TEXEL TRAVEL GUIDE
Everyone loves a city break, but the most popular type of holiday may just have met its match with a Dutch island. Look beyond the peace and natural beauty that lies in abundance on this tiny island off the coast of North Holland, and you'll find that Texel is a little firecracker of a destination.
Locals regularly take part in extreme sports and have created an innovative hub of industry on the island. It takes just 35 minutes to take the ferry from Den Helder on the Netherlands mainland to Texel, making it the perfect spot to get away without the hassle. Here are some of the very best things to do in Texel.
To the beach
Of all of the attractions in Texel, the island’s most famous features is its long stretch of sweeping, sandy beaches. The towering dunes and crystal-clear waters of De Slufter Nature Reserve is the only area in the Netherlands where the North Sea reaches the shore unhindered. In the summer months, the surrounding land is vibrant with wild flowers in shades of pink and purple.
Back to nature
Of all the things to do in Texel, no trip is complete without a visit to Ecomare, where injured seals of the North Sea are nursed back to health before being returned to their natural habitat. The centre also keeps birds, fish and porpoises, and includes a museum with exhibits on the island's formation in the Ice Age.
Birdwatchers also flock to the island, which has around 300 different species to be found, from the short-eared owl to the oldest spoonbill colony in the country. Texel is also famous for its breed of sheep, which are highly sought after across the globe.
Get up and go
Look to the skies while you're holidaying in Texel and you might just catch the sight of a parachutist streaking across the sky - the sport is something of a favourite among locals. The people of Texel are highly active, regularly taking to kiteboarding, golf, wind sailing and hiking in the stunning landscape.
Whatever your favourite way to travel, you can find it in Texel - think horse riding along the golden dunes, sailing a catamaran off the coast, taking to the skies for a tour by light aircraft, or simply exploring the island along the fantastic cycle paths.
Food and drink in Texel
Boasting more local delicacies than many big cities have to their name, Texel is a food lover's dream. The island is particularly renowned for its lamb, a distinctly lean and flavourful meat due to the salty grass it feeds on by the North Sea. This Dutch island also has award-winning cheese and chocolate, and you can head to the IJsboerderij Labora dairy farm to see the delicious local ice cream being made. Texel has two specialities when it comes to quenching your thirst. Filtered through the water of the Dunes of Texel National Park, Skuumkoppe is the local beer, and it's named after the coastline's seafoam (skuum). Second is the spicy herbal liqueur Jutterje, which translates to "little beachcomber" – perfect for a nightcap after a day roaming the sands.
Start your trip to Texel today with P&O Ferries on our Hull to Rotterdam crossing.