Schokland, an ancient island in the former Zuiderzee, has been dry since the reclamation of the Noordoostpolder. It’s a unique place full of gorgeous nature, culture and history. With countless monuments and its unique dwelling mounds, Schokland is an impressive place. Over 160 archeological sites show the development and history of the residents of Schokland. In 1984, human footprints dating back more than 4000 years were actually found here, which can be admired in Museum Schokland today.
The history of Schokland
For centuries, Schokland was a densely populated island where people made a living through fishing and overseas trade. But the ongoing battle with storm surges and floods forced the people of Schokland – with the exception of the lighthouse keeper – to leave the island. Later, when parts of the former Zuiderzee, now IJsselmeer lake, were reclaimed, Schokland lost its function as a beacon for ships and became an island in the polder.
The first world heritage site in Holland
When driving to Schokland, you will notice how proudly the island sits in the polder landscape, a symbol of the fight against the sea. Visit the remains of the lighthouse, the former harbor on the northern point, the church ruins in the south and the Schokland Museum. The cultural history of the island and the people symbolizes the unparalleled battle of the Dutch against the sea. You will immediately understand why Schokland became the first Dutch monument included in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites.
More in the area
When visiting Schokland, a visit to Batavialand is highly recommended. Here, you will learn about the historical origin of Flevoland and find out more about the nautical history of Holland. The nearby former island of Urk is also worth a visit. In this authentic fishing village, you can walk through centuries-old alleys (‘ginkies’) and enjoy a delicious bit of fish in the pleasant harbor. And, for true nature lovers, the gorgeous nature reserve Oostvaarderplassen is located close by.
Accessibility and parking at Schokland and Urk
Schokland lies in the province of Flevoland at approximately an hour’s drive from the capital city of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Schokland has parking facilities in Middelbuurt and Oud-Emmeloord.
Another way to discover the islands of Schokland and Urk and their surroundings is, of course, through the very Dutch means of the bicycle. There is a beautiful route, the Zuiderzee-eilandenroute (Zuiderzee Islands Route), which leads past the former islands, the architects’ village of Nagele and various splendid museums.
Rent a boat or go on a boat tour through protected nature and past the unique polders of North Holland.
Flevoland has the most special places where you can eat at the water’s edge. Take a look at our tips here!
Rent a boat or take a boat tour and experience a wonderful feeling of freedom on the waters of Flevoland.