Airbnb organised a short break on Sylt – Franzi spent 24 hours there to see the island through the eyes of locals
As a Bavarian kid, my parents ardently kept me away from almost the entirety of northern Germany. It was just in the course of the last few years – and with enough space between me and my beloved South – that my interest was piqued to want to scrutinize the sea and flat lands a little more closely.
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So when Airbnb extended an invitation to visit the North Frisian islands, I was more than happy to accept and was completely thrilled by the approach the trip would take: Getting to know Sylt and Föhr from the perspective of the locals and without paying a visit to “whiskey mile,” Sansibar, or anonymous hotels. Instead, we were picked up from our thatched-roof accommodations in Kampen by a real local boy from Sylt who guided us around the green east side of the island: from Café Kupferkanne to a picnic on the Uwe Dunes all the way to a long walk on the beach along the Rotes Kliff. I learned how to open a “Sylter Royal” at Dittmeyer’s and all about the hard work that goes into being an oyster farmer – in wind and weather, they do almost the entire harvest and packing of the goods by hand.
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The evening was spent with delicious wines and regional specialties in a renovated stable in Tinnum that can be rented by travelers.
My personal highlight, however, took place on day two: acting as co-pilot on an adventurous flight over the whole string of islands! I got to discover Amrum from above, spot seal banks, and found out about the Halligen – small islands in the mudflats that aren’t protected by dikes and whose few inhabitants build their homes on plateaus. Letters and packages reach the islands only at certain times as the mailman has to undertake a mudflat hiking tour for every delivery (and is therefore very dependent on the tides).
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Our destination airport was called Wyk auf Föhr, where we were received by an older woman who related her personal stories about the island and took us to our final point on the island: a sailboat we were also allowed to board.
It was around noon and with a heavy heart when I already had to say goodbye and get to the harbor to catch the ferry and sail back to the mainland. But one thing is clear: Sylt and Föhr, rain or shine – I’ll be back!
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