Texel island, a popular weekend destination from Amsterdam, is a fabulous place for families! Victoria Chorny tells us all about it.
When my husband suggested a weekend getaway to Texel, I didn’t have many expectations. All I knew was that it’s one of the islands up north, where Dutch people go on holidays, and is seemingly always sunny, so I was pleasantly surprised when people assured me we were going to have a wonderful time. Having been there now myself, I completely agree! The weekend overall was relaxing and interesting, with beautiful views and nice experiences.
My first tip is to buy a ferry ticket in advance on their website. I cannot describe our joy when we passed the long line of cars waiting to buy their ticket! The ferry ride is very quick, about 20 minutes, and has nice views from the decks, if you can stand the cold and the wind.
We rented a bungalow at Bremakker. It’s quite small compared to the large Center Parcs/Landal but still has an eetcafe and a playground, with the dunes of Texel National Park at your back door. Brekmakker is close to the largest village in Texel, Den Burg, where you can find large supermarkets, restaurants and cafes, and cute shops. Actually, the island is quite small, so everything is located within a 30-minute drive by car. Hiking is also very popular, with separate bike paths next to the main roads.
Things to Do:
Our first visit was to the red and white Vuurtoren, the famous lighthouse at the northern tip of Texel, which appears on all Texel postcards. Our 6-year-old had no problem climbing up and the view is nice from the top. The lighthouse stands on a wide beach where kids have lots of space to run around and next to the beach there is a nice cafe with a view, where we had a really good lunch.
There are many farms on Texel, where children can interact with the animals or learn about farming. We went to a popular sheep farm, where kids can hold and pet small lambs and chicks. Our daughter enjoyed the demonstration of Shepherd dogs herding sheep around. We visited another farm, which makes its own ice cream and uses a special milking robot for their cows.The ice cream was average, but the demonstration of the milking robots was really interesting. Also, there is a large playground with trampolines where the kids can play, while the parents relax over a cup of coffee.
If your kids are crazy about swimming like our daughter is, but your accommodation hasn't got a pool, it’s possible to use the inside swimming pool at hotel Opduin. We paid €16 for three people. The pool is open from 7am to 11pm and after 4:30pm you can also use the saunas (hammam and dry). For more information, visit their website.
Flying a proper kite can be a lot of fun on the large wide beaches, though a simple kid’s kite will break, because of the strong winds. Even better is the great beer you can have afterwards, Texels, which is locally brewed and has several flavours. We didn’t get a chance to visit the brewery, but we'll definitely stop by on our next trip.
For dinner options, I would recommend reserving ahead. It may seem like there aren’t many people on the island, but the restaurants can fill up in the evening. For a beach-sunset dinner, we liked Strand Paal 17, good-quality dishes made with local produce. We also really enjoyed having dinner at Quinty, a restaurant on the main street in De Koog. Surprisingly nice food considering how touristy the village is. There is a special atmosphere and a large play corner for kids. On our last night, we ate in an old farm, which served nice large family dishes and had a huge fireplace in the middle of it. The best part was the climbing playground in the attic. Also, there was a large playground outside with a big climbing installation.
Looking for family-friendly accommodation on Texel? Book your stay via booking.com/amsterdammamas and we'll receive a portion of the reservation value. Find the perfect accommodation for your family and support Amsterdam Mamas at the same time!
Victoria Chorny is from the Ukraine and has lived in the Netherlands for 15 years, 9 of those in Amsterdam. She’s married to a French man and has a 6-year-old daughter. Her hobbies are yoga, mindfulness, and healthy cooking. Her favourite thing to do is go on holiday!