The Netherlands' West Frisian Islands are a chain of low-lying barrier islands on the edge of the North Sea. Further to the east these islands belong to Germany and are named the East Frisian Islands.
Inhabited islands in the West Frisian group include Ameland, Schiermonnikoog, Terschelling, Texel and Vlieland. These islands include just a few small villages and scattered farmlands.
A large swatch of Texel, an important nature preserve, has been reclaimed from the Waddenzee (Wadden Sea) by an extensive series of dikes.
The islands are a popular holiday destination. Hotels and vacation homes are certainly available, though space is very limited in the summer months.
Visitors enjoy health spas, quiet walks along the beach, as well as catamaran sailing, surf canoeing and surfing. The entire island group has a rich ecosystem, and attracts many species of birds and fish.
Cycling is the main form of transportation on most of the islands, and on Vlieland and Schiermonnikoog, only residents are allowed to use their cars.
Tours are easily arranged, and the West Frisian Islands are well served by regular ferries from the mainland; ferry details and pricing is here!
Note that the ferry from Harlingen to Texel takes about 90 minutes, dock to dock; from Texel to Vlieland is about a thirty minute journey.
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