Heligoland (German and Danish: Helgoland, North Frisian: Deät Lun) is a small German archipelago in the North Sea. It's a somewhat popular destination for one-day ship cruises. A feature of the island is almost total absence of car traffic, which makes it a safe and quiet location, and a hotspot for birdwatching.
In World War II Heligoland was extensively used by the German military, and, as a consequence of this, British forces bombed it heavily and tried to blow the island up after the war in one of the biggest non-atomic explosions to date. However this failed in destroying the island, as has - until now - the North Sea. The island of Düne (which has the airport on it) that is within immediate vicinity of Heligoland used to be connected but a storm flood in the 18th century separated the islands, meaning that to get from one to the other you will now have to use a ship or boat. Plans to reconnect the islands by technological means have been proposed but soundly rejected by the Heligolanders and are thus unlikely to come to fruition any time soon.
Heligoland is one of the most important breeding areas for a wide variety of sea birds and therefore environmental considerations make parts of the island off limits to all but scientists.
Similar to Åland, Heligoland also enjoys VAT exemption and thus duty free shopping can be enjoyed while on the island.
Heligoland AirportThis air strip has connections from Cuxhaven, Hamburg and other places just on or near the coast, most of them operated by OFD. As there are no scheduled international or in fact long distance services, chances are you will prefer arriving by boat unless you are based in Northern Germany anyway or are rather short on time and money is of no concern to you. The airport also accommodates general aviation.
By boatDaily tours are available from Cuxhaven and Büsum by boat and from Hamburg by high-speed catamaran. Most travelers visit Helgoland as day-trippers. Boat trips allow for a stay of up to 4 hours on the island. Among those operating trips are Helgoline.
The normal day trip stay of about 4 hours will give you ample time to walk around the cliff-top of the island, visit the aquarium and do some shopping. For a more in-depth experience a stay of at least one night is necessary. This will give you time to explore the island and the bathing-island called Düne with its fabulous beach and clear water.
Lange Anna47 metres (154 ft) high sea stack of Buntsandstein
One of the largest gannet breeding areas in Europe. Bring a telephoto lens! The island offers multiple photo scenes, especially at the crumbling rocks and shore on the north side.
The Ornithological Station has guided tours once or twice a week. The weather permitting, they will demonstrate how they catch a bird and ring it.
Like in duty-free areas of some airports, you may also get sweets or liquor that isn't usually sold on the mainland or at least not in this packaging. Prices tend to be comparable to airports (i.e. high) for all but high duty goods, however.
address: Hafenstraße 1011Jewellery from red Helgoland flint.
Helgoland used to be the center of Germany's lobster fishing. Lobster is still served as a local speciality, as are crabs' claws (Knieper) and all varieties of local seafood (plaice, prawns, herring).
phone: +49 4725 1253address: Hingstgars 447
phone: +49 4725 811343address: Hafenstraße 1013
- The Düne island has a small camp-site for tents depending on the size of the tent: mid-June to mid-Sep €8-20, May to mid-June and mid-Sep to mid-Oct: €7-17 (2018).
phone: +49 4725 341Breakfast included. Full board and half-board available.
phone: +49 4725 81410address: Am Südstrand 2