Discovering more of the Netherlands – Texel

Texel Topographic Map

The largest of the Nederlandse Wadenneilands Texel had been in our list of destinations since we initially moved to the Netherlands but due for one reason or another we ended up delay a trip there until a couple of weeks ago.

At 20km long by 8km wide the Texel is by all accounts a pretty small island, with most of it being nature reserve with unique tidal habitat, the transport of choice to visit the island are (in good Ducth style) bicycles. You can rent them in just about any village and follow the extensive network of bike paths.
For our first time there we opted to keep to the motorcycle and take the day to know the whole island, by crossing it South to North and East to West but a return there to go along the Slufter Nature reserve by bicycle is definetly in the plans.

By the way, for some reason there are tourist guides that state cars are not allowed in Texel. That information is wrong. You can easily catch a ferry at Den Helder and do the 20min crossing in comfort. Driving in the island is pretty straightforward but parking can be a problem during busier times so I would juts recommend either going by motorcycle (of course!) or catching a bus to the island and renting a bicycle there. (You can even pickup a e-bike if you’re lazy!)

The distance from Amsterdam to Den Helder can be covered in 1h of boring motorway riding and once there the city seems to have plenty to see (the Marine Museum with it’s submarine parked outside left me curious and will certainly be the subject of a later visit).

The ticket for the ferry can be bought before boarding and the value is a surprisingly reasonable 11€ – return trip included – for bike, rider and pillion.

If you follow the blog you may remember my MTS is currently without it’s centrestand so I was a bit worried about leaving the bike unattended during the crossing, but the sea was calm and the boat is so massive that it’s the same as being on land, even parked on the sidestand with no straps holding it, the bike did not move an inch.

Getting on the island the riding is a very entertaining mix of narrow dike roads and scenic countryside views.

After a first stop at the beach for some (somewhat obscured) sunshine we rode to the northeast tip of the island and the funny named De Cocksdorp (dorp meaning being Dutch for village)…wait…does that mean we rode to the tip of the Cock?

Anyhow, we then road back to the southwest coast village of Oudeschild to catch a boat ride to watch the seals.
For 12,5€ per person you get an 1h round trip to a formation of sandbanks close to the coast where Harbour seals and Grey seals bask in the sun. Not terribly exciting stuff as the lazy sea creatures just lay there, but still interesting to watch uncommon wild animals in their natural habitat.

As for the rest, I’ll leave you with some photos. Enjoy and feel free to comment,like and subscribe!

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