Each travel guide is unique and written for a specific purpose. This guide aims to give you an impression of a small island up in the northern part of The Netherlands. The island I am talking about is Texel. This Texel travel guide will give you a perfect idea of what to expect when visiting Texel, where to eat, the best places to stay, and the best things to do in Texel. But first, let me answer the question: "Is Texel worth visiting?".
Texel is definitely worth visiting. The island has a lot to offer for tourists. You can enjoy the beautiful and unique nature, beaches, villages, and restaurants. Texel is popular with a wide audience of all ages such as nature lovers, bird watchers, hikers, families, and cyclists.
Texel is known for its diversity and uniqueness. If you enjoy nature, going to museums, shopping, walking through picturesque villages and restaurants, cycling, or spotting birds. Texel should be on your list of places to go to when visiting The Netherlands.
Texel Island is unfamiliar to many foreign tourists. Most tourists travel to The Netherlands to visit Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague. If you like going on an adventure and are looking for an authentic Dutch experience, I would recommend taking the time to visit Texel.
Texel is the largest island of the five Wadden Islands, these are the islands located in the Wadden Sea. The island has seven main towns and forty official nature parks. The nature parks in Texel are known for having many bird and plant species. Dutch citizens often visit the Island themselves because they say it has a unique and special vibe. It is a great island to go to if you are looking for relaxation and getting away from the busy city life.
Texel has much more to offer than just its unique nature. If you like eating out and trying new things Texel has that too. Each town on the island even has its own delicacy. There are multiple restaurants situated in: the villages, near the beaches, and the countryside.
Texel also has a few spa facilities you can go to if you truly want to relax. If you are more of an adventurous person, you can go mountain biking, karting or beach-karting, rafting, rappelling, horseback riding, and much more.
Texel is unique in all sorts of ways. As you can read above, there is plenty to do for everyone. Even getting to Texel is an experience on its own. So to answer the question: is Texel worth visiting? I would definitely recommend you to visit Texel island.
Texel is part of the Dutch province "North-Holland". It is one of the 5 Wadden Islands, located in the Wadden Sea. If you look on the map, Texel is situated furthest West compared to the other four islands. If you follow the map from West to east, you will see the islands, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland, and last but not least, Schiermonekoog.
The island is 20 kilometers (12 miles) long and 8 kilometers (4,9 miles) wide. Texel has a total surface of about 170 square kilometers (65 square miles). This makes Texel the biggest island in the Wadden Sea.
Now that you know that Texel is an island, it is obvious that it is surrounded by water. Therefore to be able to get to the island, you have to take a ferry. The Ferry is also known as the TESO (Texels own steamboat company). Over 3100 Texel citizens are shareholders.
The Ferry departs from the city of Den Helder. You can reach Den Helder either by train or car. The train takes you straight from Amsterdam central station to Den Helder in about one hour and twenty minutes and costs €15.50 pp. ($18.30).
If you decide to take the train, a bus will take you from the train station in Den Helder straight to the harbor. If you are traveling by car, it will take you about an hour to get from Amsterdam to Den Helder.
The Ferry takes you across the "Mars Diep" (the water between Den Helder and Texel) in approximately twenty minutes. It leaves on every hour from Texel and every half hour from Den Helder.
The first ferry leaves Texel at 6 am, and 6:30 am from Den Helder, except for Sundays. On Sundays, the earliest ferry leaves at 7 am from Texel and 7:30 am from Den Helder. The last ferry leaves at 9 pm from Texel and 9:30 pm from Den Helder.
You can buy a roundtrip ticket at the dock in Den Helder before entering the ferry. It is possible to either take your car or bicycle. There is also the option of taking neither and walking onto the boat.
To take your car, it costs €25 ($29,50) total for both ways. From Friday till Monday they charge an extra fee which makes the total price €37 ($42,70). Suppose you want to take your bike across, a roundtrip will cost you €5 ($5,90). If you decide to just take yourself across and no vehicle, it will only cost you a total of €2.50 ($2,96) a person.
Click here if you would like to buy tickets for the ferry.
As explained above, Texel is unique and definitely worth visiting. There is so much to do and to see on this beautiful island. Here is a list of the 11 best things to do in Texel when visiting the Island.
