A fjord in beautiful landscape and with Viking history
More than 1000 years ago it were Viking ships which sailed on the Schlei loaded with all kinds of goods for that suitable for trading in those days. The hub at the time for these goods was Haithabu, a commercial city founded by Vikings well inside the scheltered Baltic Sea fjord Schlei, not far from todays city of Schleswig. Today, every sailor can follow the course of these viking boats through the fjord, from Schleswig past Kappeln and out into the Baltic Sea, roughly half way betwenn the Firths of Kiel and Flensburg.
Intriguing scenery The narrow fjord meanders through a beautiful landscape between Anglia and Schwansen on its way from Schleswig to its mouth near Maasholm. But not only the varied scenery of large fields and dense forests makes a trip on the Schlei wothwhile. It is also the mixture of coastal waters, river-like, curvy narrow points and relatively wide and large inland waters and sheltered coves. The Schlei has something in store for everybody, both beginners and experienced sailors alike.
Loads of cultural attractions Schleswig's attractions offer more than one reason for an extensive break on shore: the famous County Museum has a remarkable collection of art in its permanent collection and attractive temporary exhibitions. A visit to the Schleswig Cathedral and the historic fishing village 'Holm' are a must see. As for the Vikings, the Haithabu Museum has an extensive and very illustrative exhibition about the history and lifestyle of the Northmen. The visitors centre holds a spectacular exhibition and in the historic open-air village seven re-constructed Viking houses and a jetty give a vivid impression of what life was like in Viking times.
From sheltered inland waterway to open sea You do not yet feel quite up to venturing out onto the open Baltic Sea? Then you may well enjoy your first sailing experiences on the sheltered waters of the Small Width or the Great Width just east of Schleswig, the Gunnebyer Noor or the width between Lindaunis and Arnis. There is usually a nice sailing breath, yet without the swell of the Baltic Sea. For the more experienced sailors, it is a challenge to navigate through the winding course of the Schlei, negotiating with the wind the right course in between the many shallows. Schleimünde represents the gateway to the Baltic Sea: from here the whole Baltic opens up to the sailor: the Firth of Kiel or Flensburg, the Bay of Lübeck, the Islands of the Danish South Sea, Kattegat and Skagerak further north or even Bornholm further to the east.
Mooring and anchoring Along both shorelines of the Schlei there are numerous marinas and mooring places. However, many of these are suitable for boats with a shallow draft only. A close and repeated look at depths stated in the sea chart is essential. For larger yachts, the ports recommended are those in Schleswig, Missunde, Arnis, Kappeln and Maasholm. Smaller boats with 1.5 m draft or less have more options. Many protected bays left and right of the main fairway invite you to anchor and allow splendid views on idyllic farms, mills, thatched cottages, meadows, dense woods and even cliffs.