A charming historic Texel village overlooking marshes brimming with birds and salt water-loving plants 

Sitting pretty on the island of Texel by the Wadden Sea, Oosterend is a sunny Dutch haven of fragrant pine forests drifting into white sand beaches, and salt marshes filled with flowers and delicious, edible sea plants. Hikers and bird lovers flock to this incredibly varied landscape to experience nature at its wild and beautiful best. There’s also plenty to discover in Oosterend’s tree-lined cobbled streets and alleyways – its impressive 11th century church setting the historic feel of the village. 

Things To Do

Binoculars at the ready… Texel has nearly 40 nature reserves to choose from. Long-legged stilt walkers and large terns fly into Utopia to rest, feed and hatch along the vast salt marshes. Look out for meadow and migratory birds in the flower-filled grasslands of Drijvers Vogelweid. Head out further to reach the diked Ottersaat area, where, during summer, you’ll be treated to vibrant displays of strawberry clover, sea lavender, sea aster and glasswort – the only types of plants that tolerate the brackish water.

Home to five different religions in one village, Oosterend was once known as the 'Jerusalem of the North'. Join the locals hunting for treasures in the busy flea market, and learn about Texel’s fishing and naval traditions at the Kaap Skil, Museum van Jutters & Zeelui. Step inside replicas of a fisherman’s and blacksmith’s house from centuries ago, along with a fully-functional windmill. There’s also a whole building filled with curious artifacts found on the Texel jutters (shores). 

Explore Texel’s national parks by following the red, yellow, blue or green trails – on foot or by bike. Enjoy a taste of the island’s 18th century oyster and seaweed trade at Oude Oesterhaven by foraging for fresh oysters. Foodies might enjoy an outdoor cooking course at Natuur Goed – its edible nature garden lets visitors feast on organically grown plants, nuts and berries. And don’t miss climbing the 118 steps to the top of Texel’s iconic red lighthouse. Perched at the island’s northernmost tip, you’re greeted by panoramic views of the Wadden and North Sea. 

Top Tip from SLH

Many Oosterend shops offer visitors a free map of the Historical Leitjesroute. Look out for the slates on landmark buildings which have interesting details about their history and who lived there.