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Texel island of sheep and smart farmers

Ewe with lamb
Ewe with lamb

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
Texel island of sheep

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 in front of a sheep barn
Arnold in front of a sheep barn

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.

Polder landscape on the dike
Polder landscape on the dike

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.

Happy cows on Texel
Happy cows on Texel

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!

sheep barn
sheep barn

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 draws one of the sheep mothers to 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.

Texeler cheese
Texeler cheese

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.

Cheese from Texel
Cheese from Texel

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.

Sleep under sheep or woolness
Texel Isle of Sheep - Sleeping among sheep or woolness

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


Travel Arrangements:

Getting there

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.

Cars:

Cheap Car Hire - Book Fast and Easy! *

Sheep farm (Schapenboerderij)

Pontweg 77
Den Burg
Tel. 06 44926046

Sheep farm and cheese factory Wezenspyk

Hoornderweg 29
Den Burg

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

Responses

  1. Jessica
    | Reply

    Oh how awesome, that makes me really feel like my Texel trip in September. Thank's for the Tipps! Cheese is exactly my thing anyway. ;-)

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Jessica,

      For connoisseurs Texel is a paradise :). I'm looking forward to your report. Have fun and best regards,

      Monika

  2. Carolin
    | Reply

    I would like to return to Texel. Once there on a youth camp there, you have awakened beautiful memories with the blog post and the photos! LG

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hello Caro,

      that pleases me very much. I can imagine that such a youth camp on the island is fun. Nice if we could wake up memories.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  3. Barbara
    | Reply

    Hi monika,
    I really like sheep, and even the two from the top photo look really cozy! The hotel, the Woolness treatment and of course the cheese are absolutely to my taste. I notice that I know too little about our neighboring country; This island seems to be a nice holiday destination.
    Best regards
    Barbara

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hello Barbara,

      Holland is definitely worth one or more trips. We've been there for the fourth time, and I'm sure it was not the last time. There is so much to discover in our neighboring country.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  4. Catherine
    | Reply

    Hi monika,
    Thanks for this great tip. I love to travel to the Netherlands but have not really heard anything about Texel so far. Alone the chance to snap so many sheep ... Since my heart immediately beats higher. Woolness sounds interesting, but it would not be good for me - I'm allergic to wool ... :-(
    LG
    Catherine

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Katharina,

      if you like sheep then Texel is the perfect destination for you :) There are more sheep than inhabitants ...

      Best regards,
      Monika

  5. Antje
    | Reply

    Woolness, that sounds good (and marketing wise awesome). I also swear hand-knitted sheep wool socks, so you'll never have cold feet again.

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Antje,

      Petar has been wrapped up and still raves about how comfortably warm that was. The lanolin in the wool also nourishes the skin. A great thing!

      Best regards,
      Monika

  6. Dear Monika,

    I've never heard of Texel before your great report ... But that looks really idyllic! Your photos make you want more and these smart farmers with their happy cows and sheep (I just assume that they are no less happy) sound really exciting.

    Thank you for your contribution!

    Best regards,
    Barbara

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Barbara,

      the cows definitely :). I am not so sure about the sheep when they are constantly being hunted by the shepherd dogs: D. Imaginative and full of imagination are the farmers on Texel but always.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  7. Susanne
    | Reply

    On Texel, I was almost 24 years ago. A great trip with a 23 year old result today;)
    But that's not the only reason why I was thrilled by the island back then. Your report has brought back much that I almost forgot. I think Texel sees me again.
    Thank you, Susanne

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Susanne,

      I can understand that very well. The island was very nice. She has her own magic. I'm glad, if we have awakened nice memories with our article.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  8. Eddy Harteneck
    | Reply

    Hello Monika, after Texel I manage it despite Woolness probably not so fast, but I am now and then in Amsterdam ... there I will look for the Texler sheep's cheese. LG, Eddy

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hello Eddy,

      Definitely try to get one with herbs. He was really good.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  9. Julia
    | Reply

    Tihihihi, in your description of the Woolness treatment, I spontaneously have to think of one of my mother's favorite anecdotes about me as a child ... that I sat in the sheepfold at the farmer, where she always bought grain, milk and meat, and Lammetjes (but also the full-grown Animals), I always pressed my whole face into their soft fur ...: D I already knew unconsciously what was good then. That's why I look so young today. : P: D

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hello Julia,

      then you are the best proof that Woolness works: D

      Best regards,
      Monika

  10. Michaela
    | Reply

    This island looks really idyllic. And I love sheep! And also sheep cheese :) Would be worth a visit in any case. Thanks for the nice review.

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Michaela,

      yes, the island is a little world unto itself. And not only because of the cheese and the sheep worth a visit. There's more to discover.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  11. Anja
    | Reply

    Sweet as the balls of wool come running or look into the camera. But cheese has really done it to you, as often as you visit such things ;-)

    Greetings Anja

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hi Anja,

      well, that brings the motto of our enjoyment travel blog so with him. And the cheese tastes great too.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  12. Kuno
    | Reply

    Hallo,
    it all sounds so idyllic and romantic. As a cheese lover, I would certainly go very well there;) So probably I would sit all the time in this Hofcafé and let it go well.
    Best regards,
    Kuno

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hello Kuno,

      I can well imagine. If we had not had a program, we probably would have been like that :)

      Best regards,
      Monika and Petar

  13. Andreas
    | Reply

    Nice story. Texel with sheep and cheese - there you can have a good time.

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Thank you very much, Andreas. You're right. On Texel, not only was the cheese good. The island offers even more.

  14. Kathi
    | Reply

    Dear Monika, dear Petar,

    That really sounds like an island that has everything and where you can enjoy yourself. The pictures of the green fields and the landscape are breathtaking and the locals do so much themselves is great.
    I have not known Texel yet, but I really want to visit it. It sounds like a place where you can really relax for a few days.
    Thanks for the tip. :)

    Many greetings
    Kathi

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Dear Kathi,

      Texel also surprised us. Its inhabitants are so uninhabited by islanders. Innovative, open and hospitable - that is how we experienced it. An exciting combination to look behind the scenes on the spot.

      Best regards,
      Monika and Petar

  15. shadowlight
    | Reply

    Oh how great, an island you should visit!
    Greetings!

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hi Jenny,

      We really liked it there after the initial "What am I supposed to do here?" The beauty of the island becomes apparent when you take a closer look - a perfect travel destination for slow travelers like us :).

      Best regards,
      Monika and Petar

  16. Janett
    | Reply

    Texel is already a beautiful place in this world. I was there for Christmas and I really relaxed! And the sheep! So sweet! Where they have rather angelöökt me from the side. I think they do not like cameras;)

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hello Janett,

      Texel surprised me above all with its inhabitants. I had expected island life, as I know it from other islands: remote, somewhat backward and with special characteristics. The progressive farmers of Texel impressed me. An island worth a look behind the scenes.

      Best regards,
      Monika

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