From 20.5.2020 there is the Texel app for downloadwhere you can see which places are currently not crowded.
Texel in North Holland
Already from the mainland Texel is the island of the sheep. A detour to the dike between Den Oever and Oosterland in North Holland already gives us a taste of what awaits us on the island. From the dike we see our travel destination on the horizon. A narrow strip of land interrupts the view of the sea. While we are gathering first impressions, a mother sheep is watching us with her lamb. The two gently eat the fresh green that grows on the dike. They watch us curiously as we take our first photos of the island. Every now and then a "mow" comes across her lips. Nevertheless, it doesn't take long for them to start eating again. Only after a while do they troll and look for tasty pastures. A note for us to continue our journey.
In the harbor of Den Helder we finally board the ferry. The crossing to Texel takes barely twenty minutes. Even on the island, the distances are low. It takes only five minutes to drive from the ferry to Den Burg, the capital of the island. Already on this short distance it becomes clear that agriculture and livestock play a big role here.
Texel island of sheep
"We have a good 13.000 inhabitants on the island, but around 16.000 sheep," Arnold confirms the next morning. "In the spring there will be thousands of lambs." We are on a tour of the island. We are no longer amazed. Arnold introduced us to us as a farmer. However, we quickly notice that there is more to his simple facade than he initially reveals. He is the chairman of the Texel Farmers' Association. At the same time, it was his the luxurious Boutique Hotel Texel *in which we spend a night. Today, this leads his daughter.
Arnold is also very interested in water management. No wonder, a large part of the island consists of polders. This is land behind the dike below sea level. It is drained by channels that channel the water through or over the dike into the sea. This used to happen with windmills, some of which we see on our tour. Today, this is done with electric pumps.
We also see the first sheep on the polders at Den Burg. Many of them already have lambs. In this pasture we also see one of the sheep barns. They are typical of Texel. The barns look like halved farmhouses. The "cut" side offers the sheep protection from the wind, which is often from the North Sea blowing.
An island that offers everything
"Texel island of sheep - and cows, and agricultural farmers", Arnold laughs as we continue our journey. We are invited to a cattle farmer who wants to show us his self-developed stable. On the way there Arnold tells us that no farmer on the island only breeds sheep or cattle. “A lot is grown here: from seed potatoes to fruit trees to asparagus and wine, we get everything from the island. Even beer is brewed on Texel. "
Texel is Holland in the small. There is almost nothing you need to get from the mainland. Instead, the farmers from Texel deliver their products to the mainland. Sheep from Texel are world famous and even appreciated in Australia. Anyone who owns a Texel ram for breeding is proud of it.
Smart farmers on Texel
A cattle breeder with happy cows
That Texel is not only an island of sheep, we notice quite fast. This is also where smart farmers live, using their home in a smart way. How they do it, we experience during our visit to a young cattle breeder. He has just completed his new stable, which he shows us. He is proud of it, he developed it himself. He puts special emphasis on the well-being of his cattle. Unlike the cattle sheds that I know so far, the cattle walk around freely in a large hall. During our visit he has help from seasonal workers. His cows are trimmed hooves.
This is done very gently by lifting them in a cradle. After pruning the hooves, they immediately run free through their hall. The milking process is also well thought out. Milk cows must be milked regularly, otherwise the pressure of the milk is unpleasant. In this stable the dairy cows come voluntarily into the automatic milking stations. As soon as the pressure in the udder becomes too great, they voluntarily come to the milking devices, where the milk is milked fully automatically. Happy cows!
I also find it fascinating that the entire farm is run by the farmer alone. He usually works at his farm without helpers. He automated many processes in his stable. So manure and manure are automatically transported to the neighboring building, where it mixes it and produces fertilizer for its fields. A smart farmer!
A sheep breeder as an obstetrician
He is not the only resourceful farmer we meet during our visit to Texel. In the afternoon we are guests at the sheep farm of Hans Witte. This possesses about 500 sheep of different races. In the spring there is a lot of activity on his farm. Then the sheep give birth to their lambs. There are about a thousand per season. Some species do this on the pastures. In more sensitive species, he brings the pregnant ewe into the yard, where the lambs spend the first weeks of their lives protected from the elements.
First, he leads us to an enclosure. There he fetches his three shepherd dogs, who in no time drive up a herd of sheep. On request, the dogs carry out every order that the sheep farmer has trained them to do. A fascinating spectacle!
But even more exciting is the birth of twin sheep in the stable. While some visitors still with Lammetjes knuffle - cuddling with lambs - Hans explains to us why the ewes are brought into the barn. Suddenly he stops his lecture and pulls one of the sheep mothers towards him. "She'll get her lamb right away," he explains to us with a quick glance. Then his eyes focus on the pregnant ewe. With a few simple steps, he makes sure that the birth runs smoothly, and in no time the new inhabitant of the earth lies in front of us in the hay.
Delicious cheese from Texel sheep, goats and cattle
The milk from Texel sheep, goats and cattle is processed into delicious cheese by Anton Witte in his cheese factory Wezenspyk in Den Burg. He is quite inventive in the production. He spices his cheeses with mustard seeds, salted nuts, herbs and fenugreek. If you want, you can take part in a guided tour of the cheese dairy. Such is offered from Tuesday to Friday at 14.00 clock. With subsequent tasting! If you do not have the time, you can watch the cheese maker through a glass pane during the manufacturing process. In the shop you can buy the award-winning cheeses fresh. Or you can try it at the Hofcafé.
Woolness at Boutique Hotel Texel
That Texel island is the sheep and smart farmers, we have seen in the two days of our stay in an impressive way. This makes the island definitely a great destination for connoisseurs. Finally, the Boutique Hotel Texel, in which we spend a night, offers a very special highlight. In a cozy wooden hut in the garden of the hotel you can experience a very special wellness treatment. There you are wrapped in natural sheep's wool. This contains lanolin. If you rub natural wool between your fingers, you quickly realize that it is greasy. This fat is good for the skin. After a Woolness treatment, the skin is very soft. Petar has tested it and still raves about the pleasant warmth that made him drift away quickly.
The Texelans know how to use their products and are very inventive. A sympathetic people, which makes the stay on Texel an exciting experience.
Follow us on our journey through Texel in Petar's video and get to know the island even better:
Videos are subject to copyright
More travel tips for the island of Texel:
KLM and Lufthansa fly to Amsterdam. From there it goes by train and bus to the ferry terminal in Den Helder. We traveled by car to Den Helder and from there by ferry to the island. Do you like to take more time for the journey? Then we recommend a combination with one Road trip through the Hanseatic cities in Holland.
Sheep farm (Schapenboerderij)
Tel. 06 44926046
Sheep farm and cheese factory Wezenspyk
Accommodation on Texel:
Hotels, apartments and other accommodation on Texel * You can also book through our partner booking.com at this link. We have, however, in the Boutique Hotel Texel * and in Hotel De Lindeboom in Den Burg * spent the night.
Discover more travel tips for trips to savor on our blog TravelWorldOnline.
Source for Texel Island of the Sheep: own research on site. We also thank the VVV Texel and forvision for the friendly support of this trip. Our opinion, however, remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos © Copyright Monika 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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