Andrea Ullius

Four seasons in the Watt — hikes in the North Sea

Hiking Collection by Die Nordsee

No matter what time of year – hiking in the Watt on the North Sea is always a unique experience. While you feel the mud under your bare feet in the summer, in winter you may hear the soft cracking of layers of ice beneath you. In any case, you will enjoy a wonderful view of the vast nature with the scent of the salty-fresh air. In the background, you can hear the unmistakable crackle of the mud crawlers and, with a little luck, you might even be able to watch the seals sunbathe. Due to the tides, the Wattenmeer is subject to constant change. That's why every time you hike, you're guaranteed to be fascinated by the changing scenery. Where at high tide the mighty forces of the North Sea reign, you can explore the cleared sea floor a few hours later.

Here are eleven starting points of exciting mudflat hikes with different focuses. The best way to experience them is with one of the certified watt guides. They know the Watt very well, tell exciting stories and are prepared for all eventualities. Whether you don rubber boots or wader socks — discover the Wadden Sea for yourself on one of these exciting routes.

In June 2009, UNESCO named the Wattenmeer a World Heritage Site thanks to its exceptional geological and ecological importance. More than 10,000 animal and plant species find their home on and in the Wadden Sea. This year, the Wattenmeer region is celebrating its tenth anniversary. In the spring and summer months, there are several guided tours which focus on the spring feelings of the Watt residents. All information and events for the anniversary can be found at die-nordsee.de/10-jahre-wne.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

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    Spring Feelings in the Watt? Not only in humans is May a merry month. The wildlife in the North Sea uses the increasingly warmer temperatures to reproduce. Just how exactly this happens with long-eared worms, whelks and beach crabs is the focus of the coastal Watt migration in Neßmersiel, which starts from here.

    In order to discover all natural wonders, you can be guided by Watt guide Jessica Supthut through the mud. She wanders with you over the salt marshes and through soft and well-accessible watts to a tidal pool. Priele are streams in the mud, which are filled with water even at low tide and thus sweeten the animals the dry time until the next flood. So there is always a lot to discover here.

    This tour is for adults. You can find more information about the booking here: die-nordsee.de/veranstaltungssuche/e-kuestennahe-wattwanderung-fuer-erwachsene.

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    The spring awakens, the water gets warmer and thus the reproductive instinct of the animal world rises. On this hike, you'll learn what's happening in the watt at this time. Be there when love awakens in the national park. After the 90-minute hike you can enjoy the day with a romantic meal, the view of the returning sea and the Wilhelmshafen. On the peninsula you will find several restaurants, for example, directly at the beacon, the starting point of your tour.

    Meeting point is at the Wattführerhäuschen in Butjadingen-Eckwarderhörne. Think of sun protection in good weather. All other information can be found here: die-nordsee.de/veranstaltungssuche/e-liebesrausch-im-weltnaturerbe.

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    Watt ohne Tabu

    Hiking Highlight

    In nature, all may be as their snout, beak or fins have grown. The gender mainstream has been a topic in the Wadden Sea for thousands of years. Always up to date are homosexuality, heart failure, immaculate conception. Nothing that does not exist in the World Natural Heritage.

    Introduced species, climate change and globalization make the hustle and bustle more or less multicultural. And when the water gets warmer, life in the Wadden Sea pulsates more and more. Worms, snails and the bird world give themselves to tabulos. That's where polyamory comes from.

    The discovery tour starts in Haresiel. All interested persons 16 years and older can join. More information can be found here: die-nordsee.de/veranstaltungssuche/e-watt-ohne-tabu.

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    Where is the water going? When and how fast will it come again? Questions that are explained child-friendly during this tidal wave migration. Experienced National Park Guide Matthias Schulz will meet you on the approaching tide and tell you all about the tides and the fauna and flora in the mudflats.

    The hike offers a great insight for those who either can not or do not want to walk far. Children over the age of eight can take part in the 90-minute tour of the mud flats off Butjadingen.

    You can find all information about registration here: die-nordsee.de/veranstaltungssuche/e-gezeitenwattwanderung-erlebe-die-einsetzende-flut.

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    The Solthorn Wadden Sea can be enjoyed on a very special mudflat hike - here you can participate in the Sound of Silence hike. At the meeting point at Wattführerhäuschen in Buttjadingen there is a brief briefing, then turn off all their mobile phone and start out into the mud.

    No one speaks and so you can enjoy the special peace of the Wadden Sea. You quickly realize that there is no complete silence here. With sharpened senses, you clearly perceive the sounds of the mudflats, the sea and its inhabitants. Back ashore, you can talk to other hikers about your personal impressions.

    More info at magazine.die-nordsee.de/sound-of-silence.

