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25 miles of finest sandy beaches. Rough surf on the west coast, the calm Wadden Sea with its tidal flats to the east. Unspoilt dunes and green dykes. Flowering heathlands and majestic cliffs. Daydreams and nightlife. Bustling activity and peaceful seclusion. Twelve places, all of them different and each holding its own individual charm.
List’s charming little harbour unites a vibrant atmosphere and maritime flair. The famous fish sandwich is still eaten on the go – but nowadays it’s savoured against the backdrop of the newly designed harbour area with views across to Denmark. How fast do shifting sand dunes move? How do seabirds survive in a storm? Answers to these and many more questions can be found at the adjacent Erlebniszentrum Naturgewalten (Forces of Nature Exhibition). If, after the buzz of the harbour, you crave the tranquillity of deserted beaches, all you have to do is follow the beacons of the two lighthouses which will guide you to the beach at the Lister Ellenbogen.
List is not only the northernmost tip of the island. It is in fact the northernmost point of Germany itself. And that’s not the only superlative offered by List. You’ll find Germany’s only shifting sand dune here, and nowhere will you find fresher oysters: in Germany’s only oyster farm between two and three million of these delicious molluscs are harvested every year.
Small but exquisite. Select yet open. Stylish yet charming. This is Kampen, probably Germany’s most famous village, made popular over the past decades by its numerous well-known visitors who come here for the unique natural scenery: fragrant heather and the tidal mudflats of the Wattenmeer to the east, and the wild waves of the North Sea and fine sandy beaches to the west. Kampen gracefully combines tradition and the modern age.
It is a place to explore music and literature and to be seduced by sublime nature: the incomparable golden glow of the Red Cliff at sunset. The legendary “Whisky Mile” with its famous clubs is an eye-catcher. Life moves to a unique rhythm here at any time of day or night, whether it’s for a romantic dinner or a party till sunrise. Germany’s northernmost golf course is an unmissable treat: tee off within view of the Kampen lighthouse and the tidal mudflats.
The twin community of Wenningstedt-Braderup is especially popular with families. A wide range of fun activities, including exploring the tidal mudflats of the Wattenmeer and a children’s circus for aspiring acrobats, are all aimed at the island’s youngest visitors. Wenningstedt is built around the idyllic village pond and the Frisian chapel. It’s delightfully pointless to argue which is more beautiful: the sunrise over the sprawling heathland and the golden fields of Braderup or the breathtaking spectacle of the setting sun at the western beach – why not take the time to enjoy both?
Spend the day sunbathing on the white sandy beach of Wenningstedt and kick off the evening with a glass of red wine as you relax in your Strandkorb wicker beach chair, or dine al fresco in one of the charming beach-side bistros which serve fresh fish caught that very day. A visit to the Naturzentrum in Braderup will give you an impression of the vibrant life on both sides of the island; activities on offer include guided walks and cycle tours. The herb garden tours usually end in the midst of brightly coloured poppies and fragrant herbs with a cup of home-made herbal tea.
If you stroll along the mudflats today and enjoy the tranquility of Munkmarsch Bay, it seems hardly conceivable that this cosy village was once the gateway to the island: until construction of the Hindenburgdamm in 1927, summer visitors could only reach Sylt by sea. Steamships from the mainland set course for the Munkmarsch harbour, and from there people travelled further per island railway. As one can imagine proceedings during that time where rather exuberant, whereas today you can leave your cares behind and savour the serenity of Munkmarsch - or the flavour of the many specialties in one of its gourmet restaurants.
Now that the small private marina provides a landing stage for sailboats, the bay has become an idyll which is also gladly utilised by surfers. If you want to give it a go and make your first windsurf attempts, you'll find an ideal area here in the protected harbour. And from the water you also have the most fantastic view of the White Cliff that extends northwards along the mudflats. Be inspired by the maritime lightness and experience the most natural of all anti-stress treatments.
Pamper your taste buds with culinary diversity: matjes herring, oysters, award-winning cuisine and beach-side bistros – there’s something here for all tastes. Enjoy the thrilling spectacle of the Windsurfing World Cup, take your team to victory at beach volleyball or enjoy exciting family adventures, like beach expeditions, pulling faces at the sharks from behind the safety of the aquarium glass or tossing yourself into the waves of the Sylter Welle indoor swimming pool with its spectacular views across the North Sea.
Enjoy the same view as you are pampered with Ayurvedic oil massages or attend Qi Gong classes. A glass front turns the studio on the roof of the Syltness-Center into a panorama lounge. The adjoining sauna complex set amid the dunes is too beautiful for only a brief visit. Once you’ve recharged your batteries, you can explore the island in all its diversity: whether by car or bus, by bike or on foot with your “Nordic Walking” sticks – Westerland’s central location makes it the ideal starting point for excursions. Listen to concerts performed against the magnificent backdrop of the North Sea, lose track of time while shopping, conquer the surf on your surfboard and unwind in your Strandkorb: Westerland is the perfect place for all this and more.
