Germany is known for its rich history and many touristic attractions. But the island of Sylt in the North Sea of northern Germany is the brightest and largest diamond – at 13 kilometers wide and 38 kilometers long – among the jewels that make up the North Frisian Islands.
Sylt serves as a destination for Germany’s frolicking jet set and the tourist looking for an upscale alternative to Germany’s other landmarks.
Forty kilometers of pristine sandy beaches surround Sylt, home to the island’s iconic lighthouses and approximately 12,000 beach baskets, or strandkorb, Germany’s version of a canopied outdoor love seat. The beach baskets have storage space under the seat and can stand against wind and rough weather with an enviable lifespan of up to 20 years.
Sylt has a dozen areas of interests: List (northernmost tip of the island), Kampen (the most sophisticated area), Wenningstedt and Braderup (ideal destinations for families), Westerland, the lively area, Archsum, Keitum, Morsum, Munkmarsch and Tinnum (five charming locations on the eastern side of the island), Rantum (between the west and east coast) and finally, Hornum, Sylt’s sunny southern area.
As soon as we reached Westerland, we were led to our designatedtaxi, which drove us off to Budersand Hotel –Golf and Spa. Overlooking the frigid North Sea, the hotel features four modern buildings connected by bridges. The hotel, with its elegant glass and wood surfaces, is fused into Sylt’s natural landscape and its massive glass windows allows natural light to flow into the rooms and suites. Budersand also consists of numerous outdoor terraces providing guests with breathtaking views of the sea, sky, dunes and the harbor.
The hotel offers comfort and luxury in addition to impressive facilities including a lobby lounge, a library with books selected by famed German author and television presenter Elke Heidenreich, a full-fledged spa and the gourmet restaurant KAI3.
Fall In Love With Nature
Nature is extremely important at Sylt; for that reason the Budersand, like many of the island’s buildings, is surrounded by vegetation and wooden boardwalks allowing guests to experience the island’s botanical splendor. The hotel is designed to allow guests in almost all of the 79 rooms to enjoy an endless view from all four directions, including Germany’s first Scottish-style 18-hole golf course.
During our tour, we noticed how Sylt is dotted with small thatched roof houses, as if we were stepping into the tale of Hansel and Gretel. The island has its own dialect called Söl’ring, which is only spoken by four percent of the population. Sylt is a famous secondary residence and is known as “the island of the rich and beautiful.” Due to its sense of serenity, beauty, luxury and comfort, the island has always been attractive to Germany’s richest residents.
Food guides, such as the Michelin and the Gault Millau, one of the most influential French restaurant guides, have repeatedly given awards to several of the island’s restaurants. Whether visitors are fans of gourmet elegant restaurants or relaxed casual beach bistros, they will be impressed with their dining experiences on the island.
Our first culinary experience was at La Grande Plage restaurant in Kampen. The restaurant is nice and hip, and is reached by taking a long walk along the beach. We were infatuated with the relaxed environment, the people in their beachwear and the surfers lazing about by the water. One of the many things Sylt is known for is its culinary scene. For dinner we went for a fancy meal at Sansibar, a restaurant known for attracting a number of German celebrities including Claudia Schiffer and Boris Becker. It’s a small cozy candle-lit restaurant that overwhelms you with a feeling of warmth and comfort. The food, the steak with sides of salad and potatoes, to be specific, was exceptionally delicious.
After memorable tours of Sylt and its attractions, we took a train to the wealthiest city in Germany, Hamburg, where we were ferried to the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. At the hotel’s rooftop terrace and known as the “Phantom Room,” is one of Hamburg’s most sought after locations in terms of privacy and seclusion. The terrace provides guests with a breathtaking view of the city in addition to peace and quiet. The hotel is in the city center, making it easy to visit the city’s historical monuments and shopping boutiques.
With a peaceful mind and slightly heavier luggage, we flew back to Jeddah. Lufthansa Airlines, who provide travelers with the quickest and most convenient routes, organized our trip. On our trip, we flew to Frankfurt, and then took another flight from there to Sylt. On our way back, we took the train to Hamburg and from there, we came back home. Lufthansa is known for its convenience and flexibility in dealing with passengers. Their presence within the Kingdom has increased during the past few years, rapidly making them KSA’s first-choice airlines.