The Dutch North Sea coast and its hinterland
Two days we had time to look at the Dutch North Sea coast between Den Helder and the province of Groningen. The tips we have collected are perfect for a weekend in Holland. Our journey started in Den Helder, the city in North Hollandfrom which the ferries are up the island of Texel depart. That was why we were there. We had spent a few days on the southernmost island in the Wadden Sea before our trip along the Dutch North Sea coast. With such a stay, you can combine this tour along the North Sea from North Holland via Friesland to the province of Groningen.
From Den Helder we follow the dike along the North Sea - either parallel to it or on it. Our trip almost always leads along the coast, even if we don't see the sea all the time. The Dikes in this region protect the hinterland from the storms on the North Sea coast. Nevertheless, you notice everywhere the proximity of the sea. On the canals that cross this landscape, there is a lively ship and boat traffic. Our destination on this day and starting point for the excursions of the next days is the place Eenrum in the province of Groningen. Even the overnight stay is an experience, because we are guests
In the smallest hotel in the world
We are curious. Normally, superlatives do not always do what they promise. But that was the case here. When we were in Grand Hotel de Kromme Raake * arrive in Eenrum at the agreed time, we are initially in front of closed doors. Through the window we see a reception desk that looks like it has a picture of Edward Hopper comes. I immediately feel transported back to the 50s. Alone - nobody even opens our doorbell. What now? It strikes me that information about this may be in our travel documents. There I discover a phone number. When I call there, the cider (mustard manufacturer) answers, which is just around the corner.
The somewhat stressed-out gentleman on the phone thinks he already knows who we are. And that we live in the hotel. However, he was just so stressful that he could not bring us the key. We should please come to his restaurant and pick up the key. Oh yes, and he couldn't show us our accommodation personally because he just had to look after two bus groups in his restaurant. "A strange reception," I think to myself. But good. We walk a few meters around the corner and get our key. Number 1. Oh yes. Before we leave, we receive the instruction: “Please come to dinner one hour later than agreed. Then there is less going on here. ”And another cryptic explanation follows:“ You can open all but two of the doors in the hotel. They are cordoned off. This key doesn't fit either. ”Now I'm really curious.
Accommodation as in Edward Hoppers pictures
We unlock the front door and go through the only door that can hold the key. This leads to a colorful room. I immediately notice the art print above the desk. The picture shows Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean at a counter where Elvis is serving the cocktails. Apparently the owner also connects his establishment with impressions by Edward Hopper. Its “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” perfectly captures the atmosphere of this hotel.
A whole hotel for us alone
The aged furnishings in this living room confirm my first impression of a pension as I would have expected in the 50 years. A wooden wall is colorfully painted with scenes that tell stories. By women. A garden. The life in the country. In the middle of the wooden wall is a double door, which we open curiously. Instead of another room, however, it leads directly into a huge double bed. Just like you often find them in old fisherman houses in Holland. Only that there is more space here. To get to the comfortable mattress, you first have to crawl over a wide frame. Only then do we sink into soft clouds.
To emerge from this again proves to be a time-consuming endeavor. Only when you have climbed the frame again, you can crawl back to the entry back. It takes some practice to get along with this type of bed.
The exciting thing is that the bed is accessible from two sides. One of us climbs in from the living room. The other from the big bath.
Breakfast at home
On the way to the bathroom we discover a room that used to be the kitchen. Today there is an old wood stove in it, as my grandmother used to have it. On it are a coffee machine and a kettle, inviting us to a cup of coffee or tea. The next morning it turns out that our breakfast is served there. And what a thing! With a selection of delicious breads (the croissants are just great!). A sausage and cheese plate that is enough for a whole company. Boiled eggs. Freshly squeezed orange juice. And the whole thing in complete privacy. It's like eating at home without the work that such a household does.
Slowly we realize that we are actually here in the smallest hotel in the world. We are the only guests.
What does the Dutch North Sea Coast offer?
Well-fortified and after a deep sleep in our bunk we set out to explore the Dutch North Sea coast in Friesland and Groningen for two days.
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Enjoy the Dutch North Sea coast
The first day of our stay we spend with a tour of the region. Our first stop is this
The fishery museum in Zoutkamp - typical Dutch North Sea coast
In a warehouse that once housed buoys and other coastal fishing equipment, you can find out about the development of fishing in Zoutkamp. We learn that the fishermen are still living here. However, their fishing boats are now in a neighboring town, which is closer to the sea. The boats docked in the canal in front of the museum are either owned by the museum. Or there are excursion boats or houseboats, which make a stopover here. Active fishing from their home port, the fishermen of Zoutkamp no longer operate. Since the completion of the dike systems on the Lauwersmeer this is no longer possible.
