Heiligendamm is Germany's oldest seaside resort. It was founded in 1793 by Grand Duke Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg. In the 19th and 20th centuries the resort attracted Europe's high society; the Russian tsar's family paid regular visits. Even today prominent figures and summer holidaymakers from all over the world are drawn to the imposing spa resort, to its splendid bathing establishments and guest houses.
The steam-driven narrow-gauge railway called Molli has puffed its way between the county town of Bad Doberan and Heiligendamm since 1886. There are numerous destinations for a day trip in the region: from the Kühlung, a densely wooded area, to the mineral fountains in the Glashäger Quellental, to the 13th-century village church in Steffenshagen. Warnemünde and the Hanseatic cities of Rostock and Wismar are also within easy reach.
Kühlungsborn is the biggest Baltic Sea resort in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Bathing guests first came to the sandy beach which stretches for 6 km in 1880. The narrow-gauge railway was extended from Heiligendamm to Kühlungsborn in the early 20th century.
The town has a pier which reaches 240 m into the sea. In the summer months it is the starting point of pleasure trips to Rerik, Warnemünde and Grömitz. You can get a wonderful view of Kühlungsborn and its surroundings from Bastorf Lighthouse. Other sights are the Art Museum, the Molli Museum and the municipal forest, which covers 133 hectares.
Bad Doberan, once the summer residence of the dukes of Mecklenburg, is only 6 km from the Baltic Sea coast. It was officially recognised as a spa nearly 200 years ago. Bad Doberan Minster - "The Pearl of North German Gothic Brick Architecture" - is hard to miss. The High Gothic church, with its unique interior dating back to the Middle Ages, was consecrated in 1368. The Minster stands in the grounds of a Cistercian monastery that was founded in 1186.
En route from Bad Doberan to Heiligendamm, the Molli stops off at Germany's oldest racecourse. The first races were held there in 1822, and they are still held every year in July. The buildings around the Kamp, a landscaping gem, the Town and Spa Museum in the Möckelhaus and the Ehm Welk House, which commemorates the region's most famous writer, are also worth a visit.