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The North Sea island of Norderney belongs to the East Frisian Islands. The municipal area of Norderney is situated to the West of the island, however, it stretches over the entire island. It has municipal law and it belongs to the federal state of Lower Saxony. Norderney is barely even 27 qm² in size but it is the second largest island in the group of islands and the ninth largest German island. Around 85% of the whole island belongs to the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea national park and this is a UNESCO World-Heritage Site. Norderney is a North Sea health spa and tourism is the most important sector of the economy.
You need to be aware that there is a seasonal traffic ban on Norderney. From the end of March untilNovember, you can only drive on the island if you are in possession of a special permit but you will get one so that you can drive to the parking facility after crossing-over to the island. The best option would be to park your car on the mainland. Norddeich is a destination for a lot of tourists. From Norddeich you can cross with the ferry, the journey takes a maximum of one hour. You can also comfortably arrive by plane because Norderney has its own airport which is served by Norddeich.
Alongside the town-centre of Norderney, there are also the districts of Fischerhafen and Nordhelm on the island. Fischerhafen is located in the South East of the town. It is here where the harbour is also situated from which there is the ferry connection to Norddeich. The industrial part of the island can also be found in this district. For a long time, the inhabitants in this district have defended themselves against tourism. Instead of converting their living space into holiday homes etc, many of the inhabitants deliberately moved to Nordhelm. There are several cycle and hiking routes running through the district.
There are several buildings to be found on the island of Norderney that are under a preservation order. Many of them originate from the start of the 20th Century and they are strewn across the island. TheNapoleonschanze is a few years older. It originates from the years 1811 until 1813 and it is the oldest building on the whole island that is still preserved in its original state. The reason for the construction was because the island at that time was occupied by Napoleon ́s armies. The prohibition imposed on sea trade hit Norderney hard and smuggling flourished. Soldiers were said to have reacted against the smuggling and so they created the rampart. There is another tourist attraction on the edge of the rampart, the Bismarck-Stein, and this is supposed to be a memorial to the soldiers that fell in the First World War. Both this monument as well as the Napoleonschanze, essentially belong to the spa garden area.
You can experience pure nature in the Nationalpark Niedersächsisches Wattenmee „Lower SaxonyWadden Sea National Park”. The park was founded in the year 1986 and it comprises a surface area of 2.800 square metres. It stretches from West to East over the islands of Borkum, Lütje Hörn, Memmert, Juist, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog, Spiekeroog, Wangerooge, Minsener Oog and Mellum. The national park is divided into zones, you are allowed to visit the recreation zone such as the Wadden Sea.
You should not only pay a visit to the museums on Norderney if you experience bad weather. The bademuseum is very interesting for example. It is situated on the Western beach in the former outdoor bathing area. You will learn more about the bathing history of the island with an exhibition area of 1100 square metres. You will find out how the island developed over the last three centuries and how it came to be the tourist stronghold that it is today. In addition you will also learn crucial things about the beach and the sea.
The museum of local history of the island is also located on the western beach. It also bears the name Norderneyer Fischerhausmuseum and it has had a place on the island since as early as 1937. The museum of local history will give you an insight into the history of the island and it will demonstrate how the first island inhabitants established a place for themselves. Here you will also learn everything you need to know about the everyday life on Norderney such as the customs and the traditions which are sometimes overlooked with the hubbub of tourism.
The gastronomic range on Norderney leaves nothing to be desired. It is, however, apparent that even in the last few years, a few quality restaurants have popped up on the island. The Le Pirate is one such restaurant. The traditional restaurant has indeed been around for the last 30 years but it has come a long way from its humble origins as a fish restaurant in the old days. You can still eat fried fish here as was done back then. If you would rather have marinated salmon, you can also find this on the menu.
In the restaurant Tide im Thalasso Hotel Nordseehaus, the dishes are prepared freshly before your very eyes. This is show cooking that cannot be found anywhere else on the island. That which has worked well for many years in Münster, is also very popular on the North Sea island. The Simmental beef is a specialty which you are welcome to try. If you prefer a classic dish, you can also get a Wiener schnitzel with side orders for 25 euros.