The Dutch Wadden Sea Islands

Unique and diverse

The Dutch Wadden Sea Islands are the five perls in the north of the Netherlands. They are all worth a visit, because Schiermonnikoog, Ameland, Terschelling, Vlieland and Texel differ quite a bit from one another. Luckily, a visit to several islands in one vacation is possible, thanks to the unique, extended possibilities to go island-hopping.

It's easy to 'hop' from one island to another without having to set a foot on mainland. This way one can experience the differences between the islands in one trip. Visitor can compose and book their own trips. There are ferries between the Dutch Wadden Sea Islands in spring, summer and in the beginning of autumn. You can also book special Island-Hopping offers at the tourist offices. More information can be found at www.dutch-frisian-islands.com/general/island-hopping/.

The islands have many things in common. On every island the beauty of nature is overwhelming and the atmopshere is great. But every island has its own style and culture.

The Dutch Wadden Sea Islands in short

Schiermonnikoog, voted as The prettiest place in the Netherlands by the Dutch people, is one big National Park. The picturesque village, also called Schiermonnikoog, is very cosy with the many special houses that are typical for the island. Furthermore, the island has the broadest beach of Europe. And the North Sea makes sure that it keeps on growing. A special event is the International Chamber Music Festival, each year in the beginning of october, where musicians of international class attend the island. Also special is the tide marina (with a beautiful view). The ferry to Schiermonnikoog can be taken from the village of Lauwersoog. The crossing takes 45 minutes. More information: www.wpd.nl.

Typical for Ameland are the nice commander houses. The captains of the boats that were used for whalehunt purposes, lived here. Some of them are open voor public. Regularly, all kinds of different activities are organized on the island. Once a month people can view a unique spectacle: 10 horses pull the old rescue boat into the sea to launch it there, just like it happened in the early days: One of the many happenings that make Ameland so unique. And don't forget the Ameland Month of Art, every year in november. The ferry to Ameland can be taken from the village of Holwerd. The crossing takes 45 minutes. More information: www.wpd.nl.

On Terschelling you can experience the nice, marine atmpsphere (a.o. at the marina in the village of West Terschelling); approximately 450 boats can anchor here. Terschelling and navigation have belonged to one another for centuries. The famous Willem Barentsz school for navigation can still be found on the island. This school is named after the explorer and cartographer Willem Barentsz who was born on Terschelling. A special event is Oerol, every year in June. It's a very special festival of theatre. The whole island of Terschelling is used as a stage in this period. The ferry to Terschelling can be taken from the city of Harlingen. The crossing takes 45 minutes with the catamaran and 120 minutes with the regular ferry. More information: www.rederij-doeksen.nl.

The pure and rough island of Vlieland is an island that's nice for (a.o.) people that like to live the good life. Just like on Schiermonnikoog, tourists cannot take their car with them. This guarantees a unique atmosphere. The island has an enormous sandarea at the westside of the island, called 'de Vliehors'. It's also called the Sahara of the north. In the middle of this sandarea there's a rescue museum. The island has several (mainly not that big) events. A bigger event is 'Into the Great Wide Open', a special music festival in the first weekend of september. The ferry to Vlieland can be taken from the city of Harlingen. The crossing takes 90 minutes. More information: www.rederij-doeksen.nl.

Texel - the biggest Dutch Wadden Island by far. It's known by the fact that there's a lot to see and do during the whole year. There are nice events on regular basis, like for instance Texel Culinair that takes place in september and shows the culinary highlights of the island. A special attraction is Ecomare, the nature center on the island. Ecomare's seal shelter appeals to many visitors. The ferry to Texel can be taken from the city of Den Helder. The crossing takes 20 minutes. More information: www.teso.nl.

Together the Dutch Wadden Sea Islands form a vacation region where one can leave the every day stress behind during the whole year. More information (also for the best lastminute offers) can be found at www.dutch-frisian-islands.com.

Source: Waddenfederatie