Top 5 things to do in Texel (North Brabant - Netherlands)

One of the best things to do in Texel is, to 'Do Nothing'! I mean, its a small island that's 25km x 8km. Its surrounded by sea and is filled with agricultural land and sheep. So just to sit back and relax in the beaches and walk around the fields, watching the sheep, is perhaps the best ever thing to do in Texel! Just do nothing and soak in the laziness and pristine beauty of the island!
Next best thing would be probably to bike around Texel which is what we did. If you're more adventurous, you'd go for a trail walking in the various routes all over this little island, like De Schorren trail that we went on, which is a salt-water marsh & a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I'm listing here the next 5 best things to see/do in Texel.


Vuurtoren: This is the face of Texel. Whenever you do a Google image search of Texel, this is showcased primarily. Even the tourism brochures show this! This is the lighthouse at the northern most tip of the island! The view from atop here is splendid and climbing the 118 winding stairs is totally worth it. Its a vast expanse of sea and with the rain chasing us, we also got to see a rainbow!!!

This was originally built in 1864. In 1945 during Georgian Uprising war, Georgians revolted against Germans and in course of the war, hid here. Germans shot at the tower causing major damage. After the war, in 1948, the tower was renovated by building a new one around the old one! Today its possible to walk between the walls of new & old tower and spot the bullet marks!



Sheep Farm: This is the place to go if you're traveling with children. I haven't seen Atyudarini so awestruck as she was there! While she has seen animals earlier, she has never touched them or hugged them! Here, she was surrounded by so many sheep, roosters, hens, cows and pigs. Lambs were just jumping across her as she walked and grazing away for her to touch. Children also get a chance to hug lambs, but since she's too young, I held the lamb and she stroked it. She also had a chance to sit on a pony. Older children could ride them with a guide.


There were both indoor and outdoor areas, making it perfect for both rainy and sunny weather. The animals too have the option to roam around within the sheltered area or go out or sit/sleep in their enclosures! Though I call these enclosures, they aren't cages; the animals themselves would jump over them. Since they're all tamed, they know their slots. Even as an adult it was fascinating to see the lambs jump over the fence at will. Atyudarini was particularly amused by the breastfeeding lambs.... Outdoor area also had ATVs and tractors that kids to ride as well as a small zipline. There is a small store and cafe as well.

After this was one of the most exquisite rural thing that we've ever witnessed - how to herd sheep with dogs - a demo of what commands are the dogs given by which they protect and guide the flock in the path that the shepherd wants them to go in!


Fort de Schans: While we cycled around Texel, we reached here around lunch time and has a picnic here. It began raining and we were safe in the shelters of the arches of the fort. This reminded much of Tilbury fort with its star shape extending into water! This was built in 1574 by Willem van Oranje to protect the region from Spanish army. Much later in 1811, under Napoleon Bonaparte, its vast expansion began. However, the whole plan wasn't fruitful as his decline began soon after that. Later it fell into disuse and its material were used for building dykes in and around.


Currently this is under Natuurmonumenten which protects natural reserves and associated cultural heritage all over Netherlands. Today there are 2 restored wooden draw bridges, a canon and a couple arches. There's isn't too many things to see, but its a gorgeous landscape, nevertheless. On the way to Fort de Schans, we spotted a World War Memorial and ever since I've been to Ypres, visiting them is like a pilgrimage, that I wouldn't want to skip. This is the Georgian War Cemetery of WWII.

De Jager Observatory: There is light pollution everywhere in cities and even bigger towns. I remember watching stars from atop my terrace when I was a kid. Atyudarini haven't had a chance to see a sky full of stars yet, that was till we visited Texel! The sky was just mesmerizing! I even got to see a meteor!!! Atyudarini was a bit confused, to see a sky full of stars and was a bit scared too to some extent!
The best part is, you even to see these stars and faraway galaxies up & close through a telescope! It requires pre-booking on the day prior to the visit. Unfortunately with the storm warning that night, the viewing was cancelled. However it was such a beautiful experience to see the sky full of stars from the comfort of my hotel room!!! I know I haven't got the best star photographs, but I'm super happy with what I've got!!! Its not a super fancy camera, just a regular DSLR with a super slow shutterspeed.

Sky diving: Being a tiny island, viewing Texel from atop would be incredible. So yeah, there is the option to do just that - skydiving! As I mentioned my earlier post, there is a tiny little airport, in this tiny little island. Just beside it, is the Paracentrum Texel. No, we haven't done skydiving yet... Gotta do that once in lifetime!

