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.
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.
Tip by Vanessa Kopp
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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.
Tip by Vanessa Kopp
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".
Tip by Andreas Platzl
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.
Tip by Vanessa Kopp
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.
Tip by Sebastian Kowalke
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.
Tip by Andreas Platzl
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