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Sand between your toes — hiking on Germany’s East Frisian Islands

Angelina Kuhlmann

Sand between your toes — hiking on Germany’s East Frisian Islands

Hiking Collection by Angelina Kuhlmann

14

Tours

56:50 h

140 mi

950 ft

Endless sandy beaches, majestic dune landscapes, large bird sanctuaries, cosy cafés and a grumbled ‘Moin’ in the morning: from the first day on the islands of Wangerooge, Spiekeroog, Langeoog, Baltrum, Norderney, Juist or Borkum you can experience relaxation and see the stress of everyday life come to an abrupt halt. Since most of the East Frisian islands are car-free and sometimes even bike-free, the easiest way to explore the idyllic islets in the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea is on foot.

How long did it take me to walk around Wangerooge and what are the highlights of Norderney? I'll answer these questions in this Collection. In addition, I’ve selected the most beautiful walking Tours on each of the East Frisian islands. From relaxed walks of just under 2.5 kilometres (1.5 mi) to a day-long hike of 23 kilometres (14.3 mi), there’s something for everyone.

You can get to the seven East Frisian islands by ferry or by island plane. From Harlesiel, Neuharlingersiel, Bensersiel and the other ferry ports on the coast, the journey to the islands takes 45 to 130 minutes. You can find all the information about ferry and flight times here: ostfriesische-inseln.de/home-eastfrisianislands.

Depending on how far you have to travel to the port, you can even make a day trip to one of the islands. However, a stay of several days is worthwhile on each of the islands if you have time. There’s more than enough to discover, even on the smallest island of Baltrum. You can either reach the harbours by car, which you can leave in one of the large car parks (charges apply), or by public transport.

If you want to experience several islands in a row by island hopping, I recommend planning your trip well in advance. The tides of the North Sea make direct ferry connections between the islands difficult. However, you’ve got more flexibility if you choose either Norddeich or Bensersiel as your place to stay. From Bensersiel, you can not only cross to Langeoog, but you can also reach the harbours of Harlesiel (Wangerooge), Neßmersiel (Baltrum) and Neuharlingersiel (Spiekeroog) by car in a short time. From Norddeich there are also ferries to Norderney and Juist. Otherwise, some island airlines also offer flights between the islands. You can find more information here: inselflieger.de (in German).

If you forget which island is next to which, there’s a mnemonic to help. Unfortunately, it only works if you know it in German!: ‘Welcher Seemann liegt bei Nanni im Bett’ which translates to ‘Which sailor is in bed with Nanni?’. This saying, which sounds crazy at first, lines up the islands from right to left according to the first letters of the word in the German version: Wangerooge, Spiekeroog, Langeoog, Baltrum, Norderney, Juist (although here it is a j instead of an i) and Borkum. Perhaps for English speakers, a better version would be: ‘Which sailor laughed because Nanny just belched?’

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    02:58
    7.30 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the easternmost island, the ferry pier greets you with the island's motto: "God created time, he said nothing of haste". It doesn't matter whether you believe in God or not. The motto is the program on the almost five square kilometer island. You won't find large tourist bunkers on Wangerooge. And

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  • Difficult
    05:51
    14.4 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Walk around the island once - in one day. This is not a problem on Wangerooge. It is nice that on the island there is almost always a path right along the edge. So you have a great view of the North Sea and the Wadden Sea almost the whole time around the island. It is important that fortification work

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  • Intermediate
    03:21
    8.24 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Just under 800 people live on the East Frisian island of Spiekeroog. She is considered the "quiet" among the island sisters. No shopping mile, no major events or sights. Except of course the untouched, magical nature of the island. When you hike on Spiekeroog, you always hike with your inner self. Because

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  • Intermediate
    04:21
    10.8 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    As soon as you leave the center of the village on Spiekeroog, you won't run into much. Only two paths lead over the eastern part of the island to the Ostplate. You won't find any restaurants, cafés or houses on this hike. Only the Wittbülten National Park House is on the way. And that is precisely what

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  • Intermediate
    03:16
    8.06 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Even if Baltrum is the smallest of the East Frisian island, there is a lot to discover and experience there. On this tour I have therefore combined all the highlights of the island into a 13-kilometer hike so that you have a quick overview during a day trip, for example. In addition to the beach, this

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  • Intermediate
    04:37
    11.4 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Melkhörndüne, Meierei and the bird keeper's house are three of the most striking highlights on the East Frisian island of Langeoog. With this hike you can combine them all and spend a day in the sand and water-rich island landscape.

    

    You start the hike at the train station on Langeoog and walk once

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  • Difficult
    05:29
    13.6 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Spend the day with sand between your toes and the sea breeze in your hair. It sounds like the perfect day to me. So that you know how far and how long such a barefoot hike along the kilometer-long beach of Langeoog takes, I have planned this hike for you.

    

    The way is not complicated, because from the beach

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  • Intermediate
    02:03
    5.07 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You can take a relaxing hike on Norderney, which is also known as the Queen among the East Frisian Islands, on the eight-kilometer-long promenade circular path. On this hike you can get to know the entire city of the island and walk around it completely.

    

    The starting point is the beach promenade at the

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  • Difficult
    05:44
    14.2 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With a total of more than 22 kilometers, the Polder-Wattweg on the East Frisian island of Norderney is one of the longest official hiking trails on the seven islands - counting there and back. It leads you once along the south side of the island until just behind the Eiland campsite. With a small daypack

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  • Intermediate
    04:14
    10.4 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    In contrast to some other islands, the western end of the island of Juist is neither built nor part of the island village. On Juist you will also find untouched nature and fine sand in the west. Since the beach has a round, "Po" -like shape, it bears the name Billriff, because the East Frisian word

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  • Easy
    00:36
    1.48 mi
    2.4 mph
    25 ft
    25 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In addition to wonderful hiking trails, you will also find small themed trails on the East Frisian Islands that have been laid out with a lot of love and craftsmanship. One example is the Otto-Leege-path on Juist.

    

    You can find the entrance to the path at the beginning of Flugplatzstraße. For a little

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  • Difficult
    07:37
    18.8 mi
    2.5 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    In 1830 the first bathers came to the westernmost of the East Frisian Islands. The small island, which until then had been rather a niche existence, blossomed in the following years and is still completely dependent on tourism today. Lucky for you, because nowadays you can spend carefree days on the

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  • Intermediate
    03:19
    8.21 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A circumnavigation of the island on Baltrum is particularly fun, as you can do it even if you don't want to walk 20 kilometers. Since Baltrum is the smallest of the East Frisian Islands, you can walk around the island on a 13-kilometer hike. You will definitely not get bored, because like the other islands

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  • Intermediate
    03:21
    8.28 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eastern end of the island of Juist bears the name Kalfamer, which means low, damp meadow. Because in contrast to, for example, Wangerooge, the east of Juist is more green. You will hike this fascinating region of the island on this 13 kilometer east tour.

    

    The starting point of the hike is just after

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    14
  • Distance
    140 mi
  • Duration
    56:50 h
  • Elevation
    950 ft

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Sand between your toes — hiking on Germany’s East Frisian Islands

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