Denise Mosbach, Friday, July 26, 2013 , 1,616 Views

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When the Dutch talk about the Wadden islands, we mean Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. These islands to the north of our country seem a lot alike but while island hopping, I found out that each island is quite unique.

My island adventure started on Texel, the biggest and perhaps most popular of the Wadden islands. I came with my friend and famous Texel native Diana Kuip. She took me to play golf in nature reserve De Slufter. Going for a hike there is wonderful but playing golf... It was extraordinary, with a relaxed and informal atmosphere. We then had coffee at the new, hip and stylish beach establishment Paal 17. A great place and I expect a real treat at sunset during the summer season. We dined at ’t Pakhuus near the harbour. I have rarely had fish more freshly caught...

The so-called ‘Hopboot’ took me from Texel to Vlieland. This island has just one village and is markedly less crowded than Texel. I spent the night at WestCord Standhotel Seeduyn, which was recently renovated and transformed into a wonderful place to stay, with a spa, a covered swimming pool and a heated outdoor pool. I took a long walk and ended up having dinner at the luxury new marina. De Dining is a trendy marina pavilion with a wonderful view of the Wadden.

If you prefer things a bit more lively then sail on to Terschelling, which was my next destination. The village of West-Terschelling is rife with great little bars and restaurants. Lust, a combined shop and restaurant, is a hidden gem that sells excellent, mostly home-made products. Get rid of the culinary calories by going for a brisk walk through the Boschplaat nature reserve. There is another good reason to visit Terschelling in June: the popular Oerol Festival with its theatre, music and poetry performances with Terschelling as the living backdrop. Book your festival tickets on time because they sell out in no time.

No visit to the Wadden is complete without going on a Wadden hike! I went to Ameland and it is truly an extraordinary experience. Take the Robbenboot on Ameland and go for a walk on the bottom of the Wadden Sea, which falls completely dry during low tide. Although ‘completely’ is not quite the right word since it takes some effort to wade through the wet sand in your boots. Still, the seals I saw lying on the distant sandbanks made it well worth the effort!

Schiermonnikoog is the least trendy island but that may well be the reason for its attraction. Time seems to have stopped here; this place is the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of modern life. Spend the night at Hotel Graaf Bernstorff, which blends in perfectly with the timeless Schiermonnikoog landscape with a nature reserve in the background. It serves a wonderful breakfast. These people practised de-stressing before it was even invented. I think this might be my favourite. Or was it Terschelling? Hmm, I can’t decide…

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