Fehmarn Island: between cycle paths, beaches, nature and lots of sun

With 2200 hours of sunshine a year, the island of Fehrmarn is not only one of the sunniest areas in Germany, but it is also the third largest island in the country.
Fehmarn has 300 kilometers of scenic cycling routes. From flat rocky paths along the sea to open meadows and fields, which glow bright yellow during the rapeseed flowering season in spring.
Kiters and surfers love the island thanks to the good wind conditions and infrastructure. Tens of thousands of migratory birds rest in Fehmarn’s four nature reserves every year.

Information on the island
St. Peter's Church in Landkirken, Fehmarn
SSt. Peter’s Church in Landkirken

The name of the island dates back to fe mer, in Slavic “by the sea”. The inhabitants call their island “Crust” because of the shape reminiscent of the crust of bread.
Fehmarn is located between the Kiel Bay and the Mecklenburg Bay in the Baltic Sea. Staberhuk is the easternmost point and Marienleuchte the northernmost point of Schleswig-Holstein.
Fehmarn has 12,552 inhabitants (as of 31 December 2016), of which around 6,000 live in Burg.
Since 1 January 2003 the whole island has become the city of Fehmarn (from the merger of the rural communities of Bannesdorf, Landkirchen and Westfehmarn).
Together with Burg, Landkirchen and Petersdorf are considered the main towns of Fehmarn.

How to get: The Fehmarnsund Bridge
Image by Marabu from Pixabay

Fehmarn can be reached via the Puttgarden ferry station in regional or international long-distance rail transport on the Vogelfluglinie, direct transport link between Copenhagen and Hamburg.
Since 1963 Fehmarn has been connected to the mainland via the Fehmarnsund Bridge (also known as the “hanger”).
On 31 July 2010, the new Fehmarn-Burg station was opened.
Basically you can reach Fehmarn by taking a regional from Hamburg to Lübeck then change to another regional in the direction of Puttarden, and with this you get off comfortably in Fehmarn-Burg.
Motorists can reach the island on the “Vogelfluglinie” via the European route 47.
The Fehmarn-Neujellingsdorf aerodrome is located in Neujellingsdorf.

What to do in Fehmarn
Image by Ronile from Pixabay

Fehmarn has 78 km of coastline divided into 20 different types of beaches:

  • To the south are the whitest and sandiest beaches on the island
  • East: steep coast
  • North: dunes with inland lakes
  • West: mainly natural beaches
  • flat slabs of rock to the west and north of the island

4 nature reserves:

  • Northern Lakes Plains (accessible)
  • Wallnau (NABU Wallnau Waterfowl Reserve)
  • Grüner Brink (accessible)
  • Krummsteert / Sulsdorfer Wiek (Krummsteert not accessible)
Sport
Kitesur at Fehmarn
Image by Olle August from Pixabay

Fehmarn is known for water sports with 17 areas around the island for kite-surfing.
Sailors can sail in 5 marinas with good nautical infrastructure. Due to its geographic location and wind conditions, sailors like to use Fehmarn as an ideal stopover for a safe and peaceful voyage without complicated turns.
The Danish South Sea in the Schleswig-Holstein Bay, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern or other countries close to the Baltic Sea are easy to reach and explore from Fehmarn by sailboat.
Diving, fishing, hiking, running, walking, biking (300km of marked cycle paths) and horse riding are popular on the island.
Other sporting activities include: climbing, Adventure Golf Fehmarn, Golf Park Fehmarn with an 18-hole golf course and the indoor wave pool “Feh Mare”.

Museums
  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner : Exhibitions of the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Association with Evidence of Kirchner’s artistic work on Fehmarn including reproductions of his best-known paintings in their original size, historical photographs, notebook reproductions and biographical data.
    www.kirchnervereinfehmarn.de
  • Galileo World of Knowledge: In this interactive 3,200 square meter museum you can explore the thematic worlds “Technology and Energy” and “Earth and Life”.
    www.galileo-fehmarn.de
  • Fehmarn Submarine Museum: Visitors can experience life in a confined space during a visit to the U11 submarine and discover the postwar German Submarine Fleet exhibit.
    www.ostsee-u-boot.de
  • Mühlenmuseum Jachen Flünk: The “Jachen Flünk” mill is the oldest windmill in Schleswig-Holstein. It is still fully operational and is open to the public as a mill and agricultural museum.
  • Lifesaving Museum Fehmarn: Exhibition on the history and technology of rescuing people at sea with video and audio documents, ship models, information on the German Society for the Rescue of the Castaway.
    www.seenotrettungsmuseum-fehmarn.de
  • Dark experiment: With an eye mask and blind cane you can experience a walk in the woods or a shopping in the supermarket.
    www.dunkelexperiment.de


Evente and Festival
Thies Rätzke photo

Some of the most important festivals and events are:

  • The Surf-Festival: The Fehmarn Surf Festival starts in May and kicks off the main water sports season. Do not miss, within the event itself, one of the largest outdoor fairs for surf and SUP athletes, where many new products can be tested for free.
    www.surffestival.de
  • The Midsummer Bulli Festival (VW Bus): A little nostalgic, 1960s surf vibe at the Midsummer Bulli Festival (VW Bus), held in June in South Beach. A high density of T1 and T2 vehicles in the beach field plus a varied support program with BULLI-Bar, the Sunset BULLIvard shopping street and live entertainment on stage.
    http://www.midsummerfestival.de/
  • The Rapeseed Blossom Festival: a three-day festival with lots of live music, dances and shows. Visitors can party and stroll among numerous stalls offering a mix of Fehmarn specialties from local crafts.
    The highlight is the coronation of the Rapsblütenkönigin (Queen of the Rapeseed Blossom), which is celebrated on Saturday during a Queen’s Ball with fireworks, followed by a colorful parade on Sunday through the streets of Petersdorf. The new queen will represent Fehmarn for one year nationwide on various occasions.
    For this reason, many girls come to Fehrman to attend the Rapeseed Blossom Festival.
    “Rapsi”, a blend of orange juice, rapeseed honey and liqueurs is a yellow drink that you can enjoy at the festival.

