Magazine article Sunset

Holland's Quietest Resort? It May Be Off-Season Vlieland, 1.5 Hours by Ferry from the Mainland

Magazine article Sunset

Holland's Quietest Resort? It May Be Off-Season Vlieland, 1.5 Hours by Ferry from the Mainland

Article excerpt

Holland's quietest resort? It may be off-season Vlieland, 1 1/2 hours by ferry from the mainland

Peace and quiet--that's what you'll find off-season on Vlieland, a tiny dune-ridged island 1 1/2 hours by ferry from Holland's mainland. After a hectic big-city tour of Europe, Vlieland's cobblestone streets and forested trails are a welcome break.

From the moment you step off the ferry and the hotel's horse-drawn carriage arrives to pick up your luggage, you'll be living at the easy pace of one of Holland's quietest resorts.

You can bicycle or walk across meadows or through forests to the island's birdfilled marshes or wide sandy beaches. On the Wadden Sea side, look for the berm-- kwelder in Dutch--where silt deposited by the sea has built up the shoreline. Beyond this, retreating tides reveal a vast mud flat. Large colonies of birds--including the protected eider duck--breed in four nature preserves.

The island's sole village, located near the ferry landing, has hotels, cafes, bike rental shops (bike rental costs about $2 per day), bars, and souvenir shops (cranberry jam is an island specialty). Some old churches and buildings date back to Holland's 17th-century trading heyday.

Vlieland's small family-run hotels are comfortable (many have private baths) and inexpensive. Off-season, full room and board ranges from $18 to $25 a day. Most hotels are within walking distance of the ferry landing, but buses will meet each ferry and take you there. Opposite the ferry landing is the tourist office (V. …

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