If you are looking for a lovely day out, and you would like to learn more about animals and Texels history, Ecomare would be the place to visit.
Ecomare is popular for rescuing seals and other animals on Texel Island. You can see seals swim from nearby and get fed. Apart from being an animal sanctuary Ecomare also has a museum. The museum is set up playfully, making it fun and easy to understand and learn more about Texel, animals, and the Wadden.
Because Ecomare has various things to see and do it is suitable for people of all ages. Ecomare has an indoor and outdoor area making it perfect for both winter and summer days.
As you might have guessed, Texel has many beaches. The three beaches down below are to give you an idea. There are multiple ways to get to one of Texels' beautiful beaches. You can either go by car, rent an (electric) bike, or go for an unforgettable experience and rent a tuk-tuk.
When you take the ferry across towards Texel, you will see sand on the left side of the ferry. This is also known as the Hors and forms the most south part of Texel. If you go for a walk here, you will come across many different animal and plant species. If you are interested in learning more about the Hors, nature, and animal species, it is also possible to go with a guide.
Go local at "Paal 17"
In the middle of Texel on the west side, you will find Paal 17. Paal 17, loved by locals, is especially popular for sunbathing outside of your own beach house in summer. If you visit in the winter, it is an excellent beach for a stroll and to watch the big waves that the North Sea has to offer. Paal 17 is also well known for its restaurant located right on the beachfront.
The Northern Beach:
Up in the North of Texel, you will find another beach. This beach is great if you are looking to go for a nice long walk on pretty hard sand. The beach is wide stretched, making it easy to walk on. This beach is also famous for flying kites. One of the other perks of visiting this part of the island is that next to the beach, Texels lighthouse is situated. The lighthouse is open to the public. Inside the lighthouse, you can follow the stairs to the top. From the top, you can see a spectacular panorama view.
There are many places on the island where you can taste local produce. Texel is famous for its cheese, beer, and many more. Down below you will find three places where you can go to experience locally-produced foods from the island. If you are looking for some other tastes, you can always check out this website for more local products.
Eat and learn about fresh produce at "Novalishoeven"
Who doesn’t love fresh homegrown products? Novalishoeven is a farm that people with a disability run. There is a bakery, a cafe, homemade ice cream, a gift shop, and much more. At Novalishoeven, it is even possible to help milk cows and walk through the food garden. After spending a day here, you will have a good idea of what farm life on Texel is like. If you are looking for something specific to learn, you can check out their calendar on their website.
Cheese, Cheese, and more Cheese at "Wezenspyk"
Are you looking to stimulate your taste buds? Are you a true cheese lover, and have you always wondered how they make cheese? Look no further. Wezenspyk is a cheese farm that will satisfy your cheese needs.
They offer daily tours where you will taste different kinds of cheeses. After a day at Wezenspyk, you will never eat cheese in the same way again. If your cheese needs aren’t satisfied after the tour, you can buy fresh-made cheese in their shop or order a cheese fondue at the cafe.
Pick your favorite fruit at the "Zelfpluktuin"
A great place to visit in summer is the zelfpluktuin, this is a garden in which you can pick your own fruits and vegetables. Right after you enter the garden, you will find a stack of trays. After you grab a tray, the arrows will guide you through the garden. In the garden, you can pick whatever you like.
After you're done picking, you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. There are plenty of sitting areas where you can picnic, enjoying coffee, tea, homemade pies, and more from the Zelfpluktuin's shop. The shop also has some homemade jams, juices, and souvenirs to give to friends or family.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, Texel has its own unique nature. The island is therefore often visited by nature-lovers. These can be hikers, but also professional bird watchers. Below I will mention a few places where you as a nature lover will fully enjoy yourself.
Take a look at Texels nature in the "Slufter"
In the North of Texel, you will find the Slufter. The Slufter is one of the most famous nature reserves on the Island and stretches over 700ha (1729ac). After walking up a flight of stairs, you will find a valley that reaches the North sea.
At high tide, the salt marsh plain is full of seawater. You can see the dunes turn pink at low tide due to sea lavender and sea aster that grow there. The Slufter is excellent for an afternoon walk.
Go bird spotting on Texel:
Texel is well known for bird spotting. There are 120 species in total, making the Island popular to ornithologists and bird watchers. Multiple cycling routes will take you across nature reserves ideal for seeing different animal species, including many birds. The cycle routes are all marked and easy to follow, so you won't get lost.
