpose built beach stadium. For those with a love of all things equestrian, beach polo tournaments are well supported.
If you want to participate rather than watch there is a great 18 hole golf course you can play. The Sports Beach Club opens in the middle of May. You can enjoy beach volleyball and soccer, snorkelling and diving and a host of other water based activities. From the end of June through July, Zumba, Qi-gong, aqua-balling, jumping fitness, Nordic walking and yoga are all added to the beach club’s itinerary.
Organised trips to explore Timmendorfer Strand and the surrounding areas are available for small and large parties. Open air music concerts to suit all tastes are regularly held in the stadium and for those with a more artistic bent there are jewellery and arts and craft workshops.
The Sea Life Centre at Timmendorfer Strand is a must visit for the whole family. Alongside the aquariums are touch-pools and an artificial rainforest area. Set another family day aside for a visit to Vogelpark at Niendorf. Here you can enjoy tropical birds, owls and birds of prey.
How to get to Timmendorfer Strand:
The nearest international airport to Timmendorfer Strand is Lubeck Blankensee Airport. Regular flights are available from a number of airports worldwide on low-cost carriers, and from there it’s a 30 minute car journey via the A20 or A1, a 15 minute train journey, or a 45 minute bus ride to get to Timmendorfer Strand.
If you have to fly into one of the big German city airports to pick up your hire car, Timmendorfer is easily accessible using the autobahns and major trunk roads from anywhere in the country. Air and rail links are also available to Timmendorfer Strand no matter where you touch down.
Your Holiday Accommodation:
You certainly won’t be stuck for somewhere to stay in Timmendorfer Strand. With a population of less than 10,000 and a million plus visitors a year, every other property seems to be a hotel or guesthouse.
If you are touring the country then take a few days out. Pamper yourself in one of Timmendorfer Strand’s luxurious spa and golf hotels for a couple of days. Get rid of the backaches and pains and the knots in the neck from those endless hours of driving. Enjoy the spa, book a couple of massages, relax in the sauna and enjoy the nutritious healthy cuisine from top chefs, before continuing your journey feeling refreshed and invigorated.
For those who prefer to be out and about there are a large number of hotels and guest houses. From budget to four star you can book bed only, bed and breakfast, or half or full-board.
For those intending to base themselves in Timmendorfer Strand while exploring the Baltic coastline, private villas, apartments and B&B establishments are available throughout the town and surrounding area.
Shopping in Timmendorfer Strand:
You could be forgiven for thinking a small coastal town with a low population, will have a few small shops to cater for the local population. Not a bit of it. Timmendorfer Strand is blessed with over 2,000 metres of modern shopping malls at the rear of the beach, and stretching almost the length of the promenade.
Being open for Sunday trading, and its large number of top quality stores, Timmendorfer Strand attracts shoppers from all around the area. With designer stores, top fashion boutiques for men, women and children, stores with the latest trend setting beach wear, jewellers, antique shops, art galleries, restaurants and cafes there’s something for everyone. Add to that its four smaller shopping centres, and a little retail therapy can often last all day.
Eating out in Timmendorfer Strand:
As with its shopping malls, Timmendorfer’s range of restaurants and cafes would do any large European capital proud. Of course, you can enjoy the many German dishes with a little local flair added. Fish restaurants, as you would expect, can be found everywhere, with smoked herring the basis of many local dishes. Variety is the spice of life. With Italian, Mediterranean, Turkish, Asian, Chinese and other restaurants to be searched out, Timmendorfer is fast becoming a gastronome’s heaven.
If you enjoy culinary experiences a little different, then plan your visit for springtime. Beach Dining is becoming increasingly popular. Local chefs present their latest culinary creations to patrons gathered on the beach in the beach-chairs. In the summer many restaurants and hotels offer high class lounge parties. Taste the latest creations and enjoy the many outstanding gourmet dishes available on a one night only basis.
But don’t be put off if your idea of food heaven is a juicy burger. From cafes, to burger bars to restaurants and hotels, burgers of all types are available on a bed of fresh crisp salad with a side order of fries.
Best time to visit Timmendorfer Strand:
There really is no ‘best time’ to visit Timmendorfer Strand unless your visit has a particular purpose. If you are visiting specifically for the beach volleyball or beach polo tournaments you need to check the events calendar. Likewise the beach or fine-dining times need to be checked.
If you want to enjoy the beach activities and work on that suntan, then book between May and August for maximum sun. November, December and January are usually the wettest months although July can also experience significant rainfall.
June to the middle of August are the warmest months where temperatures can reach the low 20s Celsius. September to October is autumn when the temperature reaches highs of around 12-15 degrees Celsius, with clear blue skies. Winter ranges from November through March, with lows of just above freezing and highs of 10 degrees on a good day, while April and May mark springtime, when the temperature begins to rise from around 10 up to 20 degrees Celsius.
Whether you visit in the middle of summer for those beach activities, or early December for those famous German Christmas markets in Timmendorfer Strand and the surrounding area, your stay in this beautiful coastal town will be one of lasting memories.