Sand Dunes

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Texel Dunes National Park

Top choice in Texel

The patchwork of dune-scape running along the western coast of the island is a prime reason for visiting Texel. Salt fens and heath alternate with velvety, grass-covered dunes; plants endemic to the habitat include the dainty marsh orchid and orange-berried sea buckthorn. Much of the area is bird sanctuary and accessible only on foot. The visitor centre at Ecomare has schedules and makes reservations for excellent two-hour ranger-led dune walks in English and Dutch (from €7.50), and supplies maps.

De Slufter became a brackish wetland after an attempt at land reclamation failed; when a storm breached the dykes in the early 1900s the area was allowed to flood and a unique ecosystem developed. To the south, De Muy is renowned for its colony of spoonbills that are monitored with great zeal by local naturalists.

A stone's throw from the windswept beach lies the dark, leafy forest of De Dennen, between Den Hoorn and De Koog. Originally planted as a source of lumber, today it has an enchanting network of walking and cycling paths. In spring the forest floor is carpeted with snowdrops that were first planted here in the 1930s.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Texel attractions

1. Ecomare

0.01 MILES

Initially created as a refuge for sick seals retrieved from the Waddenzee, Ecomare has expanded into an impressive nature centre devoted to the…

2. Paal 17

0.44 MILES

Texel's party beach, 3km south of De Koog, has lots of day- and night-time activities, including wind-surfing and kite-surfing.

3. Paal 19

1.17 MILES

The emphasis at this beach immediately west of De Koog is on lounging with good food and drink while watching kite-surfers in action.

4. De Kroon van Texel

1.48 MILES

Wineries across the Netherlands are few, so it's especially worth dropping in to De Kroon, a small but international medal-winning estate. One-hour tours …

5. Kaasboerderijk Wezenspyk

3.56 MILES

This small dairy between Den Hoorn and Den Burg is a terrific place to taste and buy rounds produced from the local cows, sheep and goats. A glass viewing…

6. Texelse Bierbrouwerij

4.15 MILES

See beer being made at the island's brewery, housed in a former dairy, on an informative 45-minute guided tour (in English and Dutch). Tour prices include…

7. De Zelfpluktuin


At this 3-hectare farm's orchards and fields, you can pick your own fruit (eg apples, strawberries, blueberries and grapes), vegetables (such as capsicums…

8. Kaap Skil Museum Van Jutters & Zeelui

5.23 MILES

A stunning slatted-timber-encased reception building made from recycled materials frames the superb Maritime and Beachcombers Museum. Its extraordinary…