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)
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”.

  • 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.
  • 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”.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dark experiment: With an eye mask and blind cane you can experience a walk in the woods or a shopping in the supermarket.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

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/

Travel and Concerts: The former Tempelhof Airport is home to great rock

From 10 to 12 June Berlin and its former Tempelhof airport will host an unmissable summer concert full of exceptional guests:
Muse, Royal Blood, The Strokes and Florence + The Machine, just to name a few.
If you are in or are passing through Berlin these days, you absolutely cannot miss a similar location to attend a concert. Tampelhof Airport is a place to visit for its lived history.
It was designed between 1936 and 1939 by the architect Ernst Sagebiel and, at that time, it was the largest European airport and the main link between West Berlin and the rest of the world.

Although the construction of Tempelhof was not completed due to the start of the Second World War, a first plane with aid and supplies landed here in 1948. In 1951 Tempelhof began to welcome civil air traffic again and, the restoration of the damage caused by the war, meant that this could once again become an important German airport.

Tempelhof Airport was completed in 1962 and saw celebrities, athletes and movie stars pass by.
In the early 1970s, the airport becomes too small for the growing demands of new jet planes and air traffic moves to the new Tegel airport. Here only the flights of the American Air Force continue to land, until 2088 when Tempelhof closes definitively.

With a 2014 referendum, the Berliners reject the project to build in this area and the former airport becomes a venue for trade fairs and major events.

The concert

10-12 June
Tempelhof airport

The wonderful Christmas market of the Ravennaschlucht: all about the 2021 edition

On 26 November at 3.00 pm the traditional Christmas market in the Ravennaschlucht near Breitnau in the German Upper Black Forest will open to the public. Although the difficult health situation has forced several organizers to cancel the markets in some cities of Germany, here, thanks to the location of the market and the two controlled accesses, it will be possible to guarantee an optimal level of security. With the 2G plus rule it will be possible to enter the markets only if recovered from the covid or vaccinated but with the addition of a negative anticovid test.

As per tradition, about forty houses will be housed under the viaduct of the Höllentalbahn, among woods and endless Christmas lights. The stand managers and the Hochschwarzwald Tourismus GmbH organized the event in such a way as to ensure the greatest possible safety for anyone visiting the markets, without denying the opportunity to enjoy Christmas and the beautiful things of this holiday.
The maximum capacity of the markets has been reduced by 50% and a shuttle service with fixed times will ensure regular departures without anyone being forced to wait long.

The rules for visiting the markets

  • 2G plus rule (vaccinated or cured from covid plus rapid test or negative PCR)
  • Obligation to wear a mask on the entire event site (exception: consumption of food and drinks)
  • Entrance tickets are available only in advance and by online booking: hochschwarzwald.de/weihnachtsmarkt
  • When purchasing the entrance ticket, visitors to the market are offered a time slot of approximately 2 hours.
  • In order to offer the best quality experience and the highest possible safety, the visitor capacity in the market area is limited to 2,500 people per time slot – this corresponds to 50% of the normal capacity.
  • The shuttle buses from Titisee, Hinterzarten, Himmelreich and the VIP bus from Freiburg go to the markets and return according to set departure times. This should avoid waiting times for visitors as much as possible. Guests can reserve their seat on the bus for the round trip along with the entrance ticket.
  • Visitors to the Christmas market on foot will receive an entrance ticket labeled “I arrive alone”. This means that it is not possible to return by shuttle bus.

Visitors are strongly advised to undergo a corona test before arriving at the Christmas market and to submit the negative test , which must not be older than 24 hours (PCR test: 48 hours), upon boarding the shuttle bus remembering that at the entrance to the Christmas market area it must be ready. If you do not have the opportunity to be tested in advance, you can do the tests spontaneously on the opening days of the Christmas market in the test stations in the Kurhaus Hinterzarten, in the Action Forest Hotel in Titisee and in the Hofgut Sternen directly on the Ravennaschlucht.
But always calculate a bit of a queue…

When and how to go

All four weekends of Advent, Friday from 3pm to 9pm, Saturday from 2pm to 9pm and Sunday from 1pm to 8pm.

It is recommend to reach the railway stations Himmelreich (from Freiburg), Hinterzarten and Titisee (from Donaueschingen) by train. From there, shuttle buses run regularly and free of charge to the Christmas market. The shuttle bus from Titisee is new, the departure is here in the bus park. In addition, a VIP bus passes three times a day from the Freiburg concert hall to the Christmas market and back – for 17 euros per person, including the entrance ticket. Alternatively, there is a hike from Hinterzarten via the Löffeltal (approx. 45-60 minutes).nutes).

For everything else: www.hochschwarzwald.de/weihnachtsmarkt

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

Halligen Islands: a journey between tracks, islets and seas of an enchanted place

There is a small group of tiny islands up there facing Germany. They are the Halligen Islands and here every season means having to deal with the sea and climate change.
These 10 islands are so low above sea level that many times every year the sea submerges everything and then lets it re-emerge after some time.

