Destinations,  Europe,  Netherlands

Ameland tips and amazing things to do

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. Keep on reading to find out what to do on Ameland island in a day – and all my secret Ameland tips.

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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.

Ameland island, Waddenisland, White Sandy Beach of Nes, The Netherlands

How to move around there (special Ameland tips)

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.

Things to do in Ameland

The villages of Ameland, tips on what to do

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. Closeby the town 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 basically only consists of a street lined with a couple of houses.

Other things to do in Ameland

Since 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. On the beach you can find four beach clubs that are open all year round offering delicious food and drinks.

Near the town of Hollum, you can see the very famous Vuurtoren of Ameland, which is a Lighthouse with a great view over the island. If you find yourself craving some pancakes after visiting the Vuurtoren, you have to visit the Pannenkoekenhuis right next to it. Great Ameland tip: Rumour has it, that this places serve the most delicious pancakes on the island.

Also is 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 flower and buying some little souvenirs in the shop.

Animal lovers will love the possibility of taking a boat tour to see Sea Lions. We did not take the tour ourselves, but we were lucky enough to spot a sea lion on our way home to Friesland.

Ameland from above and Ameland beach, text saying Ameland things to do

Culinary tips for Ameland

There are many cute little restaurants and brasseries that serve delicious and fresh fish and seafood. Enjoy the catch of the day or opt for other famous Dutch snacks. Try Broodjes Kroket or Borrelplankjes (a mixed platter of cheeses, sausages, and other regional snacks).

We enjoyed a delicious lunch in the small town of Nes, namely in the Restaurant De Jong. If you prefer your food with a view we can recommend the restaurant The Harbour Ameland. It is located right at the ferry departure point, or the Beach Pavillion ‘t Strandhuys.

The restaurant Proeflokaal Rixt has the reputation of being one of the best restaurants on the island of Ameland.

Best hotels in Ameland

Since we did not stay overnight I can only refer you to a selection of greatly recommended hotels in Ameland.

Rose Cottage in Nes

Sier aan Zee

Van Heeckeren Hotel

Overall impression of Ameland

Overall I can recommend Ameland as a Slow Traveler friendly destination. 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. Last Ameland tips: you can also combine your visit there with some of the other Wadden-islands.

Lastly, 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.

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