Where to Go Next: Sylt, Germany

  • The Red Cliff, in Kampen.

    The Red Cliff, in Kampen.

  • A boardwalk to the beach.

    A boardwalk to the beach.

  • Sylt's beaches are famous for their wicker basket chairs, thousands of which pepper the sand.

    Sylt's beaches are famous for their wicker basket chairs, thousands of which pepper the sand.

  • A view across the dunes.

    A view across the dunes.

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For nearly a century, Sylt’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 Günter Netzer, and supermodel Claudia Schiffer. 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 Germany’s ground zero for all varieties of surfing—board, wind, kite—and is also a prime spot for polo, with matches played on the beach in the spring

Places of note: 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 Sylt’s fine-dining circuit is Restaurant Jörg Müller. Part of the hotel run by Jörg and Barbara Müller, it serves haute pan-European cuisine with a Frisian twist. Farther south, Sansibar is equal parts beach club, wine bar, and dining room. For your stay,  the Dorint Söl’ring Hof occupies a gabled country house also on the island’s southern peninsula with just 15 smart guest rooms.

How to get there: More than a dozen trains depart daily for the island from Hamburg.

When to go: Visit during the summer, which in Sylt starts in May.

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