Terschelling Island (in northern Netherlands) was the ideal place for a short adventure in the middle of nature for Valeria, a 24 year old Romanian woman who visited the Dutch island in the autumn of 2009 and was kind enough to tell us about her experience.
Valeria’s visit to Terschelling was a short, five days trip, occasioned by an international physics conference she attended and she was impressed by the natural scenery, the hospitality, the culture and the habits of this community of around 5,000 people.
We would like to express our thanks to Valeria for accepting to share her experience with us and invite her to send us other interesting stories in the future.
Better Than I Was Expecting
“In the spring of 2009 I found out I was going to attend a conference which was to be held in Terschelling.
Seeking details about our location I found out that Terschelling is a cloudy and windy place, so I must say I was a little skeptical at first, because I had hoped to spend the five days on a sunny and exotic beach. Anyway, once arrived in Terschelling in early September I found this wonderful (even though not so touristy and exotic as a mediterranean resort) place, that I want to tell you about.
The only way to reach the island is by ferry. It took us about 45 minutes to get from Harlingen to Terschelling and the cruise through the North Sea was unforgettable. The transfer from port to our hotel was easy as the distances are short and it’s always very easy to find any location on this island.
Terschelling Island (much of which was declared a nature reserve) is divided into two parts: the south side (with vast green plains which, for centuries, were used for agriculture) and the north side with long stretched beaches, forests and sand dunes.
Today, the island’s main form of income is tourism, as this place has much to offer to tourists interested in unique, surprising natural landscapes.
Together with National Geographic, the authorities of Terschelling have developed a project called Speaking Landscape. The project consists of placing the well known yellow frame (the symbol of National Geographic) near some of the most beautiful landscapes on the island: sand dunes, lakes and fields of flowers.
The island is also famous for cranberries cultivation. It is said that in 1840 a barrel of cranberries coming from a ship that was crossing the North Sea was washed ashore on the beaches of the island; the fruits had since adapted to the soil and can be found almost everywhere in Terschelling. Today, the locals cultivate these fruits for their own use, as well as for commercial purposes.
Within the populated area of the island you will find narrow streets with chic, small houses and very few cars, the main means of transport being the bicycle.
What can You do in Terschelling?
For me, touring the island on a bicycle was the best way to discover the local attractions. Within approximately six hours I toured the beaches, the pine forests grown straight from the sand, the harbor, the narrow, paved streets and the green plains from the south side of the island.
The bike tour was very pleasant, the only discomfort being the everlasting wind, which is present all over the island, especially on the seashore, where the breeze is quite strong.
Besides bicycle rides, you can also try horseback riding and hiking, while the lighthouse from Terschelling, called Brandaris, (built in 1594, renovated and modernized several times over the centuries) is a place where you can take some great pictures.
De Boschplaat, a protected nature reserve since 1970 is also a place which you should not miss.
Terschelling is all about natural attractions, so the things I found most interesting here were all nature related: the lazy seals lying in the sun, the seagulls hunting for fish, the pine forests, the sea and the windy beaches.”
Valeria also sent us a set of photos she took while visiting the island, part of which you could see in this article. Make sure you come back soon, as we are preparing the second part of this set of photos from the beautiful Terschelling, courtesy of our friend, Valeria.
*Photos belong to their author and cannot be used without permission.