East Frisian Islands
Juist 26571, Germany
The island Juist is located at Lower Saxony’s Wadden Sea in the North Sea. Framed by the islands Borkum and Norderney, Juist is with 17 kilometers the longest of the East Frisian Islands. 1710 inhabitants live on 16,4 m² in total.
The inhabitants call their island "Töwerland", the Frisian word for wonderland. And the name says it all - Juist with its picturesque nature of dunes and sandy beaches and its unique vehicle free approach really is full of wonders.
With a share of 0,03 per cent of Germany’s total area, one could speak of a „hotspot“ of biodiversity. The Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park protects the natural habitat of flora and fauna. The Otto-Ledge-Path, an educational path for nature and art, aims to bring guests closer to nature.
70% of guests are regulars. Often, spending the vacations at Juist is part of the family tradition of the third or fourth generation. As the island is dependent on the tide, there is only one fairy to and from Juist per day. For this reason, day tourism barely plays a role.
- Mudflat hiking tour at Lower Saxony’s Wadden Sea
- Refreshing bath in the North Sea
- Relaxation at the beach
- Carriage tour on the vehicle free island
- Bike tours and hikes through nature
- Water sport activities such as kite or wind surfing
- Regional culinary indulgence
- Nordic Walking
being local - authentic experiences
A brief History of Juist
Juist was first officially mentioned in 1398. The name of the island probably comes from güst, meaning „sparse, infertile“, which the island indeed was for a long time. Today, the description “most beautiful sand bank of the world” is often connected to Juist.
Juist looks back on a vivid history. In the course of the years, the island east of Borkum with low dunes was often affected by severe storm surges. In 1687, the sea advanced so far towards the South that the properties of Juist had to be relocated.
When the flood of 1715 destroyed the church of the isle, two smaller churches were built – the origin of the establishment of two island communities: Billdorf and Loogdorf.
Juist became popular in tourism as a seaside resort. Ever since pastor Janus recommended sea bathing to Frederick the Great, the history of German seaside resorts began.
After 1797 the first German Seaside Resort was founded in Doberan/Heiligendamm at the Baltic Sea, Juist founded its seaside resort in 1840. Due to missing visitors, it had to close down in 1858.
From 1913 until 1920, a sea wall was built on Juist – an adjustment to the threat of dunes by the forces of nature. Soon after, from 1926 until 1937, the administration of hydraulic engineering started with the planting of more than 50.000 trees – the basis of today’s nature conservation area and Juist’s green approach.
A dream summer on Juist
On the island of Juist kids and grown up alike can enjoy a dreamlike summer with a lot of cultural and sports activities.
During the Juist festival you can enjoy more than 30 bands on stage playing Rock, Pop, Jazz and Rap. From June on Classical concerts and Boogie Woogie compositions will be presented in the Haus des Kurgastes.
In addition comedians and cabaret artists like Wiegand Boning and Bernard Hoecker will perform. It is really exciting to listen to the first reading of Dirk Trost’s newest Eat Frisian Thriller whose plot plays on the island of Juist.
Especially for children between four and 15 years the island offers theatrical performances, beach parties or football tournaments.
The tennis court embedded in a dune scenery offers quite a new sport ambience. The miles long sandy beaches invite for beach volleyball, beach football, yoga and fitness training with a cooling afterwards in the cool, fish water of the sea with its excellent water quality.
Those who just want to relax, enjoy the gentle breeze of the North Sea while sitting in a rented beach chair.
Threats for Juist due to Climate Change
The consequences of climate change do not spare the small island located in Lower Saxony’s North-Sea. But the Juist residents know how to counteract. Juist adjusts to climate change by e.g. heightening the dikes, as well as preventing further climate change development by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In order to counteract the dangers of rising sea level and storm tide, Juist declared its goal to be climate-neutral by 2030.
Car free island
On the car free island Juist, one particularity is that goods and people are transported with carriages instead of motor or electric vehicles. Also the waste collection is managed by horse-drawn vehicles, and solely for the distribution of packages the post service is allowed to use electric vehicles.
Exclusively physicians, the German Red Cross and the fire department are allowed to use motor vehicles, the police takes the bike.
Travel green and enjoy
With your visit on the island of Juist, you support sustainability without having to renounce.
Juist promises deceleration and delights with a great number of leisure opportunities. Get active at the beach and try Nordic Walking, Beach Volleyball or a bike tour along the beach.
The North Sea invites for a swim and is a great place for kite and wind surfing. With Lower Saxony’s Wadden Sea at your doorstep, also a mudflat hiking tour is a must do.
While you have fun and enjoy a relaxed time out, Juist takes care of the protection of the environment. As part of the project „Climate Island“, manifold green initiatives encourage a sustainable development of the island and educate about sustainability in a holistic understandable way.
Juist and its Guest Parliament
East Frisians are doers. East Frisians are pragmatic. East Frisians are base-democratic. This becomes evident in Juist’s guest parliament, consisting of seven islanders and ten long-term guests. One term lasts three years, the meetings take place regularly in autumn every year.
Ideas like a food-service via drone or a food truck instead of a restaurant speak for the creativity of the guest parliament.
Also, there should be a Töwerland-coffee mug which can be lent by a chip system to substitute the usual Coffee-to-go-mug out of plastic. In 2017 a new parliament is elected, interested guests can contact the spa administration.
