In my family, it is a mothers day tradition to visit Germany´s biggest and most beautiful island, the Island of Rügen. Rügen is a place with many hidden treasures. I want to introduce one that is still very unknown.
Located in the eastern part of the island, on the peninsula Mönchsgut, the so called Bernsteinprommenade can be found. It is a trail that connects the seaside resorts Baabe and Göhren. The name of this trail comes from amber (its English translation is amber esplanade). If you hold the petrified resin into the sun light, it shimmers in warm brown, yellowish and golden colours. Furthermore it is very precious to the locals and for that reason it is also called gold of the baltic sea. Sometimes, it even contains small, fossilised insects that give a glimpse into long gone times.
Starting from the spacious parking lot next to Baabe main train station, it is only a short walk through the narrow streets Am Mönchgraben and Fritz-Reuter-Weg to get to the health resort gardens which are planted colorful with many flowers. This is right where the trail Bernsteinprommenade begins. The route leads directly southwards to the long pier of Göhren seaside resort.
Shaped by an area that is very varied in terms of scenery, for example pine forests, long sand beaches and dusty pastureland, it is a perfect hike for families, elderly people and people that want to go on an easy hike. The distance is less than four kilometers, it has barely any elevation, and it only takes about one hour (oneway). Since the path is fully accessible, it is also great for persons with handicaps, wheelchair users and strollers.
Baabe is known for its meadows full of flowers and its fine grained sand, which merges into the fresh and vivid water of the baltic sea. The long Bernsteinprommenade offers a perfect view over this wide beach, as far as the eye can reach, without any disturbing obstacles like trees or buildings, on one side while it welcomes its visitors with a wide forest area on the landwart side. On the way, the pine trees of the Mönchgut woods gradually lead you past paradisiacal beach accesses, little hidden tourist cabins, a cute café with fresh brewed coffee, and a decent and fun miniature golf course with miniature sights of the region to the end of the trail where the 270 meter long pier of Göhren can be found. It marks the final destination of the hike, welcomes its visitors, and is the starting point of many boat cruises around the beautiful island. The peer offers a stunning view over the coast as well as many cozy seating areas to relax and to soak up the bright sun after a long walk. There is also the possibility to stop for an affordable bite to eat at one of the many snack bars on the seafront boardwalk. From ice cold strawberry ice cream, made from fresh, deep red berries, to french fries with ketchup and mayonaise, and fresh fish rolls with crispy salad — everyone can find something delicious here.
The seaside of Göhren is characterised by many big mansions with purple and blue coloured hydrangeas in their front yard, old guest houses that still spread the aura of its former purpose of being home to old fisherman and their wifes, and modern hotels in the style of the typical spa architecture with white ornate wooden details, high doric columns and pediments on the facade. For that reason it is totally worth to also explore the less touristy town center and to do some window shopping before heading to the point of departure.
The return trip can happen in a number of ways. People that are still full of energy can either take the same way they took already or choose a new way through the Baaber heathland to get back to their starting point. Another option is to take the narrow-gauge railway Rasender Roland. This is, especially for tired feed and curious kids, a perfect, exciting alternative. During the main season it departs every hour and in off-season from October to May it runs every two hours. It is quite an adventure to ride the old, fabulous train through the dreamy scenery of Rügen.
No matter what way you choose…will you find a peace of amber on your way strolling across the Bernsteinprommenade?