While you might not think of sandy dunes and oceanic horizons when you picture Germany, the country that borders both the Baltic and North Seas and is perforated with lakes, boasts dozens of offshore and inland islands.
They range from huge -- Rügen, in the brisk Baltic Sea, has 357 miles of coastline -- to super small, but many are beautiful, with cliffs, sheep, windmills, lighthouses, vast fields of tulips and rich histories.
Sylt, a small, narrow island in the North Sea, and Rügen in the east played host to each side's elite when Germany was divided during the Cold War. Sylt was the base for the German navy during the world wars and eventually grew into a luxurious destination for its upper echelon; Rügen on the other hand was what Conde Nast Traveler called the "Soviet version of the Hamptons."
Today, you can travel to many of the islands in Germany's archipelago, or you can bask in their peacefulness in the photographic tour below.
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