Germany’s North Sea
Island of Helgoland
At various times in
Helgoland has been a possession of Britain and Denmark. Today it
archipelago of two islands, only the larger is permanently
inhabited. The smaller island, known
as “Dune,” was once connected to the main island by a natural isthmus,
two were separated by a storm flood in 1720.
Today, Dune is mainly used as a summer resort. In addition to small
bungalows, campgrounds and sandy beaches, Dune has an airport with a
400 m/1300 ft
concrete runway, suitable for small airplanes. A recent plan to
fill the area between Helgoland and Dune to make one contiguous island
was voted down. Except for the few who arrive by private watercraft or
small airplane, most people going to
Helgoland arrive by ferry from one of the various ports on the
mainland. They then use local water transport if continuing on to Dune.
Not unlike the Baltic
island of Ruegen,
Helgoland has an
especially sunny climate in comparison to mainland Germany.
It’s a favorite destination for people with allergies and
other respiratory conditions, as the air off the North Sea is
particularly clean and fresh. Helgoland is a recognized North Sea Spa
Resort, the climate being mild enough to grow figs.
draw for many, aside from the chance to take a pleasurable boat ride to
an unusual island, is the duty-free shopping in town. There’s
a limit to what you can bring back to the mainland, but the savings on
a small number of purchases can more than offset the cost of the trip.
English is available at the Helgoland
Tourism Office website.