Vlieland

Travel Guide Europe Netherlands Friesland Vlieland

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Introduction

Vlieland harbour

Vlieland harbour

© Utrecht

Vlieland is one of the Wadden Islands in the north of the Netherlands. It is also the name of the municipality, which is the second-least densely populated municipality in the Netherlands (after Schiermonnikoog, another Wadden Island).

Vlieland is neighbored by the islands of Texel and Terschelling. It is wonderfully peaceful and natural, as it is car-free, except for a few permitted vehicles of locals.

The island measures 4,052 hectare, of which the largest part is a desert-like area in the west, the Vliehors. There is one village on the island, Oost-Vlieland. On the empty plain on the west used to be another village, West-Vlieland, but it was taken by the sea in 1736. The plain is now used for military exercises. The island has a population of approximately 1,100 people and is well known for the beautiful landscape, the large and various bird population and the peacefulness. In summer, many tourists come to visit the island.

Vlieland was divided from the mainland of Friesland in a flood in 1287, which formed the Waddenzee. It used to count two villages, West- and Oost-Vlieland, but the former was evacuated after repeatedly being flooded.

Vlieland is an island of dunes. It has the North Sea to the north and the Waddenzee to the south. The north coast has beautiful, peaceful beaches.

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Geography

The island is situated between the islands of Texel and Terschelling, and is around 19 kilometres long, measured from west to east.

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Cities

The only town on the island is Oost-Vlieland, which is also where the port is located for the ferries coming from Terschelling or Harlingen. Until 1736 there used to be a second town on the island, called West-Vlieland but that town was surrendered to the sea.

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Sights and Activities

Stairs to Vlieland's Lighthouse

Stairs to Vlieland's Lighthouse

© Utrecht

  • Vliehorsexpress - explore the westernmost point of the island, and area of sand, sand and more sand.
  • The Lighthouse - overlook the island and see Texel and Terschelling in the distance. Open on Wednesday: 2:00pm:4:00pm, Saturday & Sunday: 10:30am-12:00pm.
  • Birds. The island is known for its bird life, and if you have any interest at all, make sure to bring you binoculars.
  • Tromp's Huys Museum, Dorpsstraat 99, ☎ +31 562-451600. This is the oldest building of the island, originating shortly after 1575 and since the 1950s home to this little museum. It has a collection of art works on display, mostly from the hand of local artist Betzy Akersloot-Berg, who was Nordic by birth but lived in this house from the end of the 19th century. The museum also has a range of silver works and other collectibles. €4.

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Weather

Vlieland sees its climate the most moderated by the North- and Wadden Sea. As is the case with the other West Frisian islands, sunshine hours are among the highest in the Netherlands. Temperature extremes are rare; on average only 6 times a year does the daytime high exceed 25 °C, and a high above 30 °C happens on average only once every three years. This also counts for extreme cold; only on five days a year does the temperature stay below zero for a whole 24-hour period, and nighttime frost happens on less than 40 nights a year. Nights below -10 °C only happens on average once every 2 years. Wind is abundant however.

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Getting There

To get into Vlieland, you'll have to take the ferry from Harlingen. The average travel time for this route is 1½ hr for the normal ferry or 45 min for the fast service. Both are operated by rederij Doeksen, which has times and prices are available on their website. Usually, there are at least 3 daily regular ferries and an additional 1 to 3 fast ferries, but always check shortly before as the schedule can change subject to season, weather and number of passengers. A one way ticket (adult) will cost around €25, with an additional €7 for the fast service. Vlieland is in principle car-free, so although the ferries can transport cars (from €140 single trip), usually only residents will get the special permit.

There is a train to Harlingen Harbour from Leeuwarden, and also by car, this is easy to reach: see the Harlingen article for details.

People planning a return tour by train from Leeuwarden can buy a "Waddenretour" (€28 in 2011) ticket that is inclusive of the train ticket (Leeuwarden - Harlingen Haven trajectory) and the ferry ticket. This is a cheaper option than the normal ticket.

If you happen to be on Terschelling, there are a few daily ferries between the two island, operated by the same company.

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Getting Around

By Bus

There is one busline on the island, that starts (or end, depending how you look at it) at the port in Oost-Vlieland and crosses to the western part of the end and terminates at the Posthuys.

By Bike

Gettting around is best done by bicycle. There are bike lanes all over the island.

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Eat

The village has a bunch of restaurants, varying romantic restaurants to snack bars.

