The real island feeling - on the Dutch island of Terschelling hits you right away. The second largest West Frisian island boasts with 30 km-long sandy beach. Ideal for sunbathing, relaxing or building sandcastles, playing beach volleyball or simply going for a walk. In between you can go to one of the cosy beach bars for refreshment. The south coast of Terschelling is no less interesting. Here the island borders on the Wadden Sea, which serves as a nursery and feeding ground for millions of migratory birds.

Do you know it? Sometimes you find these magical places - you feel completely at home, you don't want to leave and you have the feeling of being grounded. Terschelling is such a place for me. Just the journey to the island, which lies just under 15 kilometres off the Dutch North Sea coast, is grandiose. On the ferry trip from Harlingen, which is still on the Dutch mainland, it takes about 2 hours to get to the island - past sandbanks where seals loll about in the sun.   

Once you arrive on Terschelling, you dive into another world. Everything runs slower, decelerated, comfortable. To quickly get into the leisurely rhythm, first treat yourself to a break with delicious fish & chips and a cold drink, let the fresh sea breeze blow around your nose and watch the seagulls. But watch out! Don't lose sight of the food - otherwise snap and go!

I recommend as accommodation an apartment in the heart of the island in Hoorn - furnished in 50s style - a real jewel. Or you can choose a beautiful hotel in West-Terschelling, which is only a short walk from the island's harbour. Here you can stroll extensively and discover all kinds of things. Nice cafés, charming shops and restaurants with maritime flair line up in the old town centre brick house after brick house. It's not so easy to decide there. My tip: Off to Café Zeezicht. A wonderful place, which is run with a lot of love. You can see, feel and taste it. 

Also to my taste: a walk through the adjacent dunes. The individual sand formations are up to 30 metres high here - and simply breathtakingly beautiful. After the ascent to the Seinpaalduin viewpoint on the southernmost dune, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of West Terschelling - including a view of the Wadden Sea and the Brandaris lighthouse. The latter, by the way, rises a full 55 metres and dates from 1594, making it the oldest lighthouse in the Netherlands.

Of course there is a lot more to discover on Terschelling - the best way to do this is by bicycle. After all we are in Holland! So you can find a bicycle rental practically around the corner - in Dutch "fietsverhuur". We have the right bike for everyone - from mountain bikes to tandem bikes, from Dutch bike cruisers to e-bikes. For all those who do not feel like cycling, there are two good alternatives:  On the one hand the bus - the bus service on Terschelling is extremely well organised and connects the port of West-Terschelling and the small town of Oosterend with various stops - on the other hand you can also discover the island on horseback. I decided to take a bike: 70 kilometres of cycle paths are waiting to be cycled. Along the paths a variety of landscapes are waiting for you: Heathlands, forests, meadows, swamps, dunes, lakes as well as fields and pastures, where sheep, cows and horses feed on the lush grass. 

A detour to the nature reserve "Boschplaat" in the eastern part of the island is also highly recommended. In this 4,400 hectare area, you will not only find an impressive natural backdrop, but also thousands of birds that nest here every year - including seagulls, cormorants, oystercatchers, spoonbills and various species of migratory birds. Up to 80 different species of birds are said to live here. I recommend hobby ornithologists to join a tour to get even closer to the feathered friends and to observe them. 

Also recommended - if you are interested in astronomy - to go to the nature reserve at night. The area may officially call itself "Dark Sky Park". Terschelling is indeed one of the darkest places in the world. A predicate the island is proud of. You don't even need binoculars to admire the stars, and on a clear day you can even see the Milky Way with the naked eye. Fascinatingly beautiful. 

When the weather is good, bathing fans, sun worshippers and surfers are drawn to the 30 km long sandy beach. This indescribably beautiful stretch of coast invites you to take a long walk. Or you can decide to chill out on the warm sand or take a dip in the refreshing North Sea. How about a cappuccino or a cool drink for a change? In the beach pavilion Heartbreak Hotel right on the beach of Oosterend you can find everything your heart and especially your stomach desires.

That'll get you there:
by car or by train to Harlingen

Ferry tickets:

How long am I supposed to go:
1 - 2 weeks

Best time to travel:
Spring to autumn

30km long beach, West-Terschelling, Dark Sky Park

Accommodation & Restaurant Tip: 

More info:


Realised by Michael Bachmann
Further travel pictures under​​​​​​​