From sea to dunes, from woods to polders to mud flats – discover large areas where the land has been reclaimed from the Wadden Sea by building dikes and drainage canals. The Kop van Noord-Holland is known as ‘the Netherlands in a nutshell’, with a huge diversity of natural phenomena alongside a rich maritime history.
Enjoy the unique Dutch Shallows, one of the most unspoilt nature reserves in the Netherlands. Boasting a wealth of birds and salt-loving plants, the open space of the North Frisian Wetlands, with its lakes and canals, forms the largest continuous wetland in Europe.
One of the only coastal regions inside the dikes characterised by openness, tranquillity and space which is all but lost in other Dutch regions. Be sure to take time for an expedition on foot or by bike to discover the open polder landscape with its vast fields, former seawalls, historic farms and ancient earth mounds or ‘terps’.
Part of an archipelago that extends along the German and Danish coastlines, the Wadden islands you see today are a remnant of the former coastal dunes. Admire the wide beaches and vast dunes, marvel at the flora and fauna and explore the sights and specialties of each island. The ferry to the island is, especially at low tide an unique introduction to the World Heritage. Did you know you that Wieringen is called the secret Wadden Sea Island, now part of the mainland it used to be an island.
Visit the largest colony of grey seals in the entire Wadden Sea located west of Terschelling, where many sand banks lie exposed during low tide and provide a perfect spot for seals and shorebirds. Or find out why the tidal area outside the dikes, with salt marshes and Wadden plains, where nature, plants and animals constantly adjust to the alternating fresh and salt water.
Meet the forces responsible for a constantly changing Wadden Sea in this part of the Groningen coast where nature is allowed to develop undisturbed. Or discover which islands “wander” slowly but surely towards the mainland and how the islands of Vlieland and Ameland have moved eastward through the centuries, having lost land on one side and grown on the other.
Experience the Wadden Sea in the Netherlands.
The Dutch section of the Wadden Sea World Heritage lies between the Marsdiep off Den Helder and the Dollard in Groningen. From the tidal area outside the dikes with its salt marshes and Wadden plains, to the open polder landscape inside the dikes with its vast fields, former seawalls and historic farms – there is no shortage of attractions to keep you busy in this part of the Wadden Sea World Heritage.
Whether you visit the endless miles of sandy beaches at Kop van Noord-Holland; marvel at the sights of Friesland, declared the most beautiful province in the Netherlands; or discover the Groningen Wadden coast, characterised by openness, tranquillity and space, you’re never far from spectacular nature.
Find out about Dutch fascination with wind and water, admire a long history of marsh and fenland reclamation, and step on ancient earth dwelling mounds (terp) constructed on land that was subject to frequent floods before dike building began.
And be sure to spend some time on one of the Dutch Wadden Sea Islands, still influenced by the daily ebb and flood, sand and water. Choose between Schiermonnikoog, Ameland, Terschelling, Vlieland and Texel, known as the five pearls in the north of the Netherlands – you are simply spoilt for choice.