Table of Contents Hide
- What You Must Do At Juist
- Otto Leege Path
- Billriff – The Western End of the Island
- Domain Bill
- Enchanted Forest “Billwaldchen”
- Mudflat Hike
- Teetied in Lutje Teehuus
- Sea Signs in the Port
- The North Sea From Above
- Lighthouse Memmertfeuer
- The Beach on Juist
- Kalfamer, The East End of the Island
- National Park House Juist
- Mosaic at the Deichtor
- Coastal Museum
- Travel Tips & Information
- Travel Guide for Juist And The East Frisian Islands
Are you considering spending your next vacation on the East Frisian Island of Juist?
Go ahead, there is plenty to do even though the island is quite small. At 17 km, Juist is the longest East Frisian Island, but so narrow that, according to travel guides, you are never more than 500 meters from the sea. You can hear the sea from everywhere.
Towerland – magic land – is what the Juister call their car-free island.
Endless beaches with an incredible reef, a good culinary selection, cycling and hiking trails, and horse-drawn carriages make the dream vacation perfect. It’s true that the weather isn’t always fantastic, but that’s what the North Sea is all about for me.
I love this corner of Germany.
For me, the Wadden Sea is one of the most fascinating places in Germany. Some don’t like it at all when the sea recedes and disappears. I love hikes in the mudflats. Germany’s largest national park invites you to discover nature, including animals and plants. Also, young and old have great fun here.
I’ll tell you about the highlights and sights at Juist. And one thing should be said:
For a first impression, it is enough to drive or fly to Juist for a day. Because even then you can do a few things on Juist.
One thing is certain:
You will be telling others about your holiday on Juist for a long time. Just a dream!
What You Must Do At Juist
The island of Juist is pretty small. Therefore, you can reach all places on foot or by bike in a maximum of one hour. However, if you are not good on foot, there are always cozy horse-drawn carriages.
You absolutely have to do these things on Juist (in any order)
- Hike along the Otto Leege path
- Ride a bike to the bill reef and from there walk to experience the unbelievable expanse in what feels like a huge sandpit
- At Bill reef, take a break and eat a mare of raisins
- Put a Teetied in the Lütje Teehuus and eat a delicious waffle
- Do a mudflat hike
- Explore the magic forest
- View the North Sea from above
- Visit the Memmertfeuer lighthouse
- Relax in a beach chair
- Explore Ostend Kalfamer on foot
(There are of course many more things you can do. For me these are the most important ones)
Otto Leege Path
The Otto Leege educational trail is a nature trail designed by artists and works of art. You get a great view of the salt marshes, mainland, and mudflats from the viewing platform. In addition, the path leads idyllically through the dune landscape.
Among other things, there is a wind harp that you can use to experience the interaction between nature and people. There are many information boards along the path that explain nature in the Wadden Sea of Lower Saxony. Really well done and also great fun for children.
Length: About 1 km
Billriff – The Western End of the Island
If I had to name the most beautiful place on Juist, it would be Billfiff (or just called Bill). This is located at the western end of the island and consists of several large sand banks. The nature reserve occupies the entire west side of the island.
Strengthened you before the trip at the Domain Bill. The path then continues for about 500 meters before becoming sandy.
Are you here by bike like me?
Then it’s time to descend and park in the deep sand. From here you are faster barefoot on the go.
Please stick to the path and do not leave the path. Don’t forget that you are in a nature reserve with many breeding birds and of course common and gray seals.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ll find that it feels like a big sandpit with a never-ending dune landscape.
If you see seals lying around somewhere at the end, please keep a distance (at least 100 meters is recommended, otherwise you will put the animal in a stressful state).
Bird Island Memmert
From the Billriff, the western end of Juist, you have a perfect view of the uninhabited bird island of Memmert. Memmert Island has been a state nature reserve since 1924.
The following applies to the island of Memmert:
During the breeding season (May to July) only the residents of the island bailiff may enter the island. In the other months, there are sometimes permits that the “Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer” national park administration has to issue.
“You absolutely have to try the raisin mares from the Bill domain,” I was told on the way to Juist. Since I wanted to explore the Billriff anyway, the domain of Bill was on the way.
The Red Brick house is the only building far and wide in the west. Lonely located and populated by many other holidaymakers who take a refreshment here.