  • The Wine Festival: In a welcoming atmosphere, wine connoisseurs and wine producers from various German growing areas meet to experience a fun weekend around the theme of wine. You can taste various wines directly under the open sky. Culinary delights, expert advice and daily live music guarantee the best in entertainment.
  • The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival: The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival concerts have become a solid tradition in Fehmarn and are among the most loved highlights of the year. Renowned artists offer first-class listening pleasure at Hof Johannisberg.
  • Since 2003, every year on the last Wednesday of August, the Kröpel Festival has been held in Petersdorf, where everything revolves around the Kröpel. the confederation of “country women” from the western part of Fehmarn cooks the island specialties directly on site, so that you can smell the scent of 1,500 “Kröpel” in the air. Live music and small stalls of handicrafts such as silver and stone jewelry, woodwork, Danish fashion or canola pillows are presented during the festival. Fun for kids with skill games, wheel of fortune etc, make it attractive for kids as well.
  • Fehmarn Christmas Market, Marketplace Burg: The lovingly decorated stalls present a wide range of culinary delights and attractive Christmas gifts. Around 100 Christmas trees and festive lights flood the market square with sparkling light and create a Christmas atmosphere. A varied program with live entertainment ensures that young and old will not be bored.

    More info on: https://www.fehmarn.de/en/events
Local gastronomy
Fish sandwiches in the port of Orth
Dirk Moeller photo

In Fehmarn you can choose from a great gastronomic selection, from regional to international with a cuisine made rich in regional specialties of freshly caught Baltic fish and numerous (farm) cafes with fantastic cakes.

Grills on the harbor
Barbecue area at the marina in Burgtiefe
Thies Rätzke photo

Pier, wine, sunset…
Modern grills and nice seating await you in the Burgtiefe marina! In one of the most beautiful barbecue areas on the island!
While the sausages is cooking, relax and enjoy the marina while watching the sea and boats. Whether you are a group or a couple, the waterfront will always be a stylish grill!

XXL grill in Wulfen, steep coast: Sun, sound of the sea, charm of the cliffs, beach, Lawn, smell of coal, view of the Fehmarn-sund brücke…
Try it!
From Easter to October it can be especially nice to spend a day here.
The sea view is truly splendid.
The large grill is perfect for groups.
The toilets are directly on site.
The grill is available for a supplement of € 20 including cleaning at Georg Muhl,
Tel. 04371 6758,
email: info@fewo-muhl.de

Where to eat fish

If you are in Fehmarn you must absolutely try the fish sandwiches and, why not, also some unique locations where you can taste fish from the Baltic Sea:

Bread, cakes and much more

Börke is a bakery in Fehmarn that you absolutely must visit if you want to try some delicacies for your breakfast or just to enjoy something sweet.
Rapeseed honey bread, homemade jam, delicious cakes, biscuits are just some of the specialties you can find here.
https://www.inselbaeckerei-boerke.de/

Where sleeping in Fehmarn
Thies Rätzke photo

Accommodation for tourists on the island of Fehmarn is divided as follows:

  • 50% are apartments and holiday homes
  • 34% campings
  • 10% hotels and inns
  • the remaining 4% is allocated to pensions, recreation / training houses, youth hostels / shelters and prevention / rehabilitation clinics
  • There is a 4-star hotel.
  • Fehmarn has around 14,534 beds, of which 1,600 are hotel beds.
  • 17 campsites on the island offer a total of around 6,000 pitches and over 18,000 beds.

With 17 campsites directly on the coast, Fehmarn is a popular destination for campers, meaning the island welcomes many repeat guests each year, but continues to do so to delight new guests.
From large campsites with lots of exciting leisure activities to small family campsites, Fehmarn offers a choice of motorhomes and pitches for every guest. For those who prefer a little more comfort and do not want to do without their own bathroom or a fully equipped kitchen, the mobile home is the perfect solution and can be rented at many campsites.
This year four of the 17 campsites have been awarded 5 stars by the ADAC: Camping- und Ferienpark Wulfener Hals, Inselcamp Fehmarn, Camping Miramar and Camping Strukkamphuk.
According to some strict criteria imposed by the ADAC it was possible to achieve this goal and obtain recognition.

The cycle paths
Thies Rätzke photo

Lots of sunshine, a mild climate and a flat, even complex, Fehmarn is a great destination for cyclists.
About 300 kilometers of signposted cycle paths stretch across the island and the coast. Natural beaches, inland lakes and cliffs alternate along the 78 kilometers of coastline. Inland from the island, the road leads through villages, meadows and fields, which glow a bright yellow during the rapeseed flowering season in spring.
You are all invited to purchase a special tour map with five designated routes at the tourist information office. You can choose for example the church tour, the harbor tour or the Sundbrückentour.
Depending on the direction of the wind and your conditions, you can tackle the tours left or right and start it at any time. The so-called Ostküstenpromenade between Staberdorf and Klausdorf is one of the most scenic cycle paths in Fehmarn: the cycle path runs with an unobstructed view of the Baltic Sea directly above the steep coast.
The marked routes of the “Baltic Sea Cycle Path” and the Mönchsweg are also very popular. For a break we recommend the five tourist marinas, as well as a visit to one of the five “farm cafes”, which are partly connected to a farm shop. Beautiful views are provided by the so-called camp sofas, curved wooden benches, found in many places on the island.
On the steep coast between Katharinenhof and Staberdorf east of Fehmarn, the camp sofa can also be rotated 360 degrees. A popular destination for cyclists is Fehmarn’s highest lighthouse “Flugge”. The 162 steps lead to a 370 ° view at 37 meters. Nearby you will find the “NABU Wasservogelreservat Wallnau”, a reserve for water birds. Migratory species of sea birds can be observed from the observation huts.
A large network of “charging stations” is available for e-bikes.
On the island assistance is provided by two local bike rental shops offering first aid and support for any breakdowns.

