The Dutch Wadden Islands

The Dutch Wadden Islands are the beautiful diamonds of the Netherlands. Living in the Netherlands, you know that these islands are a true summer paradise. But not only in the summer the islands are worth a visit….

The Wadden?

When asking a foreigner if they know about the Dutch Wadden Islands, the answer is very often that they have no idea.

As soon as the sun starts to shine in the early spring, the Dutch go for a day-trip or a weekend-trip to one of the Wadden Islands. When the weather gets warmer and the summer holiday is around the corner, people enjoy spending a part of their holiday here. But also the lazy and warm autumn days as well as the stormy winters attract travellers to the islands.


Human beings are not the only ones visiting the area. Every year thousands of birds travel to the Wadden! After the summer they start their long journey. They fly to areas in the south to spend the winter. In the spring they come back again to breed. Other birds come to the area in the winter and leave for the north in the spring. The birds can also be seen from the coastal area on the mainland.


The seals are for most people a symbol of the Wadden sea. It is the perfect area to live in for the seals. The sand banks are an ideal place to rest and to care for their young ones. When you go by boat, you will often see the seals rest along the way. A beautiful sight!

UNESCO World Heritage

The Wadden Sea is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage and home to the largest tidal area in the world. With almost 500 km’s long and a surface of 11.500 square km’s it covers about one third of the Netherlands.
The area covers the islands, but also the coastal region around the Wadden Sea. Here you find the Dark Sky Park, National Park Lauwersmeer Lake and authentic fishing villages.

The Dutch Wadden islands

There are 5 Dutch Wadden islands to visit: Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. You can get to the islands by boat or on foot. The most common way is to go by boat and then rent a bike as soon as you get to the island. We have made a short introduction to each island below. Please click on the + icon and you will see the text.


Texel is the largest of the Wadden islands where you will find a good combination of peace, nature and lively villages. There is enough to do on this island with more sheep than people. With some 140 km of beautiful bikepaths you have plenty of choices on where to go. Or if you rather use your own legs you are more than welcome to explore the villages, dunes and the long sandy beach on foot. Around june you will find the wild orchids everywhere and the island is a true hotspot for birdlovers. Come visit Texel, only 100 km from Amsterdam.

Lighthouse Texel


A littlebit further away from the mainland lies Vlieland. On the ferry you have enough time to turn on your relax mode. From Harlingen you reach the island in 1,5 hours, and with the fast ferry it takes only 45 minutes. In the summer it is actually possible to take the ferry to the neighbouring island of Terschelling if you want to do some island hopping. Vlieland is the island where no cars are allowed, except for the locals living there. You will find plenty of bike paths and make sure you visit the beautiful sandy beach in the north which stretches along the lenght of the island. For hikers it is a joy to walk between the high dunes, through forests, over the sandy beaches and having a break in the (only) charming village of Oost-Vlieland. Vlieland is fun and relaxing for everyone!

children playing in the summer
Summer fun


Terschelling is full of surprices! There is plenty of space on the ca. 30 km’s long and (sometimes) 500 m wide sandy beach. With more than 200 km’s of hiking paths you get to know the island and its beautiful landscape on foot. Of course, there are several bike paths to choose from too, and having a drink in one of the beachbars or in one of the charming villages is a true pleasure. From Harlingen you reach Terschelling in ca. 1 hour and 45 minutes, with the fast ferry in 45 minutes. When you see the more than 400 years old lighthouse ‘Brandaan’, you know you have almost reached the island and can get ready for a great stay among the islanders!

Beach Terschelling
Beach Terschelling


When you arrive at Ameland and feel the fresh air, you are ready to switch off. The crossing from Holwerd takes about 50 minutes and in sunny weather you can stay on deck to enjoy the surroundings. Maybe you spot a lazy seal, resting on one of the sandbanks?
Ameland has it all! Bike- and hiking paths, beaches, dunes, 4 cozy villages each with their own atmosphere and 2 beautiful nature reserves. There are plenty of activities to join for young and old, and if you come for peace and quiet you surely will find your perfect spot.
During the whole year there are different festivals, concerts and other events which draws visitors to the island. The demonstration of the horse rescueboat where the rescueboat is pulled through the sand into the sea by 10 strong and big horses is a spectacular sight!

hiking path on Ameland
Hiking path


Schiermonnikoog is the smallest of the Dutch Wadden islands. Almost the entire island is a national park so no matter where you are, you are always surrounded by beautiful nature. From Lauwersoog you will reach the island by ferry in ca. 45 minutes. No cars are allowed on this island except for the locals living here. Like the other Wadden islands, Schiermonnikoog is also perfect for biking, hiking, spending time on the beach and having a drink and a bite in on of the restaurants. The beautiful and pittoresque (and only) village of Schiermonnikoog was built in 1760 as a new village because the old one named Westerburen was taken by the sea. With enough to do and see, you should definetely choose Schiermonnikoog for a weekend on the Wadden!

fun on the beach
Beach fun

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