Nature, Activity, Recreation: Romanticism in Germany – Baltic islands


Usedom Tourismus GmbH
E-Mail: [email protected]
Internet: www.usedom.deTourismusverband Fischland-Darß-Zingst e. V.
E-Mail: [email protected]
www.fischland-darss-zingst.deTourismuszentrale Rügen GmbH
E-Mail: [email protected]


The nearest large airport is Rostock, which has flights from all over Germany every day. You can also travel to the lovely Baltic islands by train on the Deutsche Bahn network from Hamburg/Rostock or Berlin/Stralsund. You can travel to the region by coach from a number of different German cities including Berlin, Dresden and Hamburg. The Baltic islands are easy to get to by car via major trunk roads. If you are travelling by sailing boat or motor yacht, there are a number of marinas and landing stages along the coast.

The Baltic islands – chalk cliff s and elegant seaside resorts

The Baltic islands of Rügen, Usedom and the Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula in the north-east of Germany feature very contrasting landscapes. The region is characterised by shallow lagoons, deep coastal inlets, plains and hills, as well as wide sandy beaches and natural wonders such as Rügen’s dazzling white chalk cliffs. Enjoy unspoilt villages, tranquil countryside, places steeped in history and the splendour of old seaside resorts.

Usedom – sandy beaches and imperial resorts
Enjoy a holiday in one of the three “imperial resorts” on Usedom – Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf and Bansin, all seaside health resorts with a great past. They are linked by an eight-kilometre promenade and cycle path. Together, the three “imperial resorts” have more than 80 hotels and guesthouses. Built in the second half of the 9th century, these lovingly restored buildings are fine examples of virtually completely preserved spa architecture. Definitely not to be missed are the traditional piers in each of the three spa resorts. Stretching right out to see, the historical Ahlbeck Pier in particular is ideal for a romantic evening stroll.
See the Middle Ages come to life in the town of Usedom as you pass through the Anklamer Tor gate and enter the market square with the town hall and impressive Church of St. Mary. On Schlossberg hill there is a cross that commemorates the spread of Christianity to the island. Across the water from the island of Usedom is Wolgast, former seat of the dukes of Pommern-Wolgast. Attractions worth visiting here include the Gothic St. Peter’s Basilica and the Peenebrücke, Germany’s largest bascule bridge. Zempin, Koserow, Loddin and Ückeritz, the island’s ‘amber’ resorts, are strung together like pearls along the narrowest part of the island. This is the island’s centre for amber, also known as the ocean’s gold. You can also visit the Peenemünde Museum in Karlshagen, Europe’s largest butterfly farm in Trassenheide and the diving capsule in Zinnowitz. The locals on Usedom are particularly proud of their sandy beach that stretches for 42 kilometres.

Chalk cliffs and pirate legends – Rügen
Formed during the Ice Age, the bizarre chalk cliffs in Jasmund National Park are Rügen’s most famous landmark. The tallest of the cliffs, the “Königsstuhl” (King’s Seat), is 118 metres high. Those with an interest in culture will love the Störtebeker Festival at Ralswiek open-air theatre during which the people of Rügen perform the tale of the infamous pirate Klaus Störtebeker. Other highlights include the historical steam trains that run a regular service on Rügen. With locomotives and carriages that are almost one hundred years old, Rügen’s impressive “Racing Roland” narrow-gauge railway runs right through the south-east of the island.

Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula – the forest, the sea and an artists’ colony
The Baltic resort of Graal-Müritz has some of the most beautiful scenery along Mecklenburg’s Baltic coast. Around Graal-Müritz you’ll find the largest contiguous area of mixed forest on Germany’s Baltic coast, Rostock heath, a remarkable biotope with a wealth of rare animals and plants. Take a trip to the old quarter of Barth to see the Church of St. Mary, Fangelturm tower, Dammtor gate and the Adlige Fräuleinstift, the only Swedish foundation on German soil. The Baltic resort of Ahrenshoop with its quaint thatched roofs and idyllic scenery is home to an artists’ colony founded more than 100 years ago by the artist Paul Müller-Kaempff.
The nearby Darsser Ort lighthouse contains the oldest beacon in operation on the German Baltic coast. This region is steeped in tradition – from maintaining and using the traditional fishing boats (Zeesenboote) to the Tonnenabschlagen festival during which buoys are knocked down.

Fish and a nice cold beer
As you would expect, the Baltic islands are renowned for their fresh fish and seafood specialities. Particular favourites include pike-perch cooked in a variety of ways and the traditional herring which is served in traditional bars and fine restaurants. May is garfish season on the island of Rügen. They swim along the coast in their droves before landing on the tables of the island’s best restaurants. This eel-like fish with a sharppointed mouth is part of the pike family and its green bones certainly give it a striking appearance.
In Fischland you can enjoy hearty specialities such as Mecklenburg roast ribs and Götterspeise – a jelly dessert. To quench your thirst, try a traditional island beer on Usedom or a Störtebeker Pils beer on Rügen.
Served all over the region, the Rostocker Doppelkümmel (schnapps) known as “Mann un Fru” (man & woman) is said to aid digestion.


Tradition and history

  • Royal seat of Putbus with its classical town centre on Rügen Sellin pier on Rügen
  • Ralswiek Palace and Granitz hunting lodge on Rügen
  • Karnin railway lift bridge, Usedom Baltic resorts of Binz and Göhren, Rügen
  • Mellenthin moated castle
  • Ahlbeck pier, Usedom

Hospitality and gastronomy

  • Herring Festival on Usedom and Rügen
  • Rügen’s Kale festival Sea buckthorn products
  • Pannfisch fishcake, Swatter Hase – herb-flavoured liqueur from Zingst
  • Usedom island beer
  • Störtebeker pils beer, Rügen

Romanticism and charm

  • Rügen is the number one island for weddings – venues include castles, palaces, piers and hotels
  • View of Vinetal valley from Streckelsberg hill, Usedom
  • Heringsdorf casino, Usedom

Countryside and scenery