Visitors to Jasmund National Park on Rügen Island in north-eastern Germany can expect a glorious chalk landscape with marshes, wetlands and dry grassland.
Jasmund National Park is situated in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in the far north-east of Germany. Its most spectacular feature is without doubt the Königsstuhl chalk cliffs, immortalised by the painter Caspar David Friedrich. The national park also contains beech forests dating back to the 13th century, which grow on the chalky Stubnitz plateau, formed during the ice age.
The impressive chalk cliffs, ten kilometres long and up to 117 metres high, are made up of a combination of active and inactive cliffs that illustrate the dynamics of the coastal erosion typical of this region. As well as white chalk for writing, observant visitors can spot ice-age sediments and fossils on the beach.
A range of walks, cycle routes, excursions and seminars offer a variety of ways to explore the region's beautiful woodlands, such as the South-East Rügen Biosphere Reserve.
The park's rich flora and fauna include house martins, which breed in the chalk reefs, and the rare sea eagle. But it's not only the stunning chalk cliffs that make the Stubnitz region well worth a visit. Shifting the focus away from nature for once, the park rangers run regular tours based on characters from myth and legend, such as the Germanic goddess Hertha and the famous pirate Klaus Störtebecker, who is said to have buried treasure on the island.
Granitz Hunting Lodge south of Binz and the Racing Roland, Rügen's narrow-gauge steam railway, are just two examples of the region's many cultural attractions. Others include Cape Arkona with the small village of Vitt, Sassnitz fishing harbour and fishing museum, the Pirate Gorge in Sassnitz, Greifswald municipal museum with its Caspar David Friedrich exhibition, the historical artisan's workshops in Gingst and the Grümbke observation tower near Neukirchen.