Tiengemeten, a fantastic nature island near the city

Tiengemeten is the last real island in the southwest of the Netherlands. It is near industrial Rotterdam and can only be reached by ferry. Here, you will find an oasis of wide open, water-rich delta nature where you can leave the bustle of the city behind. Discover the robust grazing cattle, the marshy reed beds, thousands of water birds, and centuries-old orchards. If you pay attention, you will even see beaver lodges along the banks.

Photo: Ellen van den Doel
Nationaal Park NLDelta - Tiengemeten landschap
Photo: Ellen van den Doel

Lush, wild and melancholy

Tiengemeten is the Netherlands’ biggest nature development project. What started as a sand bank in the Haringvliet, became an island over the course of centuries.

The practically uninhabited island consists of three landscapes, each with its own charm and free nature. In the east, you’ll believe yourself on 19th-century farmland since heirloom vegetables like runner beans and beets are still grown here. The center of the island is rough grassland and open water, a natural treasury of NLDelta and a paradise for birds. Towards the west of the island is the least accessible area with mudflats and marshlands, but even this landscape can be navigated! You are allowed to hike all over the island and discover its countless riches.

Schotse hooglander
Photo: Claudia et Clément

Rambling permitted!

Roam around 'the Wildernis' and discover that the water is in charge here. The Wildernis is the freshwater tidal zone on the western side of Tiengemeten and has a dynamic nature. Chances are good you will encounter a Scottish highland cow, and you might even see an osprey.

To bed with the birds

When the last ferry has left and only the local residents remain, it is truly quiet on the island. You will be able to enjoy the birds looking for a place to sleep, the vast landscape with the red and pink glow of the setting sun, and the real island feeling. Unique in the Dutch Delta. Experience real silence and a truly dark night – it is pitch black here unless the stars guide your way.

Beaver excursion in the twilight

There are only a few places to spend the night on this virtually uninhabited island, but they are even more special because of it. A fantastic nature experience on a truly silent and dark island. You can book a room at Herberg Tiengemeten or, if you are a real adventurer, on the adjacent campground. From here, you can join a forest ranger on a beaver excursion or go for a walk on your own.

Bron: Natuurmonumenten - J Lehmann

A night under the starry skies

A single day is really too short for you to experience the entire island. You can extend your island adventure and spend the night in a cosy lockkeeper's house. Or stay in the traditional inn. As soon as the last ferry leaves the quay, everything grows silent and the birds look for a place to roost. Breathtaking! 

Tiengemeten island in hibernation

Nature is beautiful in the winter months as well, and you can visit Tiengemeten almost every day. Because most of the branches are bare, you can spot wintering birds quiet easily. On cold days, we highly recommend wearing warm clothes and bringing a thermos with a hot drink

Complete your visit

For a great start to your day on Tiengemeten, visit Gasterij De Gezusters for a delicious cup  of coffee or tea and a tasty treat. Gasterij De Gezusters, based in the oldest farm on the island, is at approximately 250 meters from the ferry. It is also a great place to enjoy a nutritious lunch or refreshments on the terrace.

When I board the ferry to Tiengemeten island in the Haringvliet, I always feel like I’m on holiday. The nature island is a peaceful oasis, and just a stone’s throw away from Rotterdam.

Eduard Reuvers Forest Range on Tiengemeten nature island