Hug lambs at the "Knuffelboerderij"
Texel is known for having many sheep, there is even a specific breed named after the island. Not too long ago, Texel counted more sheep than people. Especially during spring when all the little lambs are born. The Knuffelboerderij allows you to cuddle with these cute little creatures. The museum will show you around the farm and teach you about what it is like to work on a sheep farm.
The island of Texel also has a lot to offer for people who are looking for more action and adrenaline. Various activities can be done, some for the real adrenaline junkie and other activities can also be done with the whole family. Down below I will give some really fun options that can be done in Texel.
Be active at the "Zandbank"
If you are looking for an adventure and a place to raise your adrenaline levels, the Zandbank is the place to be. You can choose between various activities like beach sailing, power kiting, rafting, surf kayaking, and more. They also offer a wide range of games, expeditions, and scavenger hunts.
Go horse and carriage riding with the "Jan plezier"
If you decide to book a tour with the Jan Plezier, you will have a unique experience. The Jan Plezier is a big wagon that two Belgian draft horses pull. The horses will take you across beautiful nature, including the Slufter (you can read more about the Slufter above). If you don’t feel like sitting in the wagon but prefer being closer to the horses, it is also possible to go horseback riding. The Belgian horses will take you on either a morning or late afternoon beach ride.
Horse and wagon ride information
Horseback riding information
Spend a day on the water and catch your own dinner. The TX20- or the TX-10 will take you out onto the Wadden Sea. Once the boat is far enough out, the fishing will commence. After the fishing net has been in the water for a while, they will pull them up onto the deck.
The fishing net will catch multiple sea creatures like shrimps, crabs, sea stars, and fish. A shipper will then explain what the catch of the day is. The staff on board will cook the caught shrimps and show you how to peel them. Once they are all peeled, you can go ahead and taste the freshly cooked sea creatures. There is always a lot of shrimp left that you can take home at the end of the day.
During low tide, the sandbanks show themselves, making it possible to walk on the bottom of the Dutch Wadden Sea. An experienced guide will take you out on the sandbanks, pointing out numerous birds, plants, and fish.
Walking on the Wadden is a unique and unforgettable experience. There is a good chance that your feet will sink into the muddy underground, so don’t forget to bring appropriate shoes like rubber boots or lazed shoes. Walking on the bottom of the ocean comes with a few risks; therefore, the guide will decide if it is safe enough to go out twenty-four hours in advance.
There are seven main towns on Texel. Each town is unique, from small streets to boutique hotels and historical buildings. Another nice fact is that each town has a typical treat made at the town's local bakery. I would recommend trying each one!
Den Burg in Texel:
Den Burg is located in the middle of the island and forms the largest town of Texel. Den Burg is known for the Monday morning market, shops, boutique-style hotels, and restaurants. If you like shopping, then this would be the town to go to. The town of Den Burg is about 1.47km2 and contains 2645 residences.
De Koog in Texel:
If you follow the Pondweg from the ferry past Den Burg you will reach De Koog. De Koog is the second biggest town on Texel. Like Den Burg, De Koog has shops and restaurants. The center of De Koog is within walking distance of the forest and beach, making this a great place to visit if you want to combine it with a walk-in nature. The town de Koog is about 0.36km2, and it has 429 residences.
Den Hoorn in Texel:
The nearest town to the ferry is Den Hoorn, also known as the artist village. Den Hoorn is a picturesque town with historic buildings and one small supermarket. From Den Hoorn, you can enjoy some excellent walking trails that will take you through Texels countryside, forests, and beaches. The town of Den Hoorn is about 0.15km2, and it has 214 residences.
De Cocksdorp in Texel:
In the North of Texel, you will find De Cocksdorp. De Cocksdorp is another small town with old-style buildings, churches, a few shops, and supermarkets. If you would like to go for a swim but aren't a big fan of salt water, you can visit the indoor pool in de Krim. The town of De Cocksdorp is 0.21km2 and has approximately 195 residences.
Oosterend in Texel:
Oosterend is a small town in the North-East of Texel. It is close to Oudeschild, and that is why many fishermen live in Oosterend. A church forms the center of the town, originating from the 11th century. It is 0.21km2 and has approximately 350 residences.
