Mandø island is one of the gems you can find along the shores of the Wadden Sea located close to Ribe. It is a tidal island that is cut off from the outside world twice a day – at high tide. It’s about the 1.75 meters difference between high tide and low tide. The tides are determined by the moon and the wind, meaning that the timing of when the tide is coming, changes on a day-to-day basis.
You can get on the island either in your car or take a tractor bus. I have been on the island both with the tractor and in my own car. And a tidal race in my small pink car lat time convinced me that the tractor is the way to go 🙂 Having said that, it is not a problem to get there in your own car. However, you have to remember that the time that is shown on the timetable means that it is time when the tide will be at the highest, and it takes some time before that happens. So leave the island an hour before the time of high tide.
There are a couple of companies offering the bus ride. But check the internet, if there are some changes.
Now that we know how to get there, the question is what to do there.
4 things you have to do on Mandø:
Take a stroll around the island
Mandø is a beautiful place, where you could spend a nice afternoon walking or biking. There are a couple of sights that you might want to see:
- Mandø Church – a four-nave building made from large medieval bricks, dated to 1639
- Mandø Mill – a Dutch windmill from 1832
- Mandø Kro – small inn built before 1900
Take part in the seal safari
On the southwest side of the island, there is a huge sandbank called Koresand, where seals usually choose as a place for rest. If you would like to observe some of them chilling in the sun, then definitely take a trip with a tractor.
The whole ride is really fun, the road is marked with tree branches that help the driver navigate through the Wadden Sea. Sometimes you don’t even see the tracks on the road having only those trees as your guide. Truly unforgettable.
When you reach the seals chilling in Koresand, the tractor stops and can disembark. However, you are not allowed to get too close to them as you might spook and stress them. Remember to take binoculars or a camera with telelens, if you want to have a better view.
Seals have pups around April, so it’s best to visit around July-August when pups are a little bit bigger. Adult seals run away fast when there is a lot of noise but little ones are curious creatures and they swim nearby.
Our group was really lucky and we were told that there were around 3000 seals on the shore! It was soo cool!!
Try oyster safari
As in many places along the shores of the Wadden Sea, you can try also oyster safari on Mandø. We haven’t tried that, but if you are a big fan of oysters you should totally give it a shot! You will get a chance to find your own oysters, eat them, and maybe if you get lucky you can find a pearl in it!
Walk into the Wadden Sea during low tide
Check out the bottom of the sea, for all the shells, and other sea animals. Take a stroll through the mud and wander around. Be cautious of the tide thought! Surprisingly ( for me 😀 ) it arrives quite fast. We were building small castles along the way to the shore, but we just turned our heads and the castle already got conquered by the incoming waters.