Along the shores of Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark, in the southwestern Baltic Sea and connected to the Bay of Mecklenburg, is the Kiel Bay (or Bay of Kiel). With Kieler Bucht as its German name, this is a really active bay, as this is where you’ll find the Kiel Canal — the busiest artificial waterway in the world.
There are some 40,000 commercial vessels that make their way into the Kiel Bay this way, and that’s not even including all the recreational boats that have decided to make the trip from the North Sea. The cool part? The ferry service across is free.
At the southern tip of the Kiel Bay is the city of Kiel, home to the Kiel Week. This is a week-long event where millions of people converge on the city for all sorts of sailing, music, and eating. In addition to that, the city of Kiel was once home to Germany’s Imperial Navy; and hosted a number of sailing events for the both the 1936 and 1972 Olympic Games.
The southern tip of the Kiel Bay is where you’ll find the Kiel Fjord, and at 17km long afforded the city some protection against the Vikings. Though I’m pretty sure they made their way in through what’s now called the Little Belt (but that’s on the Jutland Peninsula and a Danish island. The Great Belt is another way in, this time through the North.
Kiel Fjord is small compared to the the Flensburg Fjord at 50km long. But, the former will lead you right to Eckernförde Bay.
There’s a town by the same name on this small bay in a bay. And I really think you’ll love walking along its cobblestoned streets passing the small cottages. At Eckernförde‘s Altstadt, the Alte Rathaus houses a local history museum, and you should stop at the Baroque Church of St. Nicholas before sailing off into the wild blue yonder.
I really like the Wildlife Film Festival in September, and the Beach Fest in July (sometimes August) that’s a family friendly event. Fehmarn is another island that everyone can enjoy with its sandy beaches, and will take you to a sub-bay known as Hohwachter Bay.
Kiel Bay is more than a body of water. It’ll lead you to all sorts of fun towns, places unknown out in the Baltic Sea, and even give you a history lesson.