If any one area is responsible for Rügen’s stellar rise from rural backwater to holiday haven it is JASMUND. A thumb of woodland and fields poked into the Baltic, much of it protected as the Jasmund National Park (nationalpark-jasmund.de), the peninsula north of Binz is famous for its wooded chalk cliffs. These are the Stubenkammer popularized in works by Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich, a stretch of cliffs that extends for several kilometres. Its most celebrated section is the mighty Königsstuhl cleft that juts from the cliffs – the name “king’s stool” derives from a folk tale that whoever scaled its 117m face could claim Rügen’s throne. Partly thanks to Friedrich, it’s a landmark lodged in the national consciousness.
Whether an artist who eulogized raw nature would have set up his easel today is a moot point because the Königsstuhl is one of Rügen’s premier natural attractions. Notwithstanding buses direct from Sassnitz or walking, access is from a sight car park by the main road at Hagen; the car park for the Gasthaus opposite is cheaper for day-long stays should you intend to walk in the area.