If you’re planning this year’s European holiday itinerary, then pencil in Föhr. A small island a few miles off the coast of northern Germany it is the ideal location to take a few days out from your tiring schedule of touring the bustling cities and German nightlife.
About the Green Island:
At 7.5 miles long, 4.5 miles wide, and with a population of less than 10,000, you can explore what is known locally as the ‘Green Island’. Get away from the hustle and bustle of thousands of tourists on the mainland all doing the same thing. Get adventurous. Get relaxed. And get those batteries recharged.
Becoming increasingly popular with visitors who want a truly away from it all stress relieving holiday, the island offers everything from relaxing saunas and wellness sessions to pleasant country walks, mouth watering local cuisine and cultural activities.
Föhr is the second largest of six German islands in the North Sea, and its ethnicity is made up of Germans, Danes and Frisians. Sheltered from the worst of the North Sea winter weather by the islands of Sylt and Amrum, and being a part of the Schleswig-Holstein Wattenmeer National Park, its 10,000 species of diverse natural vegetation and animals thrive in the mild climate.
The island’s economy is made up primarily of beef and sheep farming. It has a a small fleet of fishing boats based in Wyk harbour specialising in shellfish, mainly for the local community, although some is exported to the mainland. With the increasing numbers of tourists who have found this gem just off the German mainland, tourism is beginning to play an increasingly large part in the wellbeing of Föhr’s fortunes.
Things to do on Föhr:
There are a plethora of activities to be enjoyed by all age groups on this unique island. With the Gulf Stream warming the islands waters, the younger or more active family members can enjoy the 15 kilometres of white sandy beach, and get involved in an increasing number of popular water sports. If you are visiting in the summer, have a different night out. Enjoy a chilled bottle of wine with a barbecue on the beach, before settling down for a night’s sleep in one of Föhr’s unique beach sleeping baskets.
If you fancy getting down and dirty, then a few hours spent mudflat hiking could be right up your street. The eight kilometre guided tour will have you squelching through mud and sand flats. With the right tides, you can cross from Föhr to the neighbouring island of Amrum. Don’t forget to take your beach spade as digging for a pearl bearing oyster is becoming a popular pastime. Other active leisure activities include:
- Boat trips.
- Viewing the island from the air.
- Walking, hiking and cycling.
- Enjoying the Frisian architecture, Dutch windmills and thatched cottages.
- Horse riding.
- Mini and full size golf courses.
- Indoor and outdoor tennis.
All these activities provide an element of relaxation, doing something you enjoy away from the rush of daily living. But we mustn’t forget those who want total chill, relaxation, de-stress, detox and pampering from arrival to departure.
As a top spa destination, Föhr has over the centuries attracted Danish royalty and famous novelists from around Europe. Spa and sauna apart, you can enjoy the therapeutic effects of a full range of health resort and wellness treatments.
- Massage and meditation.
- Lymph drainage.
- Face masks and mud packs.
A range of Asian treatments for personal wellness are available, as well as Thalassotherapy, a treatment which uses seawater, salt and algae to improve the nervous system and help relieve respiratory problems and joint pains. Check out Spa Resorts on Föhr to get an idea of what awaits you just over the water.
If that’s not enough, there are hundreds of other organised and unorganised activities and events to be enjoyed by the whole family. From local markets to guided tours to organised children’s activities. In Föhr nobody is forgotten.
How to get to Föhr:
Although there is a small airport for light aircraft which is used primarily by the locals, most of Föhr’s tourists arrive by ferry. Make your way to Dagebüll on the German mainland by car or train. From there the car ferry operates a regular service to Föhr. Your short 45 minute journey will take you through the Wadden Sea National Park and past the Hallig Islands, before docking at the island’s ferry port of Wyk. As you steam into the port check out the 15km of white sand beaches around the south of the island.
Your Holiday Accommodation:
Wyk is the only town on an island which includes 16 villages. Nonetheless, accommodation of all types is plentiful. From high end spa hotels with private pool, budget hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation, to beautiful detached houses with sea views, apartments and rooms, Föhr has something to suit all pockets and preferences. Wherever you choose to stay on this small island, you’re never far from the centre of everything.
Eating and Dining in Föhr:
Föhr is not just about those famous German dishes of Currywurst, Bratwurst or Spatzle. With its mix of nationalities and culture, subtle little changes in different areas of the island make each dish individual.
As one would expect on a small island, freshly caught fish and crabs are available on almost every menu. Lamb, big juicy steaks and other meat dishes garnished with crisp fresh salads and seasonal vegetables can be enjoyed in the evening along with a range of popular international dishes, draught beers and top quality wines.
On a cold, rainy day we recommend a very tasty rice pudding with sugar and cinnamon.
Best Time to Visit:
With the Gulf Stream lapping the shoreline and its sheltered position behind Sylt and Amrum, Föhr has a mild oceanic climate year round. December through March are the coolest months of the year and ideal for less crowded brisk invigorating coastal walks and cycle rides, before enjoying a skin tingling sauna.
Late April through to early October provide the warmer, and busier months of the year for all those outside activities to be enjoyed. One thing’s for sure, with so many events and festivities organised locally year round, you will never have time to get bored in Föhr.