Wadden Sea World Heritage
You hear and smell the sea everywhereThe Dutch Wadden Sea area is thoroughly connected to the ancient rhythm of ebb and flow. Here you find a natural World Heritage site that has no equal: the Wadden Sea. You can let yourself be completely carried away by the wind and water. The bottom of the mud flats rises above sea level twice a day. If you take the time here, nature will reward you with its unyielding and vulnerable character.
By land, by sea and in the air
You can really clear your head here and then fill it up again with everything you experience in the unique northern part of the Netherlands. The Wadden area starts at the Dutch city of Den Helder and runs along the German coast and ends in Esbjerg in Denmark. A chain of islands forms a natural barrier between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea. The sea is both friend and enemy here. The Wadden coast reflects the age-old battle between people and water: the genesis of the country. Together with centuries-old dikes, the artificial mounds known as terpen in Friesland and wierden in Groningen form an impressive cultural landscape. Then there is the intensely dark sky - the darkest sky found in the Netherlands. It stretches across the entire Wadden area. Lauwersmeer National Park and the Boschplaat on the island of Terschelling are even designated Dark Sky Parks. You can stargaze until your head swims.
Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage
UNESCO designated the Wadden Sea a World Heritage Site in 2009, a nature reserve unlike any other in the world. Weather, wind and water conjure up the most beautiful wild nature here. You can basically see the line between land and water shift before your very eyes. Go exploring in salt marshes and dunes, or walk across the sea floor during low tide: an experience you will never forget.
The Wadden Sea World Heritage site serves as a home or a stop-over for millions of birds. Along with many other plant and animal species, they are part of a perfectly balanced ecosystem. You can see unusual birds when you take the time to look around. And maybe even a seal! No luck? Visit the Ecomare or Pieterburen seal sanctuary.
There are five inhabited islands in the Dutch Wadden Sea: Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. The residents of these islands and along the coast have a reputation for being idiosyncratic and inventive. They have made careful use of the ever-changing nature for centuries. Examples include the terpen and wierden and dikes that were built to protect themselves from the sea. Or the new project Holwerd aan Zee, which involves reconnecting a village to the Wadden Sea instead of keeping it isolated from the water. Trendy cultural events such as the Oerol and Into the Great Wide Open festivals are very well known in and outside the Wadden Sea region, too. Nature is a focal point in every case.