Mud flat of the 'waddenzee' during low tide under scenic dramatic sunset sky with clouds
© Fotografiecornl via Shutterstock

The Wadden Sea is known for its unique beauty and ecological value and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2009. With a landscape shaped by the ancient ebb and flow of the tide, this vast nature reserve offers visitors an unparalleled experience of pristine wilderness and wide open spaces. The dynamics of the weather, wind and water create an area of unique beauty for anyone who loves nature, wildlife and dark skies perfect for stargazing.

  • Explore the wilderness of the salt marshes and dunes.
  • Walk along the seabed.
  • See the Milky Way in a Dark Sky park.

The Wadden Sea region brings out the explorer in all of us. The unique interplay of weather, wind and water forms the most beautiful wilderness and an ever-changing landscape. Whether you go for a hike through the salt marshes and dunes or walk on the seabed at low tide, every visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site feels like a special experience. Immerse yourself in the beauty of this unique region.

Walk on the bottom of the Wadden Sea

Walking on the seabed is a unique experience. It gives you a perspective you won't find anywhere else in the world. Walking on the bottom of the Wadden Sea, an activity also known as wadlopen, is made possible by the natural tidal fluctuations and creates an intimate, real-life connection with the rich biodiversity of this area. Accompanied by an expert guide, you can brave the mud and enjoy the invigorating salty sea air and endless vistas. The treks offer not only a physical challenge but also a moment of connection with nature. And if you like sailing, you can combine these activities with the unique experience of 'falling dry' on the Wadden Sea.

The darkest place in the Netherlands

Dark Sky park Lauwersmeer

The heart of the Wadden region is home to the darkest nights in the Netherlands, where the evening sky stretches out in all its splendour. You can go on night walks in Lauwersmeer National Park and the Boschplaat nature reserve on the island of Terschelling. Both of these parks are recognised as official Dark Sky Parks, places that offer you glorious views of the night sky without the interference of light pollution. This not only gives you the chance to hear the stirring of nocturnal animals but also to get a glimpse of the Milky Way as it is meant to be seen.

A view of the Wadden Sea

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Wadden Sea – a bird paradise

The Wadden region is home to millions of birds. It is a crucial refuge for bird species that use the region as a breeding ground, resting place during migrations or as a place to winter. You will find several observation huts scattered across the area, such as the unique Kiekkaaste birdwatching hut which is the only such hut located outside a dike in the Netherlands. Huts like this give visitors the chance to experience birdlife up close. With a bit of luck, you might just spot hundreds of dunlins and maybe even a seal or two.

In addition to its undisputed natural beauty, the cultural and historical richness of the Wadden region adds another dimension to your visit. Traditional fishing villages and historic lighthouses, each with their own story, offer a glimpse into a way of life shaped by this unique landscape over the centuries. These elements together make the Wadden region an unforgettable destination, where nature plays the leading role and we’re all just guests.

How to enjoy the full Wadden Sea experience

View of Schiermonnikoog with women in a red coat walking
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Schiermonnikoog National Park

The Wadden Island of Schiermonnikoog is often called the most beautiful place in the Netherlands.

Group of mudflat walkers on the tidal flats
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Mud flat walking

Mud walking is the most exciting way to explore the unique nature reserve, the Wadden Sea.

Man jumps over a puddle on Wadden Island Texel
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Visit Dunes of Texel National Park

Relax on the sandy beach or explore the beautiful dunes, forests, salt marshes and heathland.

Wadden sea evening sailing trip sunset
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A unique experience: ‘running aground’ in the Wadden Sea

The ship is built to withstand running aground on a sandbank. Experience the play of high and low tide on the ‘wad’ or tidal flat.