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Germany's islands from A to Z
Rügen: Kreidefelsen im Nationalpark Jasmund

Rügen Island – seaside resorts and world-famous views

Rügen is Germany's largest island. Its 926 square kilometres contain everything you need for a perfect holiday: Baltic beaches as far as the eye can see, unspoilt natural surroundings and luxurious seaside resorts. A dream – in the middle of the Baltic.

Rügen is located off the Pomeranian coast in the Baltic Sea and is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Thomas Mann and the German Chancellor Bismarck were both fans of Rügen and its seaside resorts of Binz and Sellin. The height of sophistication at the time, these resorts with their elegant luxury hotels still retain much of their nostalgic charm. Racing Roland is another nod to the past. A narrow gauge railway dating back more than 100 years, it chugs along at 30km/h, carrying holidaymakers to the individual seaside resorts.

In addition to its 60 kilometres of fine, sandy beaches, Rügen has a lot to offer on the scenic-front. This includes the island's large national parks, the famous view of the Rügen chalk cliffs (as painted by Caspar David Friedrich), sleepy fishing villages and elegant manor houses. The white of the cliffs is echoed in Putbus, the oldest seaside resort on the island, whose neo-classical architecture – resplendent in white – is a stylish complement to the beautiful palace and park.

Rügen's superb countryside and coastline can also be explored by bicycle or on a sailing tour. In addition to acclaimed attractions such as Cape Arkona and Granitz hunting lodge, the island is host to the Störtebeker theatre festival, a hugely popular event that draws in more than 100,000 spectators every year. The pirate-themed plays are performed in a unique open-air setting on the shore of the Great Jasmund Lagoon in Ralswiek.