As with our last German week get away (Click here, here or here to have a read), our most recent German getaway was also very last minute. So last minute that we planned what to do in Borkum on the Sunday and left on the following Monday. Talk about cutting it close. So come with us as we tell you what you can do on the German Island of Borkum, one of the northern islands off the coast of Germany on the North Sea. The biggest island off the coast of Germany actually.
What to do in Borkum.
We originally planned our stay from Monday to Friday, but cut it short by one day. Travelling around Germany is easy, but on some days it is a nightmare due to the fact that it feels like the whole of Germany is travelling with you. In our train alone there was about 3 different school classes, minimum. The kids just seemed to keep multiplying. They travelled through most of Germany with us, and even ventured onto the ferry with us. Two hours of little kids taking selfies as the wind forces their hair to cover their faces so they have to retake the selfie over and over. At least it made for great people watching.
Once in Borkum, Niklas and I had to wait for the mad rush of kids to get off the ferry and leave, making way for us to get onto a quaint little train taking us directly to the middle of Borkum. There we would have to walk a whole 4 mins to get to our hotel. This is great about Borkum, the fact that it is so small. I mean we cycled around the whole of Borkum in one day! And that is the spoiler for the next blog post, and definitely something you need to know when wondering what to do in Borkum.
Once at the hotel, we dropped of our bags and explored our small hotel room. So far our impression of Borkum is small. In regards to the hotel, Aparthotel Domizil, it is central and even has an art gallery attached to it. If you are feeling creative you can sign up for an art course and do some painting, this adds to the list of what to do in Borkum. For what you need to pack: No need to bring towels, but you do need your soaps and toiletries. As an added bonus you can pay 10€ to use the sauna in the hotel. Breakfast is also available on request for an extra price. All the rooms differ in size, great for solo travels or taking the whole family.
We then set our sights to the beach. What a lovely beach! It is very flat, and sandy, not pebbly. It is great for long walks, or just chilling. We tried to get lost in the dunes, but were unsuccessful. We were however, very successful at snapping a few great photos. On our trip to Borkum, this was probably the highlight, being able to see the sunset every night and get great sunset pictures at the beach. What to do in Borkum? Watch the sunset! Would you like a post about how to take kick-ass sunset photographs? Let us know in the comments below!
To end our day 1 we had pizza and made our way to bed, ready to be rested up for the next day.
This day was a day of cycling around the island. A whole nother blog post will come from this day. To sum it up though, it was so lovely. The weather was great, as it was each day on the island of Borkum, and we even had ice-cream. Again the day ended with the sunset and then off to a different restaurant which left us SO disappointed. Our second meal on the island and our second disappointment. What to do in Borkum? Make your own food.
When we look for places to eat we go to google to look at the reviews. Both of the places we ate had higher than a 4 star rating, so we thought we could trust this. LIES! Firstly, the pizza restaurant we went to seems to have a monopoly on the island, having 3 or 4 pizza shops, a kebab shop and even an ice cream shop. Not too much choice then. If you are planning on going to Borkum you will either have to cash out on food or stay in a place where you can cook for yourself. There is a Lidl on the island for all the food shopping needs.
The night of day 2 Niklas got a message from a Borkum local over Instagram. She introduced herself, stated her age (11) and then asked if she could give us a mini tour of the island. We jumped at this opportunity and set aside an hour of our day for this experience. So after we returned our hire bikes from the day before, hardly being able to sit down due to our behinds feeling the consequences of 4 hours cycling, we fed ourselves and waited for time to pass until our meeting with our local guide. What to do in Borkum? Get a local guide.
Mini Island Tour.
Dressed in Bright Yellow, super light curly blond hair, Lilly stood next to the meeting place waiting for us at 2:30pm. As we approached we made eye contact and somehow knew this was the person we were looking for. Quickly her face went from boredom of waiting to a bright smile of excitement. We did the proper handshake thing that adults to when you meet someone new and set off for our mini island tour. We quickly found out that this little girl knew most of the people who lived on the island as well as most of the history of the island. Needless to say, we were very impressed.
Our tour started off by being educated about “The D,” the different lighthouses, of which there are three and only one in working order. Then we were taken to the small museum on the island, which was nothing spectacular. We were then taken to her favourite ice cream shop and again had ice cream which was spectacular. Thereafter we went to the beach, tasted Sandhord, and realised that our 1 hour mini island tour had turned into an in depth island tour which would last until 7pm.
We walked so much, and laughed and were entertained at how open, funny, mature, yet child like, our guide was. We created a whatsapp group and still message each other from time to time. During our tour Niklas made sure to capture great pictures and give tips to our little friend. We ended the day with Lilly walking us to our hotel, hugs goodbye and smiles on our faces for the new friendships created. Night crept in, we went to bed, the sun came up it was a new day.
The journey back home.
Deciding to end our trip a day early, for we saw everything we wanted to see, we reminisced about our time with Lilly and packed our bags, heading for home. While on the island of Borkum we experienced 3 sunsets, and 2 different ice creams. We were disappointed by 2 restaurants but spoilt by the beauty of the nature around us. We also thought it would be much more sensible to leave on a Thursday than a Friday and again have to travel with the whole of Germany back home.
The journey back home was much better and much less crowded. Instead of watching little kids take selfies we watched as we sailed past Holland and how Borkum vanished into the distance with the wind kissing our faces. And so our 4 day Borkum escape was concluded. Have you been to any of the North sea Islands in Germany? Which one would you recommend?