We12Travel https://www.we12travel.com Outdoor | Hiking | Nature Travel Thu, 29 Oct 2020 08:07:25 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.4 Senja in Norway: where the sun shines behind the clouds https://www.we12travel.com/senja-in-norway/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=senja-in-norway https://www.we12travel.com/senja-in-norway/#respond Thu, 29 Oct 2020 08:07:25 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=22086 senja in noorwegenThere’s destinations that fellow bloggers describe as off the beaten path or the road less traveled. Those phrases are used way too much these days in my humble opinion and in fact there’s just a few places in the world that can actually claim to be as described. I think Senja in Norway is one of them. Especially if you compare it to the insanely crowded nearby Lofoten Islands. I went to visit Senja island a while ago and enjoyed it a lot. It was super quiet (though we traveled in high season) and there was a lot to see. Only the weather didn’t cooperate, but that’s to be expected when in Norway. In this article I’ll share my travel in Senja experiences.     Senja in Norway: why we chose to go here With the map of Scandinavia in front of us, we plan our trip from our cabin the woods. We map out a route of about five weeks, a mega-road trip from Arnhem in the Netherlands to the far north and back again. We want to walk at least one (preferably two) stages of the Kungsleden Trail in arctic Sweden and see whales. And we’d like to go to the North Cape, the Lofoten and some iconic hikes in Norway. Although five weeks seems like an eternity, with Scandinavian distances it certainly isn’t. So we have to make choices. The North Cape and the Lofoten immediately are dropped as the North Cape is too far (and I have been told quite a downer) and the Lofoten Islands are too busy. The Kungsleden and the whales remain … plus a huge approach route from the Netherlands. I get the suggestion from a former colleague to take a look at Senja as a destination: at least as beautiful as the rest of Norway but a lot less busy. Just google it and we’re all set: we’re going to visit Senja in Norway!     Arrival at Senja It’s the middle of August when we cross the border from Kiruna Sweden to Norway. We have just finished the second part of the Kungsleden trek and had a bad night in a hotel in Kiruna. We get in the car and drive to the border in just under two hours. When we arrive at the border, we refuel the Volvo once again and enter Norway. What strikes me immediately is that, unlike Sweden, there are quite a few houses here.   Senja is the largest island in Norway after Spitsbergen (Svalbard) and Hinnøya and is located north of the Lofoten and Vesterålen. You can reach the island from the mainland via the bridge between Finnsnes and Silsland. There is little to be found on the internet about Senja, nor in our travel guides. We decide to drive onto the island and look for a campsite. From there we will see what there’s to see and do.   At first I am a bit disappointed with the landscape. Look up “Senja” and you will get beautiful sharp-toothed rock formations, but where we ended up it is flat and relatively barren. The first campsite we encounter is the Senja Camping. We decide to book for two nights and then visit the island from here tomorrow.     Rain, rain and rain They sometimes say that bad weather does not exist in Norway, but I can tell you that Senja is not so nice in the pouring rain. After the first night in our cabin, we open the curtains and the island seems to have been covered up in a blankte of fog and rain. The weather app does not indicate much different for the coming days and so we’re a little disappointed. We spend the first day with Netflix and beer in the comfort of our cabin. The day after it seems to clear up slightly in the afternoon, but appearances can be deceiving because once in the north of the island, where the rugged coastlines are, it is still wet and foggy.   I’m a little sad because since our preparation I was really looking forward to going to Senja. The pictures on the internet look very promising, but unfortunately little of that is visible. After a tour around the north of the island we decide to drive back to the campsite and take the boat to Vesterålen tomorrow, where we will do our whale watching excursion.     Behind the clouds the sun is shining The next morning it appears to have cleared up. Our boat to Gryllefjord to Andenes leaves at 3:00 pm. Maybe we can still see something of the island in the morning. After we have loaded everything into the car, we drive back to the beautiful viewpoints where we were in the thick fog the day before. To Bergsbotn and to the Tungeneset and the Okshornan mountains in the distance. It will be a bit of a race against the clock because we cannot afford to miss the boat.   Still, we get a quick impression of the beauty of Senja in Norway once the clouds have disappeared and how beautiful (and peaceful!) it is here. After an intense ride, we finally arrive just before the departure of the ferry in Gryllefjord, dramatically situated on one of the many fjords that Senja has. When the ferry leaves the harbor, I look back on the island with melancholy. I didn’t want to leave at all, but unfortunately we had to keep going because the whales are waiting for us. Who knows, I might one day be lucky enough to be able to return to this special place in Norway!     Senja tips: know before you go! Not much can be found about Senja on the internet, at least when we went here (August 2018). At the reception of our campsite (Camping Senja) we grabbed a travel guide with a route map. They only had it in Norwegian at the time we visited. I’ll give you some useful tips:   – You can reach Senja by car via the bridge at Finnsnes or by boat from Andenes (Vesterålen). Depending on the season, this sails several times a day and cannot be booked in advance. You can bring your car and the crossing takes approximately 1:40 hours. If you are not coming with your own car, it is best to fly to Tromsø and rent a car here.   – The season on Senja is short, roughly from the beginning of June to the end of August. From the end of August, most tourist facilities will close and there is little to do compared to the summer season.   – In the south of Senja lies the national park Ånderdalen, but this is not very interesting from a landscape point of view. Most visitors come for the special rocky coasts on the west and north sides of the island.   – There are few campsites on the island. We also found a camping spot in the Erstfjord. The Senja Camping is the largest with the most amenities and is relatively centrally located on the island. Accommodation is also very scarce and it is best to book well in advance. Check the prices and availability here.   – Shops are scarce and what they sell is relatively pricey. So bring enough food and drink from the mainland, there are some supermarkets in Finnsness.   – The roads are winding and narrow, this ensures that you take a long time on a route. There is one round trip around the island, namely the 861 and the 862 (in combination with the main road 86, which ends in Gryllefjord). The rest of the roads are mostly dead ends and end in a fjord. It takes about half a day to complete this tour (if you drive all the way through and make limited stops).     Conclusion and disclaimer Hopefully you liked this article and we gave you some ideas for what to do in Senja in Norway. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no additional cost for you.  

