Boßeln and Biikebrennen: Tips for a winter holiday on the coast

Off to the German coast! The North Sea and the Baltic Sea are a holiday destination with their own charm in winter – and some bizarre traditions.

The sea plays the main role on both German coasts. In winter, the North Sea can become a natural adventure to the rhythm of the tides. Depending on whether the wind blows from land or sea, it determines the weather.

In contrast, the Baltic Sea is more stable. Ebb and flow are hardly noticeable. The air is less salty. Regardless of whether it is islands or the mainland, the North Sea or the Baltic Sea, winter likes to show guests on the coast the unpredictable side of nature. Nevertheless, there is no stinging of heat. You can find it on the beach in the spa, in the tropical warm swimming pool or inside in cozy parlors, with a hot cup of tea or grog.

Slow down with algae, sand, silt and sun

The mostly car-free East Frisian Islands beckon with a warm seaweed bath after a beach excursion. You are a certified Thalasso region. The wellness providers use the healing power of the sea with salt water treatments, fresh sea air containing iodine, sun or packs with algae, silt and sand.

Thalasso treatments are also included in low-cost packages, for example in the Bathhouse to Norderney, the oldest seaside resort in the North Sea – also in the surprising combination of sea salt and milk bath.

The facial peeling is completely free when the wind blows sand and cold onto your face. Only then do die-hard North Sea holidaymakers feel really grounded. Brisk walks in the soft sand against the stiff breeze blow away the stress of everyday life and increase fitness. For holidaymakers with low blood pressure, respiratory problems as well as for allergy sufferers and those with skin diseases, the North Sea’s stimulating climate is also said to have a beneficial effect.

The force of nature as a contrast to the hectic everyday life

Those who like it more comfortable can find themselves in the spa – and watch the wind and waves from the warm. This can be done in the dune spa sauna on Spiekeroog or in the panorama sauna on Borkum Tidal land .

Long walks on the beach and dike play the main role in winter along the entire North Sea coast. Wellness and culture provide variety. At low tide, guides show the forces of nature in the silt between the mainland, islands and Halligen. Traditionally, some of these mudflat walks end with a hearty kale meal.

Frisian activities include cycling, horse riding on the beach, or boßeln, a type of ball throwing. Die-hard people dare to go ice bathing. The Biikebrennen beckon in North Friesland in February. These are pyres on the beach, with which the North Frisians drive out the winter according to an old custom. Today you go to the fire in a torchlight procession or look at the romantic scenery from the excursion steamer.

Traditionally, guests at the North Sea are allowed to immerse themselves in the rough world of seafarers and whalers. Songs tell stories about captains who got rich and daring wreckers who fought over lost shipments. Most of the beach debris at that time was made of plastic. Guests can dispose of washed-up rubbish during beach cleanups, such as those offered by Nabu.

Meanwhile, the modern wreckers are looking for shells and driftwood to decorate their homes. With luck, some will find amber. At low tide or after storms, some collectors bend down for colored sea glass. These are shards that have been sanded smooth on the ocean floor by the current. The hotspot for these “mermaid tears” is Helgoland, Germany’s only real offshore island.

In search of tears from the mermaids and chicken gods

A swivel to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: There Usedom and Rügen score, in addition to the glamorous spa architecture from the early days, with the most hours of sunshine on average in Germany.

Beach experiences are also the first choice on the Baltic Sea – especially on Europe’s longest promenade between the imperial baths of Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf and Bansin on Usedom to the Polish seaside resort of Swinoujscie. The 12.5 kilometer long beach is lined with magnificent villas and leads past the longest pier in Germany in Heringsdorf – and the oldest in Ahlbeck.

On Rügen beach hikers can go directly to the beech forest of the Unesco world natural heritage site Jasmund for forest bathing. On Usedom in the coastal forest. Collectors look for flint on the cliffs and west of the Mecklenburg Bay. Chicken gods – flint stones with round holes – and petrified sea urchins and thunderbolts are particularly popular. Then the best place to look is on Fehmarn.

The two original thalassotherapy centers are in Travemünde and Warnemünde. In addition, other facilities offer applications with sea water and typical regional remedies such as healing chalk and moor. More and more saunas also offer sweating with a sea view. (dpa)

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