view of the Ameland Lighthouse, known as Bornrif, is a lighthouse on the Dutch island Ameland, one of the Frisian Islands, on the edge of the North Sea, The Netherlands

©Melanie Lemahieu/Shutterstock

Frisian Islands

The crescent of islands over Friesland – Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog – form a unique natural entity and a distinct Dutch region. A natural barrier between the Frisian coast and the North Sea, they hem in the mudflats of the Waddenzee, a Unesco World Heritage site since 2009 and a hot spot for wadlopen (mudflat walking) with professional guides. Villages, polders and salt marshes fringe the islands along their Waddenzee shores, while swaths of beach and dunes lace the seaward side. Inland, expect ample forest and heath crisscrossed with hiking and cycling trails.


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The red and white Ameland Lighthouse in the Netherlands stands against a blue sky

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