  • C'est la Vie, Dorpsstraat 118, ☎ +31 6 536 800 54. This place is a good choice for lunch, with simple, tasty dishes and fine coffee.
  • De Lickebaert, Dorpsstraat 4-6, ☎ +31 562 451 888. Everyone loves a pancake, and this is the local place to go when you're looking to get one. Their speciality, however, are the typical Dutch "poffertjes", fluffy mini-pancakes served with sugar.
  • Zuiver, Willem de Vlaminghweg 2, ☎ +31 562 451 857, e-mail: agendazuiver@gmail.com. This modern restaurant gets good reviews, both for food and service. They have a love for regional, biological produce and modern twists for traditional dishes. In high season, they also serve lunch. It's best to make reservations in advance. €34.50 for a 3-course surprise menu.
  • Het Posthuys, Postweg 4, ☎ +49 562 451282. 18 Feb–27 Nov and 30 Dec–8 Jan: daily 10:00 – 17:00 (kitchen 11:30 – 16:00). Dutch food.
  • Armhuis, Kerkpkein 6, ☎ +49 562 451935. daily. One of the better restaurants in town, and the closest thing to fine dining. Good service, nice food and a proper restaurant-style atmosphere. If you're looking for a romantic evening, try their private dining rooms. Make sure to call ahead though, especially in high-season, as this place fills up quickly. €40 for a menu.
  • Badhotel Bruin, Dorpsstraat 88, ☎ +49 562 451201.

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Sleep

There are plenty of places to stay. Apart from a few hotels and camp sites, there's a wide range of holiday houses available, many of them privately owned but rented out via the Tourist Information Office, which can be of great help when finding a place to stay. Some of them are right on the beaches.

  • Studio Arma. A family-run studio, quiet and comfortable for 2 people. It is about 500 m from the ferry drop off point.
  • Hotel Seeduyn, Badweg 3, ☎ +31 562 - 45 15 60. This large, 4-star hotel belongs to the Westcord chain and offers a good range of facilities, including free WiFi and a wellness area. It sits right on the beach, less than a kilometer from the village centre. Most rooms have lovely views. From €75.
  • Torenzicht, Dorpsstraat 182, ☎ +32 562-451428, e-mail: info@torenzicht.nl.

Campsites

  • Natural Campsite Lange Paal, Postweg 1a, ☎ +31 562 45163, e-mail: langepaal@staatsbosbeheer.nl. 1 Apr – 31 Oct. edit
  • Camping Stortemelk, Kampweg 1, ☎ +31 562 451225. A very popular and nice place: in the dunes, very close to the sea

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés are not as widespread as you would expect, but you can easily find one in the popular cities. Most hostels, hotels and camp sites have several computers, so you can keep connected with folk at home. Here is a list of internet cafés that could come in handy for travellers. Otherwise, most libraries have lots of computers and prices are around the €2-3 per hour range, although sometimes it can be even more expensive.

Wireless internet access using wifi is becoming more popular and is usually available at most hotels and increasingly at train stations. Also in trains (at least in most first class wagons, but also more and more in second class) and some buses you can use wifi. Finally, places like McDonald's and Starbucks have free wifi, and smaller individual business like cafés and restaurants are on the rise too offering these services. More often than not, these service tend to be free of charge, though there might be a limited time you can use the internet.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country code for the Netherlands is 31. The outbound international prefix is 00. The general emergency number is 112, like many other countries.
0800 numbers are toll-free and for 09xx numbers are charged at premium rates. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to cell phones are also priced at higher rates.

From internet cafés, it is also usually possible to make long distance international calls. Like in other countries, telephone booths have almost disappeared, though some are still found around public transport stations, where you can use a few coins to make calls. It is only recommended for local calls.

The cellular phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The main providers of cell phone networks are KPN (Dutch only), T-mobile and Vodafone, who cover the whole country. Other operators, like Hollandsnieuwe, Simyo or Tele2, use one of these 3 networks basically.

It is best to buy a SIM card when in the Netherlands for use in your cellphone, as this usually works out cheaper than using the one from home. If you are planning to study or work in the country and stay for several months, buying a cellphone is the best option. A simple one, sometimes with €10 worth on it, can be bought from around €25. The simplest smartphones are around €75.

Post

The rate for sending a postcard or letter up to 20 grams within the Netherlands is €0.64 (2014). Since 2010 there are stamps available for domestic post which no longer include the value in €. Instead, there are stamps available with either a '1' or a '2' as a substitute for value. The '1' can be used for letters and postcards up to 20 grams, while 20-50 grams require you to use the '2'-valued stamps (or two '1'-valued stamps of course).

Sending items to other EU countries and the rest of the world (there is one price since 2014) will cost €1.05. Stamps are sold at post offices, supermarkets and smaller shops/kiosks; often the place where you buy your postcards can also supply you with stamps.

Sending parcels abroad is more costly. A standard-sized parcel between up to 2 kilograms will cost you €9 for destinations within the EU and €18 (both without Track & Trace) to the rest of the world. Prices with Track & Trace start at €13 and €24.30 respectively. Parcel service is available from major post offices only; standard-size boxes are on sale there as well. For sending parcels, it might be just as competitive and fast to use a company like TNT, UPS or DHL.

If you need to receive mail while moving around, you can have it sent poste restante (to be called for) to a post office of your choice, where it will be kept for a month. If you come to claim it, bring a valid ID, and make sure to have told the sender that the name on the envelope must be an exact match with that in your passport. For addresses of post offices, as well as more information, consult the TNT website.

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This is version 10. Last edited at 8:57 on Sep 20, 18 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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