Project: Climate Rescuer on Juist
The project „climate rescuer on Juist“ provides clear and understandable information to guests about sustainability. Restaurants, tour suppliers and hotels can take part in the project. In order to participate, they need to be a partner company of the TourCert certification of Juist and disclose a CO2 footprint.
Real inhabitants from Juist also go swimming in autumn, because the East Frisian sea is indeed fresh, but also healthy. With the climate therapy, guests get the chance to gradually get used to the stimulative climate of the North Sea with the help of therapeutics.
Usually after only one week, nobody is afraid of the chill and salty bath in the North Sea anymore. It is tingling and healthy! With the stimulative factors of sunlight and cool wind, the climate therapy strengthens the immune system and prevents infections.
The offers reach from Qi gong, morning and evening meditations with sound bowls, pleasure trainings, stress management as well as gymnastics exercises to strengthen the muscles and mobilize the backbone, up to special breathing exercises for more relaxation.
Smart Islands Forum
Even if Juist is doing a lot regarding sustainability, it is a matter of necessity to continually develop and improve. A good way to do so, is to get inspiration by what other islands do.
What do others do better, what actions can be adopted or which points can be realized collaboratively?
In regards to climate protection, the Juist takes a pioneering role, not only in Germany. The Smart Island forum bundles the competence of the islands that are confronted with similar challenges. Island regions could be used, for example, as pilot projects for technological, economic, social and political innovations.
Every year in summer Juist organizes the children university. Already the small guests should be sensitized for the subject sustainability. The attitude of the next generation is crucial for the future in respect of the climate protection and a sustainable life-style.
And that “green life” is anything but dull, is shown by the exciting talks and diverse games regarding the subject climate change, climate protection and sustainability.
Tasty and healthy: Juist’s drinking water
Juist disposes of an autonomous water supply. Under the island lies a freshwater lens, which is tapped alternately by several wells.
Once the water reaches the water company it is processed there with the least possible amount of chemistry. This procedure is subject to strict juridical regulations and is continuously checked.
Guests are urged to bottle the tasty tap water. Thus, additional energy involved for the transport of mineral water is prevented.
Slow Food on the island
Slow Food also is a subject on the island. Since decades, Juist as the smallest and longest of the East Frisian Islands lives the Slow Food philosophy and shows how sustainability works: The person respects and conserves the nature.
This mission had been adopted by some restaurants that are already mentioned in the Slow Food Book. A typical Juist product is the sallow thorn growing in Juist at every place.
Quick Check: Climate Island Juist
- Juist Certificates
Juist was one of five regions that have taken part in the pilot project „Kuntikum-climate trends and sustainable tourism development in coastal and highland regions”. This was promoted by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research of the Leuphana university of Luneburg as well as the meteorological institute of the university of Freiburg. As a result, Juist developed the wish to become climate-neutral.
Climate-neutral until 2030
Supported by the Sylt declaration, in which the Ministers of Environment of Denmark and Germany decided that also the mud flats as a world cultural heritage should become climate-neutral until 2030.
Juist is extremely threatened by the climate change due to its location in the midst of the North Sea. The island needs to deal with the increase of the sea level as well as more often occurring storms and floods. The dune demolitions in the west are a massive danger for the island.
As this is directly associated with climate change, the goal of Juist and also the other islands and coastal places is to lower the impacts through a comprehensive sustainable strategy.
Climatologists have determined “2 centigrade” as a goal, meaning that the earth temperature should not rise more than 2 degrees in order to minimize the effects of climate change.
Every German emits currently approximately 11t CO2. To be able to achieve the “2 degrees”-aim, only 2t CO2 are permitted. In 2010, the inhabitants of Juist as well as guest (including travel) consumed approximately 16,14t CO2 per inhabitant. Multiplied by 365 days, the average value is 6.42t CO2, which is significally below the German average value.
Adaption Strategy – This strategy aims to counteract climate change, e.g. heightening of the dykes aims to protect the island from the rising sea level
CO2 Avoidance Strategy– The purpose of this initiative is to avoid greenhouse gases, so that the aim “2 degrees centigrade” can be achieved.
The touristic mission statement of the island Juist is based on the project Climate Island. In 2010, Juist developed the guidelines together with the inhabitants of Juist.
„Juist the friendship for life“
Juist offers the best feeling of „coming home“. Töwerland is the number 1 of all East Frisian Islands and throughout Europe leading on the subjects beach, nature, sustainability, and social experiences.
The mission statement encloses the following areas
- World Nature Heritage Mud Flats
- Professionalism and quality
- Families at Juist
- Barrier free
- Regular Guests
- Generation problems and village community
- Tide dependence
- Day Tourism
- Strong Gastronomy & Trading
- Touristic development
To realize the vision „Juist as a friendship for life“, also strategical subjects are defined besides the guidelines. With the implementation of those defined projects, vision should become reality.
- Cooperation with EWE
- Swimming/ Beach with the project “sauna facility + beach sauna”
- Communal experience with the top project “exchange experience of the inhabitants”
- Service with the project TöwerCard
The project „Climate island Juist“ is secured through the tourist mission guidelines and is supported by the inhabitants, hence the development is guaranteed.