To Stay:
Hotels & BnBs at all price points are available in Texel.
Several camping grounds & beach huts are also available if you're a bit adventurous.
Check out my Bos en Duin Appartmentenhotel review where we stayed.

To Get There:
On Google Maps: Vuurtoren, Sheep Farm, Fort de Schans, De Jager Observatory, Texel Paracentrum
Sheepfarm alone is served by the permanent Texel Hopper route 28.
Others are served only by Flexible route Texel Hopper.
Ofcourse, all these places can be cycled to, as we did.

Entry tickets & Timings:
Vuurtoren: €4.50; 10:00AM to 5:00PM everyday in Spring to Autumn and only on Wednesdays and weekends in winters.
Sheep farm: €5.50; 10:00AM to 4:00PM everyday. Sheep herding with dogs demonstration at 11:00AM
Fort de Schans: Free, Sunrise to sunset
De Jager Observatory: €2, Timings change everyday. Check their website for everyday updates.
Sky Diving: Prices begin at €199; 9:30AM to 6:00PM everyday in summers and only on Saturdays in winters. 


P.S: I was invited by VVV Texel Tourism to experience the region for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

13 comments:

  1. We still have not really explored the Netherlands. But I have to love a list of things to do that starts with “do nothing”. Texel sounds like a great place to relax. A nice leisurely bike ride would certainly let us see some things. Taking a picnic lunch is a great idea. Even if you did have to seek shelter from the rain. We do love places like this with great views of the stars. A good spot to think about when we plan a longer trip to the Netherlands.

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  2. Sometimes it's nice to just go somewhere and do nothing. Texel seems like the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the island. The sheep farm seems fun. I bet the demo of how dogs herd sheep was interesting. I have always wondered about how they do that!

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  3. Great post!! I haven't explored Netherlands yet but it has been on my radar for quite sometimes now and I am planning to visit it soon someday. Texel looks like a really nice a peaceful town and I would love to visit and see dog hearding sheep. I love the fact that you are giving your kid a chance to explore the farm, it is is one of the important lesson a parent can provide to their kids on how to be kind with our beloved farm animals.

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  4. I visited the Netherlands on many occasions, but never made the trip, or had heard of, Texel. I like that it's an island, and that it seems remote too. The observatory look very cool, I'd like to explore the skies from here.

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  5. Texel sounds like a great place to do absolutely nothing!�� But if the nothing becomes boring after a few days we would definitely have a walk at the beautiful beach and we would probably spend an entirely day at the sheep farm! My daughter would have enjoyed cuddling with all farm animals! Texel in Netherlands sounds to be a place to have relaxing holiday!

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  6. Much of my mother's family lives in the Netherlands and I have been visiting since I was a child, but have never before heard of this island. I will definitely have to check it out the next time I visit my family. It must be so cute with the kids being able to hug the animals.

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  7. To be honest, I had never heard of Texel in Netherlands. I am glad I read this. The idea of doing nothing in these cute, little pristine places is my idea of travel. Just sitting down or cycling is so refreshing in itself. The lighthouse looks historic. I bet your daughter had a great time at the farm. I would love to go to the De Jager Observatory.

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  8. Texel looks so relaxing to me! I love rural destinations and look forward to any opportunity to interact with animals. It's nice to see a little piece of the world so undisturbed. I will definitely plan to enjoy a visit to Texel when I plan my trip to the Netherlands. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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  9. Even though I live in the Netherlands I have never been to Texel but I have heard many great thing about it! I think it is a sign for me to finally visit Texel :) ;)

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  10. I've never heard of Texel before, but it looks lovely! That shot you captured of the rainbow is stunning! Also, I think I would happily visit the sheep farm even as a solo traveler. Hugging a lamb just sounds like something that can't be passed up! I'd be fascinated to see the flocks being herded by dogs as well. Texel looks like a beautiful little corner of the Netherlands worth exploring. Thanks for sharing, Bhushavali!

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  11. I haven't been to Netherlands yet but glad you showed the different side of the country. Texel looks splendid in your pictures and I'd love to spend sometime on this island by not doing anything, lazing around and just soaking the view. By the way, how did you carry your daughter to Lighthouse as 250 steps sounds like a herculean task to me?

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  12. Do nothing! I like this! And I love visiting small islands like this. Beaches, walking, watching sheep and other cute animals, enjoying the nature around, it sounds amazing. I want to be there now. I have never heard of this place before, thanks for showing it to us.

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  13. I think I'd personally be really into the notion of just biking around and exploring considering the size of the island. It seems super manageable to just have a "choose your own adventure" sort of day and let the wind take you a little bit. It also helps that biking is one of my favourite activities on the planet!

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