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Kühlungsborn on the Baltic Sea is the perfect place to swim, chill out and enjoy the vastness. Picture: Adobe Stock

Unexpected bathing fun in the north

Not in the mood for the summer heat of the Mediterranean? Then a beach holiday in the north is a refreshing alternative. We present seven beaches on the diverse North Sea and Baltic Sea.

Kühlungsborn, Germany

A sandy beach, the sound of the sea, a stroll down the almost four kilometres long promenade, a 240-metre-long pier and the «Blue Flag» seal of approval for particularly good water quality: Kühlungsborn on the Baltic Sea is a truly great place to live and swim. There are a total of 28 beach access points, two of which are barrier-free and three of which are accessible for dog owners. But Kühlungsborn is not only sea, it is also lake. The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) offers guided tours in the nature reserve around the Riedsee. Participants learn all about the animals and plants in the region on various two-hour hikes. However, the tours are not suitable for pushchairs, walking frames or wheelchairs. www.kuehlungsborn.de

Skagen on Jutland, Denmark

Skagen on the Jutland peninsula is the ideal place for a beach holiday. Located at the northernmost tip of the country, there are plenty of sandy beaches here that you can have all to yourself from time to time. However, due to the far northern location, the water temperature reaches a high of only 20 to 21  degrees, even in peak summer. This doesn't bother surfers and divers much, as the conditions on the beaches of Jutland are ideal for them. Additionally, the island is easy to explore by bike, so you can choose the section of beach that suits you best. www.visitdenmark.com

Heiligendamm, Germany

Heiligendamm is where bathing is said to have been invented; after all, it was the very first Baltic seaside resort on the German coast. It was founded in 1793 by Friedrich Franz I, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. On the beach of Heiligendamm, also known as the «White City by the Sea», you can not only enjoy swimming in the Baltic Sea, but also try your hand at kitesurfing, windsurfing or SUP on windless days. If you go into the Baltic Sea, be careful of the groynes, structures used to trap sand transported by waves and currents thereby stabilizing the beaches. These are driven into the water at regular intervals for dam construction and coastal protection. www.heiligendamm.info

Ameland, Netherlands

Ameland is one of the five inhabited West Frisian islands in the North Sea and belongs to the Netherlands. The beaches are a playground for water lovers all year round. Swimming and sunbathing are delightful activities during the summer months, offering an opportunity to immerse oneself in the pristine waters of the North Sea. The beaches at Hollum, Nes, and Buren, along with the marina, have been honored with the "Blue Flag" distinction for the 36th consecutive year as of May 2023. Additionally, Ameland proudly holds the "Golden Quality Coast Award" and boasts the title of the cleanest beach in the Netherlands. www.visitwadden.nl/de

Kniepsand on Amrum, Germany

One shouldn’t miss out on bathing fun on the North Sea either. A particularly special beach is the stone-free Kniepsand on the island of Amrum, which is covered in fine, white sand. Here, visitors can witness a very special phenomenon: a slowly shifting dune. Of course, the famous beach chairs typical of the region are also present, which can be rented at all beach access points. Kniepsand is not only suitable for bathers, but also for windsurfers and kitesurfers. www.amrum.de

Pärnu, Estonia

A beach holiday in Estonia? This is easily possible in Pärnu. The summer capital of Estonia is around two hours' drive from Tallinn. Anyone who thinks that you have to freeze while swimming in the Baltic Sea is very much mistaken: The water temperature here can reach 27 degrees in summer. The constant wind also provides ideal conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Bathers and water sports enthusiasts don't get in each other's way due to the fact that the long beach in Pärnu is divided into two sections: One part belongs to swimmers, while the other is available to water sports enthusiasts. www.visitestonia.com

Loogbad on Juist, Germany

On Juist on the North Sea, the water is never far away; after all, the East Frisian island is only 17 kilometres long and 500 metres wide. The access to the sea at the Loogbad beach is just under 300 metres. But that doesn't mean that the bathing fun is neglected. And of course the famous beach chairs, which protect you from the wind and weather, are not missing here either. There are also catering facilities and beach volleyball courts that invite you to get active in this special atmosphere. www.juist.de