Nature reserves and wildlife

Thanks to their rich food offer and their favorable location, the four nature reserves Grüner Brink, Wallnau, Krummsteert and Northern Lakeland are an attraction for migratory birds on Fehmarn.
Tens of thousands of them travel to these places every year on their journey between breeding grounds and their winter “homes”, using the German island – depending on the season and direction of flight – as a bridge to the north. or the south. The best place for bird watching is at the NABU Wallnau waterfowl reserve, one of the most ecologically valuable areas in northern Germany. Unnoticed by the birds you can enjoy spectacular views from specially built observation huts in these areas. It is possible to observe very rare bird species from a ten meter high observation tower.
It is worth visiting between mid-April and mid-May, when migratory birds show up during courtship. Detailed information on bird species and flight routes is provided at the fairground.
Especially for children, the tactile path exhibition is an experience. Barefoot and blindfolded, they can make their way through cones and spruce woods, touch “things” in hidden places and smell plants like lavender and rosemary. Waterfowl reserve employees guide people through the gardens and bistro which offers delicious organic food.

Also accessible to visitors is the 134-hectare Grüner Brink on the north coast of Fehmarn. The 2.5 kilometer long and up to 180 meter wide strip of land between the dam and the Baltic Sea that was formed by the construction of the dam in 1872 and has been under conservation since 1938.
The altered flow conditions have led to this ‘area, where small inland lakes were formed which subsequently dried up. Nowadays, only the salty waters of the Baltic Sea flow into these small inland lakes during heavy floods. In one year there are up to 170 bird species around the “Grüner Brink”. Southwest of “Grüner Brink” you will find the largest nature reserve of Fehmarn, which at 751 hectares is the largest in East Holstein.

Image by Peter Krötz from Pixabay



Northern Lakeland has only been protected since 29 August 2014, making it the youngest of the island’s four protected areas. It mainly comprises coastal stretches and the adjacent flat areas with widely used lakes, reed beds, salt marshes and meadows.
Many endangered animal and plant species such as the crucified toad, bittern, little tern, common tern, coastal sea kale, beach pout and thistle are native to this area.
There are several routes through the nature reserve, for example, east of Markelsdorfer Huk (northwestern Fehmarn) to reach nearby campsites with restaurants and bathing areas outside the nature reserve.
There is another observation platform next to the Markelsdorfer Huk.

The Krummsteert is located on the southwestern tip of the island of Fehmarn. It is part of the Krummsteert – Sulsdorfer Wiek nature reserve, which covers approximately 395 hectares and has existed since 1980. It is divided into four different ecosystems: the Krummsteert, the Sulsdorfer Wiek, an ancient sea bay located behind the dam, the Ramskamp with salt flats and brackish ponds as well as aquatic areas of the Baltic Sea. From the 37-meter-high Flügge lighthouse visitor platform, the view opens up over the entire Nehrungshaken. The path from Orth to the lighthouse passes the Sulsdorfer Wiek, the Ramskamp reed bed and the Flügger ponds.
The factsheets provide information on breeding and migratory birds. Particularly protected is the tiny islet of Kolhof located in Burger Lake (Burgtiefe), which also serves as a breeding ground for numerous birds in the southern part of Fehmarn.


Beaches
Image by Stephan Becker from Pixabay

The beaches of Burgtiefe and Wulfener Hals are the southernmost and with the whitest sand on the island. In this stretch the coast is particularly flat with the best conditions for building sand castles or looking for shells.
The same goes for Grüner Brink in the north of Fehmarn.
In Bojendorf there is a full service available for renting beach chairs, a kiosk and sports and leisure facilities. The unique location of the Burgtiefe marina is a popular starting point for trips on the Baltic Sea. A few steps away is the south beach of fine sand, considered the tourist center of the island of Fehmarn. There is also the FehMare Adventure Wave Pool with a wide range of spa services.

More infos about Fehmarn here: https://www.fehmarn.de/

The Earth Day and the new video on the landscape created by the volcano of La Palma after the eruption

For the fifth consecutive year Earth Day is celebrated with careful audiovisual production that includes the wonderful and unique landscapes of the eight Canary Islands, with a special role dedicated to the new space created by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma. This video will try to reach 5.2 million people, in particular Internet users who have a particular interest in environmental issues and nature tourism.

Earth Day, which is celebrated every 22 April, has in recent years become the perfect excuse to highlight the natural spaces of the Canary Islands which are now enriched by the newborn volcanic environment of La Palma. This new landscape is called to become a major tourist attraction that will serve to promote the economic recovery of Isla Bonita.
The celebration of this event consolidates the fact that the Islas Canarias brand has become a standard-bearer for the defense of the territory and the uniqueness of the different landscapes offered by the archipelago, great natural attributes of the destination.
With the celebration of Earth Day in recent years, the Canary Islands brand aims to strengthen in the minds of tourists its commitment to defending the territory and the uniqueness of the archipelago’s landscapes.

To achieve greater success in communicating this message, the target audience has been segmented so that the content reaches the Internet users most interested in environmental issues, nature tourism and the discovery of the landscapes of the destinations they visit.
Furthermore, it is hoped that this video will go viral on social networks thanks to the emotional message conveyed by the natural environments, fauna and flora of the eight islands.
This year the video was also made in vertical format to be able to share it on the reels of Instagram and its replica on Facebook.
The piece will be broadcast in ten markets: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Dutch, Belgian, Irish and Norwegian.

The magic of spring in Formentera

The nature of Formentera can offer incredible landscapes thanks to the variety of vegetation that grows on the island. The lowest level of rainfall in the Balearic Islands make it a privileged island to be discovered in spring, when the beauty of colors and nature show off all their splendor.

Starting from the forests full of junipers and pines, in Formentera you can discover various plant forms such as rosemary, heather and aromatic thyme, strawberry tree as well as a large area of Mediterranean scrub.
17 species of orchids grow in Formentera. This splendid flower requires special conditions, undisturbed soils and particular pollination strategies. It goes without saying that only here can they grow and find particular conditions and the right stability.
Leave them in their habitat and just photograph them!

The fruit trees are colored in spring, giving tasty fruits in the following months. The fig is the symbol of the island but there is no lack of almond, carob and olive trees. The spring fields are colored with poppies, marigolds, daisies and gladioli.

