© Dithmarschen Tourismus

The North Sea and
the Wadden Sea

Right at your doorstep in Dithmarschen

A seemingly endless horizon and an expanse to make you forget all your worries. The North Sea region of Dithmarschen has the sky as its canopy and is embraced by water – the North Sea in the West with its unique UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wadden Sea, the Kiel Canal in the East and the rivers Eider in the North and Elbe in the South. Truly a landscape with a distinct character that is bound to inspire the senses.


Get the genuine North Sea feeling – with the expanse of the Wadden Sea

[Translate to English:] An der Nordsee in Büsumer Deichhausen
© Dithmarschen Tourismus

The entire area of the Wadden Sea extends from Den Helder in the Netherlands to Esbjerg in Denmark. Dithmarschen’s North Sea coast is part of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, the largest national park between the North Cape in Norway and Sicily in Italy This unique landscape with its rich biodiversity is one of the most significant natural environments in Germany.

The cries of seagulls, the soothing sound of the waves, an invigorating breeze and an infinite horizon with the perfect interplay of picturesque clouds: immerse yourself in this environment and discover the fascinating beauty of the North Sea and the Wadden Sea National Park.
More than 10,000 animal and plant species – of which 250 are endemic species that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth – are at home in this unique natural landscape. Every year, millions of birds rest, breed, moult or spend the winter. Numerous fish species such as plaice, sole and herring have their “nursery” in the North Sea. Seals give birth to their young on the sandbanks in the Wadden Sea.

Despite its status as a national park, visitors can explore the Wadden Sea off Dithmarschen’s North Sea coast in many ways. On mudflat hikes with local expert guides from the Wadden Sea National Park, visitors can discover the secrets the sea reveals when it retreats for miles at low tide. The mudflats are teeming with countless creatures and the hiker can often literally feel the diversity.


Get to experience the real mudflats

Twice every day, the sea along this coastal strip is transformed into land and it is then possible to walk on what otherwise is water. Only when you’ve participated in a guided mudflat hike will you know how rich this region is with life. Apart from annelids, mussels, various species of small snails and crustaceans, one of the most famous inhabitants of the mudflats is the lugworm. Though the surface of the tidal flat is dotted with its castings, the animal itself is buried way down in the sand.

Just as diverse as the marine creatures are the different species of birds that live in this region. Birdwatchers and non-aficionados alike can observe oystercatchers, redshanks, martins, herring gulls, black-headed gulls and Arctic terns. What’s more: many species of migratory birds add to the beauty of their home away from home.

The Wadden Sea – a UNESCO World Heritage Site

With its prestigious title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wadden Sea is on par with other world-famous natural wonders such as the Yellowstone National Park in the United States, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the tropical rain forests of Sumatra.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) applies various criteria to judge whether a landscape meets the stringent demands for it to be recognised as having “outstanding universal value”. The Wadden Sea has, in fact, demonstrated its unique status for three of these criteria. Its importance for the conservation of biodiversity and the ecological and geological processes that still take place naturally truly make the Wadden Sea outstanding worldwide.

The Wadden Sea is a young and pristine landscape. More than 10,000 animal and plant species have discovered and thrive in this unique habitat. Microorganisms, plants and fungi, mussels, worms, fish, birds and mammals are among the inhabitants of this amazing region in the North Sea. True masters of survival, they have adapted perfectly to their natural environment and the elements.
Constantly reshaped by the interplay between high and low tide, the Wadden Sea always offers something new to discover: ever-changing tidal flats, sandbars and salt marshes reflect the special charm of this dynamic landscape. Each time when the water retreats, the Wadden Sea appears like a freshly painted piece of art with its gleaming tidal creeks and channels.

More than 10 million migratory birds use the Wadden Sea as a transitional habitat. This is the only place where they can find sufficient food and refuel with new energy for their long journey ahead.


Bathing on a green beach

Green beaches behind dykes are typical for Dithmarschen and attract visitors to inhale the salty air from the North Sea, soak up the sun and feel a pleasant, light breeze on the skin. Numerous bathing spots, including those tucked away from the bustle of the large tourist resorts, offer perfect conditions for a carefree holiday behind the dykes.
Bathing spots along the North Sea coast:


Reasons for celebration

By the way, we celebrated 2019 with the slogan “The Mud Flats: our heritage. our future”, as this was the tenth anniversary of the “Wattenmeer” being declared a World Natural Heritage Site!