Texel

Texel is an island in the West Frisian Islands region of the Netherlands.

Understand

The Lighthouse at De Cocksdorp, one of the famous landmarks on the Island

Texel is an island with four types of landscape: dunes and beaches in the west, flatland and polders in the east and hilly in the center of the island (the remains of the ice age). Inland you find the fourth landscape - wetlands - with beautiful walking trails in the center west coast of the island, like The Slufter. Along the wadden-coast in the east there are comparably smaller Wetlands. In the dunes, valleys like The Muy are quite popular with tourists.

Both tourists and birds are abundant. The tourists visit mostly in the summer.

The islanders call their hilly area the Hoge Berg ("High Mountain"). Its highest point is about 15 meters above sea level and gives a fabulous view over the island. It's not the summit of the island. The dune Loodsmansduin in the south reaches 30 meters above sea level.

Originally, the locals spoke their own dialect, known as "Tessels". Nowadays it's dying out and is replaced by a more Standard-Dutch tongue, although still with specific words and accents. The inhabitants have their own name for the mainland: de Overkant, literally "the Other Side".

The official name is Texel. The x in it is normally pronounced as ss, so the name sounds like "Tessel". In Standard-Dutch, the correct pronunciation is Tessel, but a lot of Dutchmen pronounce it with an x-sound. The locals however always pronounce it as "Tessel".

The following villages are on Texel:

The information center is located in Den Burg:

Get in

Teso ferries meeting half way between Texel and Den Helder

As Texel is an island, the only realistic way to get to it is by ferry. Teso operates a 30 min ferry trip from Den Helder to Texel. Ferries depart from 06:30 until 21:30, every hour, with less departures on Sunday. In summer and on busy days, two boats are deployed. Ferries dock at 't Horntje along the southern end of the island. From there, buses bring you to the larger villages.

Den Helder can be reached by train. The ride to Den Helder station takes 1 hour and 15 minutes from Amsterdam and 2 hours from Rotterdam. At the station, bus 33 takes you to the ferry pier, or you can walk the bit through town.

Getting there by car is also an option. From Amsterdam, take the A9 to Alkmaar. The A9 stops at the traffic lights in Alkmaar. From there, take a left at the roundabout as the road changes into the N9. Keep following the N9 till you arrive at Den Helder.

Get around

By bike

The island is best experienced by bicycle, in the summer. There are many place to hire bikes on the island.

By bus

Public transport busses run each hour to each village and connect to the hourly ferry services (but not to any additional sailings). You can buy tickets at the driver; a map of bus lines is available at the Connexxion website.

By car

For parking at paid parking lots or parking zones you can either pay individually (€ 2,50 per hour in 2014), but in case you stay for longer than over the weekend, purchasing a yearly parking vignette might be a good idea (€ 15 in 2014). Add the vignette to the collection of dozens of other vignettes on your front screen and you can park in designated areas without additional charges. There are however some time limitations at some of the parking lots, which are explained in the brochure that comes with the vignette and the signs at the parking lots. The stickers can be purchased for example in the VVV information center in Den Burg or in supermarkets.

See

The whole western coast consists of the Duinen van Texel National Park, a protected nature reserve. It is a varied dunescape with heath, salt fens and grassland, and is the best attraction Texel has to offer. Some areas are protected as bird breeding grounds.

Some other attractions include:

Do

There are many activities you can do on the isle of Texel. Just some of them include swimming, sunbathing, kitesurfing, golfing and go-karting. Cycling and hiking through the nature reserve is particularly popular. You can rent bicycles at the ferry pier 't Horntje and in the other villages.

There are numerous possibilities for cycling. English-language cycle routes are the Texel South Cycle Route and the Texel North Cycle Route, which can be combined into one long trip around the whole of the island.

Buy

Den Burg has the largest facilities for shopping.

Eat

Booking several days in advance is recommended. However, ordering for the next day (or even later that day) is often possible for simple meals. €5-50.

Drink

As most travellers stay in De Koog, this is where the island's nightlife takes place. There are many bars and cafes, and it even feels a bit seedy at night.

Sleep

A lot of hotels and campsites are found on Texel.

De Cocksdorp

Den Burg

De Koog

Connect

There is a post office in the centre of Den Burg, at the corner of the Burgwal and Parkstraat.

Go next

During the summer a special touristic boat service to the neighboring island of Vlieland, is available. This boat leaves near De Cocksdorp. The Wadden Sea sealife is also seen on this trip.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, December 07, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.