After a short bike ride on the narrow path surrounded by dykes and dunes, I also reached the Bill domain. The menu offers some delicacies that I would have liked to try. But I follow the advice and order a raisin mare (a thumb-thick slice of yeast bread) with butter. In addition, a coffee (optional East Frisian tea).
The raisin mare is still warm when I take my first bite. Even if you don’t like raisins, you should try this delicacy.
If you are strengthened, you can now cycle to the Billriff and take a longer hike. You are strengthened now.
Raisin mares are THE big thing on Juist. You usually eat the hand-thick slice of white bread with raisins with a thumb-thick piece of butter. As a friend of sweet things, Raisinenstute is exactly my thing, but for the perfect wow experience I personally miss jam on top – or Nutella?
Note: On the way to the Domain there is a sign (can’t miss) with the opening times so that your way is not in vain.
The only freshwater lake of the seven islands is located between the village of Loog and the Bill. The lake was once a sea bay. Due to the heavy rain, the lake became less and less salty, so that reeds could multiply and the Hammersee became a country lake.
A paradise for birds, especially in autumn.
On the way to Bill, a path leads towards the Hammerdüne vantage point. Climb the few steps for the best vantage point of Lake Hammersee.
Enchanted Forest “Billwaldchen”
The Magic Forest is located after Loog on the way to Billriff. After a flood in 1717, the region remained deserted. Only when Otto Leege began reforesting the sandy dune valleys west of Lake Hammersee in the 20th century did the Billwaldchen develop here. Today it is a small, enchanted forest with many gnarled trees on whose trunks’ lichens have formed.
All in all, there is a great mystical atmosphere here, no matter what the weather.
In the middle of the forest (on the way to the viewpoint for the Hammersee) is the keeper’s cottage. In it, you can apparently see an exhibition about animals, plants, and the history of the Bill.
It is best to inquire about opening times in summer in Juist.
From here you can also hike on a path about 2 km to the Bill domain in the shady forest.
Watt hikes on the North Sea are a must. Since I’ve already done several (even in the same week), I didn’t do any on Juist. However, mud flat hikes with “Wattflusterer” Heino were warmly recommended to me. It doesn’t matter who you talk to everyone recommends him and everyone knows him. Here you can book your mudflat hike with Heino (duration of about 3 hours, 18 euros).
At the National Park House, mudflat hikes are also offered with state-tested and certified National Park mudflat guides. Here you can search for the offers (it’s best to click on the map to then find the offers on Juist faster).
Teetied in Lutje Teehuus
One of the oldest houses on the island offers you a wonderfully cozy place by the fireplace inside, and in summer there are two terraces in front of and behind the house. Nowhere else can you drink tea more comfortably than here.
Try a waffle with it.
On the inside walls, you can see pictures of the former owner Wilhelmine Marie Focken Raß, who lived in this house in Januspark for 84 years. Her daughter Miele also adorns the photos, who followed her mother and became a bathing lady at the women’s beach.
In addition to the old photos, I liked the great tiles on the walls. Definitely one of the coziest places on Juist.
Address: Lutje Teehuus, in the Janus Park
Sea Signs in the Port
The modern “new” navigation mark and now a landmark is the 17-meter-high structure in the form of a “floating buoy”. It is now a kind of landmark and is also lovingly called small Dubai, based on the Burj Al Arab.
You can climb the stairs and enjoy the view of the Wadden Sea and the ferries in the harbor.
It is now considered the symbol of the island. If it’s not too windy, you can stay up there for a few minutes and enjoy the great view of the Wadden Sea. Access is via the pier in the direction of the marina.
Seezeichen leads without a gradient over the pier along the sports boat harbor of the Juister Sailing Club.
Note: On the way to the navigation mark along the beach promenade, you should pay attention to the markings on the ground. You cross the seventh degree of longitude.
The North Sea From Above
A very special experience is a flight over the East Frisian Island to experience the Wadden Sea and the North Sea from above.
From above, the island world looks pretty fascinating (and shows me why Norderney – the west of it – didn’t appeal to me at all). As small dots, I can see seals and horse-drawn carriages that take guests from A to B and marvel at the salt marshes, dunes, and sandy beaches in the north.
