Wadden Island Sylt – Sights

Sylt is a German Wadden Island that borders the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site and is located between the Danish island of Rømø and the German islands of Amrum and Föhr. Sylt is the northernmost of a string of German Wadden Islands that, at the same time, lies furthest to the west in the North Sea. There are many villages and hamlets on the island, all of which have their own specialty and attractions: farms, cliffs, burial mounds, captain’s houses, dolmens, wellness centers, walking dunes and star restaurants. Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel to Sylt every year to enjoy the good.

Sylt – long and narrow Wadden Island

Sylt measures approximately 100 km2, making it the largest Wadden island in Germany. The length of the island is about 40 kilometers. The island consists of two narrow arms with a wider middle part. At its narrowest part it is only 200 meters wide and at its widest part 12.5 kilometers.
Administratively, Sylt is an area that is part of the German northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein. Since 1927 there has been a dam over which you can reach the island. A track runs over that dam, called the Hindenburgdamm. The cars go on the train, because there is no road over the dam. The island is a popular holiday resort and the train brings about one and a half million bathers there every year.

Nature and sights

Sylt is best known as a tourist island where many large and expensive cars drive and where famous Germans spend their holidays and show themselves. In addition, a large part of the island is a nature reserve. There is a beautiful Wadden coast with seagrass fields, there are sandbanks off the coast, there are walking dunes, salt marshes, extensive heathlands and there is forest. The dunes are exceptionally high in places and have functional walking paths and wooden viewing platforms. Geologically speaking, the island is particularly interesting, because of the remains of moraines of glaciers from the penultimate ice age from Scandinavia, which helped shape the island. It made Sylt tens of meters high here and there. The last ice age has also left its mark. Furthermore, there are dozens of burial mounds from the Bronze Age on the island and there are remains from the Roman period, the Viking period and the early Middle Ages. In short, Sylt is a trendy island with overwhelming nature and interesting geology and culture.
Lighthouse at Hörnum / Source: Ameland Press AgencyGreen men in Westerland / Source: Ameland Press AgencyWhite houses with thatched roofs / Source: Ameland Press Agency

Town and villages on Sylt

List

The northernmost village, with harbor and the Ellenbogen, the northernmost point of Germany. De Ellebogen has a beautiful nature reserve. Near List are the walking dunes, which drift and thus shift several meters every year. From the harbor you can cross to the Danish island of Rømø.

Kampen and the Red Cliff

The village of Kampen is known as an artists’ village, where famous painters, writers and well-known Germans like to stay. It made a name for itself as an artists’ colony especially before the Second World War and that reputation is still attached to the village. An unmissable sight is the Rotes Kliff, the Red Cliff. There are burial mounds from the Bronze Age near the Kampen lighthouse.

Hörnum and the marina

The southernmost village was originally a fishing village. The village is now best known for its characteristic red-and-white lighthouse. In the early 21st century, a golf course was built, a five-star hotel was built and a yacht club brought new life to the marina. The gray seal Willi is also well known, who visits the harbor as a pet and allows itself to be fed by people. The Sylt lifeboat is stationed in Hörnum.

Rantum and the bird watchers

This village is known for a protected nature reserve, popular with bird watchers because of the dozens of bird species that can be spotted there.

Wenningsted and the burial mound

Known for the Weißes Kliff, the White Klif, and the prehistoric stone grave Denghoog under a burial mound that is five thousand years old. The burial mound is 3.20 meters high and can be visited. The burial chamber has the shape of a dolmen in the hill.

Braderup and the nature reserve

The Braderuper Heide near Braderup is a protected nature reserve.

Westerland the Heilbad

The city of the island with Heilbad status. About half of all islanders live in Westerland.

Sylt-Ost

Located on the Nösse peninsula and contains the hamlets of Tinnum, Munkmarsch, Archsum and Morsum. Keitum is the administrative center of the island.

Tinnum and the Vikings

The Tinnum Castle, a ring wall with a diameter of 80 meters and a height of 8 meters from the Viking Age, is famous. Experts disagree about the meaning. Is it a traffic island, pagan place of worship or defense structure?

Keitum and the church

Well-known is the 13th century Saint Severin Church, which served as a beacon. Keitum also has the most beautiful captain’s houses. The Grünes Kliff, the Green Cliff, is located near Keitum. Keitum is also the village of white fairytale houses with thatched roofs, restaurants, shops and tea gardens.

Munkmarsch and the marina

Until the construction of the Hindenburgdamm, this was the main harbor of Sylt, now it is a marina for recreational boaters.

Archsum and the farms

Village with beautiful old farmhouses with thatched roofs.

Morsum and the Bonte Klif

Here lies the Morsum-Kliff, which is also called Buntes Kliff. The cliff is 21 meters high and 1800 meters long and shows the geological history of the region over the last 5 million years. The area near the cliff is a protected nature reserve and contains many burial mounds. The village is home to St. Martin’s Church, which was built around the year 1200.
Burial mound to the left of the restaurant under renovation / Source: Press Agency AmelandSint Severin Church / Source: Press Agency AmelandHindenburgdamm / Source: Ralf Roletschek, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Sylt Airport

The island with its many sights can be reached in various ways. You can travel to the island with Sylt Shuttle that runs via the Hindenburgdamm from Niebüll to Westerland, or you can sail to the island from Föhr, Amrum and Rømø. If you want to get to the island quickly, you can also fly, because Sylt has an airport. From the airport – Flughaven Sylt – you can book flights to and from mainland Germany, but you can also fly from Sylt to Italy, Austria, England and Switzerland.

Sylt

Legend
A . List
B . Kampen
C . Hörnum
D . Rantum
E . Wenningstedt
F . Braderup
G . Sylt-Ost
H . Archsum
I . Tinnum
J . Munkmarsch
K . Keitum
L . Morsum
M . Sylt Airport

read more

  • Sylt – German Wadden Island or Nordseeinsel
  • Sylt – Jetset island with coastal defenses with tetrapods
  • Sylt – Wadden Island of cliffs and mythical creatures
  • Rømø – Danish Wadden Island in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site
  • Wadden Island Sylt and the First and Second World Wars

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