Wafts of mist surround the grazing sheep on the small island called Öhe off the island of Ruegen. A flock of geese prepare to take off for their winter quarters. Fishing boats go out to sea and the morning light sends its golden rays over the country. Autumn has arrived on Ruegen. The busy hustle and bustle of the summer months slowly leaves the island. For me this is the most beautiful time to discover German islands.
The small ice-cream shop has closed for the winter and many of inns and restaurants are closed for holidays. The island breathes a sigh of relief and prepares for the coming winter. Time for us to take a deep breath, enjoy the bright autumn colours and absorb the last, still gently warming rays of sunshine.
Autumn atmosphere on Ruegen
We set off from Schaprode, where the ferry leaves for the enchanting island of Hiddensee, heading north-east towards Cape Arkona.
The journey through the countryside is entertaining. The sun over the Baltic Sea, which lies like a silver mirror, keeps twinkling in our eyes. The morning fog is caught in the avenues. Fog and sun illuminate the landscape in a mystical light.
Cape Arkona, the 43 meter high cliff with its two lighthouses are among the most visited attractions of the island. 800 000 visitors are counted here every year. As we park our car on the big parking lot there is not much to see of it. From here one can only continue on foot, with a horsescoach or with a small excursion train.
We choose the excursion train. After a short drive through the cosy village Putgarten we reach Cape Arkona. From the lighthouse we have a fantastic view over the vast countryside. It seems as if the air on Ruegen is clearer and the colours more intense than elsewhere. This clarity, the brilliant colours are breathtaking.
The lighthouse keeper recommends us a viewpoint from where we can enjoy one of the most beautiful view of the steep coast with its chalk cliffs: The Fishing village Vitte.
Walk to the fishing village Vitte
The path leads along the coast for about 2 km, slightly above the coast rocks. Here you have fantastic views over the coast and the open sea.
Suddenly thatched roofs appear as we descend the stairs to the small village of Vitte.
Vitte is a cosy little fishing village with a few inviting restaurants and cafés.
It feels like a perfect world. The view from the pebble beach opens up to the sea. White cliffs rise impressingly from the coastline. Often there are land breaks. A danger that should not be underestimated. A few seemingly life-weary people walk under the fragile cliffs.
We just watch it from a distance. Something different captivates me. I keep pushing the small pebbles to the side with a stick searching for amber. I could spend hours by the sea searching for beautiful shells and stones. This is my favourite pasttime by the sea and I can hardly stop from searching as I walk along the beach. Unfortunately I didn’t find any amber, but at least I spotted small ladybird sunbathing on a rock on the beach. Sometimes happiness shows up in a completely different form than expected.
As we walk back to the parking lot, we pass by an elderly man who cuts branches of sea buckthorn. “There are many fruits this year, but they are very small,” he reports. I love the taste of sea buckthorn. It perfectly resembles the nature of the island, sweet and yet, in a pleasant way, a little bitter.
Almost endless fields are spreading around to us. Clouds paint sweeping patterns into the bright blue sky. After passing the small village of Putgarten, we soon reach the parking lot.
We’ve spent quite some time looking for amber. It is almost noon. So we try to catch up some time again as we travle on southbound.
German bread art on Ruegen
At Peters’ Bakery in Neu Mukran we have a short lunch break. There is delicious bread, as only the Germans can bake it. The varieties Salzwiese, Rauchkorn and Rapshonig are Peters’ special breads. Of course we try them. The creations are very unconventional, partly with a hay crust, yet very tasty!
Behind the bakery, at the harbour, huge ships set off and remind us that we still have plans for today.
Hiking tour in Jasmund National Park
We leave our car at the parking lot at Weddingstrasse in Sassnitz. FAfter a short distance we reach the beech forest of Jasmund National Park. The beech forest above the chalk cliffs belongs to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage.
The autumn leaves rustle under your feet and the colourful leaves on the trees shine in the bright sun light. We take the path along cliffs, but always stay away from the edge. The views from here are autumnal and beguiling.
The foliage, the white chalk cliffs and the endless blue of the sky and the sea form a unique and enchanting composition.
After about two hours with numerous photo stops and a short detour down to the beach, we reach the hiking and information base UNESCO World Heritage Forum. Information boards and lots of books and brochures inform about the secrets of the beech forest and its inhabitants.
On our way back we take the direct path right through the deep forest. As we walk the low positioned sun blinks at us through the branches and soon we reach our car again.
Sophisticated seaside resort Binz
Actually we wanted to go to see Sellin, but the distances on Ruegen are not quite short. After all, Ruegen is the largest island in Germany with 926 km². The sun is standing barely above the horizon. So we decide to spend the evening in the coastal resort Binz.
A white sandy beach and a magnificent, sophisticated spa architecture characterise the seaside resort, which, despite its cosiness, has a touch of cosmopolitan elegance. Slowly, the day is taking its leave. The sun illuminates the clouds and the sky with warm colours. Breathtakingly beautiful!
Ruegen’s colours and the clarity of the air are unique! Only in a few other places in the world have I seen such clarity. As if the impressions would be amplified by the clear air and hit us right in the heart. Ruegen in autumn is breathtakingly beautiful!
With sunny greetings,
Further information and recommendations about the island of Ruegen:
If possible, take a flight to Rostock and further by rental car. Alternatively take a flight to Berlin or Hamburg. From there by rental car or train.
There are numerous accommodations on Ruegen for every budget and every taste: You can find more information here:
We ourselves were accommodated in a pretty guest room at the Gasthof Schillings in Schaprode. Everything is fine, only the breakfast needs getting used to. One gets its breakfast in the nearby farm shop and then has breakfast in the room on a tray. One has to like that.
At the Gasthof Schillings in Schaprode we had several excellent meals. Here they serve local and fresh products. Whether fish or meat (from the island of Öhe), the cuisine is very tasty. Those who only want a snack can buy fish rolls in the farm shop or in the small snack bar around the corner.
We strongly recommend a reservation for the restaurant. It was very well frequented.
The Peters bakery in Neu Mukran serves delicious bread and small tasty snacks and soups. Certainly a great place for an extensive brunch.
Disclosure: This research trip was supported by the German National Tourist Board (Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus und Ruegen Tourismus). My opinion remains untouched.