Tinnum actively combines the urbane and the rural. The well-developed bike paths through the meadows offer wide views, and the cycling-friendly central location on the island brings all other Sylt villages closer. E-bikes that provide built-in tailwind are available for rent. And Tinnum also provides exciting tours for hikers and walkers. Tinnum Castle is a popular destination: the mighty circular rampart probably served as a cult site and later also provided a hiding place for buccaneers. You will find considerable freedom for individual arrangement of your holiday in a location – in the middle of the island – where town and countryside unite and horse-drawn carriages roll through the green landscapes. And the sea is close in any direction!
While walking through winding paths and hidden trails you will be repeatedly fascinated by idyllic spots and stop in front of picturesque gardens. Former “captain’s houses” are strung together, framed by traditional Frisian dry stone walls and chestnut, beech and linden trees that are hundreds of years old. The shop windows under the thatched roofs of exclusive boutiques invite visitors to go for a stroll, while cosy tearooms entice with home-baked pastries and galleries exhibit works by insular and international artists. Outstanding chefs reinterpret Frisian dishes, and creative artisans give traditional jewellery production a finishing touch here.
If you are on the go in search of the chequered history of the village, you will encounter Sylt’s lifestyle culture of the 18th century in a very lively manner in the “Old Frisian House” and discover many treasures in the local museum’s extensive collection. Incidentally, you can not only experience Saint Severinus, Sylt’s oldest church, with your eyes: the organ concerts are staffed with top-class international musicians who are known far beyond the island’s borders. But despite all the variety you should always do one thing: walk along the mudflats – your mind will be beautifully clear.
In the smallest village on the island you will experience rural idyll and agricultural tradition: sheep graze on green meadows, a small stream meanders through the countryside and yellow rapeseed fields glow in the spring sky. Old farmhouses sit enthroned on their dwelling mounds and thatched Frisian houses dominate the view. Here there is plenty of room for wide vistas and extensive bicycle tours through salt meadows and along dikes.
Here you can discover the diversity of flora and fauna, and very intensively experience the change of seasons – from sowing to harvest, from the soft green spring awakening to snow-covered, glittering winter days. Between salt meadows and sea you will find tranquility and are nevertheless so close to the colourful island life. Enjoy this luxury of nature in deep breaths.
If you ever want to walk through the geological history of the past 10 million years, you should walk along Morsum Cliff. The over 20 metres high rock formation extends for 1,800 metres. It is due to Ice Age displacements that the layers which rest in the darkness of the earth elsewhere shine in various colours in the rising sun: black mica clay, red limonite sandstone and white kaolin sand. Fantastic views of the mudflats and the thatched Frisian houses of the cosy village are repeatedly opened up to you during hikes through the broad heathland.
And if you do not know why “gallows” are necessary on Sylt, the natives of Morsum – who have fostered the tradition of “Ringreiten” (“Ring Riding”) to this day – will gladly provide information, whether it is while you enjoy a piece of homemade Frisian torte or during events in the “Muasem Hüs” (“Morsum House”), the centre of the village. Set off in search of the roots of the island’s history – living ‘sprouts’ still grow here.
This small Frisian village with its thatched cottages is surrounded by many legends. In the dunes of Rantum, historical tales were born, as were young gastronomic legends. The atmosphere is easygoing, jeans and tweed meet trainers and high-heels – everyone savours the treasures of excellent cuisine and wine cellars while enjoying the sea view. Wherever you decide to treat yourself in the evening, don’t miss a trip to the small marina and fish-smokehouse. As well as offering smoked delicacies, the marina is surrounded by nature and culture.
You’re never far from the beach in Rantum, which lies at Sylt’s narrowest point. Charming thatched cottages perch attractively on the dunes between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, with views across the waves andalways close to the heart of the island’s magic. And the beach? It stretches for miles in the west and is only a few hundred metres away from the quiet mud flats in the east. You’re never far from the beach in Rantum, which lies at Sylt’s narrowest point. Charming thatched cottages perch attractively on the dunes between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, with views across the waves and always close to the heart of the island’s magic.
Surrounded by gorgeous beaches and fragrant rose bushes. Watched over by the red and white lighthouse – which is worth climbing up, to immerse yourself in Sylt’s history or even tie the knot amongst a small circle of friends. Love with wonderful prospects, including views across to the neighbouring islands, the shimmering Wattenmeer, the North Sea waves and the endless horizon. There are so many things to do here.
Set off on a boat trip: excursion boats leave several times a day for the seal banks and neighbouring islands. If you want to control the rudder yourself, head off to the Sylt Catamaran Club or the Sylt Yacht Club. The new golf course, located at the foot of the dunes, is perfect for practicing your stroke, or simply enjoy a relaxing walk around the Odde. If you’re travelling with children, the wide eastern beach with its shallow shore is a true paradise. And if you want to know what exactly it is you have discovered in the sand or mud, the mud flats preservation centre Schutzstation Wattenmeer will provide the answers. No matter which direction you’ve come from, the outlook in Sylt’s south is always sunny.