As mentioned last week, we really enjoyed our time in Sylt last autumn – the largest of the North Frisian Islands offers a lot to do and we for sure did not cover everything. Our baby boy was four months old at the time, which forced us to take things a bit easy, which turned out to be perfect. I felt that slowing down added some quality to whatever we did.
But now, lets have a look at “5 things to do” in Sylt:
- Bicycle Ride – Ellenbogen
If weather permits, try and rent a bicycle. Sylt is made for it! With over 200 kilometers of cycle tracks and many dunes as well as beaches which are not reachable by motorized traffic, the bicycle is the mode of transport of choice! Nowadays, you also get E-bikes, which help bear the sometimes mean and strong head wind.
We were actually “forced” to our luck as all the conventional bicycles were already rented out when we headed to the shop (yep, we don’t count ourselves to the early birds); so we only had the choice of getting e-bikes or no bikes. First I was a bit skeptical as I honestly was of the opinion that either you bicycle with your own mighty force or otherwise you might as well get a scooter 😉 Well I have to admit that I changed my mind and was actually really grateful we had e-bikes as I had a carrier with some precious good attached to mine. I don’t think I would have managed to cycle the entire tour without the little help of that cool battery! And I consider myself to be at least reasonably fit…
From our hotel in List we decided to cycle around the “Ellenbogen”, a 500 meter narrow peninsula, which is a protected nature reserve. If you decide to visit the Northern most point in Germany by car, you have to pay a small toll. For bicycles and pedestrians it is free. The nature is beautiful, you can spot many different birds and a lot of sheep.
When you reach “the end of Germany”, you can see the Danish island Rømø, which is only four kilometers away.
The Kupferkanne is a coffee shop in Kampen situated amidst pine trees with a stunning view on the Wadden Sea. The history of the place goes back to the time of Germany’s surrender in World War II. Navy lieutenant Günter Rieck was offered a semi-buried bunker as his domicile on Sylt. The skilled sculptor dug a bedroom in the mud, carved a window into the bunker wall and built an atelier where he designed vases made of tidal mud. Soon after some of his artist friends – writers and actors – came to visit for a glass of wine and in 1950 the artist tavern “Kupferkanne” was opened, offering a beautiful view over moorland and the Wadden Sea. The inside of the old bunker slowly transformed into a labyrinth of cosiness lit by candles, which you can still enjoy nowadays.
You have the choice to either enjoy the inside, reading a book at the fireplace if the weather is not that great (which apparently happens quite often) or sit on the terrace enjoying the view and indulging in some freshly brewed coffee and homemade cake. Don’t miss that – they are so delicious!
- Gosch Seafood
Gosch is THE institution for fish and seafood. You don’t have to travel to Sylt to enjoy their delicacies – they nowadays have restaurants around Germany and even on the German cruise ships “Mein Schiff” – but they origin from here. In 1967 Jürgen Gosch started selling eel on Sylt’s beaches, in 1972 he opened a fish stand in the harbor of List. As he was not allowed to sell alcohol there, he invited the “True Fish Soup” which basically consisted of high proof corn schnapps with lemonade and three shrimps served in small plastic cups. From there, the enterprise grew and you now find Gosch all over the island.
We visited the restaurant in List where we had a not so relaxing dinner due to our screaming baby, but the food was fantastic! Every time we passed the place it was full – and this during off-season, which says something about their popularity.
On the small island of Sylt you find a total of five lighthouses. A bit exaggerated you might thing. The navigational aids that beam far out to sea are to be found in the southern- and northernmost tips of the island in Hörnum and List, as well as the middle of the island in Kampen. The notorious shoals around Sylt can pose a bit of a challenge for even the most experienced of navigators – making navigational lights essential signals.
Since the 1970s the facilities have been centrally controlled from the mainland. This however is not detrimental to their character as landmarks and general ability to upgrade your holiday photos: Sylt’s lighthouses give the island its radiance.
- Hiking – Rotes Kliff & Uwe Düne
Intact nature is rightfully considered the biggest luxury of our century and the ability to just silently stroll through it is simply precious!
We took a long walk (you have to stay on the paths to protect the delicate environment) from Kampen. First we reached the “Uwe Düne”, which is with 52.5 meters the highest natural point on Sylt. 110 wooden steps bring you to a viewing platform where you can oversee the island as well as the sea. Well, we as Swiss would hardly call it a hill, but as everything else is just flat, “Uwe Düne” really stands out!
We continued to the Red Cliff (in German “Rotes Kliff”), a 30 meters high cliff line, which, depending on the light, shimmers red. The impressive landmark is endangered due to storms and erosions and therefore it is heavily protected. Better go there as long as it still exists!
We relaxed on a terrace overlooking the beach, wind in our hair, the sun kissing our faces. In that very moment, it felt like paradise!
Have you ever been to Sylt? What were your highlights? Let us know in the comments below!