Pure Usedom - experience the island with all your senses

Published: May 14, 2024

Usedom is the perfect island for exploring. On an island safari with Gunnar Fiedler's Land Rover, you can get very close to the Baltic Sea island and its people., © TMV/Gross

Published: May 14, 2024

Let's go! Discover Usedom! Visit the warm-hearted people and creators of the Baltic Sea island while baking bread, forest bathing, gin tasting - or on an island safari. The perfect weekend with pure Usedom between Zinnowitz, Wolgast and Mölschow.

The "Usedomer" smells wonderful. The Casa Familia's sourdough bread is no longer just served to hotel guests for breakfast., © TMV/Gross

Bread baking at Casa Familia

Baked to a crispy brown color, perfect cut edges and sprinkled with just the right amount of flour. The baked goods on display in the bakery at Hotel Casa Familia in Zinnowitz will whet your appetite. A big appetite. Chef Christoph Dranß is visibly proud of his „Corona project“, which began with the round classic sourdough bread „Usedomer“. Three years later, the hotel's own bakery has the only original Usedom breads and rolls. And has now also expanded its range. If you like, you can also buy soups and pan-fried dishes in a jar.

Christoph invites me to take a look at the bakery next door. It consists of four shipping containers – the irresistible smell alone tells me that baker Marcus Wollenzin-Meier is already at work. Flour is in the air. He is using the long pusher to push one last „Usedomer“ into the oven, which is powered by electricity from a photovoltaic system on the roof. I get a snack and Marcus shows me the sourdough from which all the breads at Casa Familia are made. The grain comes exclusively from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Everything is local and organic too.

The bread is ready. Do you like it?" Marcus holds out the bread slice to me with a grin. One by one, I carefully take the crackling, steaming loaves out of the oven. Chef Christoph drops by to see how the supplies are coming along. The bakery has long since stopped baking just for hotel guests. The bread always sells out quickly and the bakery's own bread van is on the road all week. I leave the bakery with a fresh Usedomer under my arm. Right outside, I break the fragrant, crusty bread and snack on it. I'll have the rest later for a picnic. Anticipation.

Forest bathing with Sandy Ladenthin

Sandy Ladenthin is beaming. She's already looking forward to our time together in the forest. I'm excited too: Forest bathing is something completely new for me! „Well, let's go“, Sandy calls out to me. I follow her into the large wooded area behind the Baltic Sea south of Zinnowitz. Here Sandy invites me to really experience the forest and consciously immerse myself in nature. We take a leisurely stroll along the forest path, the first autumn leaves rustling beneath our feet. „Forest bathing is a mindful walk in the forest – it has a long tradition in Japan“, explains Sandy.

A clearing appears on the right.

I would like us to experience the forest with our different senses. Let's start with hearing!" Sandy closes her eyes. I do the same. Suddenly I hear the rustling of the treetops, the chirping of the birds - and I also hear the distant sound of the waves on the beach. Finally, I sit on a tree stump and Sandy hands me various things from the forest one after the other. I recognize the beechnut, but it is a little more difficult with a piece of tree bark. „Smell it“, Sandy encourages me. I immediately recognize the pleasant earthy smell! Finally, I just lie there on the forest floor. And feel very connected to the surrounding trees.

We walk on and reach a dune at the edge of the forest. Forest bathing is actually very beneficial to health and is now also recognized as a therapy for all kinds of ailments. In addition to general relaxation, the immune system and coordination skills are also strengthened.  Personally, consciously engaging with the forest has also helped me a lot in many situations in life," Sandy explains. With the rustling and fragrant forest in my backpack, I believe her immediately.

Forest bathing allows you to experience the forest with all your senses. Sandy Ladenthin shows you how to do it in the forest on the island of Usedom., © TMV/Gross
Mindful forest walks have a long tradition in Japan. The coastal forest near Zinnowitz is the perfect place to consciously immerse yourself in nature., © TMV/Gross
Take a look inside the copper cauldron at the Usedom Distillery. Since 2020, Jörn Schnapke and his team have been producing gin and other spirits here against the backdrop of the historic estate., © TMV/Gross

A visit to the Usedom distillery

The historic Usedom Distillery estate on the outskirts of Mölschow impresses from the outside: A few steps lead up to the pretty entrance door of the restored brick building with its large, blue-framed windows. Jörn Schnapke welcomes me warmly. This is where the Mecklenburg native fulfilled his dream of owning his own distillery in 2020 - and it is already a huge success. We now make more than a dozen spirits. We started with gin. Now there is a much larger selection, from hazelnut liqueur and vodka to regional fruit brandies with blueberries or quince, for example. This summer we distilled whiskey for the first time – it was sold out on the first day it went on sale. Delivery will then take place in three years' time," says Jörn.

