Welcome to Travemünde
Writer Thomas Mann declared that he spent his happiest days in Travemünde, just outside Lübeck (which bought it in 1329 to control the shipping coming into its harbour). Located at the point where the Trave River flows into the Baltic Sea, its 4.5km of sandy beaches have held long appeal, drawing everyone from Dostoyevsky to northern Europe's elite. The town was, for a time in the 19th century, known as the German St Tropez. That may be overstating things a little, but there is an unmistakeable sense of sophistication and nostalgia here. Water sports are now the main draw, along with a colourful sailing regatta in the last week of July.