Den Hoorn – striking church
Den Hoorn is the most southern village of Texel and was built in the 15th century on a boulder clay surface (‘t Klif’). Inhabitants were farmers, cattle breeders and fishermen and later during the days of the Dutch East India Company also ship pilots. In the ‘Herenstraaat’ still are several pilot houses.
Although Den Hoorn is situated nearby the dunes it is absolutely not touristic and has still its own charm of a little quiet village. The most remarkable sight is the Reformed Church with its striking white tower.
The church was built in 1425 and became its tower 25 years later. The tower functioned moreover, as a beacon for the shipping traffic. Even nowadays there is signal at the tower of the church. (open for visitors in summer on Thursdays from 2.00 to 4.00 pm.).
At the back of the church, at the other side of the ‘Kerkstraat’, stands a house called ‘’t Wambus’, in the older days a home for poor people.
In spring Den Hoorn is surrounded by bulb fields with flowering yellow daffodils. The higher sandy grounds next to the dunes are suitable for this cultivation.
Outside the village (just follow the ‘Witteweg’ till a car park, where a footpath starts) in the vast dune area is the ‘Loodsmansduin’; this is a kind of lookout with great views of Texel and over the Marsdiep to Den Helder. It has the highest elevation of Texel with a height of 24,3 metres. During World War II the bunker on top of the dune was a Dutch command post of this fortification to defense the marine harbour of Den Helder.
Oudeschild – a lot to offer
Oudeschild is dating back to the 17th century. In the early days ships of the famous Dutch East India Company (VOC) often were waiting at the Roadstead of Texel, nearby Oudeschild, to load drinking water from wells in the inland of Texel. The Barrels of water were transported through the ‘Schiltsloot’, which gave the name to the village.
Nowadays Oudeschild is the fishing harbour of Texel, but it has also a big marina for yachts and sailing ships Just behind the impressive dike of the ‘Waddensea’ lies the Maritime and Beachcombers Museum, an in- and outside the museum, which shows all about Texel and the sea. At the side of the museum stands also a windmill, called the ‘Traanroeier’ (www.texelsmaritiem.nl).
Oudeschild is a charming village; nice to walk around, see the small houses and the Sailor’s Church, built between 1648 and 1650 (open for visitors from June until 1st September on Friday from 2.00 until 5.00 pm). Finish your walk at the harbour in Café Restaurant Havenzicht, built on and in the Waddenseadike, with great views of the harbour.
Just south of Oudeschild lies fortress ‘De Schans’, constructed in 1574 to protect the ‘Marsdiep’ for Spanish ships during the Eighty Years War. A little bit further is the Russian’s Cemetery with the Georgian victims of their uprising in 1945. Both sights can be visited.
Ecomare - Museum
Ecomare is a museum for the nature and history of the North Sea and the isle of texel. And it's also a shelter for seals and birds. In the museum you can find out all about this region in a great number of ways. First of all there are the displays of pottery, stuffed animals, archeology etc. Then there are also a couple of videos. And for the little ones (and of course those who are young at heart) there are also a couple of machines and computers to play with. It's a great and fun way of learning about sea life.
Ecomare is just outside the town De Koog, and you can reach it by bus. Admission top the museum is 7,50 Euros for adults. The museum is opened every day from 9 to 5.
Ecomare - Seal Shelter
The other part of Ecomare is the sea and birds shelter. Every year a great number of sick or abandones seals are rescued by Ecomare. They are then nurished and provided with health care. Some 15 to 20 seals are returned into the sea every year. A few others are kept in Ecomare for life, because it is too risky to send them back. Ecomare also gives shelter to birds that were smothered with oil during crises.
Ecomare is opened every day from 9 to 5 and admission is 7,5 Euros for adults.
Ecomare is a nature-information centre in the middle of a massive dune park. One of the highlights is the seal rehabilitation centre.
We were fortunate enough to be there during one of the feeding sessions. The attraction of this was not just the eager seals, but was also the insane dive-bombing maneuvers of the seagulls trying to snatch fish away from the seals.
It also features some really great large tanks with various local fish.
- Family Travel
Den Burg – strolling through Texel’s ‘capital’
Den Burg is a quite old village and was already inhabited in the 7th century. In 1345/46 the town (‘fortress’) got new walls and even nowadays the ring pattern of the streets in the centre reminds to these old days. The most remarkable landmark is the Reformed Church in the middle of the town.
One of the oldest houses of the village (1599) houses the so called ‘Oudheidkamer’, a small museum with a collection of antiques, artefacts and traditional costumes. ‘Het Schoutenhuys’ is another old gabled house; this is part of ‘Hotel De Lindeboom’
Den Burg is by far the biggest village on the island and more than the half (about 7000) of the people of Texel are living here. It has a nice shopping centre and we enjoyed strolling around in the local owned shops. The Groeneplaats is the central square with every Monday morning a market. One side of this square is dominated by an awful modern town hall.
Although the biggest it is also the least touristic village of Texel with just a couple of hotels and restaurants.
Perhaps the best place to relax or having a drink or lunch is the terrace of ‘Hotel De Lindeboom’ at the Groeneplaats. Even in February we enjoyed the sun and Texel’s street life.
De Koog – not very inviting during off season
It is hardly to believe, but long times ago the village of De Koog was a fishing village with access to the North Sea. But in the 16th century the decline as a fishing village started and many of the inhabitants fled to other places on Texel. In 1908 there were just 11 houses left, when the first hotel was opened.
Dating back to these old days (built in 1415) is the Reformed Church with its remarkable wooden bell tower.
