When the big summer hustle and bustle is over, Germany's second largest island returns to its original charm and enchants with peace, tranquility and a touch of melancholy.

Usedom is after Rügen the second largest island in Germany and correspondingly well visited in the high season. No wonder, given the magnificent beaches, extensive hiking trails and neat Wilhelminian villas along the promenades. However, connoisseurs swear that the true, the melancholic-serious beauty of Usedom only emerges when nature turns the leaves red and the sky darker. "Autumn is always our best time," Goethe already knew. And this is especially true for Usedom. Because during walks along the magnificent promenades of Heringsdorf, Ahlbeck or Bansin you can admire the beauty of the typical spa architecture almost to yourself. Because the delightful Villa Irmgard - a special museum of local history in Heringsdorf - is not so besieged in autumn and winter, and one can visit this memorial to the Russian poet Maxim Gorky in peace and quiet and in the most beautiful privacy. And because the soft light of autumn finally transforms Heringsdorf's pier, often marred by too much hustle and bustle and at 508 meters the longest pier in Germany, back into the delightful postcard it was meant to be.

Magnificent colors, quiet amber baths

In the off-season, Usedom sunsets can celebrate their rush of color in sublime silence. Visitors can enjoy the Streckesberg in Koserow or climb the highest "mountain" Golm on Usedom (69 meters) without feeling observed and possibly slightly silly. And finally, one also finds the time and the peace to visit the rock garden Pudagla near Ückeritz and to be taken there on a geological time travel into the history of Vorpommern. The University of Greifswald has put together this exhibition, whose special features include a 2.3 cubic meter nexosandstone with glacial scars. The amber resorts of Kölpinsee, Koserow or Zemphin are also worth a visit now in autumn and are picturesque destinations with their thatched cottages and the rocking boats of local fishermen.

Autumn bike tour in the footsteps of Feininger

By the way, if you want to connect the many autumnal beauties of Usedom, you can do so in a particularly atmospheric way by bike. All you have to do is join the 56-kilometer-long Feininger Cycle Path. It leads past the Pudagler Mill and the Golm War Graves Memorial and also crosses the 40 motifs that the painter Lyonel Feininger immortalized on his path in the form of paintings, prints and watercolors.

Cover image: ©Dirk Bleyer

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