Nature reserve Geltinger BirkA unique natural experience directly at the Baltic Sea
Discover the Geltinger Birk
Hike & walk in a nature paradise - Geltinger Bucht
The Geltinger Birk, the largest nature reserve in Schleswig-Holstein with an almost 800-hectare area, is located on a peninsula (or Höft in German). It is shaped by extensive water expanses such as the Geltinger Noor, reed and salt meadows and dunes.
The Charlotte windmill, built in 1794 for draining the lowlands, is the "gatekeeper" of the Geltinger Birk.
On a 30-minute track, you reach the NABU (Nature and Diversity Conservation Union) information hut, which provides visitors with information about the nature reserve. In general, guided tours frequently start from this point from April through October. The Integrierte Station Geltinger Birk also offers exciting guided tours starting at the Birk kiosk near the Charlotte windmill.
Whether you have a professional guide or go alone: the Geltinger Birk is a striking natural experience. Go by bike and follow the recognisable "Geltinger Birk Törn" signs. The starting and ending point of the approximately 25-kilometre-long route is Gelting or try the 13-kilometre long walking path.
The impressive wildlife of the Geltinger Birk
Where flora and fauna are still intact
Highland cattle and Konik horses have made themselves at home here, and play an important role in preserving this unique coastal ecosystem.
The wild horses have become particularly popular with visitors. Since 2002, Konik horses from Poland have been introduced to the Birk and nearby areas by the Schleswig-Holstein Environmental Protection Foundation for landscape management.
Koniks are a robust species of horses from east-central Europe, closely related to Eastern European wild horses. They were hunted as wild animals for centuries; through careful selection and breeding in the 20th century, the species was returned to something like its original state. Since 1965, breeding animals are available for sale, and stallions provided to state stud farms.
Birdwatchers will be especially thrilled: over the course of a year, around 200 distinct bird species can be spotted here; even sea eagles have returned to the region.
Among the approximately 70 species of birds that breed here are grey geese, garganeys, red-breasted mergansers, spotted crakes, coastal, dwarf, and sandwich terns, redshanks, red-backed shrikes, thrush nightingales and whinchats.