Rügen - A whole island to discover!
On Rügen, you can experience nature up close. Picturesque bays in which the reeds sing quietly, pristine forests, colourful meadows, endless sandy beaches and dazzling white cliffs push everyday life far into the distance. It is not without reason that Rügen is one of the most popular German islands - it is also the largest, covering an area of 926 square kilometres. It has a maximum length of around 51 km and a maximum width of almost 43 km. Because of its size, even in high season with many holidaymakers enjoying the beaches, you can still easily find an oasis of calm. At the same time, it never gets boring on Rügen as lively seaside resorts and some of the most famous sights in Germany ensure a varied holiday at any time of the year. Let yourself be enchanted by the special charm of Rügen!
Gager, where the holiday resort mönchgut living & spa is located, lies on the Mönchgut peninsula in south-eastern Rügen. It separates the Rügischen Bodden from the Baltic Sea. On Mönchgut there are popular seaside resorts and tranquil fishing villages. The peninsula forms part of the UNESCO Southeast Rügen Biosphere Reserve. The area received its name in the Middle Ages when it belonged to the monastery of Eldena near Greifswald. The Mönchgraben forms the border between the Mönchgut peninsula and the rest of the island of Rügen. This moat is fed by Lake Sellin and originally stretched as far as the Baltic coast between Baabe and Sellin. A large wooden gate at the entrance to Baabe lets travellers know that they are now entering the Mönchgut peninsula.
Everywhere on Mönchgut, you can go on wonderful hikes or bicycle rides. Particularly worth exploring are: The Zickersche Berge, the Kleine Zicker in the extreme south and, to the north, the Reddevitzer Höft, which juts out into the 'bodden' like a long narrow finger. Not to be missed is the view from the Lotsenturm in the Baltic seaside resort of Thiessow. From there, you not only have a great panoramic view over the Mönchgut peninsula, you can also see Usedom and the small island of Greifswalder Oie on the horizon. Besides Gager, Groß Zicker, Middelhagen and Alt-Reddevitz are also picturesque villages worth a visit.
Baltic seaside resorts of Göhren, Baabe, Sellin
The popular seaside resorts of Göhren, Baabe and Sellin are only a few kilometres from Gager and its scenic surroundings. Each of them has its own character. Göhren adjoins Cape Nordperd, Rügen's most easterly point. The seaside resort also has two fine sandy beaches: north beach, which is particularly popular with tourists, and the somewhat quieter south beach. Baabe is a family-friendly resort. The heart of the village is a beautiful avenue with a wide green strip down the middle. Sellin, on the other hand, is known for its magnificent Spa architecture. The Selliner Wilhelmstraße, with its white facades, is one of the most elegant promenades on the whole island. If you enjoy hustle and bustle or shopping, this is the place for you. At the end of Wilhelmstraße, you can look down onto the picturesque pier, which is one of the most famous landmarks in Rügen.
Water park "Ahoi! Rügen"
The water park, Ahoi! Rügen, in Sellin, is especially enjoyable in winter, or bad weather. The fun park has a large swimming area, water slide, outdoor pool, current channel and whirlpools and is open all year round. There is also a spacious sauna area.
Turn off the national road and take the lovely scenic route which ends in the small, dreamy village of Seedorf which belongs to the municipality of Sellin. It has a natural harbour, which used to be the main harbour for the seaside resort of Sellin until its new marina was built in 2018. Nevertheless, many pleasure craft still dock in Seedorf, where its restaurants invite you to linger awhile and the picturesque surroundings are ideal for longer walks.
The Granitz hunting lodge is one of the most visited castles in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The main attraction of the castle, which was originally built for Prince Wilhelm Malte zu Putbus, is a 38-metre-high tower designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. From the viewing platform you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view over the island of Rügen. To get there, however, you have to climb a cantilevered cast-iron staircase. This is not easy for people who suffer from vertigo!
Are you fascinated by railways or do you want to offer your children a very special experience? Then you should take a ride on the Rasender Roland. The steam-powered locomotive runs on a narrow-gauge railway and has been operating between Göhren, Baabe, Sellin, Binz and Putbus since 1895. The Rasender Roland once played an important role in the development of the seaside resorts. Nowadays, the historic steam train serves as a tourist attraction as well as the local train service.
The Baltic seaside resort of Binz
Binz is undoubtedly one of the most elegant and sophisticated seaside resorts on the German Baltic coast. In the 1920s it was known as the 'Nice of the Baltic Sea'. Today, the largest seaside resort on Rügen still has faint echoes of a bygone age. The numerous ornate white villas, the beautifully laid out beach promenade and the many restaurants and shops create a very special atmosphere. When visiting the town, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy the view of the resort from the end of the 370 metre-long pier. It is characterised by the Kurhaus, which is now an hotel and is the landmark of Binz.
Putbus & Lauterbach
It may be hard to believe but Putbus, founded in 1810 by Prince Wilhelm Malte zu Putbus, is the oldest seaside resort in Rügen but is actually not on the Baltic Sea. Both the Circus, a circular square in the centre surrounded by large white neo-classical buildings, and the castle park are worth seeing. Unfortunately, the castle itself was destroyed in GDR times. Putbus is also home to Rügen's only theatre, which makes the municipality - known as the 'White City' - the cultural capital of the island. It is also worth making a detour to Lauterbach, the harbour of Putbus. Here you can see the Badehaus Goor with its 18 columns reminiscent of a temple. From Lauterbach, ships depart to the island for Vilm.
