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As soon as you set foot on Texel, a National Park awaits. From the ferry terminal in the south, there is an uninterrupted belt of dunes along the 30-kilometre long island’s west coast, culminating in its northernmost tip where the lighthouse is situated. Whether you like walking, cycling or birdwatching, or you prefer to explore by mountain-bike or perhaps in your running shoes, Texel’s eclectic mix of nature reserves offers a magnificent backdrop against which to enjoy the island’s scenery. We’ve listed just a few of them here.
From the ferry boat, on the left-hand side you will get a view of Mokbaai, which is sometimes referred to as a miniature Wadden Sea. This bay is fringed by an area of dunes dense with thickets called De Geul, home to the largest colony of spoonbills in the Netherlands. Via the Horsmeertjes, you will arrive at an extensive sandbar named De Hors. In the north is an area of dunes, De Bollenkamer. The Westerduinen lie adjacent to the woodland region of De Dennen. Via the Bleekersvallei, you will reach Duinpark, an area of dunes that is part of Ecomare. The Alloo is famous for its beautiful orchids. The highest point in Texel is Seetingsnol, where there is an outlook across the dunes. Beyond De Koog, the dunes once again broaden out to form De Nederlanden. De Slufter is a unique nature reserve that regularly gets inundated by the sea. At the northerly tip of the Eierlandse Duinen, you will eventually arrive at the lighthouse. Once you have turned the corner of the island, you can enjoy a lovely walk as far as De Robbenjager, an area rich in bird life. You will see lots more birds as you walk along Texel’s Wadden Sea coastline.
Along the road close to the ferry terminal, it’s possible to observe the many nesting birds in De Petten. Inland along the Wadden Sea dyke from Molenkolk there is a series of salt marshes which provide a haven for birds and special plants. Beyond Oudeschild you will reach Ottersaat, De Zandkes, Wagejot near Oost and De Bol bird reserve. The Utopia nature reserve consists of grazing land that was returned to nature a few years ago; with apparent success too, since it attracts thousands of nesting birds every year. It is recommended you pull on your Wellington boots if you intend to visit the offshore spoonbill colony at De Schorren!
Why not take a bike ride or a stroll through the rolling countryside of the Hoge Berg nature reserve, including De Zandkuil insect sanctuary, between Den Burg and Oudeschild.
When in season, thousands of orchids come into flower in the Waalenburg polder near De Waal.
The map of Texel provides an excellent overview of locations for all nature reserves.