Germany has coastlines on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The country also has numerous rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. Several islands are located on the various water bodies of Germany. The largest by area are:
The largest island of Germany, Rügen is located in the Baltic Sea off the Pomeranian coast of the country. Politically, the island is part of the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The island is linked to the mainland via a causeway and a bridge between the island and Stralsund. Rügen covers an area of 926 square km. The coast of the island features bays, headlands, peninsulas, and beaches. The island is noted for the presence of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jasmund National Park. Seaside resorts are also present here. The island thus attracts a large number of tourists.
Germany’s second largest island, the Usedom, is also located in the Baltic Sea. This Pomeranian island is to the north of the Szczecin Lagoon. Following World War II, the island was divided between Poland and Germany with the latter controlling about 80% of the island’s area. Politically, this part belongs to the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The island has an area of 445 square km of which 373 square km is part of German territory. The population of the island is 76,500. Usedom is often nicknamed as the "Sun Island” as it is the sunniest island both in the Baltic Sea and in Germany. Tourists flock to the island in thousands. Numerous seaside resorts cater to the needs of the tourists on the island.
Germany’s third largest island, Fehmarn, has an area of 185.45 square km. It is located on the Baltic Sea, off the country’s eastern coast and is part of the Schleswig-Holstein state of the country. The island has a coastline of 78 km. The population of Fehmarn is 12,552. The island is connected to the Danish island of Lolland by ferry services across the Fehmarn Belt strait. Fehmarn is connected to mainland Germany via the Fehmarn Sound Bridge. The coasts of the island are a popular birdwatching spot as several species of migratory birds arrive here. The place is a popular recreational destination during summer.
The island of Sylt encompasses an area of 99 square km in the North Sea in northern Germany. It is part of the Schleswig-Holstein state of the country. Sylt is part of the archipelago of the North Frisian Islands where it is the biggest island. The island is well-known for its tourist resorts and excellent beaches. The Hindenburgdamm causeway connects the island to the mainland.
The fifth largest island in Germany is also located in the North Sea and is a part of the North Frisian Islands. Föhr has an area of 82 square km. Sandy geest and marshes feature in the southern and northern parts of the island, respectively. Tourism is a popular economic activity here. Föhr is well-connected to mainland Germany by ferry, road, and air transport services.
The island of Pellworm is part of the Schleswig-Holstein state of Germany. It is also part of the same archipelago as the former island. The island occupies an area of 37 square km and hosts a population of around 1,200 people. Pellworm was part of a much larger island during medieval times. The larger island named Strand was fragmented to pieces in 1634 during a disastrous flood. Pellworm is connected to the mainland by ferry services and a causeway. A hybrid renewable energy generating plant that uses both wind and photovoltaic energy, and one of Europe’s largest of its kind is located on this island.
7. Insel Poel
The seventh biggest island in Germany is Poel. It has an area of 36 square km, just 1 square km smaller than Pellworm. This island is located on the Baltic Sea where it acts as the Bay of Wismar’s eastern and northern boundaries. Two towns and several villages are based on this island. Farming is a popular economic activity here. Recreational activities also attract tourists to Poel.
With an area of 31 square km, Borkum is the eighth largest island in Germany. It is located in the North Sea and is part of the Lower Saxony state of the country. The island is bordered by the Osterems strait and the Westerems strait to the east and west, respectively. The Wadden Sea borders the island to the south and the North Sea to the north. Borkum is part of the archipelago of the East Frisian Islands. The island’s only town also has the same name.
One of the islands in the East Frisian Islands archipelago, Norderney is located in the North Sea in Lower Saxony. The island occupies an area of 26 square km. The population here is 5,850. The island has a 14 km long beach at its northern end. Norderney’s eastern part belongs to a national park and thus traffic is strictly regulated in the area to avoid any harm to the park’s wildlife. Ferry and air connections connect the island to mainland Germany.
The tenth largest island of Amrum covers an area 20.46 square km. It is located in the North Frisian Islands archipelago in the North Sea. The island has a population of only about 2,300 people. The island has an extended beach on its western side. The eastern coast of Amrum is characterized by mudflats and tidal creeks. Several species of birds and marine animals can be found on and in the waters of the island.