A few dozen inhabitants live on each island and now the risk that with climate change everything is submerged forever is really high.
However, these islands have a certain importance for several factors: first of all, they protect the German coasts and, above all, allow many species of birds to settle in these parts.
The regular floods that submerge these islands bring in fact sediments that help flora and fauna to feed. Elsewhere this would not be possible.
It is for this and other reasons that the coastal state of Schleswig-Holstein, which includes the Helingen Islands, is investing a lot of money so that here we can raise the level of the islands with respect to the sea and also enlarge their surface.
According to the studies carried out by experts, each island would have to “grow” by about 4-5 mm every year to keep up with the sea level.
So far only the island of Hooge, thanks to a closed dam surrounding the island, has managed to limit the floods, while Nordstrandischmoor is only growing by 1-2 mm per year.

Hallig Süderoog in the Wadden Sea from the air: EUROPA, GERMANY, SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN

The bird population

The Wadden Sea was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 and it is no coincidence that a bout 60,000 birds live on the Halligen, which means more than half of the species found in Germany. Sea swallows, arctic terns and gulls are the most common species here. On the Halligen islands they find an ideal place to nest away from predators that stay away thanks to the abundant winter floods.
Preserving the life of people on this island therefore also means saving that of an environment unique in the world where many animal species can proliferate and survive. This is why it would be important to continue with the conservation projects of this place.

The railway lines
Lüttmoorsiel-Nordstrandischmoor island railway

The Halligen Islands are connected by two railway lines: the first is the Lüttmoorsiel-Nordstrandischmoor, also known as the Lorenbahn. This first line is 3.6 km long and was built between 1933 and 1934.
It is used for the transport of goods, for mail and for the transport of construction materials. Every resident of Nordstrandischmoor owns a wagon and must be at least 15 years old and have a license to drive it.
The second railway line is the Halligbahn, which runs along the Dagebüll – Oland – Langeneß line.
In Oland there is only a small municipality with about fifteen houses and a church, while Langeneß is home to 58 families.

The Halligs
  1. Nordstrandischmoor covers an area of about 1.9 square km and has four terps, a couple of schools and a restaurant. In 2010, 18 people lived here;
  2. Langeneß is today the largest Hallig of all and has a total length of 10 km. Its 134 inhabitants of which 113 in Langeneß are divided into 18 terp: Bandixwarf, Christianswarf, Honkenswarf, Ketelswarf, Kirchhofswarf, Kirchwarf, Hilligenley, Hunnenswarf, Mayenswarf, Neuwarf, Norderhörft, Peterhaitzwarf, Peterswarf, Rixithwarf, Törfwarland and Oörfwarland. The income of this Hallig comes partly from agriculture and partly from the state enterprise for the protection of the coasts;
  3. Gröde with 252 hectares, is the third largest hallig on the island. Only 8 residents live here and there are two terps, one of which is uninhabited;
  4. Hamburger hallig owes its name to two Hamburg merchants who bought the island in the 17th century. This hallig is connected to the mainland and managed by the NABU (Nature Conservation Union) and has a bird keeper. Nobody lives here and its two terps are uninhabited.
  5. In Süderoog Nele Wree and Olger Spreer run an ecological farm. They are the only inhabitants of the island. In addition to many guests, seabird species such as knot and sandpiper also come here.
  6. Hooge is the second largest hallig and is protected by a stone dam that “defends” it from the biggest floods. Here live 95 people spread over 10 terp which are: Backenswarft, Hanswarft, Ipkenswarft, Kirchwarft, Lorenzwarft, Mitteltritt, Ockelützwarft, Ockenswarft, Volkertswarft and Westerwarft. In Hooge there are 2 schools, 5 restaurants, 2 bars and also 2 hotels, as well as various city services which are located in Hanswarft, the main hangar of the Hallig.
  7. Habel is undoubtedly an undisturbed territory of wild nature. This hallig is inhabited only by a bird keeper for the Jordsand and V. association and, in summer, also by a watchdog for birds. The bird species that come here are not even counted.
  8. Norderoog, is also known as “Vogelhallig”. In 1909 the Jordsand and V association purchased this hallig with the intention of making it a bird sanctuary. Thanks to donations and the work of young volunteers, stone embankments have been built here and the constant risk of flooding has been slowed down. In Norderoog live about 14 species of nesting birds, 6 of which are endangered and, with them also lived the legendary keeper of the hallig Jens Wand who after living 40 years here has never returned from a walk in the muddy plains. of the area.
  9. Oland covers an area of about 2 square kilometers and has about twenty residents distributed in 18 houses on a single terp. The peculiarity of this hallig is that here you can find the only lighthouse built in straw in all of Germany.
  10. Sudfall is also a hallig where the presence of seabirds reigns. The property has been in the Jordsand association since 1957 and a limited number of day trips are allowed here. Only in summer two inhabitants come: an engineer and his wife who keep company with 15 species of seabirds: herring gulls, arctic terns, just to name a couple.

Sources: BBC, wikipedia and halligen.de/
Photos: Adobe stock photos