Texel? My friends and family wondered why I was going to visit a tiny island in the North of the Netherlands. Mountain biking between sheep, drinking Texel biers in beach bars at sunset, admiring cute seals and stunning landscapes … here are the reasons why you should discover Texel too.
Day 1: A day biking in Texel
In order to blend in the Dutch crowd as smoothly as possible, we rented mountain bikes for the day. We’re too cool for standard bikes! I’ll spare you the pictures of the bruises on my legs but it was great fun riding between pines in De Dennen, a Texel national park where several routes have been established for mountain bike aficionados, and between sheep a bit further South on Mokweg.
Tip 1: Feeling some cramps in your legs or in your stomach? Stop in the Bospaviljoen Het Turfveld, a very charming restaurant right next to the Kampeersnol viewpoint.
Tip 2: Other viewpoints such as old German bunkers and bird watching spots are indicated on the Texel map. Don’t forget to take your binoculars and your GoPro!
Day 2: A lighthouse & cute seals
The major landmark on the island is the Texel lighthouse at the extreme Northern tip. It will cost you 4€ (slightly expensive) to climb up the lighthouse and admire the stunning beach and the surrounding islands. After the visit, walk down to the beach and enjoy fighting against the wind to reach the sea.
Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to meet some seals on the beach so we decided to go to Ecomare, the rescue centre of the island. The entrance is 12.50€, there’s a sea museum when you come in and some aquariums downstairs but the main attractions are outside: you will find several pools with seals and porpoises rescued on the island.
Tip: come during the feeding times and beware the seagulls!
Eating & Drinking
I must admit the service was not very good in most restaurants and bars: we had to wait for more than 30 minutes to have our orders taken (we even left once) and even more to be served and once we could not eat as the cook had left at 9.00pm.
But the main drama of my trip was the complete absence of real cocktails on the menu. You’re a beer lover? You’ll be satisfied at least! Texel has got its own brewery. You’ll be able to chose between 11 biers including a pils (Skuumkoppe), fruity ones (Noorderwind, Vuurbaak) and strong ones (Stormbock, Tripel)!
The nicest places where we ate some delicious kibbelings, bitterballen and Texel kaas were in some of the strandpaviljoens (Paal 17, Paal 19) facing the sea. The views are amazing and you are protected from the wind by large glass panels. Btw all restaurants seem to accept dogs.
Traveling to Texel by car?
- You need to pay in all car parks. And don’t hope on car parks from supermarkets, you’ll need to pay too. However, a 15€ vignette will allow you to park in Texel for the whole season.
- The ferry is 25€ (round trip) and takes only 20minutes but be ready to wait around one hour both ways!