The beaches of Formentera are home to some of the best preserved dunes in the Balearic Islands, such as Ses Illetes, Cavall d’en Borràs, Levante, Migjorn or s’Alga (on the island of s’Espalmador). They include a submerged part – the cliffs formed by the Posidonia oceanica meadows – and an emerged part, the plants that grow on the dunes, with their deep roots, retain the sandy substratum and fix these dunes.

Valencians Beach; Formentera
Valencians Beach; Formentera

Endemic and coastal plants

In the vicinity of the salt pans various endemic species can be found, such as ‘Limonium formenterae‘, ‘Limonium wiedmanni’ or ‘Limonium gosii’. The rocky stretches of the coast have a more impoverished vegetation. The most common are the ‘Limonium minutum‘, exclusive to the Balearic Islands, and the ‘Limonium cassonianum’ which has white flowers.
The Mola is rich in endemic species, such as the ‘Saxifraga corsica subsp. cossoniana ‘, a tiny plant with white flowers. But it is precisely the endemism that generates fascination for its rarity. In Formentera there are more than twenty endemic plants.


Fraser Island: Australia’s dream island

Fraser island is the largest sand island in the world.
Spanning 184,000 hectares, 123 kilometers long and 22 kilometers wide at its widest point, Fraser Island is a typical dream island with rainforest, endless beaches and transparent sea where we would all like to be shipwrecked and live forever.

History and legends of the island

The traditional name of the Butchulla people for Fraser island was K’gari wich means paradise.

According to a legend, Fraser Island was named K’gari in honor of the beautiful spirit who helped Yindingie, messenger of the great god Beeral, to create the earth. As a reward to K’gari for his help, Beeral transformed her into an idyllic island with trees, flowers and lakes. He has put birds, animals and people on the island to keep her company.

It seems that the island had been occupied for at least 5,000 years or more, but only in 1770 did Captain Cook sight the Butchulla people on the east coast, while Matthew Flinders had contact with the people of the island between 1799 and 1802.
In 1991 the island was named a World Heritage Site and today is managed by the Department of the Environment and Heritage through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

The shipwrecks of the island

Shipwrecks in Freser Island
Photo by Andreas Dress on Unsplash

It seem that about twenty ships wrecked on Freser island, wich today have become an attraction for tourists.
The most famous is undoubtedly the Maheno, which has been stranded on Fraser’s beaches since 1935.
Built in 1905, the SS Maheno operated a regular route between Sydney and Auckland until it was commissioned as a hospital ship in Europe during the First World War.
On 3 July 1935, at the end of the service, the Maheno left Sydney pulled by a ferry but, after 4 days it ran into a cyclone and, about fifty miles from the coast, disappeared into the sea with 8 men on board.
On July 10, a plane spotted the Maheno stranded on the shores of Fraser Island, with its crew waiting on the beach for the arrival of the Oonah ferry, which revealed itself a couple of days later.
Today the Maheno remains stranded in a state of corrosion on the beaches of the island and, emptied of everything,  it’s one of the great attractions of the island.

The dunes and the sand

Seventy Five Mile Beach, Frase Island
Seventy Five Mile beach, Image by Adobe Stock

Fraser island and its dunes are costantly canging. Each year the dunes move based on wind, humidity and the behavior of plants living on the Australian island.
Fraser Island’s colorful sands lie north of Eli Creek and comprise 72 different colors, mostly reds and yellows.

Seventy-Five Mile Beach (pictured above) is an amazing beach highway where all road rules apply, The speed limit is 80 kilometers per hour and it is necessary to give way to planes that land and take off!

The rainforest

Fraser Island
Image by Matt McLeod from Pixabay

Among the unique characteristics of Fraser there is also that of having a rainforest that grows on a soil that is not very fertile such as sand.
Plants derive their nutrients solely from rain and sand. The sand is covered with mineral compounds such as iron and aluminum oxides.
Near the shore, the air contains the nutrients from the splashes of sea water that are deposited on the sand.
In a mutual relationship, the fungi in the sand make these nutrients available to the plants.
These in turn provide various organic compounds to the mushrooms which, having no chlorophyll, they could not synthesize on their own.

Wildlife

Fraser island is an environment rich in wild animals wich, in their own way, constitute fundamental but fragile elements in the context of the island.
Every slightest change or contamination can damage this wonderful environment and its inhabitants who contribute in an important way to preserve the natural balance of the Australian island.

In Fraser, more than 350 species of birds have been sighted, which come to nest here and find an optimal context in which to feed and find shelter. There are almost 80 species of reptiles, of which about twenty are represented by snakes. From July to November, you may also spot dolphins, dugongs, turtles and humpback whales. If you were not yet satisfied with all this life, know that in Queensland and Fraser lives the second most important population of Brumbies, a breed of wild horses typical of Australia.

Fraser’s vegetation

Fraser Island
Photo by GAWN AUSTRALIA on Unsplash

The list of plant species fount in Fraser is truly impressive.
Suffice it to say that on the island there are at least a thousand species divided into 150 different families. Acacia, banksia, barony, callitris, dianella and eucalyptus are just some of the many species present that will welcome you to this beautiful island.

How to get

Fraser Island ferry
Fraser Island Ferry, Adobe Stock Photo

By car, it takes at least 3 to 4 hours from Brisbane to get there. You have to reach Maryboroug and then Hervey bay. Fraser ferry schedules are on these links.
http://www.fraserislandferry.com.au/
and
https://www.kingfisherbay.com/getting-here/fraser-island-ferry.html

Regular bus services are available from Brisbane to Maryborough and Hervey Bay. From the north, services are guaranteed with Greyhound-Pioneer-McCafferty’s, Premier and Suncoast Pacific Coaches. If you prefer the train, you can consult the timetables on the website of the Queenslandrailtravel.

Qantas Link fly from Brisbane to Hervey Bay (Hervey Bay Airport)

What to do and where to stay

Fraser island
Photo by Nick Dunn on Unsplash

If all this beauty ever bores you (I have strong doubts about it), on the island there are many organized activities such as while watching or 4WD tours for example, plus other activities that the two resorts on the island will do their best to make even more your days in this paradise are wonderful. It goes without saying that this is a perfect place for a wedding or honeymoon.

