A little over a week ago my family and I returned from a weeks vacation on the island of Sylt. Since then I have been trying to get things done for school, dealing with computer issues, and have not felt the urge to write! But today, I would like to share my families week away with you all! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂
Family is everything, and if you have the chance to get away from reality for a week with your family, you make it happen. That is exactly what I did! Nestled in the very north of Germany is an island in the North Sea, called Sylt. This island is like the Hamptons of Germany. It is a place that many wealthy people like to retire too, this is obvious from the homes, cars and various toys you see around the island.
BUT, the island is also an amazing place to visit as an “average” family or individual. There are many vacation rentals and hotels, restaurants galore, bike-rentals up the whazoo, and tons of other awesome activities. Water sports, a horseback ride along the coastline, you name it! It is an absolutely stunning place.
I experienced Sylt the first time in January of 2016, at a time in my life that things were far from perfect. The vacation was great, but I can remember the way that I felt at the time and that was not great. I am so happy to have been able to reexperience this lovely island in a much happier state of mind and today I wanted to take you with me 🙂
DAY 1 – SATURDAY
At 2:10 a.m. we were off. While driving through the night is strenuous, it was entirely worth it. At 8:30 we made it to our first destination of the day, my city of birth, Hamburg, Germany! We met up with our old neighbor for a delightful breakfast at a little corner café called Kafayas. It was the breakfast of champions that powered us through the rest of the day. The breakfast was made with so much love, the café is gorgeous, and the company made it perfect.
After a few hours break, it was time to hit the road again. With about 2 hours to go before we got to the car-train to Sylt, our vacation was in reach. If you are traveling by car, your destination is a town called Niebüll where you then drive your car onto a train and then are chugga-chugga-choo-choo-ed on over the North Sea for 40 minutes until you reach Sylt.
Upon arriving we headed to our home for the week, the wonderful Ferienhaus Ines. We stayed here once before and loved it so much that we had to return! Not only is the house centrally located, but it has everything you could need and more. A small fenced in yard, a kitchen with all of the must-have utensils, 3 cozy bedrooms, and a lovely host, Ines, make it a wonderful place to stay!
We couldn’t take being on the island and not go to the beach, so we quickly ventured to the coast on a lovely mild and sunny afternoon to breath in the fresh sea air. It was the perfect way to start off a wonderful week.
DAY 2 – SUNDAY
We were very tired from the long trip, so sleeping in was a must. The sun was shining, so we soaked it up a little before heading to the Lister Ellenbogen, the northernmost point of the island, picnic in hand. We walked along the beach, enjoyed our picnic and took in the view. With sheep and bunnies roaming freely and tons of dune grass, you cannot complain!
Our next stop was a cute restaurant called the Alte Backstube for tea and a sweet treat! We finished up our outing for the day at the Uwe Düne, the highest point of the island. While the view was insane, the wind had gotten nippy and we were ready to return to our lovely house. We cooked up a delicious meal, watched a movie and called it a day!
DAY 3 – MONDAY
Finally, we were fully rested and ready to tackle the day. We rented bikes for the day and did a little tour around the island. We rode from Tinnum to Munkmarsch to Kampen, into the dunes, back to the Uwe Düne, walked to the Rotes Kliff, biked to Wenningstedt, where we stopped for a bite to eat, went to Westerland and then headed home. All in all, it was about 12ish miles, which is not terrible, but factor in the major winds we were battling and it was tough!
DAY 4 – TUESDAY
From the moment we woke up, dark clouds were hanging over the horizon. We waited to see if it would pass, but eventually just dared to head out on our way. We took a long walk to the Rantumbecken. Just as we arrived the clouds decided to burst, which was perfect timing because there was a shelter for us to stand under. When it seemed as if the rain had let up we started walking again. We passed sheep, cows, horses and all sorts of birds. My dad saw a sign for a café along the way, so we thought we would check it out!
Turns out it was the cutest place ever! It is called Hofcafe Klein’er Kuhstall and is a really cozy, beautifully decorated farmhouse, with tons of outdoor seating, but also plenty of indoor seating. We went in and sat down and as soon as I saw the menu, I knew this cafe was my favorite place! The menu had one or two meat and cheese platters, but otherwise, you could only order tea, coffee and from a selection of their homemade cakes and tortes. I ordered a green tea and a piece of Eierlikör Torte, both of which were amazing!
