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For most readers, however, the rewards of Sylt will be long walks and bicycle rides, quiet country lanes, the extraordinary beauty of its landscape, first-rate accommodations, and fine food.

Though American visitors will find Sylt more expensive than most German destinations, it is not as financially exclusive as perhaps we have made it appear. There are many affordable places to eat, such as the great seafood restaurant Gosch. See "Vacation Rentals on Sylt," for a list of some inexpensive bed-and-breakfast options, vacation rental apartments, and ways of finding other accommodations.

On the other hand, if you're looking to splurge a bit in a place the Germans themselves regard as special, you'll probably find a few days in Sylt unlike any other Germany vacation experience you've ever had.