The post Senja in Norway: where the sun shines behind the clouds appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

There’s destinations that fellow bloggers describe as off the beaten path or the road less traveled. Those phrases are used way too much these days in my humble opinion and in fact there’s just a few places in the world that can actually claim to be as described. I think Senja in Norway is one of them. Especially if you compare it to the insanely crowded nearby Lofoten Islands. I went to visit Senja island a while ago and enjoyed it a lot. It was super quiet (though we traveled in high season) and there was a lot to see. Only the weather didn’t cooperate, but that’s to be expected when in Norway. In this article I’ll share my travel in Senja experiences.
 

Tungeneset
View over the sea in Norway
 

Senja in Norway: why we chose to go here

With the map of Scandinavia in front of us, we plan our trip from our cabin the woods. We map out a route of about five weeks, a mega-road trip from Arnhem in the Netherlands to the far north and back again. We want to walk at least one (preferably two) stages of the Kungsleden Trail in arctic Sweden and see whales. And we’d like to go to the North Cape, the Lofoten and some iconic hikes in Norway. Although five weeks seems like an eternity, with Scandinavian distances it certainly isn’t. So we have to make choices. The North Cape and the Lofoten immediately are dropped as the North Cape is too far (and I have been told quite a downer) and the Lofoten Islands are too busy. The Kungsleden and the whales remain … plus a huge approach route from the Netherlands. I get the suggestion from a former colleague to take a look at Senja as a destination: at least as beautiful as the rest of Norway but a lot less busy. Just google it and we’re all set: we’re going to visit Senja in Norway!
 

Gryllefjord, Senja
Gryllefjord, Senja
Senja in Norway
Along the west coast of Senja in Norway
 

Arrival at Senja

It’s the middle of August when we cross the border from Kiruna Sweden to Norway. We have just finished the second part of the Kungsleden trek and had a bad night in a hotel in Kiruna. We get in the car and drive to the border in just under two hours. When we arrive at the border, we refuel the Volvo once again and enter Norway. What strikes me immediately is that, unlike Sweden, there are quite a few houses here.
 
Senja is the largest island in Norway after Spitsbergen (Svalbard) and Hinnøya and is located north of the Lofoten and Vesterålen. You can reach the island from the mainland via the bridge between Finnsnes and Silsland. There is little to be found on the internet about Senja, nor in our travel guides. We decide to drive onto the island and look for a campsite. From there we will see what there’s to see and do.
 
At first I am a bit disappointed with the landscape. Look up “Senja” and you will get beautiful sharp-toothed rock formations, but where we ended up it is flat and relatively barren. The first campsite we encounter is the Senja Camping. We decide to book for two nights and then visit the island from here tomorrow.
 

Het binnenland van Senja in Noorwegen
The interior of Senja
 

Rain, rain and rain

They sometimes say that bad weather does not exist in Norway, but I can tell you that Senja is not so nice in the pouring rain. After the first night in our cabin, we open the curtains and the island seems to have been covered up in a blankte of fog and rain. The weather app does not indicate much different for the coming days and so we’re a little disappointed. We spend the first day with Netflix and beer in the comfort of our cabin. The day after it seems to clear up slightly in the afternoon, but appearances can be deceiving because once in the north of the island, where the rugged coastlines are, it is still wet and foggy.
 
I’m a little sad because since our preparation I was really looking forward to going to Senja. The pictures on the internet look very promising, but unfortunately little of that is visible. After a tour around the north of the island we decide to drive back to the campsite and take the boat to Vesterålen tomorrow, where we will do our whale watching excursion.
 

Bergsbotn Senja
Which view?
Senja in Noorwegen
Fifty shades of grey
 

Behind the clouds the sun is shining

The next morning it appears to have cleared up. Our boat to Gryllefjord to Andenes leaves at 3:00 pm. Maybe we can still see something of the island in the morning. After we have loaded everything into the car, we drive back to the beautiful viewpoints where we were in the thick fog the day before. To Bergsbotn and to the Tungeneset and the Okshornan mountains in the distance. It will be a bit of a race against the clock because we cannot afford to miss the boat.
 
Still, we get a quick impression of the beauty of Senja in Norway once the clouds have disappeared and how beautiful (and peaceful!) it is here. After an intense ride, we finally arrive just before the departure of the ferry in Gryllefjord, dramatically situated on one of the many fjords that Senja has. When the ferry leaves the harbor, I look back on the island with melancholy. I didn’t want to leave at all, but unfortunately we had to keep going because the whales are waiting for us. Who knows, I might one day be lucky enough to be able to return to this special place in Norway!
 

Erstfjord op Senja
Drive along Erstfjord
Bergsbotn uitzichtspunt
Bergsbotn viewpoint
Tungeneset
Tungeneset viewpoint
Tungenest Senja
Tungenest Senja
Welcome to Gryllefjord
Welcome to Gryllefjord
Arctic Beer
An arctic beer
 

Senja tips: know before you go!

