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Nature

Texel: Holland's largest North Sea island

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The island of Texel is a paradise for beach vacationers, with its 30 km long sandy beach. However, Texel has even more to offer: seven villages, each lovelier than the last, and unique nature reserves. Texel can also be reached quickly. You'll be on the island in only twenty minutes with the ferry from Den Helder!

  • You'll find a diverse offer of vacation homes, hotels and campsites on the largest and most varied of the Dutch Wadden Islands.
  • Texel is known for its fantastic beaches and the marvelous nature reserves.
  • As well as the thousands of sheep, a landmark of Texel is the picturesque lighthouse in the north of the island.

Climb the Texel lighthouse

The bright red lighthouse is located in the north of Texel, on one of the widest beaches on the island. Ideal to combine a beach day with a visit to the lighthouse. The 150-year-old building offers a dreamy view over Texel and the neighboring island of Vlieland from its viewing platform. During the climb, you'll also be given plenty of information about the fascinating history of the lighthouse.

Visit the seals in Ecomare

In Ecomare you'll learn everything about the Wadden Sea, the North Sea, how the island of Texel came to be, and the 'Dunes of Texel' national park. However, it's the many marine animals which make up Ecomare's largest fascination; In Ecomare, harbor seals, porpoises and gray seals roam, which were found when injured and nursed back to health. Visitors can watch the daily feeding of the animals.

Experience unique nature

The nature area of De Slufter is the only area in the Netherlands where the North Sea can penetrate unchecked. Even the entire lagoon is flooded after a storm flood. This enabled a unique nature area to develop in De Slufter - with tideways and salt marshes full of blossoming purple sea lavender. The nature reserve of De Muy with its wild orchids is also absolutely worth visiting, as is De Geul, with the largest colony of spoonbills in the Netherlands.

© Eric Wijnbeek

Drop in on the beachcombers

There are still beachcombers (strandjutters) along the entire Dutch coast. And you can marvel at their treasures in two museums on Texel. In the Flora Shipwreck and Beachcombing Museum between Den Burg and De Koog, jutter Jan Uitgeest and his team display what they have found on the beaches of Texel over the decades; countless buoys, shoes, bottles (and messages in bottles too), toys, and animal bones. In the Kaap Skil Museum in Oudeschild, historic buildings and a windmill can be seen in the outside area, as well as beachcombers' findings and an underwater archeology department.

Trying out new types of sports

Jumping out of a plane with a parachute is a kind of island hobby on Texel. The less brave can view the island from the air with a round flight, or cut across the coast with a catamaran. However, riding, (kite)surfing, sailing, canoeing, flyboarding, golfing, birdwatching tours and, of course, mudflat hiking tours are also some of the many Texel activities. By the way: Texel has an excellently constructed network of cycle paths.

... or just relax

A day relaxing on the beach - what could be finer? And a delicious meal is an attractive proposition in the evening, as Texel does not disappoint in any way when it comes to cuisine. Try the island's own beer Skuumkoppe, the prize-winning cheese and the Texel lamb, which has a slightly salty taste due to the salty grasses which the sheep have fed on all their lives. However, chocolate, ice cream and the famous Juttertje liquor are made on the island.

The island villages of Texel

The main point of Texel is Den Burg, which is situated in the center, making it the first point of contact of the island for many visitors. Good restaurants, pretty shops and the local tourist information office are all located in the historic center of Den Burg. The only place on the island which lies directly on the North Sea beach is De Koog. People come together in the Dorpsstraat - going out, shopping and wandering. The beach at De Koog contains plenty of opportunities for water sports and other activities. The area's direct location by the sea makes it very popular with tourists, and there are several hotels and vacation parks. The northernmost island area is De Cocksdorp, located near the attractive lighthouse and the unique nature reserve for birds. The historic villages of Oosterend and De Waal are very charming and idyllic. The harbor of Oudeschild by the Wadden Sea is an attractive place, with fishing boats, windmills and the interesting Kaap Skil museum. The southernmost village of Texel, Den Hoorn, is known for its romantic church, the surrounding tulip fields, and its arts events.

Visit Texel

People come to Texel all year round to go on long beach walks and enjoy the countryside. And Texel has something to offer for everyone where accommodation is concerned. Take a look at the vacation homes on Texel and the hotels on Texel. Of course, there's also plenty of campsites, bed and breakfasts, and vacation parks.

Getting to Texel

Out of all the Dutch islands, Texel is the one which is the easiest and cheapest to reach by car. Incidentally, in contrast to the islands of Schiermonnikoog and Vlieland, Texel is not car-free! The ferry runs every hour (even more frequently in the peak season), and takes only 20 minutes for the crossing from Den Helder in North Holland. Practicalities: the ferry ticket can be booked in advance, and in German, via the website of the Teso ferry company . You can find further information in our article 'The ferry to Texel'. If you'd rather travel without a car, you can take the train from the Amsterdam central station to the harbor town of Den Helder in only 1 hour and 15 minutes. There, the 33 bus will bring you from the station directly to the Teso ferry harbor.

Hotels on Texel

Are you looking for a trendy designer hotel, a romantic bed and breakfast, or a cozy vacation apartment for your family? In Texel, you'll find the right accommodation for every taste and every budget. Take a look at our extensive offer, and book your ideal vacation here!

More in the North Sea region

Of course, the other North Sea islands are also worth visiting. The nearest island to Texel is Vlieland, which you can visit by taking a small ferry from the northernmost point of Texel. You can even 'hop' from one island to the next. 'Island hopping' means traveling from one North Sea island to the next. You should also visit the islands of AmelandTerschelling and Schiermonnikoog. Fancy exploring something on foot? How would you like a mudflat hiking tour? The Wadden Sea is a unique habitat for rare plants and animals.

© Eric Wijnbeek
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See seals up close.