He shows me the copper stills. Today, rum is distilled using sugar cane molasses from Paraguay. I watch curiously as the dark roast fills the kettle. A heavy, slightly sweet smell fills the open room. „Of course, you can try everything here.“ Jörn leads me to the narrow counter where the various drinks are lined up. And, poof, I sip a glass of gin. I taste a hint of quince. Each bottle is labeled by hand – the love is in the detail.

Since 2021, there has also been a café in the building. Here, young Madlen Kassner has realized her dream: the brick walls harmonize with the wooden floor, fresh flowers and armchairs invite you to linger. Seven cakes fill the display cabinets, one looking more delicious than the other. „Did you bake them all yourself? “, I ask Madlen, who is standing behind the counter at the coffee machine. „Yes, early today&“, is the surprising answer. I decide on a plum crumble cake - just in time for the season. With a latte macchiato made in the best barista style, I decide on a round table by the window. The fairy lights sway in the breeze. Autumn on Usedom can be so cozy.

Gunnar Fiedler loves to show guests the unknown sides of Usedom away from the coast. On the island safari, you cruise along the fields and forests in a Land Rover - and learn a lot about nature and life on the island in the process., © TMV/Gross

On an island safari with Gunnar Fiedler

Gunnar Fiedler invitingly opens the door to the vintage Land Rover Defender. And off we go on our island safari on Usedom. Gunnar turns off onto a dirt track. I slide slightly on the leather bench thanks to a bend. It's a bit like a safari, only without the wild animals. „I love showing the unknown corners of Usedom away from the coast. Many people don't even know how much water the island has next to the Baltic Sea. There is, of course, the Achterwasser  – and 14 inland lakes!“ Gunnar gets into the swing of things.

But if you think you're going to get an adrenaline rush on the island, you're wrong. „I am more interested in riding gently through nature“, explains Gunnar, his eyes firmly fixed on the bumpy road. „I want to draw attention to what passes us by“ and points to the forest, which glows warmly in the low sun. „Most people do not know that these are pine trees. And, for example, the fields here – that is winter barley. I see the island safari more as a kind of entertaining environmental education. Nature on Usedom is so diverse. It's all about the connections. A bit of geology, a bit of history, a bit of gossip about the island.“ Everyone on the island knows Gunnar. Gunnar started the island safari with his father 25 years ago.

And then we spot an animal. A sea eagle gliding over the Achterwasser, the inland water between Usedom and the mainland. Soon the sun sinks behind the treetops. Gunnar stops at a small, hidden bathing lake. There are no people here, but dense reeds frame the banks. "So, we're going to have an outdoor dinner over the campfire," Gunnar jumps out of the car lightly. „I have fresh smoked fish with me.“ Seen a lot, eaten well, learned throughout. Really an experience, this island safari.

All of these island experiences, and many more, are pure Usedom - a network of partners who create authentic Usedom experiences with their offers. More information at www.usedom.de/usedom-pur.

Excursion destinations

on the island of Usedom

To the map
© Abenteuer Flusslandschaft

Adventure River Landscape

  • Werftstraße, 17389 Anklam

Are you looking for adventure tours and nature trips in the river valleys of Western Pomerania? Then you are exactly right with us. With years of experience we offer, among other things, solar boat tours, chartering of holiday floats and canoe trips on the Amazon of the North. There is something for everyone.

Read more: "Adventure River Landscape"
© (c) Friedrich&Wiesenhütter

Forest concert by "Friedrich & Wiesenhütter"

  • Date: 7/18/24
  • Neu Pudagla, 17459 Ückeritz

Forest concert by "Friedrich & Wiesenhütter"

Read more: "Forest concert by "Friedrich & Wiesenhütter""
Houseboats in the natural harbor of Krummin, © Naturhafen-Krummin GmbH

Natural Harbor Krummin

  • Freely accessible at any time
  • Dorfstraße, 17440 Krummin

The natural harbor lies north of the island Usedom.

Read more: "Natural Harbor Krummin"
Landrover at the mill, © Gunnar Fiedler

Island of Usedom safari

  • Drosselweg, 17438 Wolgast

Day tours on the island Usedom, unique nature – Experience the flora, fauna, land, people and history of the region in a Land Rover.

Read more: "Island of Usedom safari"
© Inselmühle Usedom GmbH

Usedom island mill

  • Open today
  • Bäderstraße, 17406 Usedom

Opened in 2020, our Inselmühle Usedom is a natural manufactory for high-quality cold-pressed edible oils, natural fruit and vegetable juices, delicate spreads and jams.

Read more: "Usedom island mill"
© Thomas Reich, www.bernsteinreich.com

Amber cutting Usedom

  • Date: 11/28/23 to 5/29/29
  • Zu den Weiden, 17454 Zinnowitz

Amber cutting Usedom

Read more: "Amber cutting Usedom"

Historical tour Peenemünde

  • Date: 4/5/22 to 10/29/24
  • Hauptstraße, 17449 Karlshagen

Historical tour Peenemünde

Read more: "Historical tour Peenemünde"
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