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Beaches and forests – Western-Pomeranian Boddenlandschaft National Park

The Western-Pomeranian Boddenlandschaft National Park is the largest nature reserve on the Baltic coast. A landscape of cliffs and dunes, spits and lagoons stretching from the Darss-Zingst peninsula up towards the west coast of Rügen, and the perfect destination for anyone who loves beaches or woodland.

Situated in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in the far north-east of Germany, the Western-Pomeranian Boddenlandschaft National Park is a remarkable landscape consisting of cliffs and dunes, spits and lagoons. It gets its name from the 'Bodden' – shallow bays cut off from the Baltic containing a mixture of salt water and fresh water – that can be explored on boat tours.

A variety of guided and independent walks introduce visitors to the national park's fascinating coastline and woodland, which includes Osterwald Forest on the Zingst peninsula and Darss Forest, the largest unbroken area of woodland in the park.

The trails through Osterwald Forest lead to splendid vantage points, such as Pramort and Hohe Düne, and across important historical salt marshes. There is also a wealth of flora and fauna. Visitors may be able to spot wildlife such as red deer and wild boar. The Western-Pomeranian Boddenlandschaft National Park is a crane roost of international importance, the largest in Europe. Every autumn, around 30,000 cranes arrive here, creating an unforgettable spectacle for any holiday maker.

Other attractions of the region include the Ahrenshoop artists' colony, the lighthouse and Natureum on Darsser Ort, the national park centre on Hiddensee (the largest island in the national park and car-free) and Stralsund Museum with its gold treasure. The dune heathland and the Dornbusch area with its headland are also worth a look.

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