Destinations,  Europe,  Friesland,  getting Dutch,  The Netherlands

W is for Wadlopen or how to cross to Ameland without a ferry

Wadlopen (or mudwalking) is for me one of the must do in Friesland (Friesland and Groningen are the only provinces in The Netherlands where you can do that). There are many routes, as you can cross from the mainland to Ameland or to Schiermonnikoog, or take a tour to one of the sand flats. In one team outing, we crossed from the mainland to Ameland and then walked to the ferry. The crossing was around 9-10km, but in total we walked around 23 km.

Wadlopen – crossing to Ameland

Wadlopen is only possible with a guide, as the ways changes every year. It’s also dangerous to walk on your own, as you only have around 4 hours to cross. At the beginning and at the end of the tide is not possible to cross in some parts and also the currents are quite strong. The main organization for guided tours in Friesland is  Wadlopcentrum Friesland and it offers all kind of tours, from one day to a weekend. You can see here all tours. The tour of Ameland was around 23€ including the ferry to return back to the mainland.

Wadlopen Ameland
Wadlopen Ameland

In our tour we followed a bit the coast at the beginning, where the ground is really muddy and at a times you get stuck up to your knee! Well, you can see that you get very dirty, no matter what you do.

Wadlopen Ameland - the muddy part
Wadlopen Ameland – the muddy part

But the dirt is cleaned while you are crossing some water streams. Sometimes the water is up to your waste or even up to your neck!! At least that was the case for me, Dutch are much bigger than me, so our group split into two. The first group crossed and the water was up to the chest for very tall people. I would have been completely covered in water and as I had my camera in my bag i didn’t want to “swim”. I joined a second group that walked further to find a spot where the water wasn’t that high.

Wadlopen Ameland
Wadlopen Ameland

After that the walk is easy, as the ground is hard and you can walk normally, and the landscape is beautiful.

Wadlopen Ameland
Wadlopen Ameland

At some points, there’re also ships waiting for the high tide. That gives you an indication of how big is the difference between low and high tide.

Wadlpen Ameland - ships waiting for high tide
Wadlpen Ameland – ships waiting for high tide

Crossing to Ameland is one of the challenging routes, but the most challenging is crossing to Terschelling, for which you have first to do a return crossing to Ameland in one tide. When we got to Ameland after around three hours, I was happy I didn’t have to come back. It was fun, but I was already tired. Crossing to Terschelling might be an extra item for the bucket list 🙂

Wadlopen Ameland - my shoes
Wadlopen Ameland – my shoes

 Does Wadlopen sound like something fun to do?  Would you dare?


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