This article covers the districts of Ostholstein and Lauenburg and the city of Lübeck.
- 1 Aumühle
- 2 Grömitz — small town at the Baltic Sea coast, popular holiday destination.
- 3 Heiligenhafen
- 4 Eutin
- 5 Lauenburg
- 6 Lübeck — the large port city with abundant heritage of its Hanseatic past, also known for delicious marzipan; it was a city state prior to 1935.
- 7 Neustadt
- 8 Ratzeburg — famous for its rowers who use the nearby lakes and its beautiful old town on the island.
- 9 Schwarzenbek
- 10 Timmendorfer Strand — an elegant seaside resort on the Bay of Lübeck, whose 7-km-long beach is the longest in the region
- 11 Travemünde — Germany's largest seaport on the Baltic Sea, administratively part of Lübeck since the Middle Ages
The heart of this region is definitely Lübeck, once the headquarters of the Hanseatic League, a city-state until 1937 with an impressive old city that was badly damaged in WWII bombings but restored afterwards. Today the region remains an important gateway to the Baltic Sea, with two busy passenger and freight harbors; Travemünde just outside Lübeck and Puttgarden on the island of Fehmarn.
The Bay of Lübeck also has some beach resorts; for example Grömitz, Travemünde and Timmedorfer Strand. Fehmarn has some beaches that are more off the beaten path, and on the "water activity" site the island is better known for surfing, kitesurfing and fishing. Within close reach from Denmark and southern Sweden, this region is also famous for its border shops.
South from Lübeck, the region follows the Elbe-Lübeck canal, which in the 19th century replaced the medieval Stecknitz Canal, in turn one of the first canals in Europe and part of the Old Salt Route, a medieval trade route. About halfway to the Elbe (though a bit away from the canal), there's the medieval city of Ratzeburg in a scenic lake setting. Then, at the river bank is Lauenburg, another medieval city with beautiful timber-framed houses.
The names of some towns and rivers (Grömitz, Wakenitz, Lübeck's original name of Liubice) indicate Slavic presence in medieval times, likely the northwesternmost reaches of Slavic settlement in that era.
Until Lübeck airport reopens for regular commercial passenger flights (as of 2020 there are plans to reopen it), Hamburg airport is the way to fly in.
This region has the most frequent ferry connections from the Nordic countries to Germany. From Rødby in Denmark there are ferries taking cars and trains to Puttgarden every half hour night and day. To Travemünde there are ferries from Malmö and Trelleborg in Sweden and Helsinki in Finland.
You can get to Lübeck by train from for instance Kiel and Hamburg. Even as the trains between Copenhagen and Hamburg don't go by ferry via Fehmarn, you can still cross the Fehmarn Belt by ferry and hop on a local train in Puttgarden.