German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


The Isle of Vilm

View on Vilm

The small Isle of Vilm lies off the south coast of Rügen in the Greifswald Bodden. It was formed during the last ice age some 6,000 years ago and covers an area of only 94 hectares.

The Isle of Vilm's great diversity of natural features is without parallel in the southern Baltic Sea. Nearly all types of coasts characterising the southern Baltic Sea are found here.

Ice at the coast of  Vilm

Plants and animals of the Isle of Vilm have thrived in an almost pristine wilderness; only very few places in Germany remain as untouched as Vilm. The island’s forests of ancient oak and magnificent beech trees are among the most impressive in northern Germany.


The presence of several species indicates that the forest has remained nearly undisturbed for a very long time: Hericium coralloides, a highly endangered fungus growing on deadwood, two species of darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae) and clown beetles (Histeridae) occur on the island. The thick humus layer, rich in carbon, also results of the forest developing almost without human activities for centuries.

The forest of Vilm was saved from logging as early as 1812. Fürst Wilhelm Malte zu Putbus prevented Napoleonic troops from felling the trees and selling the wood. In 1936, the Isle of Vilm was set aside as a nature reserve; since 1990, it has been one of the core areas of the Southeast Rügen Biosphere Reserve.


From 1960 to 1990, the GDR maintained a holiday resort for the GDR council of ministers on the Isle of Vilm. The buildings that still exist today date from this period. Then, on 6 October 1990, the International Academy for Nature Conservation Isle of Vilm (INA) was inaugurated by the former Federal Minister for the Environment Klaus Töpfer.

Weather on Vilm

        graphic Weather on Vilm

4-day forecast

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Last Change: 09/02/2021