Get away from it all on this relaxing 5-day escape. This trip takes you to a unique landscape in the far north of the Netherlands where a chain of small islands awaits in the Wadden Sea. You'll visit two of these islands — Texel and Vlieland — to enjoy leisurely bike rides, dazzling sand dunes, endless beaches, and vast marshes populated with diverse birdlife. Wade through mud flats, feast on freshly caught seafood, view a historic collection of messages-in-bottles, and walk for hours on the coast: there's so much to see and do on this laid-back island itinerary.


  • Hike around the sand dunes of the quiet island of Texel
  • Discover the mesmerizing landscapes of car-free Vlieland
  • Travel from one island to another by boat
  • Explore the islands on foot and e-bike
  • Dine on freshly caught seafood

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Explore the Island of Texel Texel
Day 2 Hike the Sand Dunes & Visit Fishing Villages on Texel Texel
Day 3 Cycle Around the Car-Free Island of Vlieland Texel
Day 4 Go Hiking Through Mud Flats in Texel Texel
Day 5 Depart Texel - End of Trip   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Explore the Island of Texel

A bright red lighthouse on Texel

Welcome to the Netherlands and the island of Texel. Along the way, you'll spot Texel’s magnificent bright red lighthouse. When you arrive in the harbor, a taxi will be waiting to take you to the small town of De Cocksdorp. Walk to the lighthouse, wander around the beach at low tide, cycle around the area, and enjoy views of large flocks of sheep grazing the pastures. I Hop on bicycles for a short tour in the afternoon. The coastal landscapes are especially lovely at low tide, and along the way, you'll spot large flocks of sheep grazing the pastures.

Then go for dinner in nearby Den Hoorn, where fresh seafood dishes are superb. Also be sure to try local cheese and lamb, two regional specialties. n the evening, sample local specialties like lamb, cheese, and seafood in one of the island's family-run restaurants.

Day 2: Hike the Sand Dunes & Visit Fishing Villages on Texel

A solitary church on the island of Texel

Today, you'll continue your exploration of Texel on a bicycle. The scenery is quiet and stunning, with vast marshes, dazzling sand dunes, and seemingly endless beaches. Birds love these islands and the Wadden Sea, so be sure to bring your binoculars!

Stop at the natural area of De Slufter, climbing the dunes for mesmerizing views from the top. Bring a picnic lunch and you could easily spend a day hiking here between the sand dunes and the muddy salt marsh. Swimming gear is a good idea as these shallow waters are tempting for travelers of all ages! Later, explore one or two of the island's villages, stopping at local farms to pick your own fruits or sample homemade ice cream. At some farms open to visitors, you can see sheep barns and cows being milked.  

Another interesting stop along the way is the Juttersmuseum Flora near De Koog. This quirky beachcomber museum displays items found on the island's beaches over many years, including a collection of messages-in-bottles. Then cycle along the western side of the island, following the shore of the North Sea. Finish the day with snacks and drinks in one of many beach cafés.

Plan your trip to The Netherlands
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 3: Cycle Around the Car-Free Island of Vlieland

A peaceful beach on the island of Vlieland

Catch a ferry across the Wadden Sea to a chain of small islands where you'll spend the rest of the trip. On arrival at Vlieland, you'll pick up an e-bike to explore the island at your own pace. Pedal along the beach, sit down for a seafood lunch in an oceanfront restaurant, then walk along the sandy shore. The island is car-free (except for a few cars owned by the islanders themselves) and flat, so it’s an excellent destination for families.

Day 4: Go Hiking Through Mud Flats in Texel

Using a fishing net on a sandbar off the coast of Texel

You'll explore the Wadden Sea from a different perspective today. Cycle to the small fishing village of Oudeschild and board a boat that will take you out to sea at low tide. You'll go walking — rubber boots optional — on the mudflats of a sandbar. The mud is full of life: you'll see all kinds of interesting sea creatures as you walk across the muddy surface with a knowledgeable guide. Kids can try catching something with a fishing net, as well. Sometimes your shoes may get stuck in the mud, but that’s part of the fun!

Later, cycle around the island or just relax by the pool back at the campground. Enjoy a leisurely dinner in one of Texel's quaint villages to toast the end of the trip.

Day 5: Depart Texel - End of Trip 

Colorful rows of tulips

This morning, it’s time to bid farewell to the island of Texel. On the way to the harbor to catch the ferry back to the mainland, you might spot some Dutch tulip fields in full bloom. It's a cheerful end to your family's journey! Head to the Amsterdam airport or train station to make your way to your next destination. Safe travels!

More Netherlands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Netherlands? Check out these other Netherlands itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.