Not much can be found about Senja on the internet, at least when we went here (August 2018). At the reception of our campsite (Camping Senja) we grabbed a travel guide with a route map. They only had it in Norwegian at the time we visited. I’ll give you some useful tips:
 
– You can reach Senja by car via the bridge at Finnsnes or by boat from Andenes (Vesterålen). Depending on the season, this sails several times a day and cannot be booked in advance. You can bring your car and the crossing takes approximately 1:40 hours. If you are not coming with your own car, it is best to fly to Tromsø and rent a car here.
 
– The season on Senja is short, roughly from the beginning of June to the end of August. From the end of August, most tourist facilities will close and there is little to do compared to the summer season.
 
– In the south of Senja lies the national park Ånderdalen, but this is not very interesting from a landscape point of view. Most visitors come for the special rocky coasts on the west and north sides of the island.
 
– There are few campsites on the island. We also found a camping spot in the Erstfjord. The Senja Camping is the largest with the most amenities and is relatively centrally located on the island. Accommodation is also very scarce and it is best to book well in advance. Check the prices and availability here.
 
– Shops are scarce and what they sell is relatively pricey. So bring enough food and drink from the mainland, there are some supermarkets in Finnsness.
 
– The roads are winding and narrow, this ensures that you take a long time on a route. There is one round trip around the island, namely the 861 and the 862 (in combination with the main road 86, which ends in Gryllefjord). The rest of the roads are mostly dead ends and end in a fjord. It takes about half a day to complete this tour (if you drive all the way through and make limited stops).
 

Senja in Noorwegen
The Senja coastal line
 

Conclusion and disclaimer

Hopefully you liked this article and we gave you some ideas for what to do in Senja in Norway. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no additional cost for you.
 

