Exploring Dutch islands: a guide to visiting Texel

Texel is an island located just five kilometres north of Den Helder across the Wadden Sea. It has seven villages, is home to about 13,500 people, and over a quarter of it is made up by the Dunes of Texel National Park.

With lots of beautiful nature, countless cycling paths, and, of course, the sea, Texel is the perfect place for a Dutch summer escape. Texel has the most sunshine hours in the whole of the Netherlands, so if you want to escape the dark and dreary weather, this is your safest bet.

The traffic on the island is minimal, which — together with the numerous cycling paths across the island — makes it the perfect place for a relaxing bike ride.

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Texel offers countless scenic cycling routes. Image: Emma Brown/Supplied

If you aren’t keen on taking your bike, bike rental shops are located all over the island. One is right across from the ferry port, so renting a bike on Texel involves minimal effort. If bikes aren’t your thing at all, make use of the bus service that runs over the island or take your legs for a long stretch.

Taking the TESO ferry to Texel

You can reach Texel by an hourly ferry from Den Helder. A return ticket costs only €2,50 for pedestrians and €5 if you take your bike or moped. To take your car across the Wadden Sea, you’ll pay €25 for a return ticket if you travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, and €37 if you travel on one of the other days of the week.

The ferry ride takes about 20 minutes. There’s a café on board which sells all the best Dutch snacks you can think of (like appeltaart). There are also a couple of gift shops and a lovely outside deck to enjoy the views. We have to warn you, though — if you venture out on the deck, you’ll be sharing it with hungry seagulls that like to tag along for the ride too.

Oudeschild port harbour

One of the most popular bike routes on Texel is 23 kilometres long, and it takes you along the coast of the island to the famous lighthouse in De Cocksdorp. You’ll cycle past pretty beaches where you can stop, sit down, and take it all in.

You come to one of seven of Texel’s villages less than halfway along this route: Oudeschild. Its picturesque harbour has lots of nice little boutique shops, bars, and restaurants, with plenty of outside space to enjoy your beverage. If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous than a classic bike ride, you can rent Tuk Tuks for €99 per day.

Oudeschild-harbour-from-the-water-in-Texel-the-netherlands
Enjoy a glass of wine or a beer in the picturesque Oudeschild harbour. Image: Emma Brown/Supplied

Eierland lighthouse

Once you reach the other end of the island, you get to the Eierland lighthouse. This lighthouse is a massive tourist attraction on the island, and you’ll immediately see why. Just below it, you’ll find vast sandy beaches and beautiful restaurants overlooking the sea. You can also go inside the lighthouse for a small fee of €4.

Vuurtorenweg Texel beach

Vuurtorenweg Texel beach is a beautiful beach that stretches north of the island. Located just below the lighthouse, it is the perfect photo spot. The dunes that are part of the Dunes of Texel National Park also begin here. They stretch for miles, so there is always ample space for you to enjoy, no matter how busy it is.

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Explore Texel’s most famous lighthouse and its surroundings. Image: Emma Brown/Supplied

The north of the island tends to be windier, making it great for kite flying. However, beware — the wind can also pose a challenge when you cycle back to the ferry port, and a “quick” cycle back from the beach can take you three times as long as you expected.

Anything else to see and do in Texel?

Landscape-of-texels-dunes-with-a-bike-path
Road to nowhere. Image: Emma Brown/Supplied

There are many other things to do on the island, including visiting various museums (such as the Shipwreck and Beachcombing Museum Flora) or checking out the Ecomare — an aquarium filled with adorable seals, porpoises, birds, and fish. To savour a relaxing afternoon after a long cycle, there are also wineries, chocolatiers, breweries, and plenty of good food.

Have you visited this beautiful Dutch island? What’s your favourite spot in Texel? Tell us in the comments!

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated in June 2022 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Unsplash
Emma Brown
Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Pas op. Groot kans dat je in Texel een stokoud vrouwtje tegenkomt die jou uit de kleren wil krijgen. Ze lokt mensen door zich interessant voor te doen. Of ze zit in gezelschappen waar ze jongere mensen ‘oogst’. Vooral op kwetsbare jonge vrouwen heeft ze het gemunt. Ze nodigt je uit in haar huis en probeert je uit de kleren te krijgen. Dan wil ze dat je in haar slaapkamer komt slapen of gaat ze met je zwemmen. Dat moet dan naakt omdat je geen badspullen bij je hebt. Ze zegt tegen jou dat dat helemaal niet erg is terwijl jij het helemaal niet wil. Omdat ze mensen uitzoekt die slecht in hun vel zitten trappen die er toch vaak in.
    Ook kwetsbare mannen lokt ze. Je verwacht het niet van zo’n stokoud vrouwtje maar het is een misbruikster. Ze houdt van kontjes blijkbaar want ze probeert je letterlijk uit de broek te krijgen. Er zijn er bij wie dat wel lukte werd me verteld door de mensen waar ik logeerde.
    Ik kwam het vrouwtje tegen tijdens een meditatiecursus in Texel.
    Dus wees gewaarschuwd!

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