Who would have ever guessed that a Dutch island would be listed as one of Europe's top ten destinations for 2016? Well, to be honest, we did. Toms Travel Tours organizes private tours to all five inhabitant islands.


Last week the travel guide Lonely Planet listed the Dutch island of Texel number nine on the Best in Europe 2016 list. This Wadden island in the North Holland province is praised by its “unspoiled dunescapes, wildlife reserves, gloriously deserted white-sand beaches and pine forests”.


Texel is part of the five inhabitant Wadden islands in the North of the Netherlands. On one side of the island lies the North Sea, on the other side the Wadden Sea. This intertidal zone forms a shallow water body with flats and wetlands. Its such an unique ecosystem and famous for its biological diversity that it is listed on the Unesco World Heritage List.


Seals and mud walking


Since my childhood, I regularly visit the Wadden islands. I first went with my parents and brother to Texel. We explored nature, visited the seals sanctuary Ecomare, which you can imagine was so much fun for me as a kid. Years later I went sailing with a flat bottom boat with high tide and waited the tide going out. In Dutch it’s called ‘droogvallen’. The boat rests on the bottom of the sea. It’s an incredible sight. For the last 15 years I’ve organized mud walks with low tide from the main land to the islands of Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. In my opinion this is the best Dutch nature experience. It’s amazing how much wildlife you see. From fish, shells, crabs and oysters to seals and thousands of birds. And it’s really special to walk for hours, first through deep mud and then via sand plates, through little streams until you reach the island.


Private day trips and multiple day trips to the islands


The last years Toms Travel Tours offers day trips and multiple day trips to the Dutch Wadden Islands. Not everybody fancies mud walking. And there is so much more to experience. We go walking or cycling across the islands, doing boat trips to see seals laying on sandbanks, climbing lighthouses and visiting tiny picturesque villages. We can even go Dutch island hopping!


My favorite island is called Schiermonnikoog which is part of the province of Friesland. The name is almost impossible to pronounce for a foreigner, I know it. It has just below a thousand inhabitants, contains one beautiful old village, there are almost no cars and the entire island is a national park. It has even the widest sand beaches of Europe where you can walk on for hours without seeing a single soul!


Special weekend


In September Toms Travel Tours organizes a special weekend for friends and guests to Schiermonnikoog. First we will do a four to five hours mud walk. Bikes will be waiting for us on the island. We will explore the island and its nature at its best and have fun with a group of diverse friends. We reserved just a couple of places for nature and adventure lovers that want to experience the most beautiful spot of the Netherlands.


For questions about the September tour or any private tours for one day or multiple days to the Wadden islands please contact Toms Travel Tours at bookings@tomstraveltours.com


Tom van der Leij

Toms Travel Tours