Looking for unique travel ideas? Every week I will be bringing you some new exciting emerging destinations from around the world. These really cool holiday spots are only just getting noticed by travellers. So you can say you’ve been there before it was cool. Welcome to Rügen, Germany’s largest island, famous with poets, artists and outdoor explorers and popular for it’s sandy coastlines and dramatic chalky cliffs. Rugen has been a seaside resort since 1818 and is one of Germany’s top holiday spots. There’s something for everyone here, from the two national parks to a former royal residence. There is a stunning castle and a great beach, If sunbathing is your primary objective then head to Binz. The lovely Baltic Sea Resort Sellin is located above the fine sandy beach with it’s famous pier jutting out to the Baltic Sea. It offers its guests a fantastic view of the Baltic, which is rarely found on Rügen.
If anyone ever doubted Germany’s sheer variety of holiday and tourism destinations, they only need to look at the Baltic beaches in the far north. You couldn’t imagine a landscape further away from the typical German stereotypes of the Alpine south or the industrial north-west. Despite their high latitude, on a summer’s day the Baltic beaches appear almost tropical, with fine white sands arcing gently around crystal-blue seas, bordered by lush greenery.
Although the entire Baltic coastline is well worth exploring, possibly the jewel in the crown is the island of Rügen.
What to Eat and Drink on Rügen Island
Many dishes are hearty in nature and this style is carried over into the locally favoured type of delicious creamy puddings and cakes such as Schmandpudding or Honigbutterküchlein perfect for those with a sweet tooth. This being Germany, beer is readily available and always high quality.
Most local brews are made in the Pilsner or light ‘Hell’ style, although wheat beers and even fruit beers are available and pretty delicious. Wines from more southerly German locations are widely enjoyed and inexpensive. A popular winter drink is Grog, a local take on spiced hot mulled wine, and indicates the influence of nearby Scandinavia over the more usual German Glühwein.
Rügen’s diverse and breathtaking landscapes have inspired poets and painters for more than a century. Railways in the mid-19th century brought the first holiday-makers here from Berlin and many of the grand mansions and villas on the island date from this period. The island’s main route runs between the Grosser Jasmunder Bodden (Big Jasmund Inlet), a giant sea inlet, to the Kleiner Jasmunder Bodden (Little Jasmund Inlet Lake), to the port of Sassnitz. The best places to stay would be in any of the island’s four main centres —Sassnitz, Binz, Sellin, and Göhren
On a summer’s day you can enjoy lounging on the endless white-sand beaches but there’s plenty to see and do if you’re feeling a little more energetic. Don’t Miss Granitz Hunting Lodge.
Granitz Hunting Lodge (Jagdschloss Granitz)
Granitz is a historic hunting lodge built in somewhat idiosyncratic style in 1723, before a major renovation and extension in 1837. Situated on the top of the 107 metre high Tempelberg, near the resort of Binz, the palace offers attractive if unusual architecture built around a central courtyard, and a 38m high tower climbable via a 154-step cast-iron spiral staircase. The top is at a height of 145m above sea level and offers excellent views across the entire island. Reachable by a romantically old-fashioned steam train, this makes a memorable day out for the whole family.
Enjoy Your Rügen Discovery
If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday on beautiful sandy beaches, or spending enjoyable days exploring pristine wild forests , Rügen makes for something wonderfully different. It offers enough variety for a week’s stay, or makes an equally good weekend break. Easily accessible from from Hamburg or Berlin with great value flights from Dublin. It would also be worth taking in a two night stay in either of these great cities during your trip. One thing for sure, Rügen Island offers a side of Germany that few people could imagine exists.
Many thanks to the German National Tourist Office for kindly assisting with my travels and research throughout Germany – www.Germany.travel