Gran Canaria: the unique beauty of a special island

Gran Canaria is one of the 7 islands that make up the Autonomous Community of the Canaries. It is a thousand kilometers from Cádiz, the closest European port, and 210 kilometers from the coast of North Africa.

381,000 of its 855,000 inhabitants live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the nerve center and capital of the island which, in the years before the pandemic, hosted almost half of the tourists who traveled to the island.
If we think that in normal conditions Gran Canaria could welcome something like 4 and a half million tourists a year, it is easy to understand what kind of importance the island has on a planetary level and how much it is loved by European travelers.
Generally it is German, English, Northern European and Spanish tourists who are most attracted to the beauties of Gran Canaria.

Beaches, sun, nature, gastronomy and the possibility of practicing outdoor sports all year round make this island a unique destination in the world. In recent times, the possibility of working in smart working has added new frontiers to tourism in Gran Canaria.

8000 remote workers now live on the island taking advantage of the high-speed internet connection and the possibility of integrating well into local communities.
For Gran Canaria it means hosting international talent while attracting a new form of tourism. The professionals who decide to come to work on the island are Germans, English, Americans, Italians and French who decide to stay in Gran Canaria for at least 2 months

Play sport

Route GC-200 in Gran Canaria
Route GC-200 in Gran Canaria-Photo by Polina Rytova on Unsplash

The climate of the Canary Islands generally favors outdoor sports activities. In particular in Gran Canaria, there are 7 golf courses among which it is necessary to mention the Real Club de Golf of Las Palma, the oldest in all of Spain, whose birth dates back to 1891. The spectacular landscapes of the island also give the opportunity to practice excursions and trekking among incredible scenarios: just imagine what a simple but healthy walk in the dunes of Maspalomas or a trekking on Roque Nublo can be.

Dunes de Maspalomas
Dunas de Maspalomas-Photo by Klaus Stebani from Pixabay

Then imagine the coast and the sea, where you can choose between different water sports: from sport fishing, passing through surfing, wind surfing or kite surfing, sailing, scuba diving and much more. Cycling finds in Gran Canaria an excellent response also from professional teams not only for the excellent climate which, even in winter, allows athletes to train in spring climates, but thanks to sinuous and well-kept roads in the interior and spectacular views along the coast..

Gastronomy

Tray,With,Assortment,Of,Fish,And,Seafood,
Tray with assortment of fish and seafood- Shutterstock image

So.
When it comes to Spain, the sea, mild climates and good food, I never know where to start.
The fish dishes and the restaurants on the coast just so as not to stray too far from the photo above.
But also and above all local products of the land and wines with a controlled designation of origin.
The flavors of Gran Canaria are original and natural, whether they come from the sea or from the land.
Patatas arrugadas, sanchocho and many varieties of stews are just some of the typical flavors of the island that you must absolutely try. The only coffee produced in Europe is grown in the Agaete Valley; Bodega Arehucas Rum is the largest and oldest of its kind in the entire European continent.
Gran Canaria is also part of the Saborea España project, created to highlight the products and ingredients of local dishes, as well as the skills of the chefs who cook in the island’s restaurants

A historical and natural heritage

Caves of Valeron
Caves of Valeron- Shutterstock image

Gran Canaria has unique climatic characteristics thanks to its peaks that reach maximum altitudes above 1900 m above sea level.
This means that it has been defined as a miniature continent and declared by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, thanks to the sustainable development of its environment and the conservation of the species living on the island.

If the tourists who visit Gran Canaria choose it for the climate, the sea and the beaches, it is indisputable that the historical and natural heritage of the island is unmatched in the world.
The natural pools in Guía, the Special Reserve of Los Tilos de Moya, the only remaining laurel forest in Gran Canaria, the Painted Cave Museum and the Archaeological Park, the beaches and steep cliffs around Agaete, the historic center of Arucas, the woods around Osorio in Teror and the Azuaje gorge in Firgas.
How not to mention the Nublo Rural Park and the Special Nature Reserve of the Dunes of Maspalomas which are probably the most representative of the island.

Roque Nublo
Roque Nublo_ Photo by Mandy Schneider from Pixabay

Gran Canaria also offers various archaeological sites not to be missed for any reason in the world, such as the Caves of Valerón (Santa María de Guía), the Roque Bentayga Visitor Center (Tejeda), the Archaeological Park of Maipés (Agaete), the Necropolis of Arteara (San Bartolomé de Tirajana), Cañada de Los Gatos (Mogán), the Visitor Center of the Guayadeque Ravine (Agüimes) and La Fortaleza Visitor Center (Santa Lucia de Tirajana).

Gran Canaria has also been declared a “Tourist Destination Starlight” by the United Nations for education, science and culture (UNESCO).
Astro tourism is one of the flagship projects of Gran Canaria, and has launched at conquer its spectacular night skies by fighting against light contamination in an attempt to restore the right to observe the stars.
The island wishes to recover the quality of the skies that the Aborigines used to see, with unique astronomical indicators, diversifying the range of tourist offerings and opening new windows of knowledge.
To this end, this defense of the skies over Gran Canaria has become the backbone of the intervention of the island’s authorities, while many are working to ensure that the original settlement archaeological site of Risco Caído, in Artenara, is declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, together with the Areas Sacred of the Montaña de Gran Canaria.

5 curiosities about Gran Canaria

curious frogs

  • British writer Agatha Christie traveled to Gran Canaria and stayed at the Metropole Hotel. She sat outside for hours and looked out at the sand and seascape. Some of her adventures by Hercules Poirot were written from the terrace of her hotel
  • Moby Dick, starring Gregory Peck, was shot on Las Canteras Beach in 1954
  • Researchers from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria are trying to confirm their hypothesis that the 1755 Lisbon earthquake caused a tidal wave that reached Gran Canaria and generated the Maspalomas dunes. (other theories say that the sand came from the Sahara).
  • Gran Canaria has the “nickname” of miniature continent due to the great variety of landscapes and climates found on the island. On some winter days visitors can be on the beach with a mild 22ºC, then within an hour climb to the top and find snow, 0ºC.
  • Gran Canaria boasts 33 different protected areas that extend over 66,707 hectares, which is less than half of the total area of the island (42.75%)

Sylt: the dream island between dunes, trails, good food and the protected Wadden sea

Sylt measures only 99 square kilometers in area. But if its beauty could be measured in numbers, perhaps an exact figure would not be enough to describe how beautiful there is on this German island surrounded by the UNESCO-protected Wadden Sea. Sand dunes, imposing cliffs, a railway line that travels on a dam built between the mainland and Sylt (the Hindenburgdamm), colorful flowers in spring and the North Sea that inspires a thousand different sensations and moods.

