Cheese lovers of the world, I gotta tell ya, the Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route is for you. Whether your favorite is Quark, Muenster, Feta, or something in between, you’ll love the freshest of them all along this 500km (311mi) circular route through Schleswig-Holstein.
It’s not so much the towns and cities along the way, but the farms that produce these soft & hard cheeses with either goat or cow’s milk.
Hmm, variety. How could there not be, with more than 140 different types made in the north of Germany alone. Only a small fraction of the thousands made around the world. But, I’m not thinking about them right now.
Start of the Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route
The Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route is a circular route, so any starting point will do, right?
Let’s start our eating extravaganza in Dollerup-Streichmühle, which is a few kilometers east of Flensburg, at the family-owned Hofladen Mangelsen. Their farm shop is open six days a week, overflowing with cheeses (of course), jams, and cakes.
After you’re well-fed, visit the Flensburg Fjord, or any one of the Flensburg’s 13 museums, its theater, or churches.
I know this is a cheese route, but there’s a Fruit Museum in the town of Sörup. One farm not to miss is the Jahnkes Ziegenkäse, which offers farm tours three days a week (Tues, Fri, and Sat) and has their own shop. If you’re not able to visit (like if your tied up fishing or visiting the medieval church) you can always order their cheeses online.
Hof Ahmen in Kappeln (Kopperby-Heide) is all about the sheep’s milk. Take a farm tour (May – October) to learn more about them, or just browse their shop. Just thinking about Kappeln’s Harbor Festival is enough to make you want to visit, but the charming lighthouse, Harbor Museum, and windmills will make you stay.
On it goes to Owschlag. After a day swimming in the Owschalger See, you’ll need to refuel. Grab yourself some goodies at the Milchschafhof Solterbeck. Oops, their shop is only open Saturdays from 8am – 1pm, but if you call ahead they’ll open their shop for you. Make them feel more special by telling them where you came from, just for them. :-)
For a hundred years they’ve been making cheeses (even spicy kinds) and jams at the Käsehof Biss in Desau, a town on an old stagecoach route.
History and good food. Two of my favorite things. ;-)
Is it possible to be jealous of 250,000 people? Yes, if they are the quarter of a million people who live in Lübeck. Pay a visit to the Hansfelder Hof (Sereetzer Weg 1). Their farm shop (housed in old barracks and bomb shelter) has all sorts of cheeses including garlic, caraway, and carrot flavors.
Your choice if you want to go there first or see the city’s medieval Altstadt (an UNESCO site), the Jewish cemetery, theaters, museums, and Cathedral.
There might not be too many farms in or around Ratzeburg (called Ratzborg in Low German), but the island city has a nature area (kind of like a farm, right? OK, that’s stretching it a bit), a cathedral, a medieval market, festivals, and boat races.
Although not really part of the Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route, but a supporting member of it, Hamburg is our next stop — and the birthplace of the Hanseatic League. One of its biggest events is the Hamburg Harley Days bringing thousands of motorcycling (and cheese eating) enthusiasts.
On it goes to Rellingen, where the first stop should be the Hof Kruse (Kirchenstieg 1). Try the goat milk yogurt from the farm shop. They’ve been at it for 5 generations — plenty of time to perfect their goodies.
In the town of Horst the Hof Dannwisch is where they’ve been farming for eight centuries. They’ve got it all: chickens, pigs, and of course cows whose milk goes on to make their farm shop’s cheeses.
Not able to make it to Meierhof Möllgaad’s shop in Hohenlockstedt on a Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday? No problem, call ’em — they even offer seminars on cheese making.
It’s back to interesting flavored cheeses (cumin, pepper, etc) at the Feinkäserei Salzbüttel (in Sarzbüttel), whose cheese shop’s open Monday through Saturday.
The farm shop at the Friesische Schafskäseri Volquardsen in Tetenbüll is open six days a week too, but they also got an animal petting area and offer tours twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays at 3pm.
It’s a small intimate farm at the Ostenfelder Meierei in Ostenfeld (Husum). They’ve got plenty of organic cheeses on display at their farm shop.
You might not think that the Rohmilchkäserei Backensholz in Oster-Ohrstedt is a small farm, they got more than 200 cows and four times as many sheep. Whatever the number, their cheeses at their shop are quite scrumptious.
Stock up on the goodies, our last stop is the island of Föhr, considered part of the North Frisian Islands with ferry service to the mainland and to Sylt. Enjoy the churches, art, music, windmills, and Harbor Seals — plus, being on the Wadden Sea there’s mudflat hiking to do.
Wow, that works up an appetite… Guess you gotta head back towards Flensburg and start the Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route all over again. ;-)
Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route Web Site
Fore more information (in German though), here’s the official Web site of the Schleswig-Holstein Cheese Route.