The UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea, the largest unbroken area of mudflats in the world, is a fascinating landscape of sand dunes and beaches and a haven for all kinds of rare wildlife.
In this remarkable national park and UNESCO biosphere reserve in Germany's northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein, the options for holidaymakers are as endless as the long sandy beaches.
A sea of possibilities
How about a walk across the salt marshes, a spot of bird-watching, a bike ride, a thalassotherapy treatment or a trip to the unique Hallig islands, which German author Theodor Storm referred to as "dreams floating on the sea"? At high tide, these small inhabited islands in the middle of the mudflats are surrounded – and sometimes even flooded – by the North Sea.
Walking on the seabed
A walk on the coastal mudflats is an absolute must. At low tide and in the company of an expert guide, you can walk on the seabed itself, either barefoot or in Wellington boots, depending on the weather. You can even watch seals on their resting places from an appropriate distance.
The 'big five' at the Wadden Sea
It is quite possible that you will catch sight of common seals, grey seals, porpoises, European sea sturgeon or the rare white-tailed eagle at the Wadden Sea. They are the best known of the 3,200 animal species that inhabit the region. Included in those are starfish, snails, molluscs and small organisms that live in the mud.
On the crest of a wave
At the Wadden Sea, you don't only see seagulls and white-tailed eagles circling the skies. Nowadays, more and more people are riding the waves and taking to the skies: the name of this niche adventure sport is kitesurfing, and it is permitted on a section of the ring dyke around the island of Neuwerk, which belongs to Hamburg.
Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park
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