Texel, located in the northern part of the Netherlands, is the biggest Frisian city with over 13,000 permanent residents (over just a mere 62 square miles). The city is home to a large number of beaches, outdoor activities, and special events for guests to enjoy all year round.
The city is actually a collection of seven different villages, as well as a sandbar that has been officially called “Noorderhaaks,” even though it is uninhabited. The city and surrounding islands were created in the All Saint’s Flood in 1170 but didn’t become an official city until 1415. Now a major tourist destination, more than 70% of Texel’s activities now relate to tourism.
Texel offers a collection of different museums and landmarks, the majority of which are offered throughout the year. It also offers a wide variety of different outdoor activities that are perfect for visitors with children.
One of those options is the Whaler’s House (known as Walvisvaardershuisje in the native Dutch tongue). This museum and historical site was actually the home of three different generations of whalers, and very little has changed with the interior of the home. In addition to being used as a museum, the Whaler’s House is also still occupied on weekends and during the summer holiday by a family of whalers.
For visitors wanting a wildlife adventure, Texel offers Ecomare. Ecomare functions as nature museum, sanctuary, and aquarium in one. Come watch the seals, dolphins, and sea birds in their natural habitat. The sanctuary and attraction has been running since 1952.
Another outdoor activity while visiting Texel is the Eielandse lighthouse and the beach surrounding it. The lighthouse is located on the most northern tip of the city and was constructed in 1863.
While outdoors, guests should make sure to take in some of the other beaches located in Texel. The beaches are perfect for swimming (except for between the posts labeled 31 and 33 due to its strong current), wind surfing, traditional surfing, and kitesurfing (kites with more than on string must be used on specified beaches only). Guests can also catamaran sail along posts 12, 15, 17, and 33. For adult guests who are interested, there are also two different nudist beaches (located at Paal 27 De Slufter and at Paal 9 De Hors). Be advised there will be no lifeguards present at either of those beaches. On certain beaches, guests are welcome to not only bring their leashed dogs but also to bring their horses (permitted in the winter - between October and March - as well as in the summer - between May and October - on specially marked beaches only).
For a more historical slant, stop by the Museum Kaap Skil. The museum focuses on the history of maritime in Texel as well as offering a unique exhibition of items and artifacts that have washed onto shore from various shipwrecks in the area.
One of the most unique museum offerings in Texel is the Flora museum, which is also known as the beachcombing museum. Not only will guests be able to see a multitude of shipwrecked items (far more than are featured at the Museum Kaap Skil), they will also learn about the tough world of beachcombing, as well as the fishing industry. It is also a very family friendly museum, with multiple quests and activities meant just for kids.
Texel offers a huge range of different special events throughout the year.
The second Saturday in May is National Mills Day, celebrating the day known for having the most simultaneous windmills running at one time. A wide variety of mill related events are also hosted, including activities for children and Dutch foods.
In June, guests can enjoy the Market of Taste festival. This unique special event is a food festival that everyone can enjoy, and is located on a beautiful, coastal estate.
July features the Funfair, a street carnival featuring rides, fair foods, and games for children and adults of all ages. This fun, family friendly event attracts guests from all across the country and coincides with similar Funfairs in other cities in the Netherlands happening the same week.
August brings the Amuse tour, where guests travel to ten different restaurants and enjoy a small snack (amuse bouche) from each. It allows visitors to sample many different cuisines and specialties while walking between them.
Dining and Shopping
Texel is well known for its unique dining options. Eat al fresco at one of the beach cafes, eat at the open-air market in the center of Texel. For shopping options, Den Burg is a must not miss. The De Koog resort also offers a variety of shops. Also, well known in Texel are their toy stores, located in many of the local villages.