Country & people

The Heide Family Caravan/Camping Site is on the Schwansen peninsula which is almost an island having the Schlei Fjord to the north west, the Baltic to the east and Eckernförde Bay to the south east. The fjord is set on the picturesque Eckernförder Bay (this means Beechwood Bay as there was a forest along the coast) and there are many well developed cycle tracks leading to local points of interest. Go to our map.

1. Waabs Reion

The Waabs community is about 10 kms N.E. of Eckernförde and is made up of villages like Kleinwaabs, (Little Waabs) and Groswaabs, (Greater Waabs), funnily enough Groswaabs is smaller than Kleinwaabs, ask the locals about it when you get here. There are also hamlets like Karlsminde, Ludwigsburg, Rotensande and Booknis. Church registers show the first settlements sprang up here in the 13th century but at that time the border between Germany and Denmark fluctuated and this area was ruled by a Danish king. The language of that period is still spoken by some people in this area and words which are in use in Britain today can be heard therein. Today there is a 12 kilometre naturist beach and the 3,300 hectare area has a population of 1380.

2. Kleinwaabs

This is the main village of the region and you will pass through it as you are coming to the well marked Heide Family Caravan Site. Set in rich agricultural countryside it is, like Bath, known for it's health giving mineral waters. In fact the waters, which are pumped up locally, are then distributed to the outlying  towns and villages. There is a 13th century church, tourist information, school, two bakeries, two restaurants, pizzeria, post office, electrician's, police station and several workshops. There are also services like a chiropodist, manicurist, solarium and gym. 

3. St. Mary s church, Kleinwaabs

This beautiful Lutheran church was built in the 13th century and is well worth a visit. In 1966 the wall and ceiling frescoes, dating back centuries, were painted over as restoration was considered too expensive. Now, thankfully with sponsorship, they have been uncovered and restored to their former glory. A service is held here every Sunday at 10a.m. and free classical concerts are held six or seven times in high season.

4. Karlsminde

The prehistoric Megalithgrab (burial ground) is approx. 4500 yrs. old and was restored by Herr Stöcken, a local man.

5. Damp Manor House

This 15th century manor house can be visited according to arrangement. Ask at reception.

6. Ludwigsburg Manor House

Also built in the 15th century this stately home is known for it's "coloured chamber" and Renaissance gardens. Again ask at reception about visits.

7. Sieseby

This idyllic village with half-timbered buildings is a local beauty spot and from here there are lovely walks along the Schlei fjord.

8. Damp

The seaside resort of Damp ( 7 kms. north of  Kleinwaabs) has a large marina and much tourist accommodation. It also has a health complex making use of the mineral waters mentioned before and sports centre with bowling alley, restaurants and other attractions.

9. Kappeln

Kappeln is about 20kms to the north and here you'll find an unusual sight. A "wedding mill"! This is the old windmill "Amanda" which was built in 1888 and is now used for joining together. But not just that, with the power from the sails a historical sawmill is employed. So you could say it's for cutting apart too! There is also the last working "herring fence" in Europe. This is a canny trick of forcing the herring into a funnel arrangement from which there is no escape. A sort of "red herring". As if all this wasn't enough you can ride a steam train to Süderbrarup or book an excursion on a paddle steamer!

10. Deekelsen

The German T.V. series "The Country Doctor" is filmed in this picturesque area.

11. Maasholm

Just north of Kappeln this fishing village of 720 inhabitants is charming to wander round. With the fish factory, shipyard and lifeboat station , it's a true fisherman's life.

12. Arnis

Lying just to the south of Kappeln this is Germany's smallest town with a population of 380 inhabitants. There is a remarkable half-timbered seaman's church dating from 1660 and views down the Schlei fjord.

13. Eckernförde

The largest town to the caravan site this was originally called "Squirrelford" as opposed to "Beechnutford" because of the large population of nut eating tree dwellers and so the squirrel still decorates the city's coat-of-arms. There is a shopping centre with a pedestrian precinct and is ideal for the larger things you may have forgotten. Now, if you go to the fish market and see Kiel sprats, those tasty little fish, let's be known they come from Eckernförde and are just boxed there! The world's largest yacht regatta, Kiel Week is held in the last two weeks of June. The "eel" regatta is part of the fun. There are also pirate days and a classic car rally.

14. Hüttener Mountains

This is the highest point in the Eckernförde area. They lie to the north west and have forests which are ideal for walks.

15. Schleswig

This historical city lies 27kms west of Kleinwaabs and is well worth a visit. There is a cathedral, a museum of old working tools and equipment and a Viking settlement with museum. Viking ships were found buried here and can also be viewed. All this can be conveniently seen at Gottorf castle in the centre of the city. This the oldest trading centre of the Schleswig-Holstein region and Vikings used it to trade in jewellery, salt and other goods.

16. Flensburg

Flensburg is on the Danish border and is not the favourite town of motorists. This is where you have to come to pay your fine if you have committed a traffic offence. Jumping a light etc. The card on which the offence points are totalled up is called the "sinner card" Beware! Apart from that it has a market section at Nordertor one part being a "liquid" market and, very rare for Germany, a castle with a moat which was built in the 15th century and is open to visitors.

17. Gettorf

Don't take the name literally and come and visit the zoo. It's 30kms to the south of the site.

18. Kiel

Best known to people as one end of the canal which links the Baltic and the North Sea Kiel is also the provincial capital of the Schleswig-Holstein region and has open air museums made up of medieval houses from the north which were excavated and rebuilt here. A U-boat and memorial are at Laboe. Another place worth a visit is the Olympiazentrum at Schilksee where the world's largest yacht regatta starts from every June.

19. Friedrichstadt and Bergenhausen

If you have time on your vacation try to come to Friedrichstadt  to see the old Dutch settlement with canals and the stork sanctuary at Bergenhausen.

20. Sierksdorf

Schleswig-Holstein's largest fun fair, Hansapark,  is to be found here and is about 80kms to the S.W. on the North Sea. Needless to say there are many rides and stalls to keep you amused.

21. Rendsburg

This is the crossing at the Kiel Canal and there is a choice of a bridge, cable car or pedestrian tunnel however you want to travel.

22. Legoland

The world famous fun park is, of course, in Denmark and coaches are organized from the caravan site to park. Definitely worth a visit.

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