Located off the Pomeranian coast in the Baltic Sea, Rügen Island is ringed by sandy beaches and dramatic, white chalk cliffs. It is the largest island in Germany, featuring charming seaside resorts, rejuvenating spas and picturesque rural landscapes.
Things to do in Rügen
Hugging the north-east coast of Rügen Island is Jasmund National Park, which encompasses dense beech forests that are home to rare plant and bird species. A highlight of the park is the 118-metre-high Königsstuhl, also known as “King’s Chair”, that features a spectacular chalk cliff framed by lush greenery.
Nearby is the popular resort town of Sassnitz, which is home to the HMS Otus submarine, a British-built World War II vessel that’s been transformed into a naval museum. You can experience what life was like on the submarine as you wander through its recreated interior and learn about the Tigerfish torpedoes that were launched from it.
An architectural highlight of Rügen Island is the Granitz Hunting Lodge, which was originally built in 1723 and extended a century later. Wander through its opulent rooms and climb the spiral staircase that leads to the top of its crenellated tower, from where there are superb views across the island. If you’re feeling hungry, there’s also a cosy restaurant in the basement.
Getting around Rügen
Rügen Airport on the outskirts of Bergen is the main aviation gateway to the island and offers charter flights to destinations across Germany. Regular trains connect to Stralsund and Rostock on the mainland, while ferries cruise from Sassnitz to Trelleborg in southern Sweden. Buses travel throughout Rügen Island, although having your own vehicle gives greater freedom to explore.