South-East Rügen UNESCO-Biosphere Reserve – culture, landscape and sea

South-east Rügen Island has a multi-faceted coastal landscape with long sandy beaches, salt marshes and beech forests, coastal cliff-faces and briny lagoons cutting deep inland.

Representing harmony between man and nature, the reserve can claim a wide range of species and a landscape as varied as it is beautiful. The coast itself ranges from expanses of white sand to pebble beach and cliff-face. Huge boulders punctuate the landscape, relics of the last ice age. With a bit of luck, you might find a fossil of a mollusc or sea urchin on the beach. But for real nature lovers, the unspoilt island of Vilm holds a special allure. Part of the core of the biosphere reserve, it is open to visitors only in the form of guided walking tours. The rare animal and plant species such as grey seals and orchids are well worth seeing here. Equally worth a visit is the 75-hectare landscaped park in Putbus, home to exotic specimens such as sequoia and cedar trees. As a managed landscape, the area covered by the biosphere reserve bears traces of human activity going back to the Mesolithic Age.

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