The Baltic Sea coast
Fine sandy beach
Behind the dunes, along the Baltic Sea coast, kilometres of white, fine sandy beach stretches all the way up to Darßer Ort. In Ahrenshoop, it can be accessed via 15 different staircases. The waters of the Baltic Sea are wonderfully clean, often crystal-clear and blue. In the summer months, they warm up to a pleasant 20 °C (about 70 °F).
The steep bank
Further south from the Grenzweg, the dunes gradually transform into a craggy, steep bank, which rises up to 16 metres out of the sea. The approx. 3.2-km long push moraine emerged more than 10,000 years ago due to the Scandinavian ice sheet. It was shaped by the surging sea. This ensures that the so-called active cliff continues to change constantly. The coast can erode by up to five metres per year. When walking below the cliff, you can see sand martins nesting in the high escarpment. The high bank is great to traverse on foot or by bicycle and, during nice weather, it is possible to look out and see the mainland of Denmark. The narrow footpath on the steep bank leads through an extremely varied environment. It leads through small patches of woodland, past seabuckthorn bushes and wild roses, vegetation that is typical of this region.
On the other side of the stretch of land, wide reed meadows mark the quiet banks of the Bodden. This lagoon landscape, with its predominantly flat and only slightly salty waters, offers a habitat for many rare types of animals and plants. Even today, the Bodden continues to serve as a transport route to the mainland as well as for catching fish.
Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park
The Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park begins just a few hundred metres from the northern edge of the town. The park stretches from Darß to Zingst, the smaller and larger islands upstream to the west coast of Rügen. This encloses large areas of the Baltic Sea and the Bodden. The national park protects a mosaic of landscapes that is unique throughout the world, including cliffs, flat coasts, beaches, wind tidelands, dunes, heathland, dry grassland, reed beds, alder swamps, forests and salt marshes with many rare types of animals and plants. The shapes of this landscape were created by the ever-changing coast. The information offices at Sundische Wiesen in Zingst, at the Natureum in Darßer Ort, and at the Darßer Archer in Wieck provide fascinating background information.
The entire region is famous for the unique spectacle of the migration of the cranes. In spring and autumn, tens of thousands of the birds “bringing good fortune” stop on the flat Bodden waters to rest on their way to their breeding or wintering grounds. Large flocks of wild geese can also be seen at these times.
On the north-eastern end of the Baltic Sea resort lies the Ahrenshoop Wood, a large nature reserve covering 55 hectares with especially old trees. The area has been protected since 1958 and has not been managed since 1967, in order to protect the old beech forest with peat sites and Europe’s largest stock of ilex. Rare birds such as stock doves, brown owls and red-breasted flycatchers, insects and bats use the Ahrenshoop Wood as their habitat.
Cycling and hiking
You can experience the diversity of flora and fauna along the cycle routes and hiking paths.The E9 European Long Distance Cycle Path leads along the steep bank directly through the town on a dyke path towards the Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park. In this unique natural idyll, cyclists and hikers can find wonderful conditions for an eventful tour on the wide network of trails. With a little luck, you’ll see red deer, cranes, sea eagles or otters.A popular destination is the lighthouse in Darßer Ort. The National Park’s rangers offer regularly scheduled guided walks and cycle tours through a wide range of areas such as the Vordarß, the Darßer Ort or the Pramort at Zingst.
In the Baltic Sea Resort of Ahrenshoop, guests can choose from four bike hire companies. The companies also offer e-bikes rentals.
A walk along the beach is worth it at any time of year. On the white sandy beach, you can walk for hours along the drift line – to the wild, romantic Darßer Weststrand, one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, characterised primarily by its many trees, bent and shaped by the wind. With a little luck, after a storm, attentive walkers will also find little treasures along the beach, such as ambers or stones with holes worn in them, which the locals refer to as Hühnergötter. In the evenings, it is best to enjoy the sunset on the Ahrenshoop beach in a comfy wicker beach chair.
Riders are filled with a sense of happiness when they sit on a horse and are in complete harmony with nature, either trotting through the blooming Bodden meadows or while galloping along the beach and through the surf. Riding along the beach is only possible outside of the bathing season.
At the family run riding farms, also available with box stalls, you can learn how to safely handle a horse.
If you're not comfortable in the saddle, carriage and charabanc rides are available to allow you to enjoy the wonderful landscape between Bodden and sea.
On the Water
The Bodden waters provide the perfect conditions for sailors and owners of recreational crafts and canoes. The Althagen harbour offers guest moorings, modern sanitary facilities and a water and power supply. Passenger ships begin their tours from Althagen, through the waters of the National Park to Born, Bodstedt, Zingst and Ribnitz-Damgarten.
Guests can experience the power of the water and the wind on Sannert and Blondine, lovingly restored Zeese trawls, on a sailing trip on these former fisherman’s working boats. If you’d prefer to take to the helm yourself, hire an old wooden boat.
The neighbouring locations of Born and Wustrow are good for surfing. There is also a sailing school at Wustrow harbour.