The island of Texel was one of the destinations we visited by accident. We wanted to see our friend Freek in his hometown, as we hadn´t met him for far too long. Therefore, I looked around, how to combine a visit to Groningen, which is an interesting destination in itself, with a relaxing break at an idyllic place. A travel guide and Instagram provided me with the perfect solution. I saw white wide beaches and immediately fell in love. Texel was not on a bucket list before. But it should be, believe me! If not for beaches alone – I have a few more reasons for you:
Exciting journey along two seas
Following the road from northeast to Texel – by the way the largest of the West Frisian islands – is already an adventure. Texel is the only West Frisian island which belongs to the province of Holland. To get to Holland, you have to drive on a very long dike, the so-called Afslutdijk. It lies between the inland sea Jsselmeer and the North Sea. As a co-driver on the Afslutdijk, I felt already very far away from everything and very much on holiday. In the middle of the dike you should get off, because there is a tower, from which you have a magnificent view over the two seas.
Interior of Texel: The epitome of idyll
Our hotel, the Boutique Hotel Texel, was located between the hamlets Midden Eierland and South Eierland. These names promised pure idyll. And it was not an empty promise. Along the road, farmers run small stalls where you can buy tulip seeds, onions and other agricultural products from Texel. The name of the hamlets have interesting roots, because earlier Texel consisted of two islands. One of them was called Eierland. I loved the wide green meadows, which could also be seen from our swimming pool and our SPA. So much space….The boutique hotel’s SPA concept is great, since you can not only relax wonderfully, but at the same time feel like being inmidst pure nature. And this makes the perfect SPA experience.
Texel – a dream on the bicycle
When exploring this island by bike, you will pass many flower fields. Unfortunately, the tulips did not flourish yet due to the harsh winter, but we enjoyed the bright daffodil fields a lot. Talking about Netherlands-clichés: Texel also has windmills and very beautiful old ones. I had already seen Dutch dunes before, but on Texel they are particularly impressive, because they do not only occupy a small strip along the sea. They extend into the interior of the island. The fabulous dune landscape is suitable for bicycle tours and also for extended hikes in the salty sea air. In the Dunes of Texel National Park, which makes up a major part of the island, it is especially nice to cycle. But not only there. Even touring the endless fields or on dikes while looking over the Wadden Sea, is an unforgettable experience. Despite its manageable size, Texel has more than 30 natural parks with special flora and fauna. Depending on the season, you can even find wild orchids in the middle of Europe! On Texel you have so many idyllic places that you are really spoiled for choice. After a week, in which we were almost exclusively on the road, we have not seen everything yet. Because of the wind, riding a bike on Texel can be more exhausting than expected given the flat Netherlands with its many well-developed cycling paths, but it’s so much worth it.
Villages to fall in love with
Texel’s villages are just as beautiful as the surrounding landscape with its many nature parks. We visited most of them and one was more pretty than the other. Since I knew only the urban Netherlands apart from few beach resorts, the many picturesque villages were a great surprise to me. In addition to some very old churches, I found lovely small brick houses everywhere with the windows typical of Holland, many flowers and almost always a bench in front of them. The villages on Texel are literally inviting. Extra chairs for visitors are often placed on the sidewalk, so they can stay a little. Slow travel at its best. Before visiting Texel, I rather associated Holland with the crowded Amsterdam, which I visited many times before. On Texel, everything has a slow pace and this is exactly what I like when being on holiday.
Animals on Texel
I love almost all animals, but lambs are perhaps my favorite ones. On Texel, there are far more sheep than humans and with each spring, many lambs are added. When cycling on the island in early April, you see newly born lambs on every corner. On Texel there is – at least for children – also the opportunity to hug lambs (in Dutch “Lammetjes knuffelen”). What is terribly sad: The majority of the cute lambs are kept mainly because of their meat. On the one hand we enjoyed the many lovely animals, on the other hand, however, we were very sad when we thought that most would be slaughtered after about 3 months.
But sheep on Texel are also kept for their wool. The Boutique Hotel Texel, where we stayed, offers the possibility to take a bath in their so-called “SPA Woolness”. I was very curious to experience this, because it is so unique. Nevertheless, I was thinking for a long time, if I can do that as a vegan. I finally decided to do it. How can you imagine a wool bath? The SPA Woolness assures you that the bath will not cause itching on the skin. That’s almost true. However, I have to say that my skin is very sensitive. I liked the wool bath anyway. You go to a log cabin in the garden. First, wool wraps are placed around the whole body (I felt like a sheep). Then I was bedded into a big cradle, where I lingered for about half an hour. Then I got a little massage and finally a cup of tea. In any case, it is a cuddly experience. The lanolin of the wool is good for the skin and I still could feel its softening effect after some time.
Other adorable animals on Texel are seals, which are called “Zeehonden” by the Dutch. With lovely dark eyes, they simply look heart-warming. Unfortunately, we were not lucky enough to see them in the wild, but in a kind of shelter for seals, the “Ecomare“. Again, as a vegan, I’ve been thinking for a long time about whether I think it’s OK to visit seals in a zoo. However, the Ecomare only houses animals that are not able to survive in freedom due to weakness, illness or other factors. Once the animals have been cured, they will be released again, at least those who are able to survive in the sea. The others, for example, a 100% blind seal, live a sheltered life there. I think this is a good thing, so I happily supported the institution.
Transparency: The linking of commercial providers is based on my voluntary decision. We paid for the costs of our trip completely ourselves.
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2 thoughts on “Dutch North Sea: Why you should visit Texel”
Great article! Just a small nag: Texel isn’t “a West Frisian island” but actually part of North Holland. Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog are indeed Frisian islands. The biggest Frisian island is Terschelling.
Thank you for your comment and lovely feedback. Happy you like my article. Yes, I know that Texel is part of the province of North Holland. However, Wikipedia says it’s a West Frisian Island as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Frisian_Islands