The Island of Vilm
Vilm is a small island in the Rügen Bodden. In GDR times the island was closed to the public and used as a holiday destination for high-ranking politicians and members of the Council of Ministers. The Honeckers visited the island several times. Vilm is a true natural paradise, where nature has been able to develop without major human intervention. In order to preserve this primaeval forest for future generations, access is strictly controlled. However, you can visit the island as part of a guided excursion.
Have you ever dreamed of seeing a forest from above and being very close to the treetops? The Treetop Walk at the Naturerbe Zentrum Rügen near Prora makes this possible. Over 1,250 metres in length, the path meanders through the pristine beach forest until you reach a 40- metre- high observation platform from where you have a fantastic panoramic view of Rügen. On the way, you will learn a lot of interesting facts about the forest and nature.
t is the second-largest town on the island after Bergen and one of the oldest seaside resorts in Germany. Originally a fishing village, Sassnitz developed into the leading holiday resort on Rügen in the second half of the 19th century. By the 1920s Sassnitz had lost its status to places such as Binz, Sellin and Göhren but, even today, the resort still has its loyal following. It is an attractive old town with a lot of maritime flair. From the promenade, you can watch the ferries that connect Mukran with Sweden.
Chalk cliffs & Königsstuhl
The dazzling white chalk cliffs are regarded as the quintessential symbol of Rügen. The painter, Caspar David Friedrich, was inspired by this natural phenomenon. To this day the steep coast, with the famous Königsstuhl (King's Chair), extends over 15 kilometres between Sassnitz and Lohme and has lost none of its charm. It is part of the Jasmund National Park, which also includes a beech grove that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. To find out more about the natural heritage, you can visit the Königstuhl National Park Centre with its 2,000 square metre exhibition.
Wittow, the northernmost peninsula of Rügen, would also be an island if it wasn't connected to the Jasmund peninsula by the Schaabe spit. The spit, which is almost 12 kilometres long and only 600 metres wide at its narrowest, separates the Großen Jasmunder Bodden from the Baltic Sea. The Schaabe is known for its beautiful sandy beach and is bordered by the villages of Glowe in the south and Julisusruh in the north. Both have well-developed tourist infrastructures.
Cape Arkona is a picturesque cape on the Wittow peninsula and is regarded as the northernmost point of Rügen. It rises 45 metres above the Baltic Sea and is a popular tourist destination. The two lighthouses, one of them designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, are the Cape's landmark. For nature conservation reasons, the entire area has been designated as a traffic-restricted zone (visitors may not bring their cars in). This makes a visit particularly relaxing. The two nearby villages of Putgarten and Vitt are very picturesque.
At the open-air theatre of Ralswiek, the adventures of the legendary pirate Klaus Störtebeker are re-enacted every summer. The pirate, who was allegedly born on Rügen, is said to have plied his trade in the North and Baltic Seas at the end of the 14th century until he and his companions were beheaded in 1401. Many legends still surround his life. On a beautiful summer evening in Ralswiek, you can immerse yourself in his world. Talented actors, numerous extras, horses, ships and fireworks create a splendid spectacle.
The car-free Hiddensee is the little sister island of Rügen. Over the years, many artists have been attracted to the small island and this is still reflected on the island today. Gerhart Hauptmann, for example, was a regular visitor to Hiddensee from 1885 to 1943. Today his former summer residence is a memorial to the writer and Nobel Prize winner. Those who travel to Hiddensee today are seeking, first and foremost, unspoilt nature. The island, which in some places is only 300 metres wide, has just over 1,000 inhabitants and lies within the Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park. You can visit the island comfortably as a day trip.
Stralsund & Ozeaneum
Although Stralsund is not situated on Rügen, the once-proud Hanseatic city is, without doubt, the 'gateway' to Germany's largest island. The old town, with three large brick churches, a magnificent town hall in the style of North German 'Brick Gothic' and many historic residential and commercial buildings, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. In addition to the picturesque old town, the old city harbour of Stralsund, which has increasingly become a magnet for visitors in recent years, is well worth seeing. There is also the Ozeaneum, a large aquarium with impressive architecture that recreates the underwater worlds of the Baltic and North Seas, the North Atlantic and the Polar Sea. You can reach Stralsund, by car from Gager, in less than an hour. There are also regular regional trains from Binz to the Hanseatic city.
Greifswald is another attractive Hanseatic city next to Stralsund on the mainland. During summer, the ferry from Glewitz to Stahlbrode provides a romantic alternative to the Rügen Bridge. The town makes for an easy and interesting excursion from Gager. You can visit the superbly renovated old town, with its pretty market place, as well as the harbour which has many historical ships. Since Greifswald is also home to one of the oldest universities in the Baltic Sea region, the venerable Hanseatic city has remained young and lively. In the old part of the city, there are many university buildings and numerous students during term time.