Riding Pit 11
9974 PJ Zoutkamp
Through the vast hinterland of the Dutch North Sea coast we continue to Dokkum in Friesland. This is one of those small towns we love in Holland. Small. Cozy. Manageable. With alleys, where a nice house to the next rows. We will have lunch first
In a casual bistro atmosphere, we will have lunch at the Stadscafé Artisante in the center of Dokkum. Here you can sit outside and watch the bustle of the bridge over the canal. In the midday heat, however, the seats on the bistro terrace are already occupied. Therefore we order our sandwiches in the restaurant.
9101 LA Dokkum
Next door is the Craft Beer Brewery of Boniface, one of the larger breweries in the area. In a narrow townhouse on the canal in Dokkum, the young beer brewers produce selected craft beers, which they serve to local beer lovers. We learn that the name goes back to the Irish monk Boniface, who was murdered 754 in Dokkum. After him, they name one of their beers.
9101 LA Dokkum
Take time for a stroll through Dokkum. Along the canal you can watch the buzz on the canal ships. There are also restored houses to see. We take a walk through the city while we wait for the tide. It's not until six in the evening that we can do the mudflat walk we planned for the evening. Therefore, we postpone our dinner in the late afternoon. At KB Foods in Dokkum we feel right at home. With a steak and salmon filet we spend the rest of the waiting time until the tide in a pleasant environment.
9101 MV Dokkum
The Dutch North Sea coast on a clean-shoes hike in the watt
The last day's destination for this excursion is the small town of Paesens near Moddergat. We met Harm Jan in a visitor center. This accompanies us on a walk through the mudflats. He regularly guides visitors on their mudflat hikes and shows them what there is to discover. That is much. He stops at inconspicuous plants along the way. He picks up a few branches and eats them. "This is Queller," he explains to us. "Sea asparagus." We already had this during our Stay in Texel got to know. "How tedious it must be to harvest it," I think to myself.
What you need for a mudflat walk
- On a Wattwanderung out into the Watt you need necessarily Rubber boots*, You will wade through silt. Sometimes even sinking to the knees.
- Since the wind almost always blows at the sea and the weather can change quickly, you need one waterproof windbreaker * or a Wax Jacket *
- Practical is also one Rain pants *that can get wet too.
- In sunshine or wind shelter Hat with brim * against the elements.
- Do you go out alone into the mud, then you should definitely one Compass* take with you, you can orient yourself in case fog raises.
We are happy that Harm accompanies us because it does not take long and we are stuck in a thick wall of fog. I am relieved that we hadn't planned a hike into the mudflats. With this poor visibility I don't want to be in the mud off the coast knowing that the tide will come back in the not too distant time. As it starts to drizzle more and more, we soon decide to return to the visitor center. There Harm serves us fresh mint tea "from home grown mint" and tells us about his kitchen experiments with the local herbs and plants.
We need half an hour to drive back along the coast to our one-room hotel in Eenrum. An eventful first day comes to an end, which brought us closer to the Dutch North Sea coast. The next day we spend the morning in Eenrum, because right next to our hotel is
The candle factory Eenrum
Krista Jongsma, the new owner of the candle factory, is waiting for us there at 10.00 a.m. "I took over the manufacture from the previous owner half a year ago and I'm very happy about it," she laughs at us. "I got to know her on a vacation in the region." We meet some dropouts on our short trip through the Wadden Sea Region. You have said goodbye to the hectic life in the city and enjoy the peace in the country.
Krista introduces us to the art of candle making. We always dip the wick into hot wax. We listen to Krista's stories. She reports who her customers are: “Families often come with children. But there are also shop visitors who spontaneously decide to take a candle maker course. ”I dip my candles in wax and ask where they are selling their homemade candles. “Of course these are the visitors to the store. But we also have customers in the area. In the souvenir shops in hotels they are a popular souvenir of holiday guests for their families at home. ”I can understand that. We enjoy the almost meditative occupation of ups and downs in hot wax.
After the candles are thick enough, we dip them in paint pots. I want to make a candle spiral from two differently colored candles. One stays white, the other I color blue. Before I can turn the spiral, the candles must still be cooled in cold water. After further ups and downs in the water trough, the candles are finally cooled down so that I can shape them into a spiral. Up and down a few more times, and my homemade souvenir from Eenrum is ready. You can make your own candles in the
Main street 14
9967 RJ Eenrum
The mustard mill of Eenrum
Just a few steps around the corner we made an appointment with "Holland's last mustard maker, who produces real Groningen mustard from organic mustard seeds from the region". That's how Sten Sipkes introduces us. Making mustard is his passion. Even if he came to detours. Sten tells us that a few years ago he earned his money as a truck driver. "Then my friend got the offer to take over the restaurant of the mustard mill in Eenrum," he says. This could not refuse this and worked closely with the mustard maker for several years.
