The Wadden coast offers endless natural beauty and authenticity. This region has a well deserved spot on the list of UNESCO world heritage, and self-sufficiency is one of it’s greatest qualities. As the icing on the cake, we did “a weekend Schier” to Lytje Pole. This fifth Wadden Island, better known as Schiermonnikoog, feels like an oasis of peace balanced by a steady sea breeze.
WHAT MAKES THIS REGION A LEADER IN SUSTAINABILITY?
READ IT IN THE NEXT 4 TOPICS
The car that still comes in handy on the mainland can be parked in the harbour of Lauwersoog. because the trip from the Wadden coast to Schiermonnikoog has to be done by boat as the island is completely car-free. Once ashore, there are several sustainable alternatives waiting for you; the electric buses of Arriva with Green Key label and the electric taxis of Us Eilaun for example. We chose the most adventurous option to explore the island, the electric bicycle (which includes a child seat).
FROM SLEEPING BETWEEN AIR AND LAND TO “ALKOOFJE”
In the upcycled cabins of De Horizon you can sleep on both ears as far as sustainability is concerned. You will find them in Molenrij, in the Hogeland, north of Groningen. The kitchens are built from scrap wood and each hut has its own solar panels for energy supply. On the cosy terrace you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Horizon or watch the stars at night while relaxing by the fire.
We enjoyed a wonderful stay at the Springfield Holiday Farm on Schiermonnikoog. Guests get their own basket for collecting eggs and a jug which they can fill up with fresh milk in the barn. The holiday cottages, equipped with “alkoofjes”, offer you a typically Dutch sleeping experience.
WAD TO DO?
During our trip from the Wadden Sea coast to Schiermonnikoog, we went for the following experiences. The National Park Schiermonnikoog is criss-crossed by various horse trials, cycle and walking routes. Here, you can with respect for local wildlife enjoy immense open grasslands, typical dunes and enchanting forests. If you prefer to spend time near the ocean, cleaning up washed-up material, in other words beachcombing is another fun and sustainable activity. Other recommended visits are a Zelfpluktuin next to De Branding and information centre Het Baken.
A weekend on Schier is not only for summertime, in winter you will experience the raw purity of the elements even more deeply. “Niet voor Wadjes” is an activity program for those who will not be held back by wind and weather. Ranging from outdoor activities such as the OERR Speelnatuur or the Witte Winde for our smallest Travel Rebels and beach sailing or a fatbike tour for the bigger Rebels to iscovering the beautiful starry skies due to the absence of light pollution in this area is also a great activity. Location tips for this are: Pole 5 and the Red Lighthouse.
Of course, You can go for the National Park Lauwersmeer on the mainland, which is recognised as the Dark Sky Park. During the day, you can enjoy walking, cycling and bird watching, or challenge yourself with a water sport such as blokarting or kite surfing. In addition, there are plenty of other original activities on the mainland such as the Menkemaborg museum, a visit to the seal centre in Pieterburen, sightseeing along the various picturesque churches, the eco-cathedral and viewpoints at Noordpolderzijl and Noordkaap. At the biodynamic farm Waddenmax, you will find delicious dairy products and beef. You can go there for a tour or for the unique experience of guiding the cows from pasture to stable.
TASTE OF THE WADDEN
The freshest and most sustainably caught seafood, you will find them from the Wadden coast to Schiermonnikoog. Recommendations on the island are harbour pavilion Wad Anderz where in addition you can enjoy a phenomenal sunset, the beautiful beach pavilion De Marlijn and lastly, restaurant Ambrosijn in the cosy village. In De Berkenplas and De Koffiekajuit, you can enjoy a delicious take-away or stay-in lunch.
On the mainland, we enjoyed a refined 4-course dinner at Restaurant Molenrij where, among other things, they serve delicious homemade elderflower sparkling wine. In the former lock keeper’s house of Noordpolderzijl, at the foot of the sea dyke, you will find brown café ‘t Zielhoes, where you can enjoy the typical croquette. At Abrahams Mosterdmakerij, you can find out behind the scenes how the coarse Groningen mustard is still being produced in the traditional way. And in the adjacent restaurant, you can enjoy a delicious Groninger mustard soup with accompanying dry sausage or other toppings.