Author Topic: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands  (Read 749 times)

Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« on: February 14, 2019, 09:06:59 am »
Thinking of doing an island hopping tour of islands off the Dutch coast this summer. Hoping to consult the collective mind on 1)Ferries and 2) availability of accommodation.

Ferries:
Den Helder to Texel has a regular ferry service
Texel to Vlieland seems to have a seasonal daily ferry
I am not sure about Vlieland to Terschelling and Terschelling to Ameland
There's a ferry from Ameland back to the mainland.
But can one get any further east without returning to the mainland?

Accommodation:
How well are these islands populated with hotels and guest houses?

Thanks for your help.

I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2019, 09:23:31 am »
I am not sure about Vlieland to Terschelling and Terschelling to Ameland

Vlieland to Terschelling exist, but is then done by the quick & small ferry, on which you cannot take a bike along, normally.

Terschelling to Ameland seems to exist as well, but only in the peak season. No further information could be found.

There are initiatives with tour boats, visiting several Wadden islands on a day, like the Robbenboot. Don't know how they are with bikes.

Quote
Accommodation:
How well are these islands populated with hotels and guest houses?

Very well. But since they are a major tourist destination for the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany in summer, you better plan well in advance, and make reservations.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2019, 10:34:15 am »
Thinking of doing an island hopping tour of islands off the Dutch coast this summer. Hoping to consult the collective mind on 1)Ferries and 2) availability of accommodation.

Ferries:
Den Helder to Texel has a regular ferry service
Texel to Vlieland seems to have a seasonal daily ferry

The Texel to Vlieland ferry only takes bikes if it's a day return trip.

Quote
I am not sure about Vlieland to Terschelling and Terschelling to Ameland
There's a ferry from Ameland back to the mainland.
But can one get any further east without returning to the mainland?

Unless it's one of the seasonal boat trip things, I think you're gonna have to return to the mainland, Vlieland and Terschelling main ferries both leave from the same port - Harlingen.

Schiermonnikoog and Ameland both leave from Lauwersoog.

If you can persuade the Texel -> Vlieland ferry to allow you a 1 way ticket with a bike, you could do Texel -> Vlieland -> Harlingen ->Terschelling -> Harlingen -> cycle to Lauwersoog -> Ameland -> Lauwersoog -> Schiermonnikoog -> Lauwersoog.

The route on the mainland is just over 60km, and it's pan flat. https://www.komoot.com/tour/56319087

If you think that taking a folding bike is a good way of getting round the "no bikes" rule on some of the boats, be aware some of them don't accept folding bikes.

Quote
Accommodation:
How well are these islands populated with hotels and guest houses?

Thanks for your help.

The primary industry on the islands is tourism. But you may want to book in advance, and you may find the prices very high on public holidays and in most of the summer.

I want to visit the 5 biggest Islands this summer too (hence the research), and found that there were no maps available with just the islands on them, so I went to https://www.piedaterre.nl/ and they printed me a custom map of the 4 islands that aren't Texel (Texel fits on it's own map). In 1:50k. If you email them or call and ask for Henrik, he saved the map so he can print more. His English is very good.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2019, 11:26:59 am »
Schiermonnikoog and Ameland both leave from Lauwersoog.
Nope. The Ameland ferry sails from Holwerd, 20 km to the west of Lauwersoog.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 11:30:56 am »
Nope. The Ameland ferry sails from Holwerd, 20 km to the west of Lauwersoog.

Has that changed recently? My notes have it as from Lauwersoog, and it's even showing on a lot of maps as a route.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2019, 11:40:04 am »
It has always been like that. It is the main connection. Though a century ago there was a dam between Ameland and the mainland, which ought to have had consequences for any ferry services. But, come to think of it, regular ferries and mass tourism did not start until the early 1960s.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2019, 11:43:42 am »
It has always been like that. It is the main connection. Though a century ago there was a dam between Ameland and the mainland, which ought to have had consequences for any ferry services. But, come to think of it, regular ferries and mass tourism did not start until the early 1960s.

Ah, well still within cycling distance...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2019, 11:56:34 am »
When I was 14, we had a week long school trip to Ameland. Had to cycle to Holwerd for that, as a group. Which would have been close to 60 km. Would Lauwersoog have been an option too, we surely would have ridden there, as that would have been only 45 km from our school.

Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 02:25:07 pm »
We toured across Texel and Vlieland in a Dutch tour a few years ago.
Vlieland was the highlight of our whole trip.  Although the island is a very popular tourist destination, non-locals can't bring their own cars from the mainland, so this being Holland, it's a particular cycling paradise: there are lots of bike hire businesses including plenty of tandems and even triplets.

I was expecting the ferries to be like those in Scotland, solid public sector funded. This was true for the mainland links, but the Texel - Vlieland was an eye-opener. A small private enterprise, having a tiny boat and who build their piers new each season. When we were there, the departures were split into those for pedestrians, and those for cyclists. Photo below was taken on Texel.


Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2019, 04:39:44 pm »

Vlieland was the highlight of our whole trip.  Although the island is a very popular tourist destination, non-locals can't bring their own cars from the mainland, so this being Holland, it's a particular cycling paradise: there are lots of bike hire businesses including plenty of tandems and even triplets.


Schiermonnikoog is also (practically) car-free and equally wonderful. But even Ameland, where cars are allowed, has an a very nice "gravel" cycle path extending along most of the northern coast of the island.

If you need to cycle on the mainland between the ports of Harlingen, Holwerd and Lauwersoog, this is really easy: just follow the LF-10 cycle route (signposted all the way).

One bit of local info for Lauwersoog (I live close by): the fish restaurant that you pass as you approach the ferry terminal is very good. It's straight off the boat and onto your plate.

Re: Touring the Dutch Frisian Islands
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2019, 04:52:21 pm »

The route on the mainland is just over 60km, and it's pan flat. https://www.komoot.com/tour/56319087


If you plan to use that route yourself, then beware that the part from Paesens to Lauwersoog is partly on something that can hardly be called a road: cobbles overgrown with grass and covered in sheep excrement. It is preferable to go via Anjum.