“One Wadden Sea. Two wheels. Three countries.” is the slogan of a unique bike tour that will take place from 18 to 30 June 2019 in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination. The tour is the highlight of many events in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Wadden Sea’s inscription on the World Heritage List. Two groups of cyclists set off simultaneously on the Island of Vlieland, Netherlands, and in Ho Bay, Denmark, and head for Wilhelmshaven, where they will come together for a final event. On the way, the groups stop at various local celebratory events. The tour can be joined on a daily basis. Organisers are the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS), the Danish Wadden Sea National Park, the German Wadden Sea National Park Authorities and the joint Dutch Wadden Sea marketing organisations.
“Ten years ago, on 26 June 2009, our Wadden Sea became a member of the World Heritage family and joined the ranks of other world famous natural sites such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon” says Rüdiger Strempel, CWSS Executive Secretary. “The title is a privilege, but privilege also entails responsibility. Our tour therefore aims to raise awareness of the Wadden Sea’s uniqueness as well as its vulnerability. But it brings people from the different part of the Wadden Sea together in a transboundary celebration and promotes a sustainable way of experiencing this natural wonder right outside our door.”
The northern route starts on 18 June in the Village of Ho, Denmark, via Rømø to Sylt, Germany, on to Amrum, Nordstrand and the Schleswig-Holstein North Sea coast to Cuxhaven and Butjadingen and finally to Wilhelmshaven. The western route starts on 19 June on the Island of Vlieland, Netherlands, and leads via Texel to Den Helder, Harlingen and the Dutch Wadden Sea coast, and from there to Emden, Germany, along the East Frisian Coast to Wilhelmshaven. On 30 June both groups will simultaneously arrive at the finish line in Wilhelmshaven. There, a Wadden Sea World Heritage Experience Market marks the end of the bike tour and will take place all afternoon, featuring a market with regional products from the Wadden Sea regions, art & craft stalls, live music and kids’ activities, an expo with community/non-profit organizations, and more. The event’s patron is Mr. Olaf Lies, Minister for Environment, Energy, Building, and Climate Protection of Lower Saxony.
All stages of the tour are published online and can be joined on a daily basis free-of-charge by individual visitors and groups alike. Spontaneous participation is possible. The organisers, however, kindly request a registration via the website to estimate the daily numbers.
The Anniversary Bike Tour and the final event are sponsored by the Danish Ministry for Environment and Food, the Dutch Ministry for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, as well as the Lower Saxon Ministry for Environment, Energy, Building, and Climate Protection and the European Union in the framework of the Interreg project PROWAD LINK.