For a close-up experience of the Wadden Sea, you can’t beat a stroll across the mudflats at low tide.
Start your walk at the Man meets the Sea at Sædding Strand - opposite of the Fisheries and Maritime Museum. From the car park, dark beds of mussels can be seen on the fl ats at low ti de some 300 metres from the shore. The area between the shore and the mussel beds provides a wonderful opportunity to experience some of the creatures that live in the Wadden Sea at close hand. Many of these live buried in the sand and are therefore not immediately visible. Cockles, clams and Baltic macoma, for example.
Or lugworms, whose presence is revealed by small piles of spaghetti - like excrements all over the seabed. There are also plenty of mussels, whose empty shells are easy to fi nd. Extensive beds of blue mussels and Pacific oysters are revealed at low ti de. And you are bound to fi nd crabs if you care to look. They oft en hide amongst the mussels and scuttle off as soon as you approach. In water-fi lled depressions, you will fi nd small fi sh and shrimps. All these creatures provide a rich source of food for waders. If you’re lucky, you might see or hear an oystercatcher. These delightful black and white birds have bright red legs and beaks and are experts at opening cockles, over 200 of which they can eat in a day.
The mudflats are a dynamic environment, and everything will already have changed by the ti me you get back to the shore. Perhaps the ti de is on its way in – and a mere 6 ½ hours aft er the ti de has turned, the fl ats will once again be completely submerged. As the ti me of low ti de shift s daily, you should always consult a ti de table for Esbjerg before visiting the mudflats. It is always safest to walk on the flats while the tide is going out. And remember: never go onto the fl ats in mist or fog as you can easily become disoriented and lose your sense of direction.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the Man meets the Sea lies a wonderful park with two picturesque lakes, a nature playground and large meadow. As the lakes are connected by a narrow canal, and therefore resemble an enormous pince-nez when seen from the air, they are nicknamed Brillesøerne, or pectacles Lakes. The lakes and canal are man-made, not natural. There is a picnic table with benches at the lakes, seati ng 10-12 people, and the nature playground features a covered picnic area with room for 18-20 people. The large meadow beside the lakes forms part of Fovrfeld Enge and is grazed in summer by peaceful cattle. To get to Brillesøerne from the Man meets the Sea, walk the short distance along Sædding Strandvej in the direction of Esbjerg to the Tjunction with Tarphagevej, where the Fisheries and Maritime Museum is located. At the junction, you’ll find a paved path on the opposite side of the road to the museum, which leads to the lakes and nature playground (approx. 250 m).
Hjerti ng Strand - here you can enjoy the beautiful view of the Ho Bay, go for a swim, play and be active. The new 660 metre long wooden sea front is equipped with benches, slopes, stairs and platforms. Sea pool - also open in winter and suitable for persons in wheelchairs.
Special sea platform which, at low ti de, lies like a piece of furniture on the beach, and at high tide like an island in the water. Lots of facilities for playing, for instance beach volley and good kite surfing. Speedboat sailing and water-skiing permitted at Hjerting from 1 March ti ll 30 September. Further information: Oxbøl Statsskovsdistrikt, phone 76 54 10 20.
Close to the sea front you will fi nd the beautiful scenery of Hjerting Beach Park which ends with a 60 m long bathing jetty.The nature of the Beach Park varies a lot - beach, tidal meadow, moor, heath and wood.In the park you will fi nd special wooden benches from which you can enjoy the beautiful view of the sea.Also in the evening it is worth visiting the park with the winding path leading from Sanatorievej to the sea illuminated by luminous balls.In the park there is a sculpture by the Portuguese artist Rui Chafes.