For nearly a century, Syltâ€™s particular blend of nature and rustic sophistication has attracted a variety of German celebrities including writer Thomas Mann, actress Marlene Dietrich, tennis legend Boris Becker, football star GĂĽnter Netzer, and supermodel Claudia Schiffer.Â It remained a relatively obscure destination until the 1970s, when it morphed into a German Ibiza of sorts. Today, this vaguely T-shaped island serves as Germanyâ€™s ground zero for all varieties of surfingâ€”board, wind, kiteâ€”and is also a prime spot for polo, with matches played on the beach in the spring
Places of note:Â On the east coast, metalsmiths, ceramists, glassblowers, and painters continue age-old artistic traditions in the 13th-century village of Keitum, while theater-lovers come for the summer opera on the beach. A must-stop on Syltâ€™s fine-dining circuit is Restaurant JĂ¶rg MĂĽller. Part of the hotel run by JĂ¶rg and Barbara MĂĽller, it serves haute pan-European cuisine with a Frisian twist. Farther south, SansibarÂ is equal parts beach club, wine bar, and dining room. For your stay, Â the Dorint SĂ¶lâ€™ring HofÂ occupies a gabled country house also on the island’s southern peninsula with just 15 smart guest rooms.
How to get there:Â More than a dozen trains depart daily for the island from Hamburg.
When to go:Â Visit during the summer, which in Sylt starts in May.