Are you looking for Ameland Tips and some things to do on the Wadden island? Then I got you covered!
Ameland is a West Frisian island, off the northern coast of the Netherlands. Consisting mostly of dunes and white sandy beaches, Ameland Island is attracting tourists from all over the Netherlands and Germany.
We decided spontaneously to hop on a ferry and have a look around this cute island ourselves. To make the planning a bit easier for you, I have created this post with all my favorite travel tips!
Keep on reading to find out what to do on Ameland island in a day – and all my secret Ameland tips.
Table of Contents
- How to Get to Ameland From the Mainland
- How to Move Around on Ameland
- The Villages of Ameland
- Things to Do in Ameland Tips
- Where to Eat in Ameland
- Best Time to Visit Ameland
- Best Hotels in Ameland
- Conclusion: Ameland Tips and Things to Do
- About the Author
How to Get to Ameland From the Mainland
Most people reach Ameland with the ferry that takes off from the Frisian town Holwert.
The ferry leaves almost every hour and the faster one can get you there in roughly 20 minutes. If you chose to bring your car you’ll have to stick with the normal ferry service, which takes around 50 minutes.
Ameland does have a very small airport so you could also reach the island via airplane.
Theoretically, you could also walk over to Ameland when the tide between Frisland and Ameland is very low, but I would not recommend this as a main way of transportation.
Tip for visiting Ameland: why not combine your visit with a day in Texel, Terschelling or Vlieland? All of the Wadden-Islands are worth a visit.
How to Move Around on Ameland
Ameland island is only 25 km long and is home to roughly 100 km of cycling paths.
If you chose to bring your car over with the ferry, the island is pretty easy to navigate around, since it’s so small.
For everyone else, I recommend borrowing a bike for the day. Firstly, you can easily and cheaply rent a bike right at the ferry station.
Secondly, the island is very biker friendly, you can find amazing natural bike roads that take you all across the beautiful island of Ameland.
If you want to reserve a special bike in advance (such as electrical bikes) I can recommend the companies Fietsverhuur Ameland and Kiewiet Fietsverhuur. Both companies offer relatively cheap options for all kinds of vehicles.
The Villages of Ameland
We decided to take this day slow and explore the village of Nes first thing upon arrival. It is merely 5 minutes away from the port and known for its cute picturesque streets, filled with little shops and restaurants.
The island has four bigger villages. All four of the villages are protected and have their unique characteristics. A while ago there were two additional villages, Oerd and Sier, that have been flooded in the past and are now below sea level. The two ferry lines have been named in honor of these villages.
The village Nes is in my opinion the nicest one on the island. There are plenty of terraces to enjoy a delicious meal at and get some nice vacation vibes. The village of Hollum is similar, but much less relaxed than Nes.
On the village Ballum you can find the airport of the island, that offers flights around the island as well as skydiving experiences.
Close-by the town of Ballum you can find the brewery of the island that offers tours and tastings. Their most famous product is the liqueur. They make it with fresh cranberries grown on the island.
The last village Buren is the smallest of them all and only consists of a street lined with a couple of houses.
Things to Do in Ameland Tips
- Go to the Beach: Ameland is famous for its white sandy beaches and endless dunes! We decided to head there after a nice and typical Dutch lunch in Nes. Fun fact: Ameland has one of the longest sandy beaches in all of Europe. Apart from the southern side, the island’s coast is completely lined with beaches. We headed to the less busy beach Nes, however, we spent a joyful day looking at the waves, tipping our toes in the cooling water, and wandering along the dunes.
- Check out the Beach Clubs in Nes: On the beach, you can find four beach clubs that are open all year round offering delicious food and drinks.
- Visit the Vuurtoren of Ameland: The very famous Vuurtoren of Ameland is a Lighthouse with a great view over the island
- Eat some Pancakes: If you find yourself craving some pancakes after visiting the Vuurtoren, you have to visit the Pannenkoekenhuis right next to the Vuurtoren of Ameland. Pancakes are typical Dutch dishes, so make sure to not miss out on them. Ameland Tip: This restaurants is said to have the best pancakes on the island.
- Visit the Verwachting: The town of Hollum home to a very famous Mustard Mill, called the Verwachting. You can tour the Verwachting and learn about making mustard and flour and buying some little souvenirs in the shop.
- Take a boat tour and see the sea lions: The Wadden Sea is home to many cute little sea lions. Make sure to visit them with a boat tour. If you are lucky, you might have already seen them on the ferry over from the mainland.
- Explore the picturesque village of Nes, known for its charming streets, shops, and restaurants.
- Take a leisurely bike ride around the island and discover its beautiful landscapes and scenic coastline. There are some amazing bike lanes on the island, so it is really easy. You can rent your bike at the harbor or in the towns.
- Participate in some water sports like surfing or kite-surfing – how much fun is that!
- Visit the Nature Center Ameland to learn about the island’s unique flora and fauna. They even have an exhibition about the cute seals that live in Ameland.