Since I came to Juist on the island plane, I was able to see the North Sea from above on both the outward and return flights. Even if it was only for a short time. I enjoyed every second of it.
You can also book longer sightseeing flights with the island airline.
My absolute tip.
That’s exactly what I’ll do next time I visit Ostfiesland, to be able to discover more from above.
Visit the Island Flyer website to see routes and prices.
The lighthouse on the Dyke Promenade cannot be overlooked on Juist. But unlike all other lighthouses, it is not there to light the way for ships. It is unique on the North Sea coast and only shines for Juister and the island’s guests. However, the light is dimmed so that it doesn’t get too bright in the dark.
Also exceptional is that you only see the light flashing every 13 seconds inland so as not to irritate passing ships. The lighthouse is a replica of the Memmert Island lighthouse (hence the name). When it was dismantled there, donations were collected to rebuild it on Juist at the port that was newly built in 1992. Only the lantern house comes from the original on Memmert.
In summer you can visit the Memmert fire on the 14-meter-high tower every Sunday from 2 p.m. (costs 1 euro). Seeing the North Sea from a bird’s eye view is definitely great from here.
Tip: Pay attention to the compass rose in the direction of the playground. This way you can find out from which direction the wind is blowing. Maybe useful in your projects.
The Beach on Juist
The beach promenade on Juist leads you through the dunes above the wide sandy beach. Along the wooden plank path, you will find three barrier-free platforms. These are the most beautiful places to watch the sunset.
Beach chairs can be rented directly on the beach. Try reserving one through your accommodation before you arrive.
Better safe than sorry…
Note: Everywhere on the East Frisian Islands I have discovered “garbage collection points” on the beach. If you find rubbish and ghost nets: Please collect them and place them in these places. The sea creatures thank us!
Kalfamer, The East End of the Island
While other islands are shrinking, Juist is growing in the east of the island. In the last 300 years, according to official data, the island has grown here by 4 km. A nature trail to Kalfamer starts at the airfield. At the information hut, you will find details about the area and where the name Kalfamer comes from. In the summer you have to turn around here, in the winter months, you can continue to the beach. As a rule, the path is not accessible from April to October.
Please stick to it too. Do not leave the path marked out with green stakes.
Kalv is Frisian for calf and hammer is the word for a low-lying wet meadow. So, calf meadow is not calves that nest here, but birds.
National Park House Juist
In the National Park House on Juist, you will get many interesting facts about Juist, the nature in the National Park, and the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site.
There are many information boards in the sand. There are also aquariums with many mudflats and North Sea animals.
Particularly impressive is the 9-meter-long skeleton of a minke whale that washed up on the west end of the island years ago. Also, a great facility for children.
Visiting the National Park House is free.
However, you can donate to help preserve the Wadden Sea.
This building was once the island train station.
Yes, because until the new port was built in the 1980s, there was only one jetty on the mudflats. At that time, you still had to take the island railway to the village.
Mosaic at the Deichtor
You can’t miss the colorful mosaic at the entrance of the port. Stop and pay attention to the details. The yellow mosaic stones show you what the island must have looked like in 1550. From this, you can see that the dunes have gradually shifted to the east.
The black and white stones not only look like a railway line, but they actually existed in 1899. You can find more information about the mosaic in the book Favorite Places East Frisian Islands. Without this, I would not have stopped here and looked at the mosaic more closely.
If you want to learn more about Juist and the stories of the island, you should visit the small coastal museum. At the entrance, there is an old anchor of a sailing ship and old buoys that children see with wide eyes.
Inside it is no less interesting.
Many topics are covered here, from the history of the island to the extraction of oil and natural gas and wind energy in the North Sea, coastal protection, and fishing.
- Address: Loogster Pad 29
- Admission: adults 3 euros and children 1.50 euros
- Website for opening hours: kuestenmuseum-juist.de
Travel Tips & Information
The island of Juist has only 1,600 inhabitants. Since the tide only allows you to take the ferry there and back every 14 days, the number of day visitors is limited. However, there is the island flyer, which makes a day visit possible for a few new visitors.
Where is Juist?
The island of Juist is in the Wadden Sea of Lower Saxony, between the neighboring islands of Borkum (to the west) and Norderney (to the east). Juist belongs to the district of Aurich in Lower Saxony and has around 1,600 inhabitants.
