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Blick auf Pellworm, Bild: studioverde / shutterstock

A visit to the greenest island in the North Sea: Pellworm

Green, greener, Pellworm you could say. The small North Sea island, which is located in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, has a considerable density of lush meadows and pastures. But you won’t find sandy beaches on Pellworm. However, this does not detract from the relaxation factor that holidaymakers feel here. Because here it is wonderful to cycle, walk or hike through the mudflats. Sometimes, in the midst of greenery and grazing sheep, you almost feel like you’re in Ireland and less so in Germany. But that is exactly what makes Pellworm so charming.

The landmark of the island: the Pellworm lighthouse

Lighthouse on Pellworm
Lighthouse on Pellworm, Image: PRILL / shutterstock

The landmark of the island is without question its famous lighthouse. In Germany , almost every child knows it, at least those who still send real mail. In 2014, the lighthouse adorned a stamp of the Deutsche Post Lighthouses series. If you want to take a closer look at the lighthouse of Pellworm, and not just glued to a postcard, you can go to the very south of the six-kilometre-long and seven-kilometre-wide island. There, the 41.5-metre-high lighthouse was inaugurated in 1907. To ensure that the lighthouse stands securely, no less than 127 oak piles were driven into the ground at the time, which still form the foundation for the 130-ton tower today.

The Pellworm lighthouse is painted classic, red and white. Its beacon can still be seen 42 kilometers away. At a height of 37 meters is the observation deck of the lighthouse. If you are fit and want to climb 140 steps to the top, you can not only overlook the whole of Pellworm from there, but also the surrounding Wadden Sea from a bird’s eye view. Depending on the weather, the view also extends to the mainland and the neighbouring islands of Hooge or Nordmarsch. And if you like it very romantic, you can even get married in the lighthouse of Pellworm.

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No visit to Pellworm without a mudflat hike befitting your status

The Wadden Sea around Pellworm is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. No wonder that many tourists come to Pellworm primarily for this reason. At low tide, exciting mudflat hikes can be undertaken here. The mudflat guides of the island of Pellworm offer different themed tours. For example, visitors can search for amber here, learn everything about the mussels and crabs living in the mudflats or hike to Hallig Süderoog, six kilometres away. No matter which of the hikes of different lengths and intensity you choose: On the way, the mudflat guides explain interesting facts about the Wadden Sea habitat.

Circumnavigating Pellworm by bike

Due to its size, it is no problem to completely circumnavigate the island of Pellworm by bike in a few hours. Bicycles can be rented at several stations. With it, you can either go on your own or on a guided bike tour on a journey of discovery. The Pellworm spa and tourism service has a cycling map available, which is issued free of charge to guests. The outer dike circuit completely circles Pellworm over a distance of 28 kilometres. The starting point is the romantic island harbour, where traditional, colourfully painted shrimp cutters are still moored today.

You should definitely stop at the so-called bird bunk. From 1905 to 1946, ducks were caught here for consumption. Today it is a nature reserve. Otherwise, the tour always leads along the coast and offers wonderful views of the island and sea. In addition to the large island circuit, several shorter tours are designated that take up the sights of the island’s interior. Here you cycle past the lighthouse, the Old Church of St. Salvator, which dates back to the eleventh century, and the Rungholt Museum.

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Admire Pellworm from the excursion boat

Old Church of St. Salvator Pellworm
The Old Church of St. Salvator, Image: Prill / Shutterstock

Water rats are spoilt for choice on Pellworm. Several shipping companies offer boat trips from the island of Pellworm. If you want, you can, for example, go on a tour of the island and admire Pellworm from the water. In addition, various tours are offered towards the mainland or to the neighboring islands. One destination can be nearby Husum on the mainland, where the Emil Nolde Museum invites you to visit. In addition, the Halligen around Pellworm can also be discovered by boat. Trips to the seal banks, where seals and grey seals cavort, are also very popular: especially with families with children. If you want to invest a little more time, you can even take the boat from Pellworm to Heligoland, Sylt, Amrum or Föhr.

Discover Pellworm on foot

Pellworm is so small that the island can be easily accessed on foot. There are numerous designated walking and hiking trails that weave a branching network across the whole of Pellworm. As befits a North Sea island, Pellworm is flat and the hikes are therefore suitable for the whole family.