On the sunny side of Germany
Usedom, the sunniest island in Germany, is always worth a visit. Nestled in the Baltic Sea’s Pomeranian Bay, it is blessed with beautiful landscapes and offers a wide range of activities.
Forty-two kilometres of sandy beach, 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, beautiful landscapes and a fine spa culture: Usedom, the second biggest Pomeranian island, is one of Germany’s major holiday and recreation resorts. All over the year, tourists love to come here for sunbathing, walking along the coastline feeling the fine-grained sand under their feet, or to go cycling. Since the Baltic Sea Island is just two and a half hours away from Berlin, it is also the weekend destination of choice for many city slickers.
“Families with children are some of Usedom’s most frequent visitors,” says Dörthe Hausmann, CEO at Usedom Tourism (Usedom Tourismus GmbH). “The reason is that there is a great range of leisure time activities as well as accommodations, which are tailored to families of every constellation.” Some of which also received the seal of quality GUSTAV from the Tourism Association in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania for their family-friendly lodging. “This target group of ours especially enjoys the endless beach: children have fun playing in the sand, building sandcastles. Plus, they can swim cheerfully in the soft waves of the Baltic Sea,” Hausmann says. According to her, Usedom is always worth a visit, at any time of year. From June to September, the island is enclosed in a particularly beautiful light, while the days become longer and nights are short. But in winter, you have endless beaches and the sea for yourself.
Visitors get their money’s worth, Hausmann is convinced. “Young and old, guests of five-star hotels and people who like camping, as well as sport nuts and tourists seeking recreation will all have a great time here. Everyone will certainly find his or her personal hideaway in different places of the island.” Those, who want to get a feel of the island can also rent a bike and ride along the beautiful promenade. Hiking and doing water sports are two further activities travellers enjoy. Usedom also has a very good public transport connection: you can reach the resort island via car, intercity bus, the German railway or by plane.
Fishing boat in the Baltic Sea. © Usedom Tourismus GmbH/Dirk Bleyer
Usedom, an island with a fascinating history
Partly German and partly Polish, Usedom also looks back on a fascinating history. In the 17th century it belonged to Sweden after the Thirty Years’ War until it was sold to the Prussian King Frederick William I in 1720. Fishing used to be the main source of income for residents until the imperial seaside resort project changed the island’s faith. Later, in the 19th century, wealthy people from Berlin discovered the recreational appeal of seaside resorts.
Even emperors like Friedrich III and Wilhelm II were frequent visitors who appreciated the spa culture and the beauty of the popular summer resort. Since then, Usedom had been destined for tourism: until today visitors come in crowds to enjoy Usedom’s medical and wellness spas. The so-called ‘three imperial bath’ villages of Ahlbeck, Bansin and Heringsdorf are known for being centres of attraction due to palatial villas and impressive summer residences. Five historic piers stretch out into the Baltic Sea, the oldest one in Ahlbeck dates back to 1882 and is perfect for going for a stroll while enjoying the view.
Usedom´s extensive nature park is yet another highlight, being home to more than 280 bird species. Whereas the Baltic Sea tends to appear quite rough on one side of the island, it is much quieter and more peaceful alongside the backwater. Here, the area offers deep blue lakes, mystique forests and wide meadows: a must-see for every nature lover.
Adventurous riverscape (woman with dog). © Usedom Tourismus GmbH
TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: USEDOM TOURISMUS GMBH | NATURHAFEN KRUMMIN | DIRK BLEYER
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