What a cold winter! Regularly, people associate a very particular image with the winter in Germany: a grey sky, temperatures around zero degrees and no snow (except you are living in the alps). Due to this, I was really surprised of the freezing temperatures in February. Perfect conditions to spend a few days in the north-east of Germany and discover some outstanding winter landscapes of Rügen Island.
Rügen is Germany’s largest island and offers a variety of landscape features and places to visit – starting from the Jasmund National Park (part of a UNESCO World Heritage site) with its famous chalk cliffs to the small fishing villages with its peaceful atmosphere. Moreover, 1800 hours of sunshine per year make it a popular travel destination for German tourists.
Remarkable Nature: Jasmund National Park
The main attraction of Rügen Island are the white chalk cliffs which are located to the north-east of Sassnitz. Already 200 years ago, Caspar David Friedrich displayed them in 1818 in one of his famous paintings. They suffer from erosion and change their surface year by year.
Be aware that you can’t reach the cliffs next to the famous Königsstein by car, as its closed for private vehicles. You can take the bus or explore the area by foot. I highly recommend the parking area next to Hagen. From there it takes you around 30 minutes to reach the chalk cliffs. The peaceful way through the old beechwood forest is easy and offers nice views.
In my opinion it’s not worth to spend nearly 10 bucks for the Königsstein lookout. If you are standing in front of the entrance, turn right and take a five minutes walk to the Victoria View. You don’t have to pay any money to enter the area while having the same great panorama view.
Winter in Germany: Frozen Coast at Sassnitz
Sassnitz is a well-known fishing village and seaside resort. You can get fresh fish and delicious cake at the promenade while listening to the sound of the Baltic Sea. In the first place, I didn’t associate the village with landscape photography but the freezing temperatures made it a paradise for my camera. The whole port area was defined by ice and snow:
I spend nearly an hour at this location to picture the fantastic landscape with all its details. The rock formations reminded me of images from Antarctica or Iceland. Still, I can’t believe that I experienced such outstanding conditions in Germany. Take a look at these surreal ice formations:
Impressive Landscapes of Rügen Island: Binz
After this great evening at the Port I decided to spend one more day at the frozen Baltic Sea. Binz is another seaside Resort located in the south-east of the island. You can take a great walk along the beach and discover the impressive pier. The panorama view at this part of the coast is incredible.
Due to the cold and windy conditions, it was nearly impossible to stay the pier for a long time. Nevertheless, I managed to take a few shots of the icy countryside. The sound of the shaking floes in the rough sea was amazing. A perfect last day at the island of Rügen. What a great trip!
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