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    Nordic Walking im Watt

    Hiking Highlight

    During the tides, the seabed is dry and the fascination of watt can be experienced. The exploration of the seabed is one of the most impressive tours. The Watt coastal strip is criss-crossed by tufts. The sea floor of sand and silt is not flooded at low tide and therefore gives access to exceptional places that are otherwise only accessible by ferry.

    The trend sport Nordic Walking is an experience on the Wadden Sea on the Wurster North Sea coast. When Nordic walking, you not only enjoy the fresh breeze but also the wide view over the Watt to the island of Neuwerk. You go for one and a half hours with beachies (beach socks) on your feet and sticks in your hands in the distance. You feel the nature under your feet and actively do something for your well-being. Nordic Walking relieves muscle tension in the shoulder and neck area, ensures optimal oxygenation in the body, promotes cardiovascular performance and relieves all joints.

    Along the way, you will also see extraordinary plants and animals. Special tip: The sport can be operated here also barrier-free, since the Kurverwaltung offers "Wattrollstühle". Meeting point is at the National Park House Wurster North Sea Coast.

    But beware, due to the tides and the peculiarities of the landscape, this tour is basically to entrust an experienced watt leader, because only he has the knowledge of which way is accessible at what time. The best way to get more information about your individual tour is to click on "request information".

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    The start of this sunset walk is the Wattführerhäuschen, the beacon 118a. After that, you and the group will have a very special experience. The uniqueness of the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea is particularly visible on this tour. Watt walks in Butjadingen have something romantic. While the sun is low over the Wadden Sea, all the colors of the sky are refracted and reflected on the expansive mud. The fascinating play of colors in the sky and the reflections in the Wadden Sea envelop the landscape in a special atmosphere, while you can enjoy the tranquility of the Wadden Sea. The tour is family friendly. The youngest have a special fun with the shellfish search and the excavation of the lugworms. Fun and romance for young and old.

    The best route has the professional Watt guide, because he knows which of the paths is accessible and when. In addition, the numerous information on tides, fauna and flora make the phenomenon of watts not only experienceable but also understandable. Book your individual tour here under the button "request information".

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    Minsener Oog

    Hiking Highlight

    This tour starts in the late afternoon on the beach of Schillig. Gerke Ennen, the watt leader, takes you into the mudflats. On the five-hour tour he stops again and tells you interesting things about the Wadden Sea.

    Two hours later you reach the bird sanctuary Minsener Oog. There you have time to explore the idyllic island and ask questions. The view from the dune is fantastic, from here you can see the entire island. In good weather you will be accompanied on your way back to the coast by a picturesque sunset.

    All information for the hike can be found here: die-nordsee.de/minsener-oo.

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    The lighthouse Arngast was built in 1910 and is therefore an experience in itself. Its size, shape and color are not only a sign of the ships, but also an impressive sight for visitors. On the way to it, you will not only pass by small boat harbors and relaxing beaches, but also experience the phenomenon of the Watts. The Watt itself is not only a scenic phenomenon but also reveals a home for a unique wildlife. Nowhere is the North Sea so noticeable as here. The meeting point for this hike is at the entrance to Strandcampingplatz with the address "Auf den Gast 40, Dangast".

    As the tides affect the route, this hike is only provisional. Professional waders know best which way to which year and weather level is passable, so book your individual tour with the button "request information".

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    Even if you no longer trudge through the wide mud flats here in winter, the picturesque landscape invites you to long hikes. Over dykes, along salt marshes and on the edge of the Wadden Sea, you can observe and listen to countless restive birds with the National Park Watt Guides. The mudflats know the landscape like the back of their hand - they are happy to show you the secrets of nature and tell you about the unique habitat of the Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer National Park.

    Other starting points for winter walks along the Wadden Sea are the villages Schillig, Dangst and Carolinensiel.

    More information can be found at wattwanderzentrum-ostfriesland.de.

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    On the winterwatch tour you will see the extraordinary landscape and how the animals in the mud flats handle the temperature fluctuations. The Watt as a natural phenomenon is with its unique biology, but also the silence, the vastness, the light and the colors a year-round experience. Its uniqueness is impressive in all weather conditions whether in frost, storm, snow, rain or sun. The UNESCO World Natural Heritage "Wadden Sea National Park" is in all its facets perceptible on this tour and can be detected with all senses. Start of this tour is the beach of Schillig, the restaurant 8 degrees East. Here is also a short video on the hike:

    But you should not plan the journey into the secrets of nature, the flora and fauna alone, because due to low tide and high tide the paths can be treacherous. Only a professional mudflat knows the ways in all seasons and tides, so please inform or book directly under the button "request information" your tour.

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