In the far north of Germany, you’ll find the countries most beautiful sandy beaches, white chalk cliffs and beechwood forests. Welcome to the island of Rügen! Situated along the Baltic Sea, Rügen is a popular beach destination in the summer and just as popular during the winter months when it’s time for fishing and relaxation.
If you’re a fan of the outdoors, the island of Rügen stretches over 50km’s in length and is an incredible place to explore the nature – whether you’re an avid hiker, cycler or walker.
While there are a number of national parks and nature reserves to visit on the island, here are just a few of my favorites things to do when I visit.
1 – Marvel at the White Chalk Cliffs of Jasmund National Park
Jasmund National Park is home of the popular white chalk cliffs which are remarkable cliffs that run 10km’s in length and rise up to about 117 meters! The area is also a great spot to go fossil hunting along the beach.
2 – Collect Amber Stones Along the Rocky Shores in Sassnitz
Along the rocky shores of Rügen, you might be lucky enough to find a few amber stones hidden among the rubble. Rügen Island is a popular spot to look for amber stones which are then made into handmade jewelry and other fine handicrafts. In the town of Sellin, you will also find an Amber Museum which may give you a little bit more information on just exactly where the amber originates from!
3 – Embrace the Fisherman’s Life at Cape Arkona
The 45-meter-high capes of Arkona are located in close proximity to Jasmund National Park. It is a protected area with a beautiful little fisherman’s village popular for visitors and locals alike. Here, you’ll be able to roam the village by foot and enjoy some delicious fresh fish sandwiches along the rocky shore. If you’ve got the time, I would definitely recommend checking out the two lighthouses along the cape as well!
4 – Explore the Hiddensee Island by Bike
This hidden gem is literally named Hidden Lake Island, and while I’m not sure if the fact that it’s so well hidden has any relevance to its name, it is a beautiful little island that can only be reached by ferry in the north coast of Rügen Island. The island itself is a completely car-free community and only home to about 1,300 people. It makes for a perfect day trip as you’ll be able to cycle the entire length of the island within a few hours time and still have enough energy for a yummy fresh fish dinner along the harbor in Vitte!
5 – Hike the Beechwood Forests to Königsstuhl
There’s not much need to explain these majestic forests, they speak wonders on their own! Jasmund National Park is home to some of the islands most beautiful beechwood trees, but you’ll also find them all over the island in popular spots like Glowe and Sassnitz.
6 – Chill out on the Beaches of Glowe
If you’re heading to Rügen Island, you can’t leave without making a trip to the beach. Glowe is a popular place for visitors to kick back and relax (and if you feeling like going nude, there will be a number of people around you setting the trend for you)!
7 – Walk Along the Boardwalk in Binz
Binz is certainly no secret to the visitors coming to Rügen Island and it is often known as the “resort town of Rügen”. Here, you’ll find wonderful restaurants, a romantic little boardwalk and plenty of beautiful sandy beaches to kick back and relax on. If you’re looking for a place filled with action and opportunities to make new friends, Binz is the perfect place to stay!
8 – Find the Abandoned Holiday Homes Built During Hitler’s Ruling
Not too far away from the center of Binz are the ruins of Prora. Prora is a huge resort complex originally built by the Nazis as holiday homes for the Germans. After the end of the Nazi regime, the holiday resort was left untouched and never finished. Up until now, it’s been left to rot away. The Guardian wrote a post titled “Hitler’s Holiday Camp: How the Sprawling Resort of Prora Met a Truly Modern Fate” which might interest you if you’re looking for more information.
9 – Enjoy a Delicious Fish Dinner on a Boat in the Sassnitz Harbor
You can’t visit Rügen Island without indulging in a few fish dinners! Along the harbor of Sassnitz are many beautiful and delicious restaurants. Some of them are even on board the old fishing boats which makes for a memorable night out! A few local favorites include Gastmahl des Meeres, MS Friederike Der Schwimmende Fischimbiss, and La Bella Vita Restaurant.
10 – Cycle the Cobblestone Alleys around Putbus and Bergen auf Rügen
Okay, for some reason I never snapped a shot of the beautiful tree-lined cobblestone streets of Rügen (I think I was too in awe), but this shot was also captured along the wheat fields of Rügen near Cape Arkona. If you simply throw the map away and just cycle around the island, you’re bound to find some of the most charming little cobblestone streets you’ve ever laid your eyes on!
Looking for more German adventures? Check out one of my other blog posts: How to Spend The Perfect Weekend in Sauerland, Germany, Explore 3,000 Kilometres of Timbered Houses in Germany, The Fairy Tale Route of Western Germany.