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Leuchtturm auf Wangerooge, Bild: Katrin Friedl Fotografie / shutterstock

Holidays on the island of Wangerooge

Wangerooge is the easternmost and, together with Baltrum, the smallest of the seven East Frisian islands. Tourism is the main source of income on the car-free and family-friendly island. Historically, the island is part of the Frisian Jeverland, but is generally counted as part of the holiday region of East Frisia. The kilometre-long sandy beach and the Wadden Sea determine the character of the island. Along the beach promenade there are numerous hotels and spa facilities. This also includes an indoor seawater pool. The Café Pudding on a dune acts as a prominent meeting place on Wangerooge. The shape of Wangerooge is often compared to that of a seahorse.

Geography, landscapes, flora and fauna

Wangerooge, North Sea
View of Wangerooge, Image: Heide Pinkall / shutterstock

The beach is adjoined by dunes and dikes. In addition, salt marshes and marshes characterise large parts of the North Sea island. A lagoon in the salt marshes has developed into a breeding and resting place for seabirds. The mudflats used to be even flatter than today and there was a footpath and wagon path from the mainland over to Wangerooge. Bomb craters from the world wars also represent small biotopes. The whole of Wangerooge belongs to the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park and is strictly protected. The flora on Wangerooge is characterized by a considerable poverty of species, only targeted reforestation brought smaller forest and bush areas with willows, poplars and potato roses. The fauna, on the other hand, is very species-rich. Many bird species feel at home on Wangerooge, migratory birds use it as a stopover. The variety of butterfly species on the island is also remarkable. The sandbanks in the Wadden Sea are used by seals and grey seals for sunbathing.

Sights on Wangerooge

The Old Lighthouse

A living monument to the island’s history and seafaring, the Old Lighthouse towers over the main town of Wangerooge. Until 1969, it reliably showed ships in the direction of Wilhelmshaven and Bremerhaven the way. Only then was it replaced by the new lighthouse. Several important shipping lanes cross off Wangerooge. Today, the Old Lighthouse houses a small museum about the island’s history. And you can even get married here. However, lighthouses have existed on Wangerooge since 1600, after a devastating storm surge hit the island.

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The West Tower

West Tower on Wangerooge
The west tower on Wangerooge, Image: seewhatmitchsee / shutterstock

Another striking monument rises into the sky of Wangerooge with the west tower. It is now used as a youth hostel . It is a replica of an earlier tower, which served as a landmark, but was destroyed during the severe storm surge in 1855, in which the island of Wangerooge was torn into three parts.

The National Park House Rosenhaus

The house is all about the Wadden Sea. Inside, there is a small aquarium and some interactive stations, as well as a movie room. The highlight, however, is likely to be the sperm whale skeleton presented. Participants of the Voluntary Ecological Year are happy to answer questions from visitors and show them around. More information can be found on the website.

Opening hours:

from 16 March to 31 October:
Mon closed
Tue – Fri: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sat., Sun. and public holidays: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

from November 1st to March 15th:
Mon closed
Tue – Fri: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sat., Sun. and public holidays: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The National Park House is closed over the Christmas holidays (24-26 December).

The Island Cinema “Insellichtspiele”

Of course, a cinema is not to be missed on Wangerooge. It is located almost directly opposite the central Café Pudding in the Hotel Hanken and offers space for 100 spectators. Open in the summer months and in bad weather, the cinema is a great alternative for young and old. Up to four performances are shown daily.

Pure nature in the west of Wangerooge

The island railway also runs through this part of the von Wangerooge. Wide salt marshes stretch here, which serve as a refuge for many bird species. On a hike or bike tour through this area in the direction of the west tower, the kiosk “Bei Klausi” invites you to take a break with coffee and cake on the way. Various sweets are available for the little ones.

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Leisure activities on Wangerooge

Leisure, games and sports are very important on Wangerooge. First and foremost, life takes place on the long sandy beach, but there is also a dune playground, an indoor sandpit and the Sockenland children’s playhouse. In case of bad water, a visit to the seawater indoor pool is announced. After all, on Wangerooge you even have the opportunity to spend the night in a beach chair and wake up surrounded by sand, the sound of the sea and the cry of seagulls.

Wellness and health

The seawater adventure pool with the Oase health centre ensures that Wangerooge is far ahead, especially when it comes to wellness and cure. Thalasso treatments, soothing massages and physiotherapy treatments are available for every age group. In addition, there are climate and exercise therapies, swimming courses, but also sporting activities such as aqua jogging and water aerobics. After training, the sauna area promises peace, relaxation and loose muscles. Geysers and two hot whirlpools complete the varied wellness offer.

Useful holiday information

  • Wangerooge can be reached by ferry from the port of Harlesiel in a tide-dependent connection several times a day. We continue from the ferry port with the island railway to the main town of the same name. With the ferry ticket you also receive the Wangerooge Card, which also functions as a spa card and admission ticket to various events on the island. If you are in a hurry, you can take the plane, which flies to Wangerooge, also from Harlesiel, in five minutes.
  • Beach chairs can be reserved at the spa administration or online in advance. For day visitors, the rental happens directly on the main beach.
  • There is a limited area for dogs on the east beach, otherwise they must be kept on a leash and are not allowed to enter the Wadden Sea National Park under any circumstances.
    After all, mudflat hikes should only be started under expert guidance, otherwise it can happen that you misjudge your time or are suddenly surprised by the flood due to other imponderables and thus your life is in danger.