Germany Trip Plan:
Island Hopping in Wadden Sea, East Frisia

Germany trip plan: Island Hopping in Wadden Sea, East Frisia
Roofed wicker beach chairs
[ source: Wikipedia]

The North Sea coastal area, called Wattenmeer, is a national park and the only one of its kind in the world! The 7 East Frisian Islands are not only renowned seaside resorts but also part of the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a special vacation at a special destination.




Note: This is a trip plan (self-driving, stay in a vacation apartment, explore on your own)
Duration: 7 days
Recommended Destination Airport: Hamburg Airport

Trip Plan Details:

The North Sea coastal area, called Wattenmeer, is a national park and the only one of its kind in the world! The 7 East Frisian Islands are not only renowned seaside resorts but also part of the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a special vacation at a special destination.

East Frisia itself and its seven off shore islands breathe the fresh air of the North Sea. At low tide the sea bed is exposed to reveal slimy mud flats with a few water channels running here and there. You can do something rather unusual here - a walk on the sea bed! All East Frisian Islands offer guided walks across the mud flats. Venturing independently can actually be very dangerous and is much less fun than having an expert guide with you. They have lots to talk about this natural environment, the amazing animals that thrive here and will tell you all kinds of anecdotes. The tides still set the rules for the daily lives, not only for the fisherman but also for some of the islands ferry services. Because of that we recommend you to confirm their timetable, which might change daily!

Cost Estimate:

We compiled some starting prices and rough estimates to help you better with your Germany trip planning.

Lodging: starting at $403 for 2 persons / 7 days
Admissions: starting at $350 for 2 persons / 7 days
Car Rental: starting at $420 / 7 days
Gas: starting at $300 / 7 days
Estimated Total Cost:2 persons, starting at $1473 / 7 days
 4 persons, starting at $1623 / 7 days

Travel Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Day 1: Arrival
Dune on Juist, CC-4028mdk09
[ source: Wikipedia]

A beautifully fitted vacation apartment and a friendly host await you in the green heart of East Frisia. You will find it easy to navigate your way around town with shopping opportunities, restaurant and pubs nearby. It I also a perfect spot to start your daily excursions to the Wattenmeer and the 7 inhabited islands. Each island varies in size and has something special to offer. Borkum is a health resort with a promenade, historical pump room, light house, island railway, trails for cycling, walking and excursions, a museum and a lightship. Juist has a light house, the Lake Hammersee and a Coastal Museum. Sand yachting, kite surfing and other water sports are featured here. Norderney has a windmill and a light house with an observatory, ship wreck and museum. Baltrum offers wellness and health treatments, horse-drawn carriage rides, crazy golf, kayaking and windsurfing. Langeoog is as well a health resort and perfect for beach walking and water sports. Spiekeroog is for the true nature lover, offering sports and hiking, a picturesque village and the island museum of mussels and curiosities. Wangerooge with its own wedding light house also offers horse riding, a local history museum and the island railway.


Day 2: Island Norderney

Day 2: Island Norderney
Grey seals on Norderney, CC-Andreas Trepte
[ source: Wikipedia]

Enjoy the picturesque route to Norddeich, the biggest seaside resort in East Frisia. If you arrive early enough enjoy the beautiful sights before embarking on the ferry to Norderney. Norderney is 8.7 miles long and 1.2 wide, which makes it is the second-largest of the East Frisian Islands. With its long sandy beaches, dunes, salt marshes along the mud flats, open pastures and little copses, Norderney is perfect for water sports, walking and horse riding. Equestrians can enjoy riding at a walk or a trot on marked bridle paths across the dunes or at a brisk gallop along the waters edge. Seals - which can dive for up to ten minutes to a depth of 330 ft - are a great pleasure to watch from the sand dunes.


Day 3: Island Borkum

Day 3: Island Borkum
Retired light vessel Amrumbank in front of Emden town hall, CC-Daniel Schwen
[ source: Wikipedia]

Only a short drive away from your vacation apartment you reach the flourishing seaport Emden on the Ems estuary. To reach the Island Borkum you can either take a car ferry; That trip that takes around 2 hours one way, or use the services of a catamaran, which covers the distance in just 1 hour. On some days in a week, special round-trip family tickets are available! Borkum is the most westerly and with 22 square miles the largest of the East Frisian Islands and its white sandy beach stretches for over 12 miles. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Borkum's climate is mild and the air is especially low in pollen but high in iodine! There are around 80 miles of narrow, winding paths snaking their way through the islands lush vegetation. The coast lends itself to all kinds of water sports, and the fascinating dunes are ideal for touring on foot or by bike.


