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/