The beauty of Usedom isn’t just owing to its uninterrupted fine white sandy beach. The Achterland with its wild and romantic landscape, the placid bays and the hidden corners show nature lovers and peace seekers the many different sides of the island. Whether you explore Usedom on foot, on bicycle or by means of a guided tour, it has four marvellous seasons on offer and presents awesome landscapes dipped in an impressive light.
Green vast open spaces, wide sandy beaches, impressive steep banks and an extended dune landscape are a natural part of Usedom. The Usedom Island Nature Park covers more than 59,000 hectares of the island and is home to forests, meadows, fields, marshlands, moors and of course water. Lakes and the sea, the Achterland and the river Peene are a paradise for nature lovers and active holidaymakers. On Usedom you find nearly untouched biotopes as in dunes, marshes, large areas of water, and dry grassland, but also extended woods of beech, oak and shore pine. The facets of the island are as diverse as is its flora and fauna.
Flying encounter by the wayside.
Usedom is classed as one of the areas of Germany richest in birdlife. All in all more than 280 species have been sighted so far. Alone eleven different raptor species breed regularly in the Nature Park, amongst them 15 pairs of white-tailed sea eagles, our heraldic animal, for which the island is known. The white stork, crane and grey heron are typical species. Especially during times of bird migration, geese, ducks and sandpipers following the coastline and the glacial valley of the Oder visit the island by the 10,000s.
Exceptional animals to be watched.
On the island of Usedom the otter is unthreatened in its population and even beavers have come back to many parts of the island. When it comes to amphibians notably the rare smooth snakes and the European fire-bellied toads are to be mentioned. The nature reserve Wockninsee near the campsite of Ückeritz is a special highlight for all animal lovers. With a bit of luck visitors will be able to watch and photograph the European pond turtle by the lakeshore. Its habitats are still or slow-flowing waters, near-shore lake environments, ponds, ditches and cut-off river courses. The European pond turtle is exceptionally rare in Germany. Some members of the species live in the Wockninsee because its seclusion and originality allows for ideal breeding conditions.
On guided tours you can get to know Usedom as a nature reserve. On such occasions you can find out everything about amber. Particularly after stormy nights the “Gold of the Baltic Sea” may be found washed up on Usedom’s beaches.