Sylt is a precious habitat and beneficial holiday destination, a paradise-like refuge and a place of peace and relaxation. Sylt, also called the “Queen of the North Sea”, is located in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park and, at 99 square kilometers, is the fourth largest island in Germany. Therefore, it is a perfect holiday destination for nature enthusiasts: the play of colours of white beaches, red cliffs and purple blossoming heath, framed by the blue of the sea. The smells of the sea, the scent of salt marshes and the eternal murmur of the surf. Want more?
Together with the German National Tourist Board, I had the opportunity to actively discover the island of Sylt. In this article I would like to show you what you can experience, see and eat during 4-Days trip to Sylt. I recommend that you choose one part of the island for each day. Everything is easily accessible by bike and therefore even more fun!
One island – 12 places
The island is located at the North Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark and is a total of 40km long and approx. 12km wide and offers over 200km of cycle paths. It is therefore a true paradise to explore the various villages with their distinctive charm and individual character. However, if you don’t want to rent a bike, the bus lines are also good for exploring the island. The main lines connect the north and south of Sylt in a very time-efficient way.
There is of course a variety of great accommodation on the island depending on your budget and interests. We stayed at Strandhotel Wyn and enjoyed it very much! The rooms and also the restaurant and SPA invite you to feel good and relax.
All of the 72 rooms and suites are homely and beautifully comfy. The materials, colours and textures are inspired by the surrounding nature. The light, textured wood and the textile surfaces made of warm, natural fabrics, reflect the colour spectrum of the sky, beach and sea. In addition to all the usual amenities, all rooms have selected Sylt literature, a tea station with our own tea and, during the summer months, a private beach chair on the balcony.
The breakfast buffet included in our half-board was super tasty and perfect to start an eventful day. Of course, as a vegan, no problem at all and besides fresh fruit and homemade bread with jam, an oat cappuccino should not be missing 😊
Sustainability is very important on Sylt. E-bikes, e-scooters and e-cars are offered as means of transport, which I thought was great! Of course, we also wanted to do something sporty and so we hired e-bikes for the days, which enabled us to explore all parts of the island.
We arrived in the evening and went first to our hotel to drop off the luggage. From there you can already explore Westerland, the island’s capital. This is certainly the busiest place, but the beach promenade is well worth a stroll in the evening. The “Weststrand” is also close by and well worth a visit.
On the second day, we headed to List in the north of the island. The wandering sand dune is the highlight par excellence in List on Sylt. From the road leading into the village, you get an exclusive view of the beautiful nature and the largest continuous area of wandering sand dunes in Europe. The Wandersand dunes are an impressive 30 metres high. The sand mountains have a strong influence on the appearance of List. In one year, the dunes move up to ten metres!
The viewing platform in List offers the perfect overview of the breathtaking landscape. From the vantage point in the dunes, you can see not only the unique shifting sand dune area, but also the entire village of List on Sylt, starting with the lush salt marshes, the tranquil King’s Harbour, the beautiful Elbow and all the way to our neighbouring island of Rømø.
The “Ellenbogen” with the two lighthouses List-East and List-West is Sylt’s most famous motif. Several films, TV series and commercials have been shot here. By the way, this is also the northernmost point of Germany.
On the way back we made a quick stop in Kampen. Small but nice, exclusive and cosmopolitan, elegant and also cosy village-like. Endless sandy beaches and vast heath, red cliffs and edgy types. It’s worth visiting Kampen simply because of its magnificent nature. The Red Cliff in particular is beautiful both from the footpath above and from the beach. In the evening hours, the red also comes out really well and we got a fantastic sunset from the wooden stairs.
From the Uwe Dune, the highest elevation on Sylt at 52m, you have a great view over the island. There are two lighthouses in Kampen, the iconic black and white one and the small cross light, which is lit up in the evening. If you do not want to stop, at least admire them on your ride from afar 😉
Wenningstedt is an ideal starting point for walking along the hiking trail on the Red Cliff to Kampen or simply strolling along the beach in the evening.
5. Beach yoga
We had a great start to the day. Beach yoga is probably the best way to start a sunny day. For this we drove all the way to Rote Kliff, where we met up with the lovely Halima, who invited us for 1 hour to turn inside ourselves and make the Body-Mind-Connection and connect our senses with each other. For me, it was a great experience to do yoga in the crevice of the cliff and between the beach chairs. I highly recommend booking a class on her website.
Later we headed towards the South Cape. Hörnum is our destination, where the only lighthouse on the island can be visited. You should book this early at the tourist service in Hörnum. In Hörnum there are many small thatched-roof houses in the south-western dunes. The small village is surrounded by three sides of sea and beach. In the middle of a nature-protected dune and heath landscape, directly on the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage Site.
From the promenade on the eastern beach, you can discover much of the maritime life in the southernmost island village. Hörnum is also popular with sports enthusiasts and active people: sailing, swimming, surfing, jogging or cycling, whether on water or on land. There is no such thing as boredom here! PS: A windsurfing course is worthwhile for all those who dare to go into the water 😊
Windsurfing in Sylt is also something very great for sports enthusiasts! Right next to the lighthouse is the nice office where you can meet with your windsurfing teacher. If you are not much into wave riding then I recommend you to admire them from the wooden chair on the beach.
8. SPA at Wyn Strandhotel
As this was the day of our return journey, we first enjoyed the breakfast buffet and a small SPA session at Strandhotel Wyn. Then we drove east to the Morsum cliff and captured some great photo opportunities.
9. Wadden Sea tour
Later, a guided tour of the wadden sea from the Naturgewalten Centre in List was on the agenda. An expert tells you more about the tides, mudflat species, animals and flora in this unique landscape. The tour lasts 1.5-2 hours and you can borrow rubber boots from the office.
A small detour was also made at little Braderup. Superb for walking with a view over the Wadden Sea and wooden steps along the way. It is also easy to walk from Kampen. Just park at the Kupferkanne and walk towards the mudflats.
Insider tips for delicious food
Of course, you can’t miss out on the delicious food on the island of Sylt. Here you will find a few insider tips that will certainly not leave you hungry or thirsty on your discovery tour 😉
Eismanufaktur Sylt is the perfect stop after your tour in the Wanderdunes. It’s handmade and in combination with the local (from Hamburg) Fritz Limo just a great refreshment.
The most famous café in Kampen, or almost on the island, is the Kupferkanne. The former bunker is a totally winding, cute café with a fantastic terrace. The classic: plum cake. A must on Sylt!
One of the best burgers on the island is at Twisters. The Twisters (curly fries) are highly recommended. You can also get delicious vegan burgers here.
Café Wien/Sylter Schokoladenmanufaktur: Old confectioners who founded the Sylt Chocolate Manufactory.
Beach House: perfect for watching the sunset with great vegan dishes, alternative: Badezeit next door.
Just opened this year is Kaffeekurve (@kaffeekurve). Very sweet coffee!
New: BRØD & SMØR in Morsum at the train station is where Nordic flair meets Danish food culture. From sumptuously filled savoury or sweet smørrebrøds to Danish hot dogs and homemade cinnamon buns, you’ll find lots of tasty snacks here.
Straend is a relatively new restaurant. It has a relaxed atmosphere and serves delicious bowls with regional organic ingredients.