The largest of the East Frisian Islands – once even larger before it was ripped apart by a flood in the 12th century – has a tough seafaring and whaling history. Reminders of those frontier times are the whalebones that you’ll occasionally see, stacked up side by side or as unusual garden fences. In 1830, however, locals realised that reinventing itself as a ‘seaside’ resort was a safer way to earn a living, and today many of the island’s 5500 inhabitants are involved in the tourism industry in one way or another.
To learn about the whaling era and other stages in the life of Borkum, visit the Heimatmuseum at the foot of the old lighthouse. Also of interest is the museum fire ship Borkumriff, with its exhibition on the Wadden Sea National Park.
The tourist office also handles room reservations.