Escape the busy streets of Hamburg and enjoy a relaxing getaway to Neuwerk Island. Marooned in the Wadden Sea, the island is surrounded by mudflats and swaps cars for horse-drawn wagons. Watch seals sunbathing on the sand, beachcomb for golden amber and climb a centuries-old lighthouse.
Things to do in Neuwerk
Neuwerk Island is home to hundreds of seals. The best viewing is between April and October when the playful marine mammals arrive to bask on the sandbanks and take a well-deserved rest from hunting fish and crabs. The island is also an important breeding ground and migration stop for sea birds.
As you stroll along the beach, look for chunks of amber hidden among the shells and seaweed. It’s known as the “gold of the sea” and is often found on the beaches of Neuwerk Island. At low tide, it’s possible to hike across the mudflats to Scharhörn Island. The uninhabited island is a haven for rare seabirds like the redshank and short-eared owl. If you don’t want to hike, hitch a ride on horse-drawn wagons known as “wattwagens”.
Neuwerk Lighthouse towers 45 metres over the island and was built to guard the mouth of the River Elbe. It’s more than 700 years old and commands sweeping views over the estuary and the Wadden Sea from the viewing platform.
National Park Haus Neuwerk features exhibits on the unique history and ecology of the park. The upper floor showcases paintings and photography by local artists. Educational lectures and workshops offer more information on the flora and fauna of Neuwerk Island.
Getting around Neuwerk
Neuwerk Island is car-free and easy to get around on foot or bicycle. Ferries run between Neuwerk Island and Cuxhaven on the mainland in around 1.5 hours. You can also walk to the island on guided tours or ride horse-drawn carriages.