The smallest and most serene of the Frisian Islands, Schiermonnikoog (7200 hectares) is the place to get away from it all; the feeling of sheer isolation as you move through Schiermonnikoog's 40 sq km, or along the 18km of beaches, can be intoxicating. Its name means 'grey monk island', a reference to the 15th-century clerics who once lived here. All traces of these folk are long gone however and the island is mostly wild. The Dutch government made Schiermonnikoog a national park in 1989.
The island's sole town, Schiermonnikoog (sound familiar?), is quiet, even when crowded. Nonresidents are not allowed to bring cars onto the island.