Sylt is also sport, with hundreds of walking and cycling routes, golf courses, surfing opportunities, but also restaurants with all kinds of offers, ranging from sophisticated restaurants to beach restaurants for those who want something simpler.

The beauty of nature and the risk of erosion
Image by Marc Rickertsen from Pixabay

Since 1923 Sylt has been placed under protection due to the great importance it represents at a naturalistic level. 50% of its small territory is protected: since 1985 the area between the north of Sylt and the mouth of the Elbe river (north of Hamburg) is part of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden National Park and since 2009 the Wadden Sea off Sylt is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Everything is not that simple, however, because Sylt loses a million cubic meters of sand every year due to the wind. The force of the westerly winds moves the sand north or south. For this reason, a process of “recovery” and “conservation” of the beaches began in 1972: from the beginning of the 1970s to 2019 approximately 52 million cubic meters of sand were collected and then reintroduced in the western and northern parts of the island. . A ship about ten kilometers from the coast picks up sand at a depth of 15 meters which is pumped onto the beaches where the buldozers rearrange everything between the dunes and the beach.
The project is financed by federal and European Union funds although since 2007 the inhabitants of Sylt have created the Sylt Coastal Protection Foundation which aims to protect the island with fundraising and other initiatives.

Wooden pathway through a heather landscape near Braderup on the island Sylt
By Lightbox from Shutterstock

The moorland between Bruderup and Kampen is definitely a must-see. Traditional or wooden hiking trails pass through purple fields of heather (not to be picked up!) With truly spectacular sea views.
And speaking of the sea …
In 1999 the Wadden Sea also became a Sanctuary for the passage of whales! It is estimated that around 6000 whales pass through Sylt each year on their migratory journey. In 2016, with the help of the State Office for the National Park, Marine and Coastal Protection and the Wadden Sea Protection Station, an information path was created on the passage of whales on Sylt, which consists of 22 information units located on the west coast between List and Hörnum.

The railway, the dam and the train
Image by Peter Toporowski from Pixabay

It may seem trivial, but the first thing you will see when arriving on Sylt is the sea. The island is connected to the mainland by a dam surmounted by a railway which creeps into Sylt carrying cars and passengers.
The Hinderburgdamm was opened on 1 June 1927 and is 11 km long. The average travel time between the car loading terminal in Niebüll in Germany and the capital of Sylt, Westerland, is approximately 40 minutes. From Hamburg it will take about 3 hours. If you prefer train to plane and ship, you can consult the timetables on the website of the Deutsche Bahn.

Sylt: between good taste, restaurants and…vineyards
Frische Austern by Karepa from Adobe Photo Stock

It is no coincidence that Sylt can count as many as 200 restaurants. Whether you prefer a light meal by the sea or you decide to sit down to eat a refined typical dish of the place, on Sylt you will find what is right for you. There is no shortage of starred restaurants suitable for every type of refined palate. On Sylt it is the fish dishes that convey the freshness of the place where you are. From the sea comes a fresh and excellent product that is transformed into simple or elaborate dishes. Mackerel, herring and salmon can become simple but delicious “fillings” for a sandwich that remains one of the most consumed quick meals on the island while Oyster is a decidedly more chic but popular dish among restaurants.

Friesentorte im Café
by Brigit Puck from Adobe Stock

If you want to satisfy yourself with a sin of gluttony, perhaps after a beautiful day spent walking along the paths of Sylt or on the beaches of the island, friesentorte is the kind of pleasure for you. Many cafes on Sylt serve this delicious cake that goes well with any season. Forget about calories for a moment and enjoy a coffee and the taste of a sublime cake.

If you think that Sylt is too far north for the cultivation of vines and to be able to boast its own wine then you should know that there are two vineyards on the island that produce Söl’ring and Sölviin. The two wines, to obtain the name of the island, are “pounded” and fermented on Sylt but once the optimal fermentation is reached, they reach the mainland for bottling.

The “sporting” island
Image by Karsten Bergmann from Pixabay

Sylt is a paradise for water sports lovers, but even those who prefer “land” sports will find space to have fun with hiking trails and golf courses. If you love wind surfing, consider that Sylt hosts a stage of the world championship but this does not exclude beginners from the possibility of learning to surf in these seas. There can be stormy days but also times when the calm and flat sea gives peace and the possibility of trying to those who are not experts by learning from the best masters.

The “land” sports, on the other hand, are divided between the island’s paths, the 4 18-hole golf courses and tennis courts. If you take into account the breathtaking views of Sylt, it will not be difficult for you to imagine what images you will find before your eyes walking around the island or challenging your friends on the golf course.

Young woman on bicycle while traveling along the coast of the island of Sylt near the village of List, Germany.
Photo by Pkazmierzak from Adobe stock

An optimal solution to play sports and admire Sylt can be to take a bike and travel the 200 km of dedicated routes. You can rent it or bring it from home but the important thing is that you have an ecological and economical vehicle with you that allows you to cross the wonders of this unique island.
You can brave the wind, admire the sea, pedal for miles.
You and nature.
What’s more beautiful?

When to go to Sylt?
Sylt: Kampen lighthouse in winter
Image by Inselopa from Pixabay

Some say that Sylt has as many faces as there are seasons of the year and, for this reason, it is worth visiting at any time of the year.
Summer is a turbulent season, one that tries to stay in the foreground with the warm evenings on the beach, the colors of sunrise and sunset over the sea. Autumn is the time when the big holidays end, the island becomes calmer and the typical colors of this intermediate season appear.
Spring all explodes. winter hibernates and the flowers begin to color Sylt. The yellow of the rapeseed appears on the fields and the sun begins to warm the dunes of the island.
Finally, many argue that winter is the season in which you can get to know the true soul of Sylt: the winter light and silence flood Sylt with a unique atmosphere. The fireplaces are lit. More time is spent in cafes and tea rooms. It is the perfect time to get to know better the inhabitants of the island.