Then he wanted to retire and was looking for a successor. He also offered her this. However, that exceeded their possibilities. So she asked her friend, Sten, if he didn't want to go into the business as a mustard maker. At first he waved it off. "I don't know about it." After a bit of back and forth he finally gave in. And so today he produces real Groninger mustard with the historic mustard mills.
"What makes it Groningen mustard," I want to know. "Only black mustard seeds are used for this," and he points to a bowl full of tiny seeds. "Only those give our mustard the right taste." He laughs mischievously. "And of course some secret ingredients." In any case, the mustard soup that we try in the restaurant of the mustard mill has its own taste. Good and spicy.
Mustard mill in Eenrum
Main street 12
9967 RJ Eenrum
Appingedam and its hanging kitchens
We spend the afternoon in the small town of Appingedam. This is like many places in the region, on one of the channels. Many of the houses along the canal have small wooden dungeons housing the kitchens. The hanging kitchens offer an extraordinary sight. But otherwise, the small town is worth a stop with its beautiful old town and the well-kept houses in the city center and along the canal.
Eat well in the Basiliek Appingedam
In Appingedam we enjoy one of the best dinners of our trip along the Dutch North Sea coast in the Basiliek Appingedam. The Kosterij in Appingedam is located in the former church building of St. Nicholas Church and its outbuildings. There we are served a delicious dinner with regional specialties.
I like the elegant atmosphere in this restaurant. The historic building is particularly inviting in combination with the classically simple furnishings. The subtle but tasteful decoration underlines this impression. We feel immediately comfortable in this environment. The very attentive, but restrained service does the rest. For that reason alone we recommend a visit to this restaurant.
The food we enjoy at Basiliek Appingedam is the best of our whole trip along the Dutch North Sea coast. Here someone cooks with passion. This is shown by the “Greetings from the kitchen” as well as the delicate “biscuits” for starters. My steak in red wine sauce with potato gratin is delicious. And when it comes to chocolate snacks and cookies with coffee, I simply cannot say “No”, even though I am already full. An all-round delicious and successful dinner on our last evening in the province of Groningen. This restaurant is definitely worth a detour.
9901 BB Appingedam
The Dutch North Sea coast - our conclusion:
There is much to discover on the Dutch North Sea coast. Especially slow travelers and connoisseurs will feel comfortable here. There is no trace of mass tourism. And that's good. In this way, we meet again and again people who take their time for a chat. They introduce their home with enthusiasm and enthusiasm. We all feel that he or she has consciously chosen this land and life in that region.
We enjoy our much too short time in this quiet area in the north of Holland, which consists not only of coast and mudflats. We love the well-kept small towns and villages as well as the vast landscapes. These are especially beautiful in the spring, because meadow flowers and hedges bloom everywhere. While our journey back to the south of Germany, we look wistfully after the geese, which fly north towards the coast. We like to come back to the Dutch North Sea coast. There is certainly more to discover here.
Arrival to the Dutch North Sea coast
KLM and Lufthansa fly to Amsterdam. From there, it's best to take a car, because that's the only way to be flexible enough to get to know the localities better. We traveled with our own car from Southern Bavaria. For the trip, we took two days off with an overnight stay on the more than 1000 km long route. Thus, the arrival could easily cope. Do you have more days left? Then we recommend one Road trip through the Hanseatic cities in Holland.
Accommodation for the Dutch North Sea coast
Discover here Accommodation in the province of Groningen *
Find more Slow Travel Tips you can find under this link.
Source for this article: own research on site. We also thank UNESCO Waddenzee Werelderfgoed for the friendly support of this trip. Our opinion, however, remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos © Copyright Monika Fuchs,
Video © Copyright Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the publishers of the Trips to Savor and Slow Travel Blog TravelWorldOnline Traveler , They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline is online since 2001.
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Monika Fuchs has been working in tourism since 1990. She has been a tour guide on four continents for 17 years and has accompanied high-class trips through North and Central America, Australia, southern Africa and Europe. Since 2001 she has been a writer and photographer for TravelWorldOnline and writes as a freelance journalist for DIE ZEIT Online and travel magazines such as 360 ° Medien, TRIVAGO, Expedia, travador, etc. She also writes travel guides about destinations and enjoyment destinations all over the world. Your guide about Canada's east was released in 2020. Petar Fuchs produced the videos on this blog as well YouTube.
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