TexelTexel is an island in the West Frisian Islands region of the Netherlands.
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:
De CocksdorpHome of the lighthouse and miles of beach
Den HoornLeafy village with pretty rustic cottages.
De KoogThe town where the sun lovers go. Small place, but busy. A bit trashy, lots of night life. Two supermarkets, lots of bars/restaurants, and not much else.
Den BurgLargest town on island, home to about half the island's inhabitants. It has the most facilities and is the best shopping destination.
Oudeschild(southeast of the island) fishing harbour
The information center is located in Den Burg:
address: Emmalaan 66, Den Burg
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 the south (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. From the east (Friesland/Groningen/Germany) you can take the A7 motorway across the Afsluitdijk dam to Den Oever, and then N99 expressway to Den Helder. Cars can be taken on the ferry to Texel. On busy days (e.g. the Easter weekend) there can be traffic jams for the ferry.
By bikeThe island is best experienced by bicycle, especially in summer. There are many place to hire bikes on the island.
By busPublic 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 carFor 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.
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.
De Slufter/De MuyDen Slufter is a tidal inlet with marshes and a lagoon.
EierlandEierland means "egg land" in Dutch. This is a breeding ground for 1000s of birds.
Some other attractions include:
phone: +31 222 317-741address: Vuurtorenweg 184, De CocksdorpThe lighthouse is one of the landmarks of Texel. The top is at 45 metres high and gives a great view over Texel and the Wadden Sea. The way up there is basically a museum, which explains the history of the lighthouse and its current purpose.
phone: +31 222 314-956address: Barentszstraat 21, OudeschildThis museum makes for a delightful visit. In past times many ships sunk around Texel due to stormy weather, so a lot of treasures have been found in the surrounding area. This museum shows what kind of stuff they have found, and the collection is truly amazing (almost funny). The outdoor section show demonstrations by craftsmen, such as rope-making and blacksmithing.
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.
Den Burg has the largest facilities for shopping.
phone: +31 222 319-623address: Herenstraat 24, Den HoornThis is a highly appraised French restaurant that has one Michelin star since 2009. Excellent food and service as the chef informs about your personal wishes. They also have an excellent wine list. And they even bring you home when you're done eating. But of course this all comes at a price.
phone: +31 222 312-441address: Heemskerckstraat 15 , OudeschildThis seemingly simple eatery serves some of the best seafood on Texel. Their specialty is smoked eel from the North Sea. They also have mussels, cod, prawns and fish soup. It is also a stand-alone shop with fish and bread for take-away.
address: Stoompoort 16Catering food delivery company serving food for groups of 10 and above (up to 200 should not be a problem). Budget groups can have dinner from €6 p.p., more luxurious meals are also available. Ruud speaks only a little English, but their website shows many options - thus you should be fine. Booking several days in advance is recommended. However, ordering for the next day (or even later that day) is often possible for simple meals.
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.
A lot of hotels and campsites are found on Texel.
phone: +31 222 312 041address: Groeneplaats 14, 1791 CC Den Burg
phone: +31 222 319 623address: Herenstraat 34, 1797 AJ Den HoornSmall hotel including a restaurant
phone: +31 222 319 262address: Diek 10, 1797 AB Den Hoorn
phone: +31 222 327 222address: Stappeland 6, 1796 BS De KoogIncluding a large wellness area
phone: +31 222 317 365address: Badweg 200, 1796 AA De KoogOn the outermost row of dunes directly on the beach
phone: +31 222 317 445address: Ruijslaan 22, 1796 AD De KoogDirectly at the dunes
phone: +31 222 312 652address: De Ruyterstraat 60, 1792 AK OudeschildAccording to their own claim dating back to 1666 and thus the oldest hotel on the island
phone: +31 222 316 476address: Postweg 224-226, 1795 JT De Cocksdorp
phone: +31 222 316 274address: Kikkertstraat 24, 1795 AD De CocksdorpA very nice but relatively small hotel aimed at families
address: Roggeslootweg 6, De CocksdorpWith spacious bungalows, luxury chalets, a five-star campsite and many other facilities.
address: Roggeslootweg 393, De CocksdorpVacation home in Holidaypark De Krim, onlinebooking.
phone: +31 6288 36956address: Gerritslanderdijkje 284, Den BurgHoliday home Leeuwwitje, luxury bungalow, sleeps six, private forest, whirlpool, fire place, online booking.
phone: +31 222 317-233address: Boodtlaan 6, De KoogThis hotel has 30 modern rooms, each with their own bathroom seating area and television. Only the rooms on the ground floor have outdoors seating.
There is a post office in the centre of Den Burg, at the corner of the Burgwal and Parkstraat.
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.