The post Senja in Norway: where the sun shines behind the clouds appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/senja-in-norway/feed/ 0
Adventuring in de Biesbosch, NLDelta National Park https://www.we12travel.com/biesbosch-nldelta-national-park/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=biesbosch-nldelta-national-park https://www.we12travel.com/biesbosch-nldelta-national-park/#respond Fri, 23 Oct 2020 08:30:04 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=22046 Wandelen in de BiesboschFor now this will be the last article in my series about the national parks in The Netherlands. In collaboration with Holland National Parks, I visited various Dutch national parks in recent months, with the aim of giving more attention to the beautiful nature that my country has to offer. Most recently, I visited De Biesbosch National Park, part of the new NLDelta National Park to be formed. I spent the night in a sustainable wikkelhouse at Stayokay, went kayaking during full moon and explored the Noordwaard by bike and on foot. In other words: a great trip based on human powered adventure. I’ll tell you all about it in this article.   But first … check out the short video I made. Be sure to turn up the volume to hear a special meeting.     About the Biesbosch en NLDelta National Park You may know De Biesbosch as a national park, NLDelta probably not yet. The NLDelta is a national park in the making. National park status will be applied for at the end of 2020 and in 2021, the Biesbosch, together with the Haringvliet, will form the newest national park in the Netherlands. It is a unique ecological area, where people and nature have gone hand in hand for centuries. More information about the NLDelta can be found here. Since the region I visited is the Biesbosch, I will talk about that in this article.     Arrival in National Park de Biesbosch I drive to the city of Dordrecht where I spend the night in Stayokay, a cozy and modern hostel in the middle of nature. In addition to the hostel rooms, there is a campsite and they have four sustainable wikkelhouses and in one of them I spend the night. These tiny houses are made from recycled cardboard and fully equipped. The house has a kitchenette and private shower and toilet. There is sleeping space for up to four people. There is no WiFi and a television, so you can immerse yourself completely in the peace and quiet of nature.   After check-in, I head directly to the Biesboschcentrum Dordrecht to be informed about the possible adventures I can experience here. There is a full moon kayak trip planned for tonight, the rest of the time is at my leisure. Unfortunately it’s pouring with rain, so I decide to go for a short walk at the Biesbosch Center, where numerous short hiking trails start. The rain makes it a bit gloomy, so I finally decide to walk back to my wikkelhouse to get ready for the evening program.     Kayaing during full moon After a nice dinner at Stayokay, I get into the car, wearing several layers of clothing and drive to the Biesbosch Center. Although it’s only a 10 minute walk, when I go back to the hostel tonight it will be pitch dark. And with a bit of luck I’m intensely cold and even wet so it’ll be good to be able to jump into my car straight.   I make my way to the canoe rental station next to the Biesboschcentrum. I’ll be heading out with a small group to kayak through the creeks and finally enjoy the full moon from the water. To be fair, I have kayaked quite a lot in my life, but never been in a kayak alone before. Fortunately, the instructors help me to get in and out of the kayak without tipping over (confession: I once stepped next to it and ended up in the water … a less charming experience when you consider that it was on some kind of date) and after everyone has settled into his and her kayaks, it is time to start paddling.   The weather has improved by now and suddenly a ray of sunshine peeks through the clouds. Could it be that after such a rainy day we can still experience a full moon?     Through the creeks We start with a bit of paddling on the Moldiep, a fairly wide canal. In no time I have gotten my kayaking groove back and I’m overwhelmed by the happy feeling of letting yourself glide over the water surface. Not much further we enter the first small creek. We are quickly reminded that we must not forget that trees do not yield and that we regularly have to bend over to avoid colliding with trees. The tide is currently high (the tidal range can be as much as 50 centimeters in this area) and so the overhanging trees are suddenly a lot closer than when the tide is low.   The first creek is narrow and I have trouble paddling through it without any problems. I see the couple in front of me ending up in the reeds and with my paddle I regularly get stuck behind a tree. It’s frankly quite hilarious, especially because you are constantly busy making turns, braking, making sure you don’t hit a tree hard and above all not flip over with your kayak. With a little help from guide Peter I get back on the right way after I got stuck in the reeds and after quite a paddle through this creek we are back on open water without any obstacles.   The guides mention that the next part will be a bit more challenging, but that we are lucky. Because of the high tide we can pass through, when it is low tide this is not possible because you will get stuck on the bottom.     A beaver in de Biesbosch The Biesbosch is the habitat of the beaver and I really hope that I can see one. Still, it’s failry difficult because as soon as they spot you, they disappear under water. I paddle in the back of the group through the narrow creek and as soon as we reach the Wantij canal, I see the couple in front of me lying still and pointing. The rest of the group is already ahead. They point again and suddenly I see a brown creature along the waterfront. It’s a beaver! In no time he has noticed we’re there and disappears under water. But … I saw a beaver in the Biesbosch!     Moon or no moon? By now, it’s almost dark. From now on we will only paddle on wide waterways, back to the Biesbosch Center. Once back on the Moldiep, we should see the full moon appear soon. We paddle quickly, turn the corner and WOW … suddenly a crystal clear full moon shines in the sky, right in front of us.   The guides invite us to spend a moment in silence and enjoy this special experience. I put my paddle across the kayak, take a deep breath, and gaze at the full moon in front of me, reflecting beautifully off the water. Just … wow!   Then it’s time to kayak back to the Biesbosch Center. It’s still a long stretch and after two hours I’m wet and tired. Sitting alone in a kayak and trying to keep up with two-seater kayaks is a good challenge, but at the end I’m quite tired but insanely satisfied. Without too much effort, I climb back onto the dock, hand in the kayak and drive back to my wikkelhouse. Here I fall into a restless sleep, because the moon full is after all …     Biking to de Noordwaard On my second day in De Biesbosch I’ll explore the Noordwaard. A rental bike is waiting for me at Stayokay and from here I head out, together with a junction map (called ‘knooppunten’) that I get at the reception. There is a lot to see in the Noordwaard, so I will have to make choices on where to spend my time. At least it’s dry, which makes the landscape a lot more beautiful and attractive.   To get to the Noordwaard, I first cycle to the ferry across the Nieuwe Merwede, a ride that takes about 15 minutes. As soon as I have crossed it, I arrive in the Noordwaard, the Brabant part of the Biesbosch. I cycle to Museum Island, where there are countless sights. I first decide to drink a cup of coffee in the restaurant from where you have a beautiful view over the waterways of the Biesbosch. After this I leave my bike for a while and decide to visit the Buitenmuseum (outdoor museum) de Pannekoek. De Pannekoek is a ‘hakgriend’ (piece of land) of approximately 8 hectares with various hiking trails that invite you to explore this part of the Biesbosch on foot.   The marked walking trail is only 2 kilometers, but I also explore the other trails. In the end I spend more than an hour and a half at the Buitenmuseum. I visit the Willow Garden, look for the beaver pond, spot birds with my binoculars and stroll on narrow trails and across bridges. It almost feels like a playground for grown-ups here!     Biking through de Noordwaard After this I get on my bike again. I go to the viewpoint over the Petrusplaat, cycle over bridges, browse the horizon again in search of birds and enjoy the full headwind I experience while pedaling. Towards the end of the afternoon I get on the ferry back to Dordrecht and cycle back to the hostel, where I return the bike and get in the car home.   Do you want to cycle in the Biesbosch yourself? I cycled part of the Biesbosch route – a junction route through the Noordwaard and the Nieuwe Dortse Biesbosch. The numbers in the document match with the numbers you’ll find marked along the way, a super easy way of navigating in this area.     About National Park de Biesbosch and NLDelta National parks De Biesbosch and NLDelta consists of various parts. I visited the South Holland part near Dordrecht and the Noordwaard in Brabant. There is a visitor center in both places where you can ask for information about the countless activities that are organised. There is too much to do to list everything, but I found the combination of all the activities mentioned to be perfect for a micro adventure in my own country.   I went kayaking with a guide, but you can also head out by yourself with a canoe or kayak. The rental station is open between April 1 and October 31. Of course you will receive an explanation and a map with possible paddling routes with the rental. There are also numerous walks in the Biesbosch. Some can be reached by pedestrian ferries, which were out of service at the time of my visit due to the corona virus.   Go here for more tips for walking and cycling tours in the Dordrecht part of the Biesbosch. I found this part the most impressive, especially because the creeks are so dense and you can really get lost in this “Dutch jungle”.   Want to search for beavers in the Biesbosch? This is best done early in the morning or towards the evening. There are even several guided excursions in search of beavers. The kayaking guides indicated that all excursions are often fully booked well before the departure date and that it is wise to book your desired activity well ahead of time.     Conclusion and disclaimer Hopefully I have given you an idea on how to spend a few days in the Biesbosch and NLDelta National Park. I experienced this micro adventure in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own. I visited several national parks this fall, the other blog articles can be found here.  

The post Adventuring in de Biesbosch, NLDelta National Park appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

For now this will be the last article in my series about the national parks in The Netherlands. In collaboration with Holland National Parks, I visited various Dutch national parks in recent months, with the aim of giving more attention to the beautiful nature that my country has to offer. Most recently, I visited De Biesbosch National Park, part of the new NLDelta National Park to be formed. I spent the night in a sustainable wikkelhouse at Stayokay, went kayaking during full moon and explored the Noordwaard by bike and on foot. In other words: a great trip based on human powered adventure. I’ll tell you all about it in this article.
 
