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Juist Island, East Friesland: Düne island

Internationale Dollart Route – Pure nature between sea and marshes

The almost 300 km long cross-border "International Dollart Route" runs through the Rheiderland in the north of Germany and the Netherlands, an area defined by the robust charm of the East Frisian coastal landscape and its large number of watercourses.

Running across the East Frisian Rheiderland to the bordering province of Groningen in the Netherlands, the breezy International Dollart Route showcases nature at its best and offers endless opportunities for cycling and hiking. This flat, breezy, low-lying nature reserve criss-crossed by water lies along the river Ems and the Dollart, an inlet of almost 100 km² to the west of the Ems estuary.

Do you hear the call of the sea?

The sea: after the stars, it is the greatest and most beautiful object in all of creation. The Dollart was created by the advancing sea in the Middle Ages and forms the last big tidal brackish-water bay in the German-Dutch Wadden Sea, where salt water mingles with fresh water. A ferry ride over the German Bight (Bucht) is the highlight of any trip along this route, while the sound of the sea, the beaches, coastal mudflats, dykes, islands, sea breeze and the call of the gulls contribute to a truly immersive seaside experience.

Discover a sea of possibilities

Other typical attractions include the polder landscape with its fine farmsteads, moorland and sandy heathland, Romanesque churches, quaint little fishing villages and port towns steeped in a maritime atmosphere. The length of the route is filled with cultural gems, be it a building reflecting the region's history or the inimitable atmosphere of small marshland ports.

As the air gets clearer and the sun sets lower in the sky during the enchanting Frisian winter, the peaceful Dollart becomes even more restive. The Dollart is also relaxing in summer but a few days there in winter will leave you feeling renewed and refreshed.

More than just spell-binding seas

The Ems-Dollart region offers a remarkably diverse, internationally unique cluster of church organs, many of them excellently preserved. Brick-making was an important local industry here for many years, as can be seen by the red brick houses, which are as much a part of East Friesland as tea, curly kale and fish. Learn all about the East Frisian tea ceremony, relax with a picnic by a dyke or stop by a Melkhuske dairy farm shop for a coffee or tea and homemade cake.

International Dollart Route

Length: approximately 300 km

Theme: countryside, nature

Borkum: North Sea island, lighthouse, lightship
Bunde: nature park and spa gardens, Bunderhee stone house (Steinhaus Bunderhee), mill
Ditzum: harbour, ferry, church
Emden: art gallery, museum ships
Hesel: Barthe Abbey, Stikelkamp Manor (Gut Stikelkamp), deserted village
Jemgum: boat builder's yard, brickworks, the Sielhuus
Jümme/Detern: castle museum, outdoor go-kart track, cycle hire
Leer: old quarter, marina, Germany's only hand-operated ferry
Papenburg: Meyer Werft shipyard