For the first time on Texel
It is strange. I have visited a lot of countries and beautiful places abroad but I have never been on a ‘Wadden’ island before in The Netherlands. This year our family went to Texel for a week and we tagged along for the weekend. Now I’m seriously thinking ‘why didn’t we visit Texel before?’. It’s an amazing place for a weekend trip when you’re in the Netherlands.
How to get there: take the ferry
Texel is easy to reach with the ferry from Den Helder. You can buy your e-ticket in advance which will save you some time. You can eat something on board but before you know it you need to get back to your car. The trip with the ferry only takes 20 minutes or so.
Sleeping on a dune
Texel is the largest of the Dutch ‘Wadden’ islands. There are seven villages on the island. We stayed on a camping near a place called ‘De Koog’. This is a unique camping in the middle of the dunes. The beach is just behind the next dune which is perfect for a quick dive in the (cold) North Sea! The camping is about 2.5 km long but because of the dunes you’ll almost certainly have an intimate campsite. The only downside to being in the dunes is that setting up a tent with these wind speeds can be challenging. At least that’s what we experienced… Having insufficient tent pegs didn’t really help either.
The next day we explore the island by car and boat. First we went to the Slufter. At high tide the sea floods the creeks in the area and the Slufter becomes a wonderful watery place. In the summer months the plants start to blossom and colour the Slufter pink, lilac and purple. There are various hikes you can make down here. We took a short one because we had to be on time for the boat trip.
Fishing for shrimps
Then we went to the other side of the island. Oudeschild was our next destination. The great thing of Texel is that you can be on the other side of the island within 10 minutes by car.
Be sure to grab a typical Dutch fish sandwich at one of the fish restaurants over there. We had a smoked eel sandwich before heading out on the ‘Waddensea’. The Waddensea is the sea East of Texel and is known for the big difference between high and low tide. When it’s low tide you can actually walk for miles on the mud.
Luckily for us and the boat it was high tide when we left the harbour. You can book a trip on the TX-20 Walrus that combines fishing for shrimp and seeing seals if they are there. This boat leaves multiple times a day during high season for a two hour trip.
When we were a bit further out on the Waddensea the fishing nets were being dropped in the sea. After half an hour they brought them back in and we got a small ‘introduction’ to everything they caught. While there were mainly shrimps, some other small fish and jellyfish where caught along with it.
Catch, peel, eat, repeat
When this introduction was over the shrimps were cooked on board in boiling water. After a couple of minutes we were invited to peel and eat them. Since they are so small this is still kind of hard.
After peeling a few you get better and better. This must be the best way to eat them. While it was high tide when we made the trip we didn’t see any seals. Better luck next time…
This wonderful day on the island of Texel ended with us and our family peeling 2 kilo of small Dutch shrimps. With the 10 of us it took over an hour before we were fed up with it! However they tasted amazing and were a lovely starter before we lit up the barbecue, what a day!