But first … check out the short video I made. Be sure to turn up the volume to hear a special meeting.
 

 

About the Biesbosch en NLDelta National Park

You may know De Biesbosch as a national park, NLDelta probably not yet. The NLDelta is a national park in the making. National park status will be applied for at the end of 2020 and in 2021, the Biesbosch, together with the Haringvliet, will form the newest national park in the Netherlands. It is a unique ecological area, where people and nature have gone hand in hand for centuries. More information about the NLDelta can be found here. Since the region I visited is the Biesbosch, I will talk about that in this article.
 

Welcome to the Biesbosch, famous for its beavers
Welcome to the Biesbosch, famous for its beavers
 

Arrival in National Park de Biesbosch

I drive to the city of Dordrecht where I spend the night in Stayokay, a cozy and modern hostel in the middle of nature. In addition to the hostel rooms, there is a campsite and they have four sustainable wikkelhouses and in one of them I spend the night. These tiny houses are made from recycled cardboard and fully equipped. The house has a kitchenette and private shower and toilet. There is sleeping space for up to four people. There is no WiFi and a television, so you can immerse yourself completely in the peace and quiet of nature.
 
After check-in, I head directly to the Biesboschcentrum Dordrecht to be informed about the possible adventures I can experience here. There is a full moon kayak trip planned for tonight, the rest of the time is at my leisure. Unfortunately it’s pouring with rain, so I decide to go for a short walk at the Biesbosch Center, where numerous short hiking trails start. The rain makes it a bit gloomy, so I finally decide to walk back to my wikkelhouse to get ready for the evening program.
 

Wikkelhouse Dordrecht
Wikkelhouse Dordrecht
Inside of the Wikkelhouse
Inside of the Wikkelhouse
Walking in the Biesbosch
Walking in the Biesbosch
 

Kayaing during full moon

After a nice dinner at Stayokay, I get into the car, wearing several layers of clothing and drive to the Biesbosch Center. Although it’s only a 10 minute walk, when I go back to the hostel tonight it will be pitch dark. And with a bit of luck I’m intensely cold and even wet so it’ll be good to be able to jump into my car straight.
 
I make my way to the canoe rental station next to the Biesboschcentrum. I’ll be heading out with a small group to kayak through the creeks and finally enjoy the full moon from the water. To be fair, I have kayaked quite a lot in my life, but never been in a kayak alone before. Fortunately, the instructors help me to get in and out of the kayak without tipping over (confession: I once stepped next to it and ended up in the water … a less charming experience when you consider that it was on some kind of date) and after everyone has settled into his and her kayaks, it is time to start paddling.
 
The weather has improved by now and suddenly a ray of sunshine peeks through the clouds. Could it be that after such a rainy day we can still experience a full moon?
 

Kayaking in the Biesbosch
Kayaking in the Biesbosch
 

Through the creeks

We start with a bit of paddling on the Moldiep, a fairly wide canal. In no time I have gotten my kayaking groove back and I’m overwhelmed by the happy feeling of letting yourself glide over the water surface. Not much further we enter the first small creek. We are quickly reminded that we must not forget that trees do not yield and that we regularly have to bend over to avoid colliding with trees. The tide is currently high (the tidal range can be as much as 50 centimeters in this area) and so the overhanging trees are suddenly a lot closer than when the tide is low.
 
The first creek is narrow and I have trouble paddling through it without any problems. I see the couple in front of me ending up in the reeds and with my paddle I regularly get stuck behind a tree. It’s frankly quite hilarious, especially because you are constantly busy making turns, braking, making sure you don’t hit a tree hard and above all not flip over with your kayak. With a little help from guide Peter I get back on the right way after I got stuck in the reeds and after quite a paddle through this creek we are back on open water without any obstacles.
 
The guides mention that the next part will be a bit more challenging, but that we are lucky. Because of the high tide we can pass through, when it is low tide this is not possible because you will get stuck on the bottom.
 

Kayaking during sunset
Kayaking during sunset
 

A beaver in de Biesbosch

The Biesbosch is the habitat of the beaver and I really hope that I can see one. Still, it’s failry difficult because as soon as they spot you, they disappear under water. I paddle in the back of the group through the narrow creek and as soon as we reach the Wantij canal, I see the couple in front of me lying still and pointing. The rest of the group is already ahead. They point again and suddenly I see a brown creature along the waterfront. It’s a beaver! In no time he has noticed we’re there and disappears under water. But … I saw a beaver in the Biesbosch!
 

De beste foto van de bever ...
The best beaver capture
 

Moon or no moon?

By now, it’s almost dark. From now on we will only paddle on wide waterways, back to the Biesbosch Center. Once back on the Moldiep, we should see the full moon appear soon. We paddle quickly, turn the corner and WOW … suddenly a crystal clear full moon shines in the sky, right in front of us.
 
The guides invite us to spend a moment in silence and enjoy this special experience. I put my paddle across the kayak, take a deep breath, and gaze at the full moon in front of me, reflecting beautifully off the water. Just … wow!
 
Then it’s time to kayak back to the Biesbosch Center. It’s still a long stretch and after two hours I’m wet and tired. Sitting alone in a kayak and trying to keep up with two-seater kayaks is a good challenge, but at the end I’m quite tired but insanely satisfied. Without too much effort, I climb back onto the dock, hand in the kayak and drive back to my wikkelhouse. Here I fall into a restless sleep, because the moon full is after all …
 

Full moon kayaking in de Biesbosch
Full moon kayaking in de Biesbosch
 

Biking to de Noordwaard

On my second day in De Biesbosch I’ll explore the Noordwaard. A rental bike is waiting for me at Stayokay and from here I head out, together with a junction map (called ‘knooppunten’) that I get at the reception. There is a lot to see in the Noordwaard, so I will have to make choices on where to spend my time. At least it’s dry, which makes the landscape a lot more beautiful and attractive.
 