The island consists of two districts in the main town Westdorf and Ostendorf. Also to the west is the small town of Loog (Low German for village).
What I particularly like about Juist is that…
… the island has set itself the goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2030. This would make Juist the first climate-neutral island in Europe. I think great!
Are you wondering how best to get to Juist?
There are two options, by ferry or by island plane. Since the island of Juist is car-free, no transfer by car to the island is possible.
You can take the Deutsche Bahn directly to Norddeich/Mole. From here the ferries to Juist start directly. It couldn’t be more comfortable. You can also park your car in Norddeich.
Read Here About How Long it Takes And What the Costs Are:
With The Ferry
The most sustainable way is to take the ferry from Norddeich/Mole. However, since this is dependent on the tide, it only runs once or twice a day in spring, summer, and autumn.
The ferry from Norddeich to Juist costs around 40 euros there and back. Also, The journey time is around 90 minutes. If the tide is extremely low, the ferry runs more slowly and it takes a few minutes longer. In winter the ferry only runs once a day.
Note: There is also a direct ferry from Juist to Norderney. As the ferries don’t go every season, you should check the Inselexpress and Frisia websites.
The two express boats will take you to Juist in just 45 minutes. However, these also depend on the tides.
- Towerland Express (adults 48 euros, luggage costs extra)
- Inselexpress (adults 40 euros)
With the Island Plane
As an alternative to the ferry, there is the island plane. The flight is surprisingly cheap (about 40 euros) and only takes 7 minutes. But these 7 minutes you can fully enjoy the Wadden Sea and the east of the island from above.
Would you like to see seals from above?
This is the chance.
The plane flies back and forth every 30 minutes depending on the time. Ideal when the tides are really modest, as they were during my visit.
Rent a Bicycle
An e-bike costs 22 euros per day and after one week it gets cheaper, and you only pay 18.86 euros/day. Don’t underestimate the wind and choose a bike at Nordsee-bike. Of all the bikes I’ve seen, these were the best.
I rented a bike at the airport tower. It only cost 8 euros, but unfortunately, it was a pretty rickety bike. If I had known that I could have ordered an e-bike from Nordsee-bike to the airport by calling the island pilot – I would have done so. Unfortunately, I wasn’t told about this option until I took off.
Ride in a Horse-Drawn Carriage
Pure deceleration is a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. If the weather (or rather the wind) doesn’t lend itself to a bike ride or a walk, hop on one of the many horse-drawn carriages. Since the weather was so good where I was, I rode my bike.
Eating and Drinking
The culinary offer on the small island is surprisingly good. You should definitely visit these places:
- Lutje Teehuus: Teatime and waffles (or the homemade cake)
- Domain Bill: Raisin mares with butter (or extra jam), the waffles are delicious too
- ForkenHannes: Traditional North German self-service cuisine
There are numerous beautiful holiday apartments and hotels with wellness offers on Juist. However, camping at the campsite is expressly forbidden.
The most famous accommodation on Juist is the Strandhotel Kurhaus. A tip for the sunset is the dome, which looks similar to that of the Reichstag in Berlin (in small). You can also go up as a visitor.
Travel Guide for Juist And The East Frisian Islands
I bought the following travel guides for my trip to the North Sea. The Dumont travel guide for the East Frisian Islands (and North Sea coast) and the Ostfriesland picture atlas are the best. I also liked the East Frisian Islands Favorite Places travel guide. This is probably only worth it if you visit several islands like me.
I was less impressed by the Herzstücke in Ostfriesland travel guide. This is probably for tourists who want to explore places away from the known.
If you ask me which of the East Frisian Islands is the most beautiful, I find it difficult to answer. I felt comfortable on Juist from the very first moment. Simply juisting, as the Juisters like to call it.
My favorite next to Langeoog and the fairly quiet Spiekeroog is definitely Juist. The trio is always worth a trip.
Juist is perfect for anyone who:
- looking for peace and want to slow down
- want to have a sustainable holiday without a car
- like crime novels. At the end of August/beginning of September, the Crime Festival takes place on Juist. With readings by the authors and great events around it. You can find information about this on this website.
- Want to visit the only freshwater lake in the North Sea, the Hammersee?