Our Trip to the Dutch Island Vlieland
A Dutch Island Vlieland Autumn Weekend – What to do on a rainy autumn weekend in the Netherlands in Northern Europe? This question is good to answer with a weekend escape to the Watten Sea on the north coast of the Netherlands to enjoy a long Weekend on the Dutch Island Vlieland just a 1,5 hours car ride north of the Dutch capital Amsterdam.
But do you know how to get on the island Vlieland with a ferry from Harlingen, what to do on Vlieland in autumn and what if it starts raining? Did you know there is cranberry weekend, that you can listen to a candlelight concert in an old church or look over the island from a lighthouse? We as gay couple travelers spend a long weekend on Vlieland in October and give some answers to your questions for a weekend off on Vlieland. Enjoy our blog article ‘Gay Vlieland Trip’ through a couple of men’s eyes.
Gay Vlieland Trip to the Dutch Island Vlieland
It is Friday and a busy week is over. The weather forecast predicts rainy and windy weather in the western part of Europe. Our starting point for a short trip on the Dutch coast to stay for some days away from all the stress and busy life. Sleeping late, self-made breakfast with fresh coffee and long walks and bike tours along the lonely beaches around the Island. Sounds as perfect as it is! But for the beginning let us introduce you to the Dutch island Vlieland.
History of the Frisian Island Vlieland
Vlieland is the second island from the west as part of the West Frisian Island in the North Sea more specifically in the Wadden Sea. The Dutch island is located in between two further islands: south of Vlieland by the island Texel and in the northeast of Vlieland by the island Terschelling. Vlieland is a beautiful escape is rich in calm nature, abounded beaches, and unique landscape. The “capital” of Vlieland is its only village, called Oost-Vlieland. As the name might tell you, it is located in the eastern part of the island with a harbor for the ferry, a small main street with shops and old houses with traditional cafés, bars, and restaurants.
The old historical St. Nicolas Church
A special building and the “face” of the village it the protestant church St. Nicolas with its graveyard. The church, first named as a small chapel dedicated to Saint Nicholas in 1245, got its present form after an extension in 1647. The St. Nicolas Church (Dutch: Nicolaas Kerk) was among the first churches built in the Netherlands for Protestant worship. Today the church is especially known for a unique summer event: The concerts with candlelight (“Concerten bij Kaarslicht”). Read more about this below in our highlights of our Dutch Gay Autumn Weekend Vlieland.
Sound of the Sea: one of mother nature’s best-written songs
Dunes, a man-planted forest and over 20 km beach in combination with a fresh North Sea breeze are creating a perfect autumn feeling. Vlieland is one of the smaller and way quieter Dutch islands is a perfect destination for a Dutch Gay Autumn Weekend Vlieland without stress, noise, and hustle.
The story of the Cranberries on Vlieland
Are there any Cranberry fields in Europe? Yes, there are! You can find partially big fields of cranberry plants on the Dutch Wadden islands Vlieland and Terschelling. People of Vlieland tell the story of a barrel of Cranberries was found in 1845 on the beach of the Vlieland’s big neighbor Island Terschelling. Hoping to find good wine in it, a brought the barrel behind the dunes. Well, it was not wine or anything comparable, but a huge amount of cranberries. The unknown person left the barrel behind and the success story took its course.
Cranberry season on Vlieland
Nowadays we are able to self-pick the berries every year during the season from mid-September to the end of October. Until 2017, the Vlielanders were celebrating the annual Cranberry Week Festival with the mascot Berry Cranberry. If it is happening this year again, please check the official Vlieland website. One more reason for an autumn weekend on Vlieland and to self-pick your berries from the ground, sour but really healthy!
Footprints: Handmade Beach Poems in the sand
If you are not taking a tour with one of the Vliehors Expres vehicles along the coast, be careful where you step! During our walks along the 20km fine sand, we found the traces of these “monsters” in the sand. What a surprise when we recognized the following poem verse written in the sand by the rear tires of the vehicles: “Breng gedachten vol verlangen naar het lege stille strand Schrijf ze duizend stille malen tussen duizend korrels zand”. What an amazing romantic idea and an amazing match to the empty beach and rainy weather during our Dutch autumn weekend on Vlieland!
Biking around the island Vlieland
Do it like all the Dutchies do and rent a bike to drive the 26 km bikeway through and around Vlieland. Well prepared paths will guide your way through and sometimes on the dunes, through cranberry fields and forest and along wide fine sand beaches. Stop where ever you want and have a closer look at nature and water or just sit down in the wind and here the Seagulls talking.
Snack break at “Old Post House” in West Vlieland
Heading west from Oost-Vlieland at the end of the bikeway we found ourselves in front of the old Post House of Vlieland “Het Posthuys“. Back in former times, this Post station was a stopover for the mail rider on his way further to Amsterdam. He carried precious cargo: the mail from the fisherman and sailors from the roadstead via Vlieland, Texel, and North Holland to Amsterdam. Riding our bikes instead of horses, we did the same and took a snack break in today’s restaurant and Hotel still carrying the old time’s name “Het Posthuys“. We chose a burger and an Amstel Radler (Beer with Lemonade) and can definitely recommend a stop here close to the Wadden.
Walking to the Lighthouse – Dutch “Vuurtoren”
The Lighthouse on Vlieland marks the highest point of the Vlieland surrounded by a nature reserve on the north side and the village Oost-Vlieland south of the landmark. Like the lighthouse on the Dutch island Texel, the lighthouse on Vlieland is open for public for us the right spot for the perfect overview of the island during our autumn weekend on Vlieland. Check here for the opening hours.
The scent of fresh Mushrooms, trees, and bushes in autumn colors and the sound of raindrops on leaves and our jackets.. it truly is relaxing and slows down the autumn weekend on Vlieland where we were able to just enjoy with all senses.
Listen to a concert in a church with candlelight
On our bike tour through Oost-Vlieland we found an unexpected but perfect highlight for the last evening of our autumn weekend on Vlieland: a concert in candlelight (Dutch: concerten bij kaarslicht) in the old St. Nicolas church. For almost 30 years between Pentecost and the end of October, the church is organizing a concert series for almost every weekend open for the public. Look around inside this magnificently old church while enjoying the music of the performance. We were able to enjoy the last concert of the season performed by the Delta Piano Trio playing van Beethoven and Bartholdy. The special atmosphere of flickering candlelight, the gently and strongly played pieces of music and the overall holy ambiance of the church brought this last evening of our autumn weekend on Vlieland to a successful conclusion.
How to get to Vlieland from Amsterdam?
Most important to know of course: How to get to Vlieland? Good question which is easy to answer: take the frequent ferry from the Dutch harbor city Harlingen to the island Vlieland. The ferry company Rederij Doeksen offers a regular connection between the mainland and the Frisian Islands. After 1,5 hours on a comfortable ferry for max. 950 passengers equipped with a restaurant, space for children, and an observation deck, the sound of the ferry’s horn marks the arrival at Vlieland. Find here the price list for the transfer. On our way back with the afternoon ferry, we were able to enjoy an incredible view over the islands accompanied by Seagulls.
Our Tips for your Gay Vlieland Trip to the Dutch Island in the Northern Sea
Stay home and enjoy the silence of a small Dutch Island. Sleeping long and cuddle until afternoon. Reading books about the nature of the Island. Spend an afternoon in the public Swimming pool. Go out for dinner to the Beach house restaurant.
Walk along the beach while rain and the wind make you looking forward to being back in your warm and dry house. A short holiday on Dutch Island Vlieland Autumn Weekend that is all we need from time to time when back home in the Netherlands.
Karl & Daan.