To get to the Noordwaard, I first cycle to the ferry across the Nieuwe Merwede, a ride that takes about 15 minutes. As soon as I have crossed it, I arrive in the Noordwaard, the Brabant part of the Biesbosch. I cycle to Museum Island, where there are countless sights. I first decide to drink a cup of coffee in the restaurant from where you have a beautiful view over the waterways of the Biesbosch. After this I leave my bike for a while and decide to visit the Buitenmuseum (outdoor museum) de Pannekoek. De Pannekoek is a ‘hakgriend’ (piece of land) of approximately 8 hectares with various hiking trails that invite you to explore this part of the Biesbosch on foot.
 
The marked walking trail is only 2 kilometers, but I also explore the other trails. In the end I spend more than an hour and a half at the Buitenmuseum. I visit the Willow Garden, look for the beaver pond, spot birds with my binoculars and stroll on narrow trails and across bridges. It almost feels like a playground for grown-ups here!
 

Biesbosch Museum
Biesbosch Museum
Buitenmusem de Pannekoek
Buitenmusem de Pannekoek
Walking in the Biesbosch
Walking in the Biesbosch
 

Biking through de Noordwaard

After this I get on my bike again. I go to the viewpoint over the Petrusplaat, cycle over bridges, browse the horizon again in search of birds and enjoy the full headwind I experience while pedaling. Towards the end of the afternoon I get on the ferry back to Dordrecht and cycle back to the hostel, where I return the bike and get in the car home.
 
Do you want to cycle in the Biesbosch yourself? I cycled part of the Biesbosch route – a junction route through the Noordwaard and the Nieuwe Dortse Biesbosch. The numbers in the document match with the numbers you’ll find marked along the way, a super easy way of navigating in this area.
 

Biking in the Biesbosch
Biking in the Biesbosch
 

About National Park de Biesbosch and NLDelta

National parks De Biesbosch and NLDelta consists of various parts. I visited the South Holland part near Dordrecht and the Noordwaard in Brabant. There is a visitor center in both places where you can ask for information about the countless activities that are organised. There is too much to do to list everything, but I found the combination of all the activities mentioned to be perfect for a micro adventure in my own country.
 
I went kayaking with a guide, but you can also head out by yourself with a canoe or kayak. The rental station is open between April 1 and October 31. Of course you will receive an explanation and a map with possible paddling routes with the rental. There are also numerous walks in the Biesbosch. Some can be reached by pedestrian ferries, which were out of service at the time of my visit due to the corona virus.
 
Go here for more tips for walking and cycling tours in the Dordrecht part of the Biesbosch. I found this part the most impressive, especially because the creeks are so dense and you can really get lost in this “Dutch jungle”.
 
Want to search for beavers in the Biesbosch? This is best done early in the morning or towards the evening. There are even several guided excursions in search of beavers. The kayaking guides indicated that all excursions are often fully booked well before the departure date and that it is wise to book your desired activity well ahead of time.
 

Noordwaard Biesbosch
Noordwaard Biesbosch
 

Conclusion and disclaimer

Hopefully I have given you an idea on how to spend a few days in the Biesbosch and NLDelta National Park. I experienced this micro adventure in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own. I visited several national parks this fall, the other blog articles can be found here.
 

