Terschelling is one of the biggest Wadden Islands, and the third inhabited island. It is seen as the island of cycling among the Wadden Islands, with 70 kilometres of bicycle paths. Terschelling is also home to the natural reserve of De Noordvaarder, which possesses great natural beauty, quiet, and space. From a great distance, the lighthouse known as De Brandaris welcomes visitors to the island. This 400 year old eye-catcher is the herald of an amazing vacation.
Terschelling buzzes. If the many nice restaurants, cafes and pubs aren’t alive, then the events that are hosted all year round surely are. Terschelling is certainly an excellent nightlife destination. However, those looking for peace and quiet can cherish their ‘secret’, because 80% of Terschelling consists of beautiful natural scenery. The highlight is the European natural reserve of De Boschplaat. There is something for everyone on Terschelling. (source: www.terschelling.org)
Event Poster 2015
260 visitorspreceded you
365 beautiful daysa year
1450 breakfastswith a view of the beach
∞ relaxationyou will definitely find here
Sailors Monument (Zeeliedenmonument)
People from Terschelling have been sea merchants and explorers since the Middle Ages. Later on many found an occupation in whaling, merchant or passengers ships and the piloting and salvaging of vessels. Sadly many seafaring sailors found a watery grave in the often natural violent waters. In honor of this on the edge of West-Terschelling the Sailors Monument (Zeeliedenmonument) has been erected. This bronze statue depicts the image of a sailors wife, looking out to sea in vain for the return of her husband or son. Many islanders are still active in the salvaging of vessels or sea rescues. At ‘de kom’ in the eastern part of the docks in the West you can see the salvage and rescue vessels.
Cycling and hiking on Terschelling
Terschelling is the perfect place to explore on a bicycle. With its fast infrastructure of cycle paths, which will lead you to the points of interest of the island. You can bring your own bicycle or rent one at the many bicycle renting companies.
Some even have the option of having the bicycle from the moment you leave the docks, while the renting company transports your luggage to your accommodation. Even if you get a flat tire on the road, with just a phone call you will have a new bicycle delivered to your location.
Click HERE for a summary of available bicycle renting companies on Terschelling.
Hikers can also sure get their fix on Terschelling. With over 250 kilometers of hiking paths and unpaved roads the possibilities are endless throughout the year. The tourist office and forestry commission have set out varying and beautiful hiking routes throughout the island, ranging from 4 to 15 kilometers. For fans of Nordic Walking there’s a special and challenging route of over 11 kilometers. You will find these routes, with all kinds of interesting facts in the hiking brochure ‘Sporen in het Zand’.
Terschelling’s culture was mainly formed because of the position of the island as storage site for goods and save haven during the rise of the VOC (Dutch East India Company). The strongly developed mercantilism and individualistic impact of the current people of Terschelling is most likely formed because of this era. With the downfall of the VOC prosperity dwindled even for Terschelling, however there was a higher emphasis on mercantile from the harbor mouth of the Vlie to the East Sea. Whaling blossomed and inshore fishing was in high rise.
And thus Terschelling developed in proportion with its harbor, which is located at the only natural bay in the Netherlands. However the number of residents were quite low and consequently poor. They lived off fishing and farming on a small scale on the always sandy lands. Others went to sea.
Independent, or rather without help from the government, they fought against the water on the side of the mudflats to keep what little agricultural lands they had available. They also profited from the North Sea Coast by gathering loot from the beaches which is called ‘jutten’ (beach combing). This way of survival was also adopted by those who could not profit from passing merchant vessels.
Shipping with its influence from across the world has shaped the young people of Terschelling who in its turn influenced the local villagers. This is also why shipping education has been strongly developed on Terschelling, which resulted in the currently most modern Maritime Institute named Willem Barentsz.
This hard life has shaped the islanders to be resourceful and independent people who are not concerned with petty fuss and boastfulness. In both language, three Frisian dialects, and old costumes and customs you will find influences of various regions, areas and distant countries.
The arrival of tourism has further awakened the merchant mentality of the islanders. Many small farmers could not participate in the strong scaling advocated by the government at the time. They turned their stables into rentable summer houses and lands were turned into camp sites.
The love of nature and all that is part of the island life, like beach coming, fishing, beach horse riding, but also hospitality, honesty, neighborly duty and social control are features you will surely come to appreciate during your stay on the island.