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Friesland is located in the very north of the Netherlands, and this province is not only famous for its many natural areas and beautiful little towns, but above all for its abundance of water. The Wadden Sea, the Ijsselmeer, large lakes and small ponds, wide canals and narrow, winding rivers: in Friesland there is at least as much water as there is land! Perfect for a relaxed holiday by bike and boat! On our voyage of discovery through Friesland you will experience unforgettable moments of pleasure on the waters of Friesland. Would you like a little preview? Then read on!

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1. Cross the IJsselmeer

The largest inland lake in the Netherlands is an experience in itself: you set off from the magnificent historic port of Enkhuizen to the charming Frisian town of Stavoren. In past centuries, this was the quickest route to the remote province of Friesland. When the shores are out of sight, you almost feel like you’re on the open sea. But no fear! You won’t get seasick, because even in strong winds, the waves are not very big. The IJsselmeer was created in 1932 when a large dike was built. The large North Sea bay that used to be called the Zuiderzee (meaning “southern sea”) was cut off from the North Sea by the dike and became a freshwater lake. Since then, nature has adapted to the change and a unique ecosystem has emerged in which many water birds, in particular, feel at home.

2. Enjoy a day on Terschelling

Have you heard of the Wadden Islands? It’s a string of lovely barrier islands along the north coast of the Netherlands. If you go on holiday in Friesland, we think you should spend (at least) one day on the island of Terschelling. Take a bike ride across the dunes and let the fresh sea breeze caress your face. Stroll along the beaches, which are up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) wide, and feel the fine white sand under your feet. If you get a bit too warm, you can cool down in the waves of the North Sea! Experience the dramatic side of the sea at the wreck museum in the village of Formerum: Here you can admire real finds from the many shipwrecks that lie on the seabed around the island and learn about their history.

3. Swim a lap in the Frisian lakes or in the IJsselmeer

If you cycle through Friesland in summer, don’t forget to pack your bathing suit in your bike bag. The chances are good that you’ll find a great swimming spot along the way where you can spend your lunch break: perhaps on a bike tour through the Alde Feanen nature reserve or along the Sneekermeer. We’ve already mentioned the beaches of Terschelling, but there are also many smaller swimming beaches on the IJsselmeer. Perfect for a quick cool-down when you get too warm cycling along the IJsselmeer dike!

4. Sociable little ports

The water sports season in Friesland has its very own charm. In the summer months, the action here is on and by the water. The water sports tourists ensure a relaxed, almost Mediterranean atmosphere around the small, picturesque harbors. And everywhere there are cozy outdoor cafés right on the water. During our discovery tour of Friesland, you can enjoy this friendly and relaxed atmosphere every evening because the Lena Maria moors directly in cozy small ports such as Sneek, Harlingen, Grou and Stavoren. In the evening, take a stroll through the picturesque town center, admire the many different boats in the harbor, browse the shops for a local souvenir and enjoy a drink with a view of the water at the end of the day!

5. Unique nature on the water

Everywhere in Friesland the natural world thrives with all that water. Along canals and rivers, on the IJsselmeer and smaller lakes – pretty much anywhere you’ll find some great birdwatching. On the mudflats of the Wadden Sea, keep an eye out for birds like sea eagles and cormorants as well as seals, and in the Alde Feanen National Park watch for roe deer.

This is just a taste of what you can experience on a cycling and boating trip in the watery province of Friesland. Take a look at our Friesland offerings!

Looking for an adventure? Click on the video and get inspired.

Can we help you?

Do you have any questions about our trips or can we help you with booking? Our travel experts are happy to help! Drop us an email at [email protected] or call us at (203) 814-1249 or +31 20 72 35 400 .

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