If you’ve never heard of the Wadden Sea, don’t worry as you’re not the only one. However, if you love hiking in different parts of the world this may be a place that will interest you. The sea sits in the northern section of Germany and is quite popular with hikers and birdwatchers due to its extensive mud flats and the millions of birds that breed and spend the winters there.
The sea is a World Heritage Site and it’s quite a fascinating place. While exploring the tidal flats you’ll be able to discover a hidden marine world. The sea is home to the biggest unbroken system of mud flats and intertidal sand on the planet. The most interesting part of the sea borders Germany and Holland near the German community of Cuxhaven, and you’ll find about 10,000 species of animals and plants there which range from seals to microscopic algae and include many types of crabs. Many of the species are endangered or rare.
Many types of animals are attracted to the Wadden Sea and the surrounding area since there’s so much food available there for them. They don’t really have to search for it as the district is like one large all-you-can eat restaurant. The sea has a long and sandy beach, and when the tide’s out you just have to take your shoes off and begin your hiking adventure. However, it’s important that you check the local tidal chart as you don’t want to walk too far out to sea and get caught once the tide comes back in.
Scientists believe the mud flats are filled with nutrients that are soothing to the feet. Most of the sea floor is quite compact and firm in Cuxhaven, however if you’d prefer to hike through the mud the best place to visit is the town of Wilhelmshaven, which is about a 90-minute drive. When you’re on the mud flats, you may see a few tree branches sticking up from the mud as people use them as markers to help guide them back from Neuwerk Island, which is about a six-mile hike.
During the summer months it’s not unusual to see hundreds of hikers making the journey to the island when the tide’s out. Many of them spend the day there and take a ship back to Cuxhaven when the tide’s back in. in fact, some people actually make the trip to the island by horse and buggy or horseback. The island’s a lovely place to explore and you could possibly meet everybody who lives on it since the population is about 35.
The mud flats, Neuwerk Island, and two bird sanctuaries are all a part of Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park. One of the more fascinating birds there is called the knot. This creature arrives at the Wadden Sea as a pretty skinny bird and by the time it flies away four weeks later it has doubled in size.
When hiking at the Wadden Sea, be aware that the conditions can sometimes turn pretty harsh in a flash. This is why a lot of the animal species actually dig down and live in the sand. But even when the tide rolls in you’ll find plenty of fun outdoor activities to enjoy such as sailing and para-sailing. The Wadden Sea is an ideal location for those who love variety.