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A long weekend in Texel!

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In this article, I'd like to introduce you to a long-weekend destination you may not have heard of: Texel Island, the first of the Frisian Islands in the north of the Netherlands. It's a true haven of peace, perfect for recharging your batteries and reconnecting with nature!



  1. How to get there (from Brussels)?

  2. Itinerary for a long weekend by bike

  3. Where to sleep?

  4. Where to eat?


1. How to get there (from Brussels)?

There are two ways to get to Texel from Brussels: by car or by train.

If you want to get there by car, you'll first need to drive to the TESO pier in Den Helder, in the far north of the Netherlands, a journey of around 3 hours 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. Once you've arrived at the pier, you'll need to take the TESO ferry with your vehicle (which will cost you between 26 and 39 euros, depending on whether you're traveling on weekdays or weekends). The crossing to Texel Island is then very quick, taking a total of 20 minutes. Ferries run from 6.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m., every hour, and even every half-hour during peak periods. So you don't need to book a date or time slot in advance: you arrive and board straight away. There are toilets on the ferry, as well as various catering facilities.

Now, if you want to get to Texel by train from Brussels, you'll also need to travel to the town of Den Helder by rail. You have two options. The first, and fastest, is to take the Thalys from Brussels-Midi station to Amsterdam Centraal station (1h50 journey time), then, once in Amsterdam Centraal, take a Dutch national train to Den Helder station (1h17 journey time). This is also the most expensive solution, especially at the last minute. A cheaper, but more time-consuming alternative, is to take the Belgian national train, then the Dutch, from Brussels to Den Helder. Once you've arrived at Den Helder station, you'll need to make your way to the TESO pier (either on foot, which takes around 30 minutes, or by bus 33 from Den Helder station to the pier, which takes around 15 minutes). You'll then need to take the TESO ferry as a pedestrian. This will cost you 2.50 euros (the return journey is always included in the price of the ticket).


2. Itinerary for a long weekend by bike

My husband and I spent three nights on the island of Texel during a long weekend in May 2023, and did all our cycling on the island. Indeed, just after disembarking from the TESO ferry, we rented our two Gazelle electric bikes (24.50 euros / day) from the Fietsverhuur Veerhaven Texel rental company, located right on the harbor. On this subject, I'd strongly recommend booking your bikes in advance on the rental company's website, to make sure you'll have the model you want, and don't hesitate to bring your own helmets if you don't want to pay the rental fee (even though we saw very few people wearing helmets on the island, it's always safer to wear one).

Day 1: De Koog village and beach

We arrived late afternoon on a Friday at the Het Uilenbos hotel (which I'll talk about in the third part of this article) and stayed on in the village of De Koog, dining on the terrace at Vis Van Beek to discover the local beers and eat fresh fish, before enjoying a magnificent sunset on the town's huge beach, which is very photogenic, especially with its white and blue beach huts.

Day 2: Eierland lighthouse, Texel dunes national park, double gourmet break at De Cocksdorp, villages of Oosterend and Den Burg

We started the second day with a long pedal to the magnificent red-and-white Eierland lighthouse, the picture-postcard image to the north of Texel. Along the way, we had the pleasure of observing traditional island farms with their thatched roofs, cows, horses, pigs, sheep by the thousands, pheasants... All around the lighthouse, the sublime Texel Dunes National Park unfolds, with its immense beach and end-of-the-world feel - a delight! On a clear day, you can even make out the next island, Vlieland.

We then took our first gourmet break near the lighthouse, at De Cocksdorp, and more precisely at Lange Ben - IJs Patat Vis, over a hearty and delicious fish and chips. We then made a second culinary stop at the nearby IJsboerderij Labora farm, where we indulged in a delicious homemade strawberry and whipped cream ice cream, surrounded by children's games and animals including peacocks.

Then we were back on our bikes to the charming and atypical village of Oosterend, with its beautiful traditional brick and wood houses, on the eastern side of the island. We then took a tour of the island's central capital, Den Burg, which we weren't too keen on, before returning to De Koog and enjoying a quiet evening at the hotel. Yes, the bike and the sea air are tiring!

Day 3: Ecomare Museum, Den Hoorn village, Georgian military cemetery and Oudeschild harbour

We kicked off the third and final day with a visit to Ecomare, located in De Koog, which is a mix between an oceanographic center dedicated to the Wadden Sea and the North Sea, an aquarium and a seal sanctuary.

We then headed for the village of Den Hoorn, in the south of the island, with its beautiful Protestant church. In the same village, we wolfed down huge savory pancakes and a delicious apple pie at the Pannenkoekenhuis Klif 23.

We then cycled to the Georgian military cemetery in Den Burg. Did you know that the island of Texel is sometimes referred to as the last European battlefield of the Second World War? Indeed, while the island was occupied by the Germans, Georgian soldiers of the Georgian Legion led an insurrection from April 5 to May 20, 1945, which ended in failure, before the Canadian army put an end to German activities on the island in May 1945.

Our final stop was at the charming port of Oudeschild, on the eastern side of the island, before returning to our base at De Koog. Our last evening was marked by an aperitif on the beach, watching the kites and the sunset.


3. Where to sleep?

During our long weekend on the island of Texel in May 2023, we stayed at the hotel Het Uilenbos, located in the seaside city of De Koog on the west side of the island, but my opinion of it is mixed.

Indeed, the welcome is pleasant, the hotel is well located, close to the village and De Koog beach, both within walking distance, and offers ample parking for cars and bicycles. On the other hand, the interior is rather kitschy, with old-fashioned rooms and dated bedding, although very clean and large. As far as breakfast is concerned, there's plenty of choice, but it's of industrial quality. I chose this hotel because it was a very last-minute booking in the spring of 2023, and the "best" choice in this context at a reasonable rate (130 euros per night when booking direct, breakfast included).

However, I'd be more inclined to point you in the direction of two other establishments that had caught my eye, but which were no longer available at last minute when we came to the island: the B&B Hotel De Waal, located in the eponymous town in the center of the island, and the Boutique Hotel Texel, located in De Cocksdorp, in the north of the island.


4. Where to eat?

I have four gourmet recommendations for different times of the day:

1) For fresh fish on the terrace in De Koog: Vis Van Beek

2) For hearty fish and chips on the go in De Cocksdorp: Lange Ben - IJs Patat Vis

3) Treat yourself to delicious home-made ice cream on a farm with animals and children's games in De Cocksdorp (their specialty is aardbeien knoert with a cone, two scoops of your choice of ice cream, fresh Texel strawberries, strawberry sauce and whipped cream): IJsboerderij Labora

4) For an enormous sweet and/or savoury pancake in Den Hoorn: Pannenkoekenhuis Klif 23


=> I hope this article has helped you prepare for your stay on Texel Island, and if you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me, I'll be happy to get back to you!


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