The Beautiful Texel - A Complete Guide
January 14, 2020
An unforgettable day trip from Amsterdam(and probably the best one we did) was a visit to the most populated island of the West Frisian Islands, Texel. This is a very small island but the largest of the group situated in the Wadden Sea, one-third of which is a protected nature reserve.
You have to get to the island by ferry from the TESO Ferry Port in Den Helder. Check out the ferry’s timetable, so not to be left unexpectedly stranded on the island . Den Helder is connected with Amsterdam by a 2-hour Intercity Train, leaving Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station. As soon as arriving in Den Helder station, it is a 30-minute walk to the port, or else bus 33 can get you there as well.
Although Texel is a small island, we wouldn’t recommend walking around as it’s a bit difficult to cover the whole island in a day. Your best option would be renting a scooter but don’t worry! You don’t have to be a pro motorbike rider. The scooters are in fact mopeds. Therefore, they do not exceed 45 km/h and the island is very very light on cars which makes it even safer as well. You don’t even need a motorcycle license to rent such scooters. A car license works just fine.
So, about the beautiful Texel – This is a laid-back island, with a population of 13,000. It’s very calm and serene, with the only disappointment in our visit being that we only stayed for a day! Besides its lovely landscape, this island is very popular for oyster hunting because of its location in the Wadden sea and the low and high tides that occur there. Several tours are organized, but we preferred to go for this adventure on our own. After our experience, this is what we recommend if you’re after such an adventure;
1. Do not risk too much. Sea level rises in a short period of time. Do not wander a long distance without keeping track of how far from shore you actually are. An important tool to have is the low-high tide chart, found here. This way, you’ll know exactly on the date when the tide is rising back again.
2. When? Target the months containing the letter “r” in them. The other months are not as safe to eat wild oysters. Moreover, oyster hunting is best done during the low tides. So, timing using the above chart is of high importance.
3. The location. One of the large oyster beds around the island is found near de Cockdorp, in the northern part of the island. The below map is the area we went ourselves.
4. Bring some sort of mud boots and prepare to get messy! Nothing fancy is needed here. A cheap pair of mud boots will do the trick.
5. You’ll need a strong knife to open the oyster.
Other Activities in Texel
Later, we visited Den Burg, the largest village which is considered the “capital” of Texel. A small local market is set up every Monday from 0800 – 1300, in De Groeneplaats. This town offers an option of restaurants, both for lunch and dinner.
For those looking for some friendly action, a paintball centre can be a great option.
A small karting track stands in the middle of the island. This would act as a thrilling way to spend an afternoon.
If you’re into Motorsport, the MAB Club Texel will definitely be worthwhile to visit. The track features autocross, motocross, puzzle rides, karting and trial. Take a look at their calendar to see if anything is happening while being on the island.
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