- Take a guided horseback riding tour and explore the island’s dunes and forests. I love horseback riding tours, they are usually a very relaxed way of discovering the island, and the horses don’t have it as hard walking on the sand dunes.
- Visit the Ameland Museum Sorgdrager to delve into the island’s rich history and culture.
- Take a guided tour of the Cranberry Farm, where you can learn about the cultivation and harvesting of cranberries. Maybe even try some cranberry beer?
- Explore the historic village of Hollum. It is known for its beautiful old houses and the big Dutch Reformed Church.
- Embark on a boat trip to the nature reserve of Het Oerd. It is known for its stunning dunes and wildlife.
- Enjoy a round of golf at the Ameland Golf Club. It is surrounded by breathtaking views.
- Visit the Bunker Museum Ameland to discover the island’s World War II history and explore the underground bunkers. I love historical museums like these.
- Visit the Eendenkooi op Ameland, a traditional duck decoy. You can learn about the historic method of catching wild ducks. It is so interesting.
- Explore the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage site by taking a guided tour. The more adventurous people among us can even participate in a mudflat hiking excursion.
- Ride a traditional horse-drawn carriage around Ameland
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Where to Eat in Ameland
Er zijn veel leuke restaurantjes en brasserieën die heerlijke en verse vis en zeevruchten serveren in Ameland. Deze eettips voor Ameland zullen goud waard zijn voor je bezoek!
Geniet van de vangst van de dag of kies voor andere lekkere hapjes. Neem een broodje kroket of geniet van een heerlijk borrelplankje.
Wij zelf genoten van een heerlijke lunch in het dorpje Nes, in Restaurant De Jong. Als je liever met uitzicht eet, kunnen we restaurant De Haven Ameland aanbevelen. Het ligt direct bij de vertrekplaats van de veerboot.
Het Strandpaviljoen ‘t Strandhuys serveert ook heerlijke maaltijden met uitzicht.
Het restaurant Proeflokaal Rixt heeft de reputatie een van de beste restaurants op Ameland te zijn.
Best Time to Visit Ameland
The weather in the Netherlands is extremely unpredictable. There is no for-sure time when I can guarantee you good weather. However, in some seasons you might have a bigger chance of a sunshine day!
Here are some of my tips on when to best visit Ameland:
- Spring (March to May):
- Spring in Ameland is offering milder temperatures and longer daylight hours
- The average temperatures range from 6°C (43°F) in March to 15°C (59°F) in May.
- It can be a bit windy during this season, so make sure to bring a light jacket or sweater.
- The end of May is my favorite time to visit Ameland. The weather is nice, but there are less tourists.
- Spring tip: combine your trip to the Netherlands and Ameland with a day trip to the Keukenhof near Amsterdam.
- Summer (June to August):
- Summer in Ameland usually brings pleasant and relatively mild weather (keep in mind that it still rains a lot in the Netherlands)
- Average temperatures range from 15°C (59°F) to 20°C (68°F), with occasional heatwaves reaching the mid-20s°C (mid-70s°F).
- The island experiences longer days, which is great for outdoor activities and beach visits.
- Summer is a popular time for tourists, so expect the island to be busier during this season.
- Autumn (September to November):
- Autumn in Ameland is characterized by cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall. It can be grey and dreary.
- Average temperatures range from 12°C (54°F) in September to 8°C (46°F) in November.
- The island’s landscapes transform into beautiful autumn colors, making it a great time for nature walks and hikes. The fall foliage in Ameland is beautiful.
- It’s advisable to bring a jacket and rain gear to prepare for cooler and wetter days.
- In autumn you will not have the chance to sit on the beach most likely, so keep that in mind.
- Winter (December to February):
- Winter in Ameland brings colder temperatures and a chance of frost. It is not a very pleasant time for a beach vacation.
- Average temperatures range from 5°C (41°F) to 8°C (46°F). Sometimes the temperatures drop below freezing.
- It can be windy during winter, so it’s important to dress warmly with layers and bring a waterproof jacket.
- Winter offers a quieter and more serene atmosphere, ideal for those seeking a peaceful getaway. But keep in mind that you might have to spend your weekend inside.
Best Hotels in Ameland
We did not stay overnight in Ameland on this trip. However, I do recommend spending a long weekend or at least a night in Ameland. The island is small, but you might quickly lose track of time wandering all the beautiful beaches!
Here are a couple of recommendations for hotels in Ameland if you wish to stay overnight:
Conclusion: Ameland Tips and Things to Do
This brings us to the end of my Ameland tips and things to do post. Overall, I absolutely adore the little island.
Staying either for a day or even for a small vacation on the charming little island is much recommended. As mentioned before, the people on the island are very slow-paced and calm.
The endless white sandy beaches are radiating major vacation vibes. All in all, I would definitely rate Ameland as one of the most beautiful spots in the Netherlands.
Make sure to go in spring or summer, to make the most our of your beach vacation.
About the Author
Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together with her husband.
She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.