A Guide To Exploring Poel Island, Germany

Sunrise on Poel Island
Sunrise on Poel Island | © detapo / Pixabay
Anwesha Ray

Poel Island, the largest of the Baltic Sea islands, is a fascinating destination marking the confluence of the Bay of Wismar and the Bay of Mecklenburg. This lush green island promises a pristine, relaxing holiday destination with ample fun activities on offer.

Poel Island’s main attraction is its long stretch of clean, soft, sandy beach, perfect for strolling, relaxing or making sandcastles with the entire family. Visitors here can also enjoy views of dramatic salt marshes, exotic birds and indulge in a series of sports and pleasure activities.

Why you should visit

This tiny island off the Baltic Coast is a enticing beauty spot boasting soft sandy beaches backed by rugged cliffs, an abundance of flora and fauna and stretches of salt marshes. Poel Island is a well-kept secret of northern Germany, which means you don’t have to jostle with thousands of tourists.

Poel Island panorama

Even though northern Germany is notorious for its persistent chill and unpredictable weather, Poel Island enjoys favorable weather almost throughout the year. Even in the peak of winter, it is warmer than much of the county and snowfall is extremely rare, which means that even if the water is not warm enough to swim in, it’s a great time to hit the hiking trails. In summer, you can expect sunny, pleasant days and nights.

How to get around

The nearest international airports to Poel Island are Parchim International Airport (105 km (65 miles)) and Hamburg (around 155 km (96 miles)). Many travelers visit Poel Island as a day or weekend trip from the medieval German town of Wismar, a short drive or a tremendously picturesque ferry ride away from the island. It is also easy to visit Poel Island from the nearby towns of Rostock and Lübeck.

Buses run along the length of Poel Island. However, as it is small (only 40 sq km (15 sq miles)), a popular way of exploring the island is on foot or bike.

Sunrise on Poel Island

What to see and do

Bird watching

Poel Island is home to a large variety of birds, including exotic and rare species. Guided tours are organized from the island by experienced bird spotters. You can even make an excursion to the beautiful bird sanctuary in the small sister island of Langenwerder to look at breeding birds.

Boating and fishing

From Poel Island, you can embark on boat tours to nearby towns, Wismar being the most popular stop. If you are interested in fishing, you can rent a fishing cutter in Timmendorf and go fishing in the Baltic Sea.

Poel Island in winter


Poel Island offers a seemingly endless range of sporting activities, including pedal boating, windsurfing, sailing trips, water skiing, beach volleyball, beach soccer, tennis, and horse riding.

What to eat

Thanks to its coastal position, Poel Island boasts the freshest seafood you can expect. Restaurants across the island offer a tantalizing variety of fish dishes, the crowd favorite being salted herring on black rye bread. The island is also known for its delicious range of homemade desserts.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


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