Top 10 best things to do in Texel, The Netherlands
April 18, 2023
A few weeks ago, I went to Texel for a couple of days. Texel, is one of the Dutch Frisian Islands, also known as the Dutch Wadden Islands. It is the biggest ‘Wadden Island’ in the Wadden Sea. When you plan to visit the Netherlands, a short stay or one day trip to Texel should be included. It is a beautiful island, easy reachable from Amsterdam, and there are plenty of fun things to do in Texel! This post will tell you more about the 10 different exciting things to do in Texel.
How to reach Texel in The Netherlands?
To reach Texel, you can start your journey from Amsterdam, which is the most common departure point. From Amsterdam, you can take a train to Den Helder, a coastal city located on the northern tip of mainland Netherlands. The train ride offers stunning views of the Dutch countryside. Once you arrive in Den Helder, you can catch a ferry to Texel. The ferry ride itself is a fun experience, providing you with breathtaking vistas of the Wadden Sea and takes about 20-25 minutes. Upon arriving at Texel, you can rent a bicycle or drive to your next destination.
Tip: check the ferry schedule and consider booking your ferry tickets online to avoid long lines, especially during busy times.
1. Climb the 153 steps of the Texel lighthouse (Cocksdorp)
Or just watch, instead of climbing the lighthouse! The lighthouse is around 35 meters high and looks amazing. The surrounding is beautiful as well. It will cost you € 5,50 to climb up the 153 steps, but at the top, you can overview the Dutch coast very well!
It is good to notice that there is no elevator in the lighthouse and that dogs are not allowed to enter. The lighthouse is daily open from 10:00 till 17:00 between March and October, and between November and February only on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays (also 10:00 till 17:00). Please note that this information is subjected to change. Visit the lighthouse’s website for the most up to date information.
Tip: Texel offers breathtaking sunsets. Head to one of the island’s westernmost points, such as the lighthouse at De Cocksdorp, to witness a stunning Texel sunset.
2. Go mudflat walking
Mudflat walking is a must do in Texel! It is a very fun and special experience! While walking across the bottom of the sea, you can enjoy the sandbanks, various plants, birds, fish, and when lucky, some seals. Sometimes it can become a bit tuff though, for instance when your feet and legs get clamped up by the water haha. I recommend you to go with a guide. They can teach you everything about the sea, and helps you to not get lost in the regular changing tides cycles.
Tip: make sure to wear sturdy shoes and perhaps a warm sweater.
3. Visit a sheep farm and cuddly lambs
On Texel, you can find plenty of sheep farms. There is even a rumor that there are more sheep than inhabitants in Texel! You can visit some farms to learn everything about the sheep, taste sheep cheese, or just to cuddle some lambs. In March, you have the biggest chance to see some young jumping lambs. It is great to see and in my opinion one of the most fun things to do in Texel!
4. Visit Ecomare
Ecomare is an attraction and nature center devoted to the preservation of Texel’s (sea) wildlife. It is especially known for the seal shelter. While visiting the different tanks, you can also watch feeding times. Porpoise feeding takes place at 10.30 and 13.30 and fish feeding is at 14.30. Please be aware that these times might chance. Check their website for the most up to date information.
5. Visit the municipality capital of Texel; Den Burg
Den Burg is the ‘capital’ of Texel. You can go there for a day trip and do some shopping, enjoy Texel’s typical beer, climb the church tower, or enjoy the food in one of the many restaurants. The capital also has a museum (Oudheidkamer Antiquities Room), cinema, and swimming pool.
6. Enjoy a water activity
Texel is an island, so there are plenty of water activities to do! Think about wind surfing, kite surfing, surfing, swimming, or sailing.
7. Watch seals basking in the sun
Watching seals is another must do in Texel! You can book one of the many excursions, for example at Ecomare, Het Sop, or at ‘de Waddenveer’ in Cocksdorp. I decided to book it at Cocksdorp, so I could combine it with a visit to the lighthouse. For only € 12,50, I spent around 2.5 hours on the water, watching seals basking in the sun and relaxing on the sandbanks. In the meantime, the guide told a lot of facts about the seals, which was nice to hear.
8. Go horse riding along the beach
Texel is a great place to do horse riding! Imagine yourself galloping with the wind through your hair. There are many different places where you can ‘rent’ a horse. Something good to remember, is that you cannot ride everywhere on Texel. Some beaches are specially designated for horses and in summer and winter seasons, different times and rules apply for riding.
9. Wander around in Texel Dunes national park
Texel Dunes National Park is a great piece of nature where you can truly enjoy a day wandering around. You can see dunes capes running along the western coast and when you are lucky, you can even spot some sheep, reptiles, bird species or other animals. Make sure to explore De Slufter and De Muy, where you can spot unique bird species and enjoy breathtaking landscapes.
Tip: don’t forget your binoculars and a good camera!
10. Visit Eureka’s bird- and butterfly garden
Visit Eureka and enjoy many different bird-. butterfly-, and flower species. The bird garden has different types of birds; birds of prey and tropical birds, like parakeets or parrots. Within the flower garden you can find many orchids.
Here are 5 tips to make the most of your visit to Texel in the Netherlands:
Biking: Rent a bicycle, fatbike or e-scooter to explore the island. Texel is a bike-friendly destination with numerous cycling routes that allow you to enjoy its natural beauty at a leisurely pace.
Beaches: Texel boasts beautiful sandy beaches. Pack a picnic and spend a day at the beach, swimming or simply relaxing in the sun.
Texel’s Cuisine: Try Texel’s local cuisine, including fresh seafood, Texel lamb, and Texel beer. Visit local restaurants and enjoy the island’s culinary delights.
Texel Brewery Tour: Take a tour of the Texel Brewery and learn about the island’s beer-making tradition. Sample some of their delicious brews.
Plan Ahead: Research and plan your trip in advance, especially if you’re visiting during the peak tourist season. This will help you secure accommodations and activities without any last-minute hassles.
This map provides an overview of all the places mentioned above;
In conclusion, Texel is easily accessible from Amsterdam and offers a wide range of activities. Whether you’re interested in climbing the Texel lighthouse for a beautiful view, embarking on a mudflat walking adventure, or simply relaxing on the beautiful beaches, Texel has something to offer. You can also delve into Texel’s unique culture by visiting sheep farms, exploring Den Burg, and enjoying the island’s delicious cuisine. With its rich wildlife, including seals and birds, Texel provides great opportunities for nature enthusiasts. So, plan your trip ahead and embrace the island’s charm!
If you have any questions or would like to share some other nice things to do in Texel, leave a comment in the comment section below.
This article is part of the GPSmyCity iOS app. You can download it, read this article offline and obtain travel directions (by foot, car or bicycle) to the places mentioned in this article. Click here to download it.
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