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The Frisian Landscape

This is as Dutch as is gets. Blue skies with impressive cloudscapes. Vast meadows, in which cows graze amid narrow ditches. Sheep dotting an old dike with a village church tower on a hillock in the distance. If you are seeing scenes like this, you have definitely arrived in Friesland!

  • Enjoy the vast landscapes and national parks.
  • Water, meadow, forest, and sea. Friesland has it all!
  • Experience the many recreational options.

Recreation in Friesland

The various landscapes found in Friesland offer plenty of opportunities for recreation. It is the land of waterways, lakes and canals, as well as old villages and vast pasturelands. Friesland is very popular for cycling, walking and sailing. 

Wadden Sea

The Wadden Sea has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These West Frisian Islands are home to diverse landscapes as well as wide beaches, vast dunes and tidal marshes, pasturelands and even deciduous and coniferous forests. The Wadden Sea is the largest and most important coastal tidal wetland in Europe and, on a global scale, the largest connected system of sandbars and mudflats.

The nutrient-rich water makes the Wadden Sea an ‘incubator’ for not only fish but also for marine mammals like the common and grey seal. The Wadden region is also an important stopover for migratory birds. Around 10 to 12 million birds migrate between their breeding grounds in Siberia and Scandinavia and their wintering grounds in Europe or Africa and stop at one of the West Frisian Islands in order to replenish their fat reserves. Up to 6.1 million birds can be found in the Wadden Sea area. Numerous unique species of plants can also be found on the West Frisian Islands.

Frisian National Parks

Friesland is also home to four national parks (Lauwersmeer, Schiermonnikoog, Drents-Friese Wold and Alde Faenen), all of which are open to the public. The unspoilt coastline and parks are unique natural features with a variety of woods, park-like landscapes, heath lands and various types of peat bogs and moors. The sloping pastures and panoramic views of the IJsselmeer are breathtaking. Explore the province with its abundance of recreational opportunities yourself.

Sense of Place

Land art in its purest form. This is Sense of Place. With this project, Friesland demonstrates that the beautiful Wadden Sea can become even more beautiful! The installations along the Frisian coast show Holland’s origins. A sea swimming pool will be built, for instance, and ‘Dijk van een Wijf’ shows an interpretation of a dike body (which in this context also connotes ‘great or fantastic woman’). On the island of Terschelling, you will find the Windwerk and Mondriaankwelder projects that show the impact of nature on the landscape.

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Nature reserves in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has no fewer than 40 nature reserves, 21 of which are National Parks and 20 National Landscapes.

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