During low tide, the sandbanks will show, and it will become possible to walk over the bottom of the sea. The Dutch call this ‘Wadlopen’. Led by a guide, you can take a walk over this area during these hours. Wadlopen is a very exciting and adventurous way to get to know this beautiful piece of nature in the north of the Netherlands.
Can you think of a nice and more beautiful way to enjoy the nature in the Frisian Island area than to enjoy Wadlopen, as the Dutch call it? All groups will be led by experienced guides who won’t underestimate the hazards of the Waddenzee. They will take the group with them and they will also show you plants, birds and fish which you will encounter during the walk. This dry bottom of the sea does not only exists of sandbanks, but also has marshes, mud fields and deep and shallow trenches.
If you are lucky, you will see eye to eye with a group of playing or sunbathing seals on a sandbank.
For the rest the walk is a fight with nature. During hours you will walk through mud, and sometimes you will sink into it quite deep, until you will arrive at one of the Frisian Islands. The certificated guides have finished a hard training of at least three years, so they would be prepared for all kinds of weather types (with the treacherous tides), the changing flora & fauna and the administering of first aid in case of an emergency.
Most of the tours start from the Frisian mainland towards Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. The first part will lead over mud flats, which are very muddy. This will take approximately an hour. Then the tour will continue over the bottom of the Waddenzee. Through trenches which can be up to a meter deep. A full tour will have a duration of about three to five hours, depending on the route chosen.
So only take part in such a tour if you are completely healthy and fit. As soon as you have started you are dependent on the tide. Wadlopen is a real sport, sometimes you will literally have to wrestle through the mud. You will be surrounded by nothing but sea, wind and water. The Waddenzee is very treacherous, so only take a tour with a guide, and never do one on your own, so nothing can happen to you.
Prepare yourself well, for the Wadlopen!
- Sturdy walking shoes;
- A suitable backpack;
- Plenty of food and drinks (no alcohol);
- Shorts or leggings (jeans are certainly not recommended);
- Warm sweater, windproof jacket, warm hat, scarf and gloves;
- Dry clothes and a towel for after the walk.
- The abone mentioned equipment can be best put into a plastic bag, so everything will remain dry in the backpack;
- Sunglasses and sunscreen.
Wadlopen is only possible when the weather is good. Usually the organization decides 24 hours up front if the tour will take place or not. With regard to the safety the tour will not take place during bad weather. For more information about the Wadlopen you can contact one of the organizations below. All three of them offer different tours with different lengths and durations.
- Stichting Wadloopcentrum Pieterburen; Rottumeroog, Simonszand, Engelsmanplaat, Ameland & Schiermonnikoog
- Noordwester; Vlieland
- Robbentocht Texel; Texel
- Puur Terschelling; Terschelling
- Wadloopcentrum Fryslân; Texel, Terschelling, Ameland & Schiermonnikoog
- Stichting Uithuizer Wad; Rottumeroog
- Fryske Waedrinners; Ameland
- Dijkstra's Wadlooptochten; Ameland & Schiermonnikoog
- Wadgids.nl; Ameland & Schiermonnikoog
- Wadlopen met kleine groepen; Ameland & Schiermonnikoog
- Waddenschipper; Schiermonnikoog