The Wadden Sea: an incredible sea in Germany’s north

My journey of discovery through Germany now takes me north. The Wadden Sea, which adjoins the North Sea, is the world's largest contiguous expanse of mudflats and completely different to any other sea that I’ve seen before. My trip to the coast takes me through the flatlands of northern Germany. The streets are lined with green meadows to the left and right; the little towns and villages we pass through are clusters of red-brick buildings. During a stop, some locals tell me that the red stone is thought to offer effective protection from the harsh seaside climate. When I arrive, I understand exactly what they meant: the vast Wadden Sea stretches out before me in all its austere, primeval glory, at once surreal and enticing.

A unique ecosystem

Fortunately, I won’t be exploring the Wadden Sea alone: mudflat ranger Dr Walther Petersen-Andresen is already here, waiting to show me this unique ecosystem. “Due to the ebb and flow of the tides and the very shallow water, the floor of the Wadden Sea is above water twice a day, so people can hike over the seabed and get to know and experience its remarkable symbiotic communities up close,” says Dr Petersen-Andresen. But first things first: shoes off. We actually do our mudflat hike barefoot, as the ground becomes more difficult underfoot; you wouldn’t be able to make much progress on the muddy ground wearing boots. And off we go to explore the habitat of a multitude of sea creatures …

“Because of the specific dangers, you should never venture onto the mudflats alone. Visitors often lack the experience to recognise or foresee the dangers out there.”

North and Baltic: Germany’s seas

Germany has two sea coasts: the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. While the North Sea has a harsh climate, the weather on the Baltic Sea tends to be milder. The tides on the Baltic Sea are barely noticeable here, so the winds and waves are much gentler. If you like a wild, barren coast, then head to the North Sea; if it’s a relaxing holiday you’re after, then we recommend the Baltic Sea.

Experience Germany’s green side!

Germany has an astonishing array of landscapes: two seas, countless rivers, lowlands, uplands, and, of course, the Alps, offer endless opportunities for exploration.