The North Sea Coast
The German North Sea coastline is flat and devoid of cliffs. A chain of offshore islands line the coast. The East Frisian Islands (Ostfriesische Inseln) line theLower Saxony coast between the Dutch border and the Elbe river mouth and the North Frisian Islands (Nordfriesische Inseln) line the Schleswig-Holsteincoast of the North Sea. Between the mainland and the islands lie wide expanses of tidal mud flats. Large areas of this so-called “Wattenmeer” are exposed during low tides and many of the islands can then be reached by foot.
The “Wadden Sea National Park” on Germany’s North Sea coast protects the unique Wadden Sea eco-system with its tidal creeks, mud flats, sand banks, salt marshes, islands, bays, channels and rivers. It was declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve and restricts access to certain parts of the land to ensure protection for the plants and animals, which inhabit this area. In total, more than three thousand species of animals can be found in the park, including various mussels, snails, worms, as well as larger mammals. At low tide, visitors can meander along the shore for hours, walking for miles out into the sea and discover an abundance of aquatic life forms along the way.
East Frisian Islands
The seven inhabited islands from west to east are: Borkum, Juist, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog, Spiekeroog and Wangerooge. Two more islands – Memmert and Mellum – are uninhabited. With the exception of Borkum and Norderney, no cars are allowed on the islands. Visitors have to travel by bike or horse-drawn carriage. All islands have an airstrip and a ferry connection and are prime holiday destinations. They all have long white beaches, rolling sand dunes and crisp clean air.
North Frisian Islands
There are five larger islands – Sylt, Föhr, Amrum, Nordstrand and Pellworm – and ten tiny islets, which are called “Halligen”. The houses on these tiny islets are built on artificial hills. In a storm tide only these hills rise above the sea, while the remaining islet is flooded. The names of the Halligen are Nordmarsch-Langeness, Norderoog, Süderoog, Nordstrandischmoor, Oland, Südfall, Gröde-Appelland, Hooge, Habel and the Hamburger Hallig.
Sylt is the largest of the North Frisian Islands, about 100 sqkm in size. The “Hindenburg Dam” connects the island with the mainland. Sylt is a popular holiday resort and can be reached by car (transported on a train). The arguably prettiest of the North Frisian Islands is Amrum. It boasts 12 kilometres of white sandy beaches on the western half of the island and cosy little villages and is the perfect getaway.