The largest of all of Germany’s bays is the Mecklenburg Bay, or Mecklenburger Bucht in German, covering some 3500 square kilometers — reaching from the eastern part of Fehmarn to the north of Darß.
This area sees quite a bit of sailing traffic, and has for centuries since many cities and towns once belonged to the Hanseatic League — a medieval trade organization that dominated the Baltic Sea. The seaports of Lübeck, Wismar, and Rostock sit along its shores, which sit on the Bay of Lübeck and Bay of Wismar, respectively. You can even connect to the Bay of Kiel from here.
The Mecklenburg Bay has more than just smaller bays and seaports. It’ll be hard to find someone who doesn’t love the sea, which is why there are plenty of seaside resorts along its banks.
Dahme might be small with less than 1,300 residents, but it’s got an awesome 19th century lighthouse known as the Dahmeshöved (this isn’t the only lighthouse around the bay — there’s a whole slew of ’em), a 13th century Motte (a castle created on an artificial mound), and more than 100 houses that are only inhabited by bats. This is why Dahme prides itself on being the “bat friendliest city.”
Dahme might be on the Schleswig-Holstein side of the bay, and Boltenhagen is found on the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania side. Boltenhagen is a tad bigger, with just shy of 2600 people; but swells with tens of thousands of visitors every year. I guess they all want to see the town’s cliffs, fish (to catch and eat), stroll along its pier, or relax at the spa.
You’ll even find lagoons out here in the Mecklenburg Bay. The Salzhaff was once used by the Soviet Army during the Cold War, but now instead of soldiers it’s a major stopping point for sailors and surfers.
Pötenitzer Wiek might belong to the city of Lübeck, but it doesn’t have an urban feel — its salt marshes and nature protected areas see to that.
Unlike Salzhaff, Pötenitzer Wiek does have boating restrictions. Better check ’em out before you sail on out this way. Some islands are uninhabited, which also afford the local wildlife with a safe refuge — and as any eco-conscious traveler (and sailor) you better be aware of any restrictions before going ashore.
You could sail around the Mecklenburg Bay for the better part of your adult life and still not see everything. But what you do manage to see will stay with you for a lifetime.