Why seek far afield when the good is so close by? The Dutch island of Texel is a true holiday and nature paradise!
Summer, sun, beaches and the sea – that’s what we long for on holiday. While many people pack their bags and travel half way around the world for this, there are so many beautiful places which are right on our doorstep. In the Netherlands for example, which isn’t far from the UK at all, there is a real jewel waiting for you: the sunny island of Texel. And no, I’m not exaggerating at all. With around 1650 hours of sun during the year, Texel has become very popular with holidaymakers (probably worth noting that the suns shines more on the island than on the mainland). So listen up, because here’s everything you need to know about Texel!
From the UK, it’s not too difficult to plan a short trip away to Holland. With the image of taking in a deep breath of sheer paradise in mind, seeing windmills and bicycles here and there, walking through fields lined with tulips, and getting from A to B on a Dutch bike, I’d be more than happy to make a short trip across the North Sea to the Netherlands. Pitch a tent near to the beach, let the fresh breeze caress your face, and a relaxing break is guaranteed. It’s not just on the mainland that all this is waiting for you, but also on the island of Texel. What particularity makes the island so special is its compact size. If you look at the size of this beautiful island you’ll be amazed, as it is only 24 kilometers long and just 10 kilometers in width. Here comes a Dutch bike right on cue! Obviously you can’t get to the island by bike though. For this, you should resort to a ferry which will bring you from Den Helder to the island in just 20 minutes.
Sheer paradise in Texel
Surely you’ve heard of the dunes of Texel before? They’re not just famous for their appearance, but also for the same-named National Park. You’ll be surprised at how good a visit to this island can be. The unbelievably beautiful, quiet, and above all idyllic countryside is a real remedy for the soul. Walk barefoot through the dunes, go jogging on the beach in the morning, have a picnic in one of the salt meadows – just spend as much time as you can in the midst of nature. The landscape is etched by small lagoons and the lakes cry out for you to bathe and relax in them.
Island-know-how: the beaches on the island of Texel are divided up and called Paal.
How about a walk across the mud flats? Taking the tide into account, plan a trip across the mudflats on the east of the island. If you head to the west, you’ll find a gorgeous 30 kilometer sandy beach on which you can just bask in the sun.
Island life in the Netherlands
Despite the manageable size, you’ll find seven impressive towns on the island. Whilst each place is just as charming as the next, two stand out quite clearly. The first one that comes to mind is Den Burg, the largest town of Texel. No matter what you’ve got in mind, you’ll find something suitable here to do. Wander through the small boutiques and shops, and the bars and restaurants provide dining entertainment. Attractions and historical churches provide you with the chance to do a spot of sightseeing. And those who get ill on holiday should make their way to Den Burg, because medical care is guaranteed in the main town.
The next place that comes to mind is the tourist stronghold of De Koog. Well, stronghold is maybe an exaggeration, but you’ll find that most tourists are in this town. And it’s no surprise as it’s the only town with direct access to the beach. There’s entertainment for old and young around pretty much every corner: It’s not just the different varieties of water sports at the beach which you can make use of, there’s also an indoor swimming pool and a indoor go-kart track. Whilst in the other towns they shut up shop at night time, this is not the case in De Koog. Those who want to go on a bar crawl at night are best off here.
Entertainment on holiday
If spending all day long in the hands of nature is too boring for you, there’s all kinds of other things to do on the Dutch island. Museum lovers will definitely get their money’s worth at the Shipwreck and Beachcombing Museum Flora. If you want to learn more about the island then you should definitely pay this establishment a visit. Discoveries from previous beach combings are on display – you’ll be amazed what’s gathered there. If you’re more interested in aviation, then you’ll find an aviation and war museum located at the airport, where you can also find out about the history of the island. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Holland without a visit to the lighthouse! Steadily make your way to the top and take in the mesmerising view, you can even see as far out as Vlieland.
A particular highlight for little holidays makers in Texel is the Seal Sanctuary. Spectators will just fall in love with the baby animals whilst watching them being fed. Touching the seals is unfortunately forbidden, however those who really want to pet some of the animal inhabitants of the island can check out the Texel sheep farm. Have you ever seen how sheep are born? No? Then it’s about time you did! And to top it all off, you’re even allowed to pet these animals.
An alternative, where you can also take part yourself, is the pick-your-own farm in Texel. Here, you can pick various types of fruit for yourself and then tuck into them afterwards. Speaking of which: How about a cool beer with your fruit salad? Choose between the ten different types of beer brewed on the island. Obviously it tastes even better with a brewery tour! ;-)
The following food is made in Texel:
Off to Texel!
Well, I think I’ve said enough. As the saying goes: why seek far afield when the good is so close by! ;-) I don’t know about you, but Texel is definitely next on my list of places to visit!