Friday, July 19, 2013

Cycling and Sailing Holiday in The Netherlands: Island Hopping Day 0

The best way to explore The Netherlands is by bike. Holland is a cycling country. 16 million inhabitants all with bikes. If you combine it with a boat and an amazing landscape you have all the ingredients to experience an unforgettable holiday.
This is the third time we travel with Cycletours. This summer we decided to choose the Island Hopping Tour. What could be more enjoyable than sailing over the Wadden Sea and ride through the dunes and along the seaside on the West Frisian islands?

Our boat, the Anna Antal is a former barge which was converted into a luxury motor passenger ship in the winter of 1994-95. The Anna Antal has 9 cabins for 18 passengers each with their own shower, washbasin, toilet and two beds.
Our Trip will bring us to two of the most beautiful West Frisian islands, Texel and Terschelling, as well as the former island Wieringen. An opportunity to breathe in the fresh air on the windswept beaches, cycle through forest and dunes, visit the old villages and harbours, and enjoy the exceptional beauty of this part of The Netherlands. Every island has its own history, atmosphere and culinary challenges.
The guide rides along with us every day, choosing the route depending on the wishes of the group and the weather.
The Route: 
  • Saturday 20th. Amsterdam, boarding at 2.00 pm near station. Sailing to Enkhuizen, round tour 20 km.
  • Sunday 21th. Enkhuizen, sailing to Stavoren. Biking to Makkum, 40 km.
  • Monday 22nd. Makkum, sailing to Terschelling. Bike tour, 40 km.
  • Tuesday 23rd. Terschelling, sailing to Texel. Round trip Texel 40 km.
  • Wednesday 24th. Texel – round tour, 50 km.
  • Thursday 25th. Texel, sailing to Enkhuizen. Biking to Hoorn, 27 km.
  • Friday 26th. Hoorn – Amsterdam, 50 km.
  • Saturday 27th. Amsterdam, deboarding before 10 AM near station.
The Dutch Wadden Islands Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog make up part of a large Wadden area that continues along the northern coast of Germany and the western coast of Denmark.
The Waddenzee (Wadden Sea) is the largest unbroken wetland area of The Netherlands and has a great biodiversity due to the mudflats, sand bars, tidal marshes and sands, but it also has a rich history.
Sailing over the Waddenzee and putting in at harbors with your barge will give you a fantastic impression of the diverse atmospheres of the different islands.

Texel is the biggest Dutch Wadden Island by far. It's known by the fact that there's a lot to see and do during the whole year. There are nice events on regular basis, like for instance Texel Culinair that takes place in september and shows the culinary highlights of the island. A special attraction is Ecomare, the nature center on the island. Ecomare's seal shelter appeals to many visitors.

On Terschelling you can experience the nice, marine atmpsphere (a.o. at the marina in the village of West Terschelling); approximately 450 boats can anchor here. Terschelling and navigation have belonged to one another for centuries. The famous Willem Barentsz school for navigation can still be found on the island. This school is named after the explorer and cartographer Willem Barentsz who was born on Terschelling. A special event is Oerol, every year in June. It's a very special festival of theatre. The whole island of Terschelling is used as a stage in this period.

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