De Waal in Texel:
Near the center of Texel, you will find De Waal. De Waal is the smallest of the seven main towns on Texel, having only a few streets. Around the town, you will find lots of farmland. The town of De Waal is 0.06km2 and has approximately 78 residences.
Oudeschild in Texel:
In the Northeast of Texel, you will find Oudeschild. Oudeschild is a small harbor town where you can see multiple fishing boats and seagulls. That is why many locals buy fresh fish in Oudeschild. If you are a fish eater, then I would recommend visiting Oudeschild. The town of Oudeschild is 0.45km2 and has approximately 458 residences.
The craziest things wash ashore on the island of Texel. You can see pieces of shipwrecks, jewelry, coins, and much more. There are findings from over 80 years old. The variety is enormous, making the beachcombing museum fun for people of all ages to visit. The beachcombing museum or Juttersmuseum is a great museum to visit on rainy and cold days.
Texel is known for the number of sheep on the island. Getting your body wrapped in wool is a one-of-a-kind experience. Nowhere else can you get rolled into Texel's very own sheep's wool. The wool around your body will heat your body temperature and relax your muscles and joints.
The wool also contains lanolin. This natural oil is excellent for the skin. If this feels outside of your comfort zone, you can enjoy many other treatments at the spa as they also offer massages, facials, beauty, yoga, holistic healing, and more.
Texel has its own beer brewery! Texels beer has become more popular over the years. You can now buy Texels famous beer not just on the island but in many different places in the Netherlands. After visiting Texels beer brewery, you will understand the beer-making process and why Texels beer is unique.
During the tour, you will, of course, get acquainted with its taste. The tasting tour is only for adults 18 years and older.
There are all sorts of ways to spend the night in Texel. You can choose between many different holiday houses, hotels, group accommodations, bed and breakfasts, and camping areas. To give you an impression here are a few places you can stay.
Stay with locals near De Koog. This holiday house has a great location. Just a 10-minute drive will take you to the nearest beach, a 5-minute walk, and you will find yourself in a large forest, and it is also within walking distance to the town center of De Koog.
If you prefer staying in a holiday park, De Krim has it all. From a swimming pool to freshly baked bread, internet cafe and more. There are different houses suitable for a single trip, couples or families.
Stay in Den Burgs town centre:
In the heart of Den Burg, you will find Hotel de Lindeboom. It is a luxurious three-star hotel with a total of 49 rooms. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at one of their two restaurants. It is a historical building that used to be a courthouse built into a hotel in 1891.
Are you planning to enjoy Texel with a large group? Don’t worry. There are plenty of group accommodations available on the Island. One of them is De Stolp. De Stolp is located in a quiet area and has plenty of space for group activities.
Rural stay at Bloem en Bos:
If you would like to be in the middle of the countryside and be surrounded by Texel's very own farmers, then Bloem en Bos would be a great pick. The accommodation located in nature is only 3.5 kilometers (2.1 miles) from Texel's largest town, Den Burg.
If you want to stay just a few nights and get a local experience, then b&b the Spinbaan would be just for you. You will have the upstairs area of a house lived by a local couple. In the morning, you will be served a breakfast picked from their own garden.
You will find a unique and romantic experience if you book at Duinzicht Texel. The accommodation is an old agricultural wagon transformed into a hut. The hut is in an area full of nature overlooking the dunes.
Camp at a farm:
There are plenty of camping sites on the island. If you want to camp at a farm and stay in a beautiful quiet area, this camping will have both. The camping is in one of Texels nature reserves between Den Burg and Den Hoorn. There are plenty of walking trails around.
Ora et la Bora:
This beautiful stretched farmland has plenty of camping areas. Your campsite will be within walking distance of different nature reserves. It is an excellent place for people who love to walk, see birds, and discover Texel's nature.
If you have been looking for a truly authentic Dutch experience but weren’t sure where to find it or where to go, I hope you found your next holiday destination. After reading this blog, I hope you now know the answer to the question: "Is Texel worth visiting?".
I hope this Texel travel guide will help you to find the best things to do in Texel and with the best places to stay in Texel. Texel is a beautiful island where is plenty to do and see for people of all ages and people with various interests. I hope you will have a wonderful time during your holiday!