The post Adventuring in de Biesbosch, NLDelta National Park appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/biesbosch-nldelta-national-park/feed/ 0
Things to do in Saarland in Germany https://www.we12travel.com/things-to-do-in-saarland-in-germany/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=things-to-do-in-saarland-in-germany https://www.we12travel.com/things-to-do-in-saarland-in-germany/#respond Fri, 16 Oct 2020 08:33:21 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21965 Uitzicht in het SaarlandOne of the lesser known regions in Germany is the Saarland region. Saarland is located in the southwest corner of Germany, against the border triangle with France and Luxembourg. Because it is just a little further away than the Eifel and Moselle from where I live (The Netherlands), the beautiful area is often skipped and that is a shame, because there are many beautiful things to see and do. Here are our tips for your holiday in Saarland and the best sights in the Saarland in Germany.     First of all: your vacation in Saarland Good to know is that the Saarland is about a 4/5 hours drive from Utrecht and therefore just too far for a night away. Although it is one of the smaller regions of Germany, there are many sights in Saarland that you should absolutely not miss. I therefore recommend that you go on holiday to Saarland for at least 2 or 3 nights so that you are not only in the car, but can also fully enjoy the time that you have to spend there. You will find the best options for overnight stays in the Saarland here.     National Park Hunsrück-Hochwald The Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park is located on the border of Rheinland-Pfzalz and Saarland. The nature reserve with the low mountains offers the visitor countless hiking trails, deep forests and beautiful views. At the visitor center you can book a walk with a guide (recommended!) who will tell you all about the origin of the Hunsrück and the conservation of nature in the Saarland region.     The Celtic ring wall near Otzenhausen Are you interested in history or do you like to see a very special building in the middle of nature? Then I can recommend a visit to the Celtic ring wall of Otzenhausen. This formation is located on the Dollberg near the village of Otzenhausen in Saarland. The defensive wall dates from the period 450 BC until three centuries after. The length of the boundary wall is 2,210 meters and the height is about 10 meters, once this was even 20 meters. You can visit the ring wall for free and if you are interested in learning more about it, the Keltenpark Otzenhausen is worth a visit as well.     The Bostalsee, Nonnweiler If it is a hot day and you want to cool down, make sure to visit the Bostalsee near Nonnweiler. This reservoir is a wonderful place to swim or bathe on one of the sandy beaches or grassy patches. In addition, boats are rented out and you can also stand up paddleboard here.     Visit Biosphäre Bliesgau The Bliesgau biosphere is a special nature reserve on the border with France. Here you will find countless hiking and biking trails, organic farms and fine viewpoints. We visited Haus Lochfeld and took a short walk of about an hour to the Heidekopf Turm, a lookout tower that lets you see as far as the forests of the Pfalz and the French Vosges. Around Haus Lochfeld you can do a Biosphären walking route of 1.5 kilometers. Haus Lochfeld’s terrace is open on weekend days only.     Sleeping in a tiny house on the Glamping Resort In the very south of the Saarland region, on the border with France, lies the beautiful Glamping Resort Biosphäre Bliesgau. This glamping resort consists of a number of spherical tiny houses that are suitable for 2 people. The cottage is fully equipped, including a private bathroom, air conditioning, television and a Nespresso machine. You cannot cook there, but you can have breakfast delivered. Prices and availability can be found here.     A visit to Saarbrücken Fancy a city trip? Then a visit to the beautiful city of Saarbrücken is recommended. The Ludwigskirche is one of the most prominent baroque churches in Germany. Of course you will also find countless cozy cafes, shops and you can enjoy yourself at the former industrial estate Völklinger Hütte, which is now used for art and exhibitions.   Hike a section of the Saar-Hunsrück Steig The Saar-Hunsrücksteig is one of the most beautiful long-distance trails in Germany and has been growing in popularity in recent years. The total distance of the trail is 410 kilometers, but you can of course also walk short parts or day stages. Many properties in the area have a pick-up and drop-off service where they pick you up and / or drop you off to / from the trail.     Conclusion and disclaimer Hopefully I have given you some tips for what to do in Saarland in Germany. It is still a relatively unknown region, but at least as beautiful as, for example, the Eifel and the Moselle. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no additional cost to you.  

The post Things to do in Saarland in Germany appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

One of the lesser known regions in Germany is the Saarland region. Saarland is located in the southwest corner of Germany, against the border triangle with France and Luxembourg. Because it is just a little further away than the Eifel and Moselle from where I live (The Netherlands), the beautiful area is often skipped and that is a shame, because there are many beautiful things to see and do. Here are our tips for your holiday in Saarland and the best sights in the Saarland in Germany.
 

Glamping in het Saarland
Glamping in Saarland
 

First of all: your vacation in Saarland

Good to know is that the Saarland is about a 4/5 hours drive from Utrecht and therefore just too far for a night away. Although it is one of the smaller regions of Germany, there are many sights in Saarland that you should absolutely not miss. I therefore recommend that you go on holiday to Saarland for at least 2 or 3 nights so that you are not only in the car, but can also fully enjoy the time that you have to spend there. You will find the best options for overnight stays in the Saarland here.
 

Bostalsee and the Celtic RIng Wall
Bostalsee and the Celtic Ring Wall
 

National Park Hunsrück-Hochwald

The Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park is located on the border of Rheinland-Pfzalz and Saarland. The nature reserve with the low mountains offers the visitor countless hiking trails, deep forests and beautiful views. At the visitor center you can book a walk with a guide (recommended!) who will tell you all about the origin of the Hunsrück and the conservation of nature in the Saarland region.
 

A guided walk in the national park
A guided walk in the national park
 

The Celtic ring wall near Otzenhausen

Are you interested in history or do you like to see a very special building in the middle of nature? Then I can recommend a visit to the Celtic ring wall of Otzenhausen. This formation is located on the Dollberg near the village of Otzenhausen in Saarland. The defensive wall dates from the period 450 BC until three centuries after. The length of the boundary wall is 2,210 meters and the height is about 10 meters, once this was even 20 meters. You can visit the ring wall for free and if you are interested in learning more about it, the Keltenpark Otzenhausen is worth a visit as well.
 

The Celtic ring wall near Otzenhausen
The Celtic ring wall near Otzenhausen
 

The Bostalsee, Nonnweiler

If it is a hot day and you want to cool down, make sure to visit the Bostalsee near Nonnweiler. This reservoir is a wonderful place to swim or bathe on one of the sandy beaches or grassy patches. In addition, boats are rented out and you can also stand up paddleboard here.
 

A quiet section of the Bostalsee in Saarland Germany
A quiet section of the Bostalsee
 

Visit Biosphäre Bliesgau

The Bliesgau biosphere is a special nature reserve on the border with France. Here you will find countless hiking and biking trails, organic farms and fine viewpoints. We visited Haus Lochfeld and took a short walk of about an hour to the Heidekopf Turm, a lookout tower that lets you see as far as the forests of the Pfalz and the French Vosges. Around Haus Lochfeld you can do a Biosphären walking route of 1.5 kilometers. Haus Lochfeld’s terrace is open on weekend days only.
 

View from the Heidekopf Turm
View from the Heidekopf Turm
 

Sleeping in a tiny house on the Glamping Resort

In the very south of the Saarland region, on the border with France, lies the beautiful Glamping Resort Biosphäre Bliesgau. This glamping resort consists of a number of spherical tiny houses that are suitable for 2 people. The cottage is fully equipped, including a private bathroom, air conditioning, television and a Nespresso machine. You cannot cook there, but you can have breakfast delivered. Prices and availability can be found here.
 

