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Holland holidays by the sea means to experience the silence in Polderland

A canal, houseboats and windmill, this is Holland holiday by the sea
Canal, houseboats and windmill - this is Holland holiday by the sea

Holland holidays by the sea is vacation behind the dike

If you are in Holland holiday by the sea do, the holiday means behind the dike. You can experience this on one of the islands in the Wadden Sea or in one of the coastal towns in the north of the Netherlands. On this trip to Holland we have not only the Culinary of the island Texel explored closer, but then continued to Friesland and in the province of Groningen. Always on or along the dike. For us as Bavaria, this region is a fascinating destination. Another world. Much is alien to us here. The vastness of the landscape that never seems to end. The life behind the dike. The fact that much of the country is below sea level. That places that are miles away from the sea are former fishing villages.

Sheep graze on the dike - this is Holland holiday by the sea
Sheep graze on the dike

The land of canals and windmills

The Wadden Sea, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009, stretches from Den Helder in North Holland across the German North Sea coast up to Denmark. It is a landscape dominated by the sea, even if the sea is not always visible. Honestly, I'm happy about that as well. Who wants to see the sea when the ground on which one stands is below sea level. In some places even several meters.

This goes back to the way land reclamation has been practiced by the Dutch for centuries. Since their homeland is shallow and was exposed to the influences of the sea unprotected, they built dikes. The land beyond dehydrated them. The canals through which they carried away the water traverse Holland and its islands to this day. Some windmills on the coast also testify to these practices. Some served to pump off the water from the lowlands. The result was a polder landscape, which today serves as a pasture and - along the coast - as a nature reserve. Polder, that's the name of the land behind the dikes.

The "lime tree" enters the port of Den Helder.

The ports in North Holland, Friesland & Groningen

I find it interesting that the ports we visited on this coast are almost all located in the Polderland or the IJsselmeer. Protected from the storms of the North Sea. Oudeschild on Texel, Den Helder in North Holland, Zoutcamp in Groningen - all located either on a canal, on the IJsselmeer or protected by the offshore islands on the Wadden Sea. This also lends places that are no longer directly on the coast like Zoutcamp, maritime flair. Although the shrimp cutters from Zoutcamp meanwhile drop off in the next larger port, boats still arrive via canals such as the Reitdiep or the tributary to the Lauwersmeer. In the harbor of Zoutcamp, the sea is still close. Even if the local fishermen disagree.

The dike - a bulwark against the sea

He has something soothing. Creates security. Promises security. The dike. We experience for ourselves how much he conveys this feeling on our trip. We take a “clean shoe hike” through the mudflats at the tiny village of Paesens in Friesland. There we meet Harm Jan, who introduces us to the secrets of the watt. "I moved from the city to the countryside because I like life on the coast better," he says. He looks at the expanse of the mudflats that open behind the dike. Harm accompanies us on our walk through the mudflats. As Bavaria, this landscape is foreign to us. Therefore, we are reluctant to embark on the mudflat adventure. A good decision for us greenhorns, as it turns out.

Sheep graze in the mud
Sheep graze in the mud

A mudflat walk on the Wadden Sea

Shortly after we leave the height of the dike and go out towards the mud flats, fog comes up from the south. Harm now talks about mudflat hikes that he does with less anxious guests than us. "I always have a compass with me," he says, looking at the fog bank that is getting closer and closer. "It can happen out there that the fog takes away the whole view. Then you need something to orientate yourself on. ”I believe him immediately, as the fog around us grows thicker and thicker.

The dike is barely visible, even though we are walking along firm paths along the edge of the mudflat just a few hundred meters away. “If you have a compass with you, you have to make sure that no metal deflects the needle. You cannot rely on your own sense of direction in a fog bank. I remember one day when I was convinced that I would continue walking in this direction, "and he points to the mist that swirls around us," I will come back ashore. "He laughs. “However, my compass pointed in exactly the opposite direction. If I hadn't had it, I would have walked further and further out onto the mud flats. ”I feel more and more queasy as the fog hugs us more and more. But Harm doesn't need his compass to find the dike again. It will bring us safely back to the starting point of our mudflat hike in Paesens.

Like a longer one Wattwanderung looks, you can read at Elke von Meerblog.

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.

Holland holidays by the sea is a journey into the silence

Anyway, we're happy to be back on solid ground with a healthy skin. Without having to listen to our inner compass. Behind the dike, we follow the country roads, where we rarely meet other vehicles. Mass tourism is sought in vain along the Wadden Sea. Just like Ballermann atmosphere or the party crowd. And that's good. Here you live close to nature. In silence.

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"It should stay that way," we hear several times from our conversation partners on this trip. We can only support this attitude. Because this region has its own charm. The villages invite you to visit the town center, which is almost always grouped around canals. No matter whether we are in Dokkum in Friesland, in Eenrum in Groningen, in Zoutcamp, in Nieuweschans on the German-Dutch border, in Appingedam or in Groningen, we meet channels everywhere. Even Groningen, the capital of the province of the same name, is crossed by canals. Although it is about 30 kilometers from the sea.

We enjoy our drive through the country on the narrow country roads. Watch the sheep in the pasture. Watch herons stick their long beaks in the water in search of frogs. And listen to the silence that is omnipresent here. Switch off, slow down and relax - that's easy on the Wadden Sea. This is Holland holiday by the sea.

More travel tips for Holland

Travel Arrangements

Arrival for your Holland holiday at the sea

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 want to see more of Holland? Then we recommend one Road trip through the Hanseatic cities in Holland, Further Tips for a weekend in Holland by the sea you can find at MS Welltravel.

Rental car

Cheap car hire - quick and easy booking here *


Discover here Accommodation on the Dutch coast *


Holland holiday by the sea
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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, TravelWorldOnline

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