The Biikebrennen
Biikebrennen: a Frisian tradition celebrated on Sylt
Photo by Murat Yelkenli from Shutterstock

On the evening of February 21, a traditional “torchlight procession” is repeated in Sylt with a large final bonfire to greet the end of winter.
This custom is an intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO and usually ends with large meals between the houses of Sylt or around the restaurants. Before the big bonfire is lit, the best-known characters of the island give various speeches then, when the fire is lit and all the torches have been thrown into the big bonfire, people sing the popular song “Üüs Söl’ring Lön ‘” (our land of Sylt). Subsequently, all the families gather at home or in restaurants to consume the typical dishes and specialties of Northern Germany, where boiled sausage, smoked pork and pork belly reign in addition to potatoes and other vegetable side dishes such as savoy cabbage and cabbage.

Sylt in numbers
  • The surface of Sylt measures 99 square kilometers, of which 33% is covered by dunes;
  • The native language of the island is the Söl’ring;
  • Sytl is made up of 5 municipalities and 12 island towns;
  • The sea of Sylt in summer reaches 21 ° C;
  • Sylt is protected by 22 km of dams;
  • About 20,000 inhabitants live here;
  • …but there are more than 62,000 tourist beds;
  • Millions of migratory birds come to the Wadden Sea and Sylt;
  • The Uwe Dune of Kampen, measuring 52.5 m, is the highest natural dune on Sylt;
The Uwe dune
Image by Wheely248 from Pixabay
  • At List 1 million oysters are harvested a year:
  • There are 4 lighthouses on Sylt;
  • Sylt separated from the mainland about 8000 years ago;

Sources: Sylt.de e insel-sylt.de
Photos: Adobe Stock, Shutterstock e Pixabay

Everything you need to know about Guyana’s majestic Kaieteur Falls

Suddenly the Potaro River drops 226 meters and its mocha color turns to foam and the deafening sound of crashing water. Kaiateur Falls are among the most powerful and tallest single falls in the world if you think that in height they are four times higher than Niagara Falls and twice as high as Victoria Falls.

Kaiteur National Park covers an area of approximately 627 square kilometers that includes rainforests between which passes the Potaro River and the extraordinary Kaieteur Falls.
In the large green context you can find unique species belonging to nature such as the tank bromeliad, the golden frog and the Morpho butterfly (morpho menelaus)

by Erik Zandboer from Shutterstock

The Golden Frog (pictured above) lives within bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) in Kaieteur Falls, Guyana. Kaieteur Falls is the only place in the world where this specific frog lives.

How to visit the falls

There are three main points from which you can admire the Kaiteur Falls: through the hiking trail you can reach the Johnson, Boy Scout and Rainbow viewpoints. The route is about twenty minutes long but the tours are organized so that, between photos and a few stops, the entire tour can last around two hours.

Break and Lookout are two viewpoints closed to the general public which require special permission from the Commission of Protected Areas to be visited. There are a couple of accommodations where it is possible to stay overnight: the Kaieteur Rest House and the Tukeit Rest House but keep in mind that, for both you need to bring bed linen, hammocks and food supplies but, above all, that to stop and sleep it is necessary the approval of the Commission of Protected Areas.

If you are daring enough to want to keep company at the falls for a few nights, perhaps you should rely on local tour operators.

Near the airstrip there is also a small museum that collects images of the history of the Kaieteur Falls where you can also find information on the flora and fauna of the park. There is also a small shop with small local handicrafts.


How to get to the falls

Airplane: Most travelers prefer the day tour by opting for a 45 ‘flight in a small Cessna from Georgetown Airport. Obviously the weather conditions and the number of passengers can influence the various tours. For this reason it would always be good to organize yourself well in advance.

By land or by river: a slow journey of a few days is perhaps the best way to discover the park and the waterfalls, totally immersing yourself in the heart of nature and adventure. There are several tour operators who organize trips of this type. Find all the info here.

Source: Guyana tourism

Photos: Shutterstock and Adobe stock Photos

Estonia: Places surrounded by nature away from tourist destinations

Estonia is covered for half of its territory by forests and can count about 2,000 islands and islets. All this makes it an ideal destination for excursions and walks immersed in nature. Autumn is a perfect season for the colors it can offer, but it is excellent because it “opens the way” to winter, the most fascinating time of year when traveling to Estonia.

The Estonian sea
Saarema Sõrve lighthouse at sunset
by Peter Aleksandrov from Shutterstock

Vilsandi is a remote islet 2 kilometers from Saarema. If the water level is low it is possible to cross the stretch of sea on foot, but there are those who prefer to take a canoe and enjoy the sea with this “drier” vehicle. Vilsandi is a nature reserve with trails and juniper forests in abundance. You will find ways to walk and explore. And if you love the sea, there is plenty of it here!

The Harilaid Peninsula is also a good spot to find off-the-beaten-path paths for mass tourism. There is a hiking trail that crosses the whole island and leads up to the lighthouse. The lucky ones will also have the opportunity to spot some seals!

Harilaid Lighthouse
By Artenex from Shutterstock

The Harilaid lighthouse has a unique feature: it is partially submerged by the sea. With time and the “movements” of the earth, the lighthouse, which was once built on the beach, now stands in the middle of the sea.

Remote corners of Estonian nature
Summer landscape of Konnu-Suursoo Bog in Korvemaa, Estonia.
by Elvin Heinla from Shutterstock

Wetlands are the jewels of Estonian nature. Endless wooden paths cross the forests and, in winter, it is possible to rent snowshoes to explore these routes among the wonderful whitewashed landscape.
Kõnnu Suursoo near Viru Marsh, Muraka Marsh, Laeva and Meenikunno are more remote options if you love places away from it all to walk among nature.

