Terschelling, a West Frisian island full of vibrancy, history, culture, festivals and nature. It boasts more than 30 kilometres of beaches of which some are over half a kilometre wide. Chic little villages, 250 kilometres of hiking paths, nightlife, fishing and numerous shipwrecks. There is more to this island than first meets the eye.
As visitors approach the island the great Brandaris lighthouse can be seen to welcome all. There are plenty of crossings from the mainland including a high-speed catamaran. The question is what to do first with so much choice and variety.
I am one for heading out and getting a first taste exploring far and wide. As well as the above mentioned paths and beaches there are over 70 kilometres of bicycle tracks. Why not go on a bicycle ride from East coast to West coast? Of course with sea-view stops and refreshments at one of the pavilions.
For the adventurous and active windsurfing can be done without a permit and kite surfing too in some beaches. The waves here are a lot higher than much of the Dutch coastline.
Throughout the ages, shipwrecks upon shipwrecks have left their trails washed upon the shoreline. The locals became very adaptable at putting this big washed-up waste to good use in buildings and trade.
In around 1840 a barrel of cranberries washed ashore from a ship, the locals used it and now you can find acres upon acres of cranberries being grown on the island. So much so that all the local restaurants and establishments have a competition annually to see who can create the best cranberry delicacy.
There is more than enough room for escapism. De Noordvaarder Nature Reserve gives rise to views, peace and tranquility. A break away from it all with always a chance to gather some culture and nightlife. Why not stop by when the Oerol festival is on? For 10 days in June more than 55,000 people come to see the theatre and music shows all over the island.
Main Image: by d_vdm