Total size is 316 km² (land: 36 km² / water 280 km²)
Total population: 1103 (Feb. 2012)
There is only 1 village on the island, Oost-Vieland. Once, long ago, there was a second village, but that one disappeared under water. The way the water eats away the land from the north, and other elements deposit land in the south, makes the island move over the centuries. Fascinating.
But keeping to today’s Vlieland, we cycled around the island on our rented e-bikes. We all fell in love with our bikes, giving us the pedal assist whenever needed, and we surely needed it in those up and down dunes and the very strong winds. We enjoyed nature at its best. The dunes, the sea, the birds (Scholekster (Oystercatcher), Kiekendief (Harrier), bergeend (Shelduck), all kinds of gulls, and many many more), even the big, fat ugly caterpillars we saw everywhere. I googled the spiky things later and figured they were Arctia Caja caterpillars. Please correct me if I am wrong.
We were very lucky to see “lepelaars” (Spoonbills) on our last day on Vlieland. No seals though, except for the one, lazing in the sun on a sandbank, when we left the mainland from the harbour of Harlingen. The ferry ride was about 1 1/2 hours and quite comfortable. Arriving on Vlieland we dropped off our luggage which was going to be deposited at our little house in the dunes. Next item on the “to do” list was collecting our reserved e-bikes. We charged our bikes, all 5 of them, in the kitchen of our rental house, overnight so we were ready to go again in the morning.
We biked, walked, froze in the cold wind, ate wonderful food, had lots of fun.
An interesting place was the Tromp’s Huys, a museum, with an exhibition by Elza van Schaik.
And a most amazing dinner was consumed at the Armhuis (Poor house). This building originates from 1662. The majority of Vlielanders lived off the sea but not all came back. The “Armhuis” helped the surviving relatives and saved them from starvation.
A breathtaking trip was the one to the Vliehors. We came back smelling of fish (a slip on jelly fish, hidden under the sand), covered in sand, and full of awesome memories of a vast, empty place.
There is one tiny structure, the “Redding huisje” (little rescue house). It serves as a museum of sorts, for junk, drifted ashore.
We also had dinner at the the “Badhuys” a permanent beach restaurant, and apparently the only permanent one in The Netherlands, as normally they are dismantled in winter. We watched the sun set while enjoying our dinner.
Hopefully my photographs will give you some idea of this beautiful Dutch island.