Bike, camping and berry picking
Viru Bog in Lahemaa National Park in autumn
by Candy 1812 from Adobe stock

Another way to experience Estonia in peace is to travel by bike. You can take a train and move from one stop to another and then explore a certain place by bike. Some interesting options can be those of going from Orava to Viljandi or from Taevaskoda to Kiviõli on Lake Peipsi or Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Muhu, all ideal islands to be explored by bike.

Lovers of picking berries, berries or mushrooms can find “bread for their teeth” in the Estonian forests. Here you can find the Nordic wild blueberry, lingonberry, lingonberry, wild strawberry, wild raspberry and cloudberry. There are also mushrooms but the best places are kept secret by the locals, so try to settle for what you find.

Source: Visitestonia

Photos: Visitestonia, Shutterstock and Adobe foto

4 good reasons that make Finland the happiest country in the world

In 2021, Finland was named the happiest country in the world for the fourth time in a row by the United Nations Word Happiness Report. The credit certainly goes to the lifestyle of the Finns and the fact that Finland itself is covered by 90% of forests or water.

Finnish happiness is not as superficial as it may seem but must be sought in the roots and habits of life of a country and of a people accustomed to taking life as it comes and to appreciate every little thing of everyday life.

Visit Finland shared 4 of the many tips that could help increase “happiness hormones” if you happen to travel to this country surrounded by greenery and full of lakes.

1.Reconnect with nature
Tarja Hoikkala/Vastavalo from Visit Finland

Finland is 75% covered by forests and this plays in favor of people’s health. Here you can walk through the woods, hike, camp, ride a bike and enjoy outdoor activities. In winter you can go cross-country skiing or try the new trend of walking with wool socks (wool sock running). It is no coincidence that Finns love to escape the city to relax in the midst of nature.

2.Looking for food is a state of mind
Julia Kivelä/Lakeland Finland

In summer and autumn, Finland is perfect for searching for berries, mushrooms, wild herbs and vegetables. While fishing is popular all year round, looking for some wild fruit can be a rewarding and therapeutic activity to be practiced at certain times. Finnish restaurants are also adapting to the rhythms of nature and are adding freshness and authenticity to their dishes.

3.  The healing powers of water
Harri Tarvainen from Visit Finland

Finland has 188,000 lakes which, for tourists, mean an infinite number of possibilities: canoeing, kayaking, boat trips and swimming when the season allows it. And if you want to try some Finnish tradition by throwing yourself into the frozen lake after a sauna, feel free. It seems to give energy and vitality.

4.Sauna
Emilia Hoisko Photography from Visit Finland

The sauna is a beloved ritual of Finnish life that brings together and connects friends and family. In addition, Finnish sauna culture has been added to UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the first aspect of Finnish culture to enter the prestigious list. Finns believe that saunas are good for the mind and increase happiness. It can also be seen as a meditative space and a place to disconnect from the outside world. The best part of the sauna experience is what Finns affectionately call “post-sauna bliss,” the exhilarating feeling of having purified the mind and body.

Source and photos: Visit Finland

7 magical Irish places to escape from stress

Ireland has resources to sell. We all imagine it as the green island where many successful musicians were born or where we can find one of the best and best known beers in the world (Guinness).
Ireland also means spectacular landscapes or famous cities such as Dublin, Galway, Belfast, Cork, just to name a few.

But Ireland is also quiet and relaxing places to get away from it all and forget about stress and little problems. What are these places?
Here are some of them:

1.Devenish Island

Photo by Chris Hill ©Tourism Ireland

County Fermanagh is teeming with rivers, lakes and lake islands. In Lough Erne is Devenish Island which is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Northern Ireland. Founded by San Molaise in the sixth century, it includes the ruins of the abbey, a circular tower and the walls of the oratory. The island can be reached by boat from Enniskillen: with a short trip you will find the tranquility and pristine beauty of an idyllic timeless place.

2. Rathlin Island

Photo by Joshua McMichael from Tourism Ireland

It is located off the Causeway Coastal Route and is the northernmost point in Northern Ireland. This remote island is dotted with intriguing shipwrecks and is also a haven for seabirds. In spring and summer, this island is populated by thousands of birds, including the very nice puffins that come here to lay their eggs. Ferry companies offer regular service to the island from Ballycastle.

3. Strangford Lough, Antrim

Photo by Brian Morrison from Tourism Northern Ireland

South of Belfast is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Surrounded by gentle hills, this area, recognized as an “Area of extraordinary natural beauty” is one of the richest in biodiversity in Europe with over 2,000 marine species spread over more than 150 km². Despite the presence of birds, badgers, seals and starlings, this is a place of incredible calm.

4.Garnish Island, Co.Cork

Ferry, Garnish Island, Seals, Glengarriff, Co. Cork

Tucked away in Glengariff harbor, the island is home to a series of ornamental gardens originally the work of former owner John Annan Bryce and Edwardian garden designer Howard Peto. Thanks to its sheltered position and almost subtropical climate, a rich variety of plants can still be seen today along with a colony of gray seals on the southern rocks.

5. Burren, Co, Clare

Photo by Brian Morrison ©Clare County Council

This vast limestone plateau with a lunar aspect extends to the ocean and is home to delicate alpine plants, orchids and vast expanses of grass. Under the surface of the lunar-like stone there is a rich underground world: the Ailwee Caves create a labyrinthine system with lakes, underground waterfalls and karst depths. They are also one of the few cave systems on the island that can be explored without special equipment.

6. Copper Coast, Co. Waterford

Photo by Luke Myers ©Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland

Waterford’s Copper Coast European Geopark is a beautiful stretch of coastline. With an extension of 25 km from Tramore, a Victorian-era resort, this short stretch holds treasures such as spectacular cliffs, inlets, stacks and splendid views. It takes its name from the copper mines that once dotted the area.

7. Keem Strand, Achill Island, Co. Mayo

Photo by Kelvin Gilmor ©Failte Ireland

Achill island alone can boast five Blue Flag beaches and one of them is Keem Strand, cited among the best beaches in the world by Condé Nast. The beach is located in Keem Bay, a horse-shaped bay, surrounded by the cliffs of Benmore: along their top, you can take breathtaking walks of 1.5 km towards Achill Head, the westernmost tip of Achill Island.