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The smallest of the East Frisian Islands is really so small that you can circumnavigate it in just a few hours. With only 600 inhabitants and a “size” of five kilometers long and one and a half kilometers wide, Baltrum has a very special atmosphere.
Time passes more slowly here; just as slowly as you move. Cars are prohibited, but there are horses, carriages, carts, bicycles and of course your own legs. Even though Baltrum is nicknamed the “Sleeping Beauty of the North Sea”, the island isn’t as sleepy. We show you the attractions on Baltrum.
Districts on Baltrum
Baltrum consists of the three districts of Westdorf, Ostdorf and Altes Ostdorf. Westdorf is the largest district and is close to the port. This is where most of the island’s restaurants and shops are located. There is plenty to do in the “Heavenly Friesian Square”, as the islanders call the center of Westdorf.
Recommendations for a stop are the beach bar behind the dunes, the Skipper’s Inn for freshly caught fish or the Mittendrin Fisch, where there are small plates and fish sandwiches.
Ostdorf is protected by dunes in the middle of nature. Thousands of birds rest and nest here in spring and autumn. It is quiet but cozy, for example in the rustic Café Kluntje. The Old East Village exudes a lot of charm with its rustic islander homes. The Heimatverein museum is also located in the old customs house.
Old Customs Museum
You can relive the history of the island and the life of the locals in the Altes Zollhaus Museum. The Heimatverein Baltrum eV carefully restored a typical East Frisian semi-detached house and set up the museum there, which opened in 2007.
There are many exhibits on the origin and history of Baltrum: with insights into navigation and tourism development and many photos of islanders’ homes or difficult years with storm surges and frozen winters.
Old island church and island bell
Baltrum’s landmark is the island bell, which hangs in front of the old island church. The church is the oldest house on the island and dates back to 1826. Previously there were three churches on the island, but a storm in 1825 destroyed most of the houses.
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Tip: During the peak summer season, evening prayers are held at Old Island Church on Mondays and Fridays.
National Park House
Since 2004 there is also a national park house on Baltrum. Here everything revolves around the power of the sea, with the thematic focus on the tides. There is a tidal column to make the ebb and flow easier for visitors to understand. This shows the water level of the island via a water column depending on the position of the sun, moon and earth.
Another project leads from the National Park House to the outside: in 2006, the tides trail was opened, on which Baltrum holidaymakers can explore the ebb and flow on foot and interactively.
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The Tidal Path is easily the most scenic walk on the island. It was designed to lead to the most important points of Baltrum. You can see the highlights of the North Sea island over a distance of seven kilometers: the tidal flats, the promenade, the viewing platform, the swimming beach and the dune landscape. And of course the North Sea itself!
There are a total of 18 stations with a lot of information on natural phenomena such as tides or the formation of waves and dunes. The interactive experimental stations, which include wind, water, sand, and of course ebb and flow, are particularly exciting.
Compared to the other East Frisian islands, Baltrum beach is short. The white sand beach of the north coast extends “only” for seven kilometers. But enough, because there is everything: DLRG lifeguards, deck chairs and a playground on the beach for children. There is also a kite and windsurf school, kayak and catamaran rentals, beach gymnastics and beach volleyball.
If the North Sea is too rough and too cold for you, take a dip in the warm waves of SindBad. The island’s indoor pool features a heated seawater pool, a children’s pool, two slides and a whirlpool, while the sauna and wellness area with Turkish bath (50 degrees), bio sauna (60 degrees), sauna Finnish (80 degrees) and cabin sauna (90 degrees).
Viewpoints on Baltrum
On Baltrum there are two large panoramic dunes from which you have a 360 degree view of the island. One is in Ostdorf, the other east of Old Ostdorf.
Another tip is Willis Utkiek, a lookout point located on the Höhenweg behind SindBad. From here you can look far across the water and observe the large merchant ships on the horizon.
The further west you go on Baltrum, the quieter it becomes. The path winds along the seafront along the mighty coastal defensive wall. This protects the island from further land loss.
To the west you have a great view of the Wadden Sea and you can also see the neighboring island of Norderney. The sunsets here are particularly beautiful.
excursion on a muddy plain
Although Baltrum is small, there are still various activities organized by the island’s municipal and spa administration. A highlight is clearly a mudflat hike, where you can learn all about the thrilling mudflat landscape, led by an expert.
There are several tours that take place in the area near the island or lead to the mainland almost five kilometers away. There are also separate mudflat hikes for kids with different themes such as worms, birds or whales.