When you think of Germany, you probably think of the typical stuff like beer, lederhosen, the Berlin Wall, trains, etc. But after looking at this map, you should also think of ocean islands!
It’s weird, isn’t it? We usually associate a smattering of near-coast islands with nations like Greece, Italy, or Japan. But Germany has its fair share as well! Have a look:
- Insel Lütje Hörn
- Langlütjen II
- Minsener Oog
- Heligoland & Helgoland-Düne
- Japsand (sand)
- Norderoogsand (sand)
- Hallig Süderoog
- Insel Poel
- Insel Langenwerder
- Großer Werder
- Greifswalder Oie
- Usedom (Eastern half is Poland)
- Insel Vilm
Even though most are pretty far north, they aren’t all gloomy and gray! Poel (33) and Rügen (43) are both home to seaside resorts. Fehmarn (31) boasts over 2,200 hours of sun every year! Hiking, beautiful views, sandy beaches, and dense woods- German islands offer a little of everything!
The biggest German island is Rügen (575 sq. mi), followed by Usedom (231 sq. mi). Rügen is so big that it even has a so-called “countryside”. Rugians are proud people whose roots date back to the Stone Age.
A small group of islands called the Hallig Islands (19, 20, 21, 22) are picturesque mudflats, with a World Heritage nature reserve within their shores.
Usedom is a split island with Poland. After World War II ended in 1945, it was formally divided between the two nations. Though more of the island belongs to Germany, its largest city, Świnoujście, belongs to Poland.
Which of these islands have you visited? Which did we miss? Write us @GermanyinUSA!
By William Fox, German Embassy