Day 4: The maritime metropolis Wilhelmshafen

Day 4: The maritime metropolis Wilhelmshafen
Kopperhoerner wind-mill, CC-Uwe Karwath
[ source: Wikipedia]

City live mixed with harbor flair, historical buildings and a rich cultural scene awaits you in Wilhelmshafen on the Jadebusen, a huge bay of the North Sea. Nowadays it is again Germany's main navy's base at the North Sea, but also of great importance for the local economy and tourism. The Deutsches Marinemuseum, Naval Museum, whose main exhibits are the former German Navy destroyer, submarine Mölders D186, and some smaller warships as well as an exhibition of German naval history from the 19th century onwards and are definitely worth a visit. One of the founders of the city was emperor Wilhelm I of Prussia. In his commemoration a monument was erected in 1896 and dominates the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz. The only south-beach along the North Sea is popular with locals and visitors alike, inviting for long walks to see and to be seen. The landmark of Wilhelmshafen is the Kaiser-Wilhelms-Bridge, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century as the largest turning bridge in Europe. On a cold, windy day try a good cup of golden-brown East-Frisian tea. Or enjoy tender young herrings, melting on your tongue while washing them down with a good pint of bitter, or two.


Day 5: Island Langeroog

Day 5: Island Langeroog
The Water Tower, Langeoog's landmark
[ source: www.langeoog.de/]

The ferry leaves the harbor at Bensersiel and in no time you are at Langeoog, which lies between the mud flats and the sea. Here a beautiful 8.6 mile long sandy beach and a spectacular dune landscape await you. The island is known as a North Sea health resort. No cars are aloud but you are invited to a guided horse carriage tour, enjoy a leisurely walk or explore the island on a bike. One of Langeoog's sightseeing spots is the the Water Tower. From its top you can check out the fantastic view over the village and the beach. The little village of Langeoog has a lot of sidewalk cafes offering, of course, a cup of traditional East Frisian Tea. Many great restaurants serve fresh fish, straight from the North Sea. And when the weather is perfect, how about a dip in the North Sea, the largest and most exhilarating plunge pool in the world?


Day 6: Island Wangeroode

Day 6: Island Wangeroode
Pedestrian zone Wangeroode
[ source: Wikipedia]

Wangerooge is the most easterly of the East Frisian Islands. Your ferry boat trip starts at Harlesiel, a small mainland port. Wangerooge is tidal; therefore the ferries take off at different times every day. After a 50 minutes voyage you arrive at Wangerooge jetty, about 2.5 miles away from the village itself. A little island train connects the harbor and village. Wangeroode's lighthouse is visible for miles around. For years this old landmark has been a popular place for couples to tie the knot. People come from far and wide to say I do, 30 meters above the sea! The light house, also houses a local museum and you can even enjoy the views without getting married. There are plenty of other reasons why this 200-year-old seaside resort appeals to visitors. It is a unique island village with the sea and the beach right on the doorstep. Strolling through Wangerooge village, you will find an amazing number of shops for an island. You can buy anything from groceries, clothes, toys, island souvenirs, cosmetics, jewelries and books, the latter in English, too! Restaurants, bistros and cafes, German or Italian food, modern or home-made cooking, pizza, freshest local fish, ice-cream or pancakes to take away, all is possible here, and especially through the high season from April to October. The beach offers plenty of sport activities, including surfing, catamaran-sailing, beach-volleyball, horse back riding, walking, swimming or just sun bathing.


Day 7: Departure

Day 7: Departure
Car ferry Frisia VI
[ source: Wikipedia]

Of course a week is not enough to discover all of the islands, but now you know much better what the North Sea and the East Frisian Islands have to offer, and understand why all of this became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are confident you enjoyed your vacation to the fullest and tell others about your great memorable experience in North Germany. Schiff Ahoi!!


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Where to Stay?

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Aurich

Aurich
[ source: Flickr ]

Aurich is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Aurich.  [ + ] More Details

Related: Aurich Vacation Rentals



How to maximize your savings and spend less during your Germany vacation?

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  • Instead of eating out in restaurants most of the time your vacation rental apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen. By preparing your breakfast and dinner yourself you can save lots of money, but you can also live a more authentic Germany vacation by trying out local foods and recipes. (see some German recipe suggestions.)
  • Use public transportation instead of a rental car. We provide you with links and details on how to get around using public transportation. Check out the corresponding Live Like a German travel guide for more details.

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