Ok, another great thing about October is all the FOOOOOOOOOD! Just check out these great vegetables from the farmer’s market. Really getting hungry..
These pictures were taken by a friend. Check out his professional photos here, they are truly amazing!
Do you also love a sunny day in October? When it’s fresh and crisp and the sun stands so low that you can literally see it streaming through the air and illuminate it? I love this time – there is this feeling of a fresh start, something busy in the air. I never get this in spring – somehow my year always ends in the summer, not in December. Probably because school and uni used to start in the fall, so I naturally associate this time with excitement about something new, with seeing friends again after a long summer, with productivity and satisfaction about getting something done. My very first major falling in love also happened around this time – I can still feel it in the air, every single time. It’s been years and I don’t even remember the guy’s voice, but I still smell the same yellow leaves and “My All” by Mariah Carey is ever so present in my ears. It’s so good it almost hurts.
As promised, we’ve put together a short travel guide for the island. Here it is:
The island mainly consists of five regions:
- Kampen – village at the waterside with an amazing beach and good restaurants. Perfect spot for people watching and simply enjoying the good sides of life
- Keitum – cosy little village, great for a god cup of Nordic tea and cake after shopping in one of the numerous cute little stores
- Hörnum/Rantum – nice nature, but more family oriented, less exciting for young people/couples
- List – in the very north of Sylt; not much to do there but definitively go there as it is the best place to eat loooots of fresh fish! (at Gosh; see below)
- Westerland – main town on the island. Not pretty – leave it out
My personal favorites (as you might see above) are Kampen and Keitum, but you should definitively also explore the other areas and see how much this relatively tiny island has to offer (less than 40km long and 100sqkm large)
Getting there and around
- Fly straight to Sylt (flights are offered by Lufthansa, Air Berlin and some smaller local airlines during high season)
- Alternatively fly into Hamburg and drive from there (2hrs to Niebüll and then 30min with Deutsche Bahn auto train)
- Try to come by car or rent one on the island. Otherwise taxis and buses are widely available
Where to stay
Kampen: Hotels can be quite pricey and I can’t still I particularly love any; I always personally prefer to rent a nice house in Kampen via “Apartments und Mehr”
Keitum: Bene-diken Hof – very cosy place, located in the center of Kampen; either rent a room or one of the serviced Apartments
Rantum: if you do want real luxury though, try out Söl’ring Hof, the best hotel on the island. It also has a 2-star restaurant that has been voted the best restaurant in Germany in 2012 and 2013
Hörnum: for some nice Golf&Spa, go to Budersand Hotel. Located right at the water, the spa offers one of the most amazing views
Now, the most important part – where to eat?
- Sansibar – situated right in the sand dunes, this is probably the most famous place on the island. Go for either dinner or brunch (be aware that if you go for brunch you won’t need any food until evening as portions and variety are huge); make sure you reserve well in advance as it is always crowded (even in low season)
- Samoa Seepferdchen – very similar style to Sansibar nicely located in the dunes, but less well known and therefore less crowded. I personally prefer this to Sansibar as it is a bit more personal and cosy
- Vogelkoje – just outside Kampen; make sure you reserve a table outside in the summer as they have a really nice garden
- Gosch „Alte Bootshalle“ in List – make sure you go there at least once while you are on Sylt, though I am sure you will come back more often. Sit down at one of the long wooden tables, enjoy the catch of the day, lobster or the probably freshest oysters possible while listening to old German sailor songs. You can go at any time of the day (though I always prefer to go there in the afternoon for a little snack in-between)
- Söl’ring Hof – as mentioned above, this is a 2 Michelin star restaurant. Beautiful location and beautiful food. Go for special occasions since it’s quite expensive
- Leysieffer „Das kleine Odin“ in Kampen – though there are multiple Leysieffer outlets on Sylt I definitively recommend the one in Kampen; it is THE spot for people watching in the summer when people are sitting outside, enjoying a fresh breeze while drinking a glas of prosecco and eating “Milchreis with Rote Grütze” – come for lunch, cake or simply for a glass of Bellini in the afternoon
- La Grande Plage in Kampen – perfect location on the beach. Nice terrace to sit outside, enjoy lunch, coffee & cake or a glas of white wine while watching the sunset
- Buhne 16 – you can only get there by foot – but the walk is worth it. Start walking at the beach in Kampen and always go north, you cannot miss it (takes you c. 20-30min to get there). It is especially great during summer; in spring/autumn it can get a bit chilly as they only have chairs/tables outside. Make sure you order a fresh pie or “Milchreis” as a reward for the walk up there. What could be better than sitting barefoot in the middle of the dunes with a bottle of Corona, enjoying the afternoon sun?
- Sturmhaube – nice restaurant in Kampen with a seaview and an amazing sunset. Great for dinner
- Manne Pahl in Kampen – probably my favorite on Sylt! Very cosy /Austrian style restaurant. Reserve a table in the back during autumn/winter time and in the front during the summer. Make sure you try the “Schnitzel with Gurkensalat”. Best Schnitzel ever!
- Kupferkanne – not only the location is quite “special” also the size of the cakes you order are! Make sure you come hungry!!! Breakfast is also delicious
- Gehrke Sylt – this is actually a speciality food shop, not a restaurant. In case you rent an apartment and want to cook at home one night, check it out. Great stuff
And finally – where to party
- Rotes Kliff – a real “institution” on Sylt (in case your parents have been to Sylt when they were younger, I am sure they have already spent long nights with too many gin tonic there!!).
- Pony – the alternative to “Rotes Kliff”; but “Rotes Kliff” will always be my favorite (perhaps due to sooo many nice memories J). Fortunately the clubs are not very far from each other in Kampen, so check out both of them
- Greta’s Rauchfang – a restaurant with a great bar outside; good for pre-drinks and right opposite of the clubs (also great for an afternoon drink, if you want to start early)
Apart from that, here are the main things to do:
- Simply spend the afternoon in the Strandkorb and enjoy the sun and the sea (bring a warm jacket and blanket in either case, weather quickly can change on Sylt and the wind is definitively something you have to get used to)
- Shopping in Kampen and Keitum is really good; small individual boutiques as well as international brands/flagshipstores from Tods, Louis Vuitton to Hermes
- Take a drive up to List (there is just one main road going from South to North) and take a detour over the “Ellenbogen” – the most northern point of Sylt which has a nice beach and is mostly very deserted; afterwards stop at Gosch
- Walk from Kampen to Keitum along the “watt” sand on the east side of the island – there are hiking tracks which will lead you through beautiful nature and offer you stunning views on the watt and moors (don’t forget your Wellies for this!)
- Golfing is quite good on the island (there is one golf course in Kampen and one in Westerland) – however, a minimum handicap is required
- Take a nice little nap in the afternoon: you will see – fresh air at the North Sea makes you really sleepy during the first couple of days! But it is perfect for relaxing!!
- Enjoy the sunset at La Grande Plage with a nice glass of white wine looking over the pink beach and sea or simply drive north into the sunset
- In the morning, go for a nice run through the dunes in Kampen (either go north towards List or south via Uwe Düne)
- Finally, what could be better than simply taking off your shoes and running along the beach? I promise you there is nothing more awesome than that – with the fresh breeze in your face, smelling the salty air you just feel like the world stops turning and there is just you and the sea