Thursday, September 24, 2009


Germany's second largest island, Usedom is a picturesque, low-lying landscape of rolling meadows, woods and lakes dotted with thatched cottages, windmills and medieval churches. The island, 445 sq km in area, lies to the northeast of the lagoon of Stettin at the mouth of the River Oder, the border between Germany and Poland.
The sunniest spot on the North German coast, Usedom is perfect for seaside holidays, with over 100 km of cycle paths, 400 km of walking trails and 40 km of flawless sandy beaches. The northwestern hinterland is one of the most beautiful parts, where woodland descends steeply to the coast and you are likely to spot sea eagles circling overhead. In the south east of the island there are some lovely stretches with lakes and sleepy villages.

The island’s historic spa towns exude an unmistakable air of culture and luxury. There are rows of magnificent 19th century mansions, elegant Art Nouveau villas, and stately piers more than 300 m long. Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf and Bansin, three former fishing villages on the north coast, are among the oldest of the Baltic seaside holiday resort.

When to go: May to September. Population: 76, 500. How to get there: Fly to Usedom, Road/rail from Szczecin, Poland or Zussow, Germany.

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