From that moment on De Koog developed rapidly as a sea side resort and nowadays it is by far the most important touristic destination on the island. It has lots of hotels, bed & breakfasts, holiday homes, camp sites etc. Holidaymakers will find the nice beaches just two lines of dunes away from the village.
The main street (Dorpsstraat) is lined with bars, cafés, restaurants and some more or less ‘hidden’ shops. During our visit (February) the centre looked liked a ghost town; most of the shops were closed and we hardly could find a café for a cup of coffee.
Oosterend – the most authentic village
Although the second largest village on Texel it was for us the most authentic. ‘Strend’ - as the inhabitants call their hometown - is dominated by the impressive Maartenskerk (St. Martin’s Church), which is the oldest church of Texel. The oldest parts are being built in the 11th century. The church has a remarkable wooden partition with hundreds of carved ‘house signs’ (the interior of this church is open for visitors during July and August on Wednesday afternoon from 1.30-3.30 pm.).
But it is very pleasant to walk around the church and along the narrow roads with a lot of beautifully restored (small) houses, the local shops and having a lunch on the terrace (with view of the church) of ‘Eetcafé De Kroonprins’.
On the other side of the church square stands a small sculpture of three fishermen, exchanging bits of news and gossips on a spot called ‘het beursie’. They used to do the same in former days on the same spot. Even today most of the Northsea fishermen of Texel are living in Oosterend.
Polder Het Noorden is situated a couple of km’s north of Oosterend and has a beautiful windmill.
Beach - Stretches for around 25 km.
With a sandy beach that stretches for around 25 km, Texel has lots of space. There are different beach entrances, where you will find beach pavilions, among other things. At post 9 (near Den Hoorn) and post 28 (near De Cocksdorp) the beach pavilions are open all year round.
A lot can be done at the beach, especially sports. Some examples are swimming, kite-flying, wind-surfing, diving, cross-country running, riding, fishing and catamaran-sailing. But for some people it's just too much and simply lay in the sun!
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
- Water Sports
In De Koog you can catch a ride with the Jan Plezier . In peak season it leaves everyday from the busstop at de Nikadel in de Koog at 10.00 and 14.00
The tour will take you across the beach to the Slufter, the entire trip lasts 3 hours.
Price inclusive a drink and a cookie € 12,00 p.p.
Discounts for groups.
You can just turn up at the busstop, but if you want be sure, we didn´t book the entire carriage just call between 19.00 - 23.00
tel. 0222- 312825
- Family Travel
In one of the oldest houses of Den Burg you will find the Texelse Oudheidkamer . It was built in 1599 and was restored in 1954. It is a complete museum and not only a chamber as the translation of the word kamer should make you suspect.
The house served originally as a guesthouse for the poor, the sailors, merchants and others who came to the island to work here. One could stay here three nights for free.
The Oudheidkamer is filled with old art and other objects of Texels. It tells the story of the island and its people.
From april to october: 10:00-12:30 and 13:30 to 16:30
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
Walking on Texel
Texel is a great island for people who like to walk or hike. There are several marked routes. Staatsbosbeheer has the following signs:
- a red marker designates a naturepath, along the route are several informationboards.
- a blue marker designates a looproute, you will always return at the point you left.
- a yellow marker designates a throughway, for instance from the parkinglot to the beach.
- a green marker designates a path that is closed during the birds breeding seasons, most are open from september through february.
Buy a good map of Texel and all routes are on your map. You can also take a leaflet out of one of the many infoboxes at the beginning of routes, but be aware in peakseason they may not be there.
- Hiking and Walking
Fort de Schans
Just outside Oudeschild you can find Fort de Schans. It is one of the eldest fortifications in the Netherlands.
Texel was on an important access and exit route for the ships from towns on the Zuiderzee. William of Orange took the initiative to construct the fort De Schans in 1574 to protect this route.
Fleet admiral Tromp regularly held councils of war in De Schans. Executions were performed on the spot. In 1811, Napoleon paid a visit to De Schans, upon which he had the fort enlarged and reinforced with two adjoining forts. This two forts, Lunette and Redoute, and a part of fort de Schans were levelled to use the soil for dyke improvement round 1930.
The fort De Schans was bought by Vereniging Natuurmonumenten (the Dutch Association for Nature Reserve) for fl1,00 (€0,50) and was restored in phases. It is free accessible. For tours on De Schans contact the Maritime and Beachcombers Museum, in Oudeschild.
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
In the harbour of Oudeschild you can catch a boat to go shrimpfishing. All the shrimps caught are immediately prepared on board and distributed among the guests.
This tours also promiss harborseals sightings.
Tours leave everyday, in season, from the harbour of Oudeschild.
TX 10 , A. Boom en Zn., Haven Oudeschild tel. 0222-313639
De Zeester , J. Hutjes, Loodssingel 25, 1792 BG Oudeschild, tel. 0222-313545, or mobile phone: 06-51528174
- Family Travel
- Sailing and Boating
In an old milk factory between Den Burg and Oudeschild you can taste the beers from Texel. The Texel beerbrewery was founded in 1994. Since then it grew , and nowadays their beer is sold nation wide.
You can buy Texel beer all over the island, but to taste several and tour the factory you have to go the Proeflokaal (tastechamber) of the factory.
Beers brewed here are:
Texels blond, Texels dubbel, Texels wit, Texels amber, Texels triple and more.
july - august: wednesday, thursday and saturday: 14.00 -18.00.
Other months: wednesday and saturday 14.00 -18.00.
Closed in December and January.
entrance: €5,= (with one free drink)
- Beer Tasting
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