Food, Sightseeing, Ski, sports and adventure, Travel Tips, Trekking

Terschelling – the European heaven for a weekend trip

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It’s filled with fun and excitement all year long, and it’s the ideal place to discover the European wonders. The atmosphere is very different from what you usually expect to see in Netherlands, but the good kind of distinct: a unique nature reserve, arched-shaped and gracefully designed to make you come back for another holiday. I’ll just have to take the responsibility for this cliché, but if we’d have to choose the  European spot perfect for recharging the batteries, this would be it.

But enough with the praising. Let’s leave the consideration up to you. There’s more to this place than the beach, and – as odd as it may sound – the experience is, indeed, unique. This is not just another place where there are tons of people making their way to the sand to catch a free spot and admire the sea, no. It’s like there’s been a magical force involved in designing this place flawlessly for the tourists who seek relaxation and a sense of coziness. Just imagine a place where you can feel the comfort and warmth of home, yet all of the problems seem to have disappeared. And because there’s no real home without a pet, find out that there are lots of (harmless, friendly) dogs roaming around the island.

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Horse rides, bird watching, mountain biking, or just walking aimlessly while trying to keep up with the divine landscapes are just a few of the things that we’d recommend as main activities for a blissful weekend. Or you could just as simply engage to take part in wadlopen, the traditional event where you’ll walk from the mainland across the islands at a low tide. Of course, it’s not very suitable if you put very much into being clean. And even so, this place should be the European standard for serenity, and it’s apparently the reason why over a hundred thousand people visit it annually.

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But to celebrate diversity, twice a year this tranquility is traded for two of the most significant cultural events in Netherlands. One is the Oeral Festival, at a time in June when each of the over 45 thousands of visitors who gather for the event are either singing or dancing. The over 80 troups performing celebrate the power of music to get people together. The second event is the rowing boat race, which is not that popular, but part of its spirit is making the tourists feel like they experience something very intimate related to the place and its culture.

But there’s no true romantic atmosphere if there is no lighthouse to guard for the peace of mind and in Terschelling the watchman is called de Brandaris. It is really one of the most popular lighthouses in Netherlands, and if you plan to visit it, you’ll find it in West Terchelling, where the harbor is. Of course, once you’re there it would just be a shame to miss a hiking tour along the Green Beach.

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Plus, if the dogs didn’t scare you too much, you can go watch the seals. Of course, only from a considerable distance, but along with the horse riding this place is culturally diverse from this point of view. And since authenticity isn’t something to get easily, especially from exigent tourists, here’s the top notch: the houses of Terschelling are carefully rebuilt with the typical colored stones, and if you’re for the first time around you won’t even know that they’re apartments for rent now; it just feels like you’ve been teleported to an isolated neighborhood with all the technological commodities of the 21st century, but skipping the bustle and stir.

If there’d be a piece of advice for your trip starting with ‘when in Rome’, in this case this would just have to be: eat cranberries. There are lots of, everywhere, and locals love them. Of course, while you’ll hang out in the lounge area of the hotel, while watching the fireplace while enjoying a glass of wine, a waiter will most certainly explain their love of fruit (and tea, for that matter!) to you. Plus, if you’re well advised, you won’t leave the island without having tried the cranberry cheesecake. It’s every other place and the good part is that the recipes are different, so you’ll be eating two different, tasty desserts with the same name.

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Of course, gun to the head, if we’d have to recommend accommodation and you’re not (very) tight on the budget, that would just have to be Heartbreak Hotel. You see, the name comes with a reputation and speaks for itself. And it wouldn’t be just the everything-Elvis atmosphere mixed with sweet Dutch influences: Outdoor setting to soak in the sun or watch the sunset while eating, a great place if you’d like to make friends or just socialize and, at night, a club where you can dance until the sun shines. All in all, even if you’re not staying here, it’s really a must to visit and be heartbroken, it’s definitely worth it.

When you’re done feasting, you’ll probably want to work out a little – or just do the fun equivalent – water beach related sports. A plethora to choose from, at all time, even without the usual swimming and diving, you’ll notice that even the locals enjoy these activities a lot. Plus, you may want to trade the car for the biking experience on the island. It’s very different from any other pollution-diminishing measure; In Terschlling, it’s more than this. Locals bike as a form of commitment to their quiet piece of heaven; instead of engine revs, you’ll see the locals biking to the beach as a form of gratitude for the calm atmosphere.

Of course, the good part’s that if you’re not in a hurry, going to another island just to have a term of comparison is not only often practiced, but it’s also possible without going to mainland. Texel, Vlieland or Ameland are just as ready to make your extended weekend something to remember.

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