The second-largest island in the waters of Pomerania, the island’s territory is divided between Germany and Poland – about 80% and 20%, respectively. Settled since the Stone Age, this Baltic isle possesses a rich history, and offers easy access to and from nations across Europe. Today, Usedom is best known as the sunniest place in Germany and Poland alike, boasting an annual average of over 1,900 hours of sunshine. Forty-two kilometers of pristine beaches, countless charming resorts, and open skies have made the island a popular vacation destination. Time seems to slow here, and visitors can bank on a relaxing time amongst the sands and shoals, while enjoying the numerous leisure offerings at their own pace.
Location: (More Than) a Beach Paradise
Once nicknamed “Berlin’s Bathtub”, it is only a short hop from the city of Greifswald and around 2.5 hours by car from Berlin. The island is connected by bridge and ferry to the European mainland, as well as by the local airport in Heringsdorf. While Usedom’s German side makes up the bulk of the territory, the Polish section is actually more populated. This island’s Baltic coast is dotted with seaside getaways, but the hinterlands offer lagoon landscapes, untouched forests, and small villages, all with their own appeal.
Business: A True Tourist Economy
Tourism forms the bulk of Usedom’s economy, thanks to a prime location, clean beaches, and of course, the outstanding amount of sunshine. Luxury resorts, hotels, bed & breakfasts, and restaurants abound, while many other companies offer tours and various leisure services. Additional local industries include retail, agriculture, fishing, and food processing.
Culture: Seaside Charm at Every Turn
As a warm, sunny island, it’s no surprise that Usedom enjoys a prominent status as Germany’s major domestic holiday spot. Seaside towns like Zinnowitz and Heringsdorf have developed their own quaint cultures, and those exploring the island will find something unique to every location. Art and architecture are prized here – from St. Peter’s Church in Benz to the Botanical Gardens in Mellenthin, to the Dannenfeldt Mausoleum in Mönchow, Usedom’s culture is diverse and beautiful.
Activities: Recreation for Every Energy Level
While there’s plenty to see on Usedom for the energetic explorer, don’t be afraid to let your hair down and simply relax. Adventurous types can have their pick of numerous hiking and biking trails, or pop from town to town to taste the local flavor. For the others, take advantage of plentiful pearl-white beaches, health spas, museums, and exhibitions. Whatever your preference, enjoy a backdrop of beauty unparalleled anywhere else in Germany.