After our sweet treat, we headed back home and then hopped into the car to get some groceries. In addition, my mom bought me a lovely pair of earrings and we found some beautiful postcards before going home.
DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY
Not every day can be go-go-go, so we relaxed all morning before visiting Hörnum, the southernmost point of the island. The weather looked pretty iffy as we left, but we were prepared.
Upon getting to Hörnum we knew the rain could start any minute. We started marching along the coast anyways, determined to enjoy ourselves. The sky, although stormy, was beautiful, the seagulls were flying all over the place, and the beach provided the perfect backdrop for some lovely photos. And then the rain started. Hoods up, bodies leaning against the wind, we found the path back to the road and trekked back to our car.
A stay on the North Sea is not possible without seafood and after that walk, we needed a little energy replenishment. We found a little bistro in the harbor that sold rolls with all sorts of smoked fish. We took a few to-go and feasted on them in the car. Our next stop was Fisch Blum where we found some great filets to grill up for dinner.
Our host, Ines, came over this evening with her 3-year-old son, Paul, to check in on us. She told us some great facts about the island, like how it is to get medical attention on the island, what the school options are for kids, and other island challenges. It was really cool hearing a person who lives on the island full time talk about it!
DAY 6 – THURSDAY
A hearty breakfast was all we needed today before going to the bike rental place and taking off on another adventure. The sun was shining and the temperatures were mild – ideal for a bike tour! We hopped on and biked to Morsum, which is a town on the point closest to the German mainland.
It was a beautiful bike ride through the countryside of Sylt. The only unpleasant thing was the wind trying to blow us back to where we came from! But we fought against it until we reached the trailhead at the Morsum Kliff, a dune landscape made poignant by one large, gorgeous cliff. There is a lovely trail that takes you up onto the cliff, down to the beach and around the other side of the cliff back to the trailhead. Post hike we got back on the bikes to find a café for a sweet treat.
After regaining our strength we road towards the coast to take the coastline back home. On the way, we saw so many cute sheep, particularly cute baby black sheep, and finally were met with the still waters of the North Sea to guide us home. The sun reflected so strongly off the water that I turned back into my high school tennis girl self with the cutest shoe tan lines ever.
We arrived home and cooked up another delicious meal, but the day was not over yet. We were determined to catch a Sylter sunset. At 8:45 we piled into the car, drove to the Uwe Düne, walked to the Rotes Kliff and watched the sun dip below the horizon. What a stunning way to end the day.
DAY 7 – FRIDAY
We woke up feeling very bitter as it was our last full day on Sylt. We enjoyed ourselves so much that going home did not really even feel like an option. The original plan was to leave early Saturday morning, but I suggested leaving Friday evening and we decided it made the most sense. Imagining waking up Saturday with the long drive home ahead of us was daunting and could have made me cry.
Instead, we rode the bikes into Westerland one last time to get some souvenirs and walk the beach. It was another mild day, so I took off my shoes to feel the sand between my toes and splash through the water. Just as we got back on the bikes to head home it started pouring. It was as if Mother Nature knew how bummed we were to leave.
We packed up, returned the bikes and stopped by one last time the Hofcafe Klein’er Kuhstall. We freshened up a bit and then got into the car around 7 to begin the long trek home. I took the first leg which included going on the car train, over the North Sea, over the North East Sea Canal, under the Elbe River, and through Hamburg. After getting coffee and tea, my mom took over.
DAY 8 – SATURDAY
My mom’s leg included an hour and a half long traffic jam in the middle of the night. After finally getting through that we took another pitstop where my dad took over. As the sky lit up and the countryside began to look familiar we knew we were close. Around 6 in the morning we made it home. We quietly unloaded the car in our still sleeping neighborhood and walked back into our apartment. We were home again but felt very bittersweet. After naps and the Saturday grocery shop was over we prepared ourselves for a new week.
A little over a week later and we still catch ourselves daydreaming of this lovely week and wishing we were still on Sylt.
This was my first vacation with my Nikon D5300 in hand and the photos turned out great. In my amateur opinion, that is. You can find them in full here, and I hope they give you a brief getaway from reality.
I will definitely be back one day <3
What is the one vacation spot that holds a special place in your heart?