Glamping in Duitsland
Glamping Resort Biosphäre Bliesgau
 

A visit to Saarbrücken

Fancy a city trip? Then a visit to the beautiful city of Saarbrücken is recommended. The Ludwigskirche is one of the most prominent baroque churches in Germany. Of course you will also find countless cozy cafes, shops and you can enjoy yourself at the former industrial estate Völklinger Hütte, which is now used for art and exhibitions.
 

Hike a section of the Saar-Hunsrück Steig

The Saar-Hunsrücksteig is one of the most beautiful long-distance trails in Germany and has been growing in popularity in recent years. The total distance of the trail is 410 kilometers, but you can of course also walk short parts or day stages. Many properties in the area have a pick-up and drop-off service where they pick you up and / or drop you off to / from the trail.
 

hiking in germany
Hiking on the Saar-Hunsrück-Steig
 

Conclusion and disclaimer

Hopefully I have given you some tips for what to do in Saarland in Germany. It is still a relatively unknown region, but at least as beautiful as, for example, the Eifel and the Moselle. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no additional cost to you.
 

The post Things to do in Saarland in Germany appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/things-to-do-in-saarland-in-germany/feed/ 0
An expedition to the Marker Wadden in Nieuw Land N.P. https://www.we12travel.com/marker-wadden-nieuw-land-national-park/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=marker-wadden-nieuw-land-national-park https://www.we12travel.com/marker-wadden-nieuw-land-national-park/#respond Mon, 05 Oct 2020 11:22:28 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21919 Uitkijktoren Marker WaddenHave you ever heard of the Marker Wadden? This nature reserve in the Markermeer in The Netherlands consists of various islands and is part of the Nieuw Land National Park. The national park has been open to the public since 2020 and I was asked to visit Marker Wadden in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. In this article I will tell you all about it including a lot of practical information for your visit. Enjoy reading!   Also read: a micro adventure on the Wadden Sea during a running aground excursion   About the Marker Wadden and National Park Nieuw Land The Marker Wadden is the largest man-made nature reserve in the world. Construction started in 2016 and the ‘Haveneiland’ (Harbor Island) was accessible to visitors for the first time in 2020. The Marker Wadden islands are of great importance for birds, fish and underwater nature and provide new life in the Markermeer. There are currently five islands, of which only the Haveneiland is accessible to visitors, the rest of the islands is for nature. The location of the Marker Wadden is northwest of Lelystad in the Markermeer.   The Marker Wadden are part of the Nieuw Land (New Land) National Park, the 21st and newest national park in The Netherlands. The other parts of the Nieuw Land National Park are the Markermeer, the Lepelaarsplassen and the Oostvaardersplassen. Together they share the rich history of the former Zuiderzee and the creation of the Flevopolder.     Visiting the Marker Wadden You can visit the Marker Wadden in various ways. For example, a ferry goes to the Marker Wadden from the port of Lelystad, the rates and the sailing schedule can be found on the Natuurmonumenten website. You can also join an expedition, I traveled with the Abel Tasman via Rederij Naupar. If you have your own ship, you are also very welcome in the port of the Marker Wadden. The national park is not accessible over land.   The Marker Wadden is a walking island, bicycles and motorized transport are not allowed. Some paths are accessible for wheelchairs and disabled people.     An expedition to the Marker Wadden It is a sunny Sunday in September when I arrive in the port of Lelystad. As soon as we have left the port of Lelystad, the sails are hoisted and we set course for the Marker Wadden. It is a clear day and soon I can already see the Haveneiland in the distance. Slowly but steadily we get closer and after lunch is served on board, the Abel Tasman moors in the harbor of the Marker Wadden. It’s busy because it’s a sunny day, but that can be expected on a Sunday after all.   I have two hours to spend on the Marker Wadden. I decide to stop by the information point first, which you can find near the harbor. The guided hikes and excursions are already fully booked for the day, so I decide to go out and explore by myself instead.     Bird watching on the Marker Wadden My first stop is at the Steltloper observation tower, which is located on the beach of the Marker Wadden. From the lookout you have a wide view of the Haveneiland and the Markermeer. I quickly shoot some photos and then continue my way to one of the bird watching spots.   Because the Marker Wadden are still under construction, there are warnings about quicksand here all around. It is important to stay on the indicated trails and not leave them.   Not much later I arrive at birdwatching hut Lepelaar. There are not many other people when I step inside and it shows that there are no other birds to be seen at the moment except ducks. I scan the water anyway, but see no other birds.   Via a number of beautiful boardwalks I walk to the next birdwatching hut: Duikeend. This is a very special viewing hut because you can partly see under water. I see a heron and various other birds. Because of the distance to be kept, I cannot stay long because I would also like to give other visitors the opportunity to spot birds from this unique location.   Once back at the harbor, I have about fifteen minutes left before I have to board the Abel Tasman again for the return sailing back to Lelystad. I decide to buy a drink at the beach pavilion and enjoy the wind in my hair and the sun shining on my face on the beach. It’s clear that the beach is a popular destination because I have not seen as many people as there are here on the rest of the island.   By then it is time to return to the ship for the return trip to Lelystad, where we sail back into the port about two hours later.     An expedition to the Marker Wadden: yes or no? Personally, I found the two hours I had on the short side. As a nature lover I love to stroll around at my pace, to be somewhere for a longer period of time with my binoculars and to explore everything at my leisure. Because I was a bit under time pressure, I felt like I had to hurry and couldn’t take the time I normally would.   Having said this, