CUBA – the Complete Guide from Coast to Coast

If you want to see more of Cuba than just the iconic bars in Havana and the endless beaches of Varadero, this is the perfect guide for you. On the whole, it takes you from the island’s westernmost tip all the way to the Guantanamo region in the very east.

Woman riding a bike in Cienfuegos in Cuba. Illustration of a Complete Guide from Coast to Coast.
Child of the Revolution.

I travelled across Cuba all by myself and on public transportation. Hence, let me tell you, exploring a socialist country like Cuba does differ quite a lot from travelling other regions.

Therefore, not only will my stories be interesting. Especially Cuba-novices will certainly appreciate my thoroughly researched information and suggestions.

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CUXHAVEN – walking on water

“The sun reflects strongly off the puddles, so don’t forget to put sun protection on your knee pits”, orders Ute pointing at my bare legs as we start walking on water off the shores of Cuxhaven.

Crossing the mudflat from Cuxhaven to the Neuwerk island.
Crossing the mudflat from Cuxhaven to the Neuwerk island. About twelve kilometers laid ahead of us.

I already did, but under her strict eyes, I repeatedly do as I am told. I do everything Ute marshals: The next four hours, she will guide me together with about two dozens other hikers into the tideland off the shore in Cuxhaven. My life will depend on her knowledge and sense of orientation.

We will be sort of walking on water – so I better listen to my leader.

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The Island of BORKUM – West of East Frisia

The tour of German islands is coming to an end. I’ve taken you with me from the former easternmost isle in the Baltic across the north sea to the Dutch border – where we’ll spend a couple of carefree summer days on Borkum.

Beach on the Island of Borkum, Germany
Doesn’t this beach with the colorful chairs and cabanas just look like the perfect summer destination?!

The island of Borkum is one of the seven East Frisian Islands off the coast of Eastern Friesland. It is not only the largest, but also the westernmost one. Therefore, it’s geographically actually closer to the Netherlands than to the German mainland.

The island is located between the Westerems strait and the Osterems straits respectively between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea to the south which grants some fascinating and unique features.

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The Island of NEUWERK – where the way is the goal

“So, by which ferry did you get here?” asks the chubby little lady and her accent gives her away as Southern German. “Well, I came here walking”, I beam at her, still thrilled by my hike from the mainland to the island of Neuwerk.

Hike on tideland from Cuxhaven to Neuwerk
To Neuwerk – this way! You cannot blame people if they don’t believe that you came to an island walking.  

The lady looks over the rough sea where the huge waves are rolling towards the shores of Cuxhaven. She frowns and shakes her head and is, obviously, thinking I’m trying to tell her a cock and bull story.

Little does she know: Visiting the island of Neuwerk, the way is the goal; definitely.

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The Island of HELIGOLAND – soft spot with rough edges

A trip to Heligoland is always a good idea. On just one square kilometer, it unites soft sand dunes and rough cliffs. It adds tax-free shopping to natural wonders like frolicking seals and jumping guillemots.

Bird Rock on Heligoland, Germany
The number of gannets on the rocks on Heligoland’s western cliffs will just overwhelm you.

Heligoland is a tiny archipelago that long ago used to be Danish and British. But, actually, it is as German as can be since the poet Von Fallersleben wrote the National Anthem during his stay on the island in 1841.

However, visiting Heligoland today, either on a day trip or for a longer stay, it is almost impossible to imagine that at the end of  WWII, Germany’s supposedly only deepsea island was completely bombed out. For then long years, it was even uninhabitable.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, today, Heligoland is one of Germany’s most popular island when it comes to a couple of relaxing days in a secluded spot.

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The Island of FÖHR – every village a home

Föhr – every village a home: What’s that all about?

Thatched house on Föhr
I’m not able to figure out Föhr’s strongest suit – there are so many great things to do and see; the traditional architecture is certainly one of the most alluring ones.

Well, let me take you to one of Germany’s most popular holiday islands where almost each of the 16 villages’ name ends with the suffix –um. Since this is the Frisian and Lower German version of heim…which translates to home, you can imagine how cozy and homey this North Frisian island is to its….homies.

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A VAN-TASTIC TRIP to the ISLAND of FEHMARN

Spending a weekend or vacation on the island of Fehmarn in a camper van gives you a totally different perspective of the island’s cool activities and beautiful sceneries.

Surfer in front of the Fehmarnsoundbridge off the Island of Fehmarn
While the strong wind is the cyclist’s enemy, it’s definitely the surfer’s and kiter’s best friend. One of the hotspots is at Fehmarn’s southern strait next to the legendary Fehmarnsundbrücke, the Fehmarnsoundbridge

After I had spent a weekend on this Baltic island in Spring – when it still was a bit nippy – I thought, in Summer, this place must be paradise.

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ISLAND HOPPING in GERMANY

While international tourism to Germany is increasing, visitors rather stick to the clichés like beer and Lederhosen at Munich and a cruise on the river Mosel; or they hang out at the hip capital Berlin – instead of enjoying Island Hopping in Germany.

I guess that’s the reason why many people think Germany is landlocked. They don’t think about long coasts, two seas, and about 80 islands.

Dunes on the Island of Borkum in Germany
I think this is not the first image that comes to mind when talking ’bout travelling Germany.

However, that’s exactly what Germany’s north has to offer – and many fascinating phenomenons like the tideland that comes with it. As a matter of fact, Germany’s shoreline is longer than the Portuguese one.

So what are you waiting for? Join me on my island hopping…in Germany!

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