Juist is not just Juist
Whenever I travel to Juist, my holiday begins from the very moment I park my car on the mainland, go across to the ferry and watch the sea. I always have the impression that my fellow travellers to this tiny island are also in the same ‘slow-down’ mode that I’m in and are feeling equally good in themselves. Juist means to completely slow down, recharge and just be – a state of mind that we rarely experience in our busy world.
Little pearls along the coast
Juist is one of six East Frisian islands along the northern coast in Germany. It belongs to the federal state of Lower Saxony. I’ve been to Borkum, Spiekeroog, Langeoog, Norderney and to Juist island several times. I haven’t yet visited Baltrum and Wangeoog.
Right next to Juist Island, you’ll find Memmert, an island measuring only around 5 square miles. This tiny island is a haven for wildlife and is popular with ornithologists.
Juist is a little gem
Juist is my favourite island. Because it’s car-free, I can completely relax and unwind as soon as I arrive on this tiny dot of land. I spent a week on the island one year on New Year’s Eve, which was absolutely wonderful. I’ve also been in March when the daffodils are blooming, in May when you get the first taste of summer; in August when you can spend the day on the beach and at the beginning of September when it’s still around 23C.
Every May, on the weekend of Ascension Day (Christi HimmelfahrtI), a music festival is held on the island, which I can highly recommend. In 2019, it will celebrate its 20thanniversary. I went to the music festival in 2017 and I’d definitely go again. Just bear in mind that it’s a very popular weekend, so book your accommodation early.
Less is more
What makes this tiny island so special are the beautiful dunes, wide sandy beaches and its two small villages. Measuring only17km by 500m at its narrowest point, there’s very little more you can fit on to the island!
I personally enjoy walking along the beach collecting all sorts of things, building sandcastles with my son or reading a book in one of the island’s typical beach chairs that offers an excellent shelter from the wind. I also like chilling in a nice beach bar or restaurant with a sea view, cycling around the island or going for a horse ride.
In contrast to our hectic (and mostly urban lifestyles), it’s the perfect place to escape and de-stress. Thanks to the naturally, clear salty air, you’ll find that you’ll get a very good night’s sleep and for anyone suffering from respiratory ailments, a holiday on the North Sea might just be what the doctor ordered!
Fun for the whole family
During the school holidays, the island can get very busy with young families. There are mainly Germans on the island but most staff at the tourist places do speak English. It’s not unusual for Germans to stay one or two weeks, often renting an apartment.
During busy times, the tourist office organises lots of activities for both children and adults. Some activities for children include pirate treasure hunts, arts and crafts, sandcastle competitions and singing and dancing sessions. A very popular tradition is to stop off at the village pond to sail small remote-control boats. The atmosphere is very relaxed. While the little ones are playing in the village park around the pond, the parents can relax in one of the bars or cafés while still being able to keep a watchful eye on the younger members of the family.
There are also lots of things to do for the adults. There areoften fitness classes going on close to the beach, art courses or you can just relax in one of the wellness hotels or book a treatment or sauna in the wellness area of the public indoor swimming pool. Each visitor to the island also receives an hour and a half free entry per day to the TöwerVital indoor swimming pool.
Being a food lover, I always like to know that there are some good restaurants, bars or cafés when I get to my holiday destination. Juist Island has some many good-quality places to enjoy fish as well as a good choice of other meals. Hohe Düne, Köbes, Juister Auster are some of our favourite restaurants on Juist island.
How to get there
If you’re travelling from the UK by ferry from Dover or the Eurotunnel from Folkestone, I would suggest a stopover maybe somewhere in Rotterdam or Amsterdam as the journey from Calais to the ferry port of Norddeich takes about 6-7 hours (634km). Other options include taking the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam, Hull to Rotterdam or Harwich to the Hook of Holland.
Be aware that the ferry schedule from Norddeich to Juist Island does depend on the tide and so the ferry may only go once or twice a day on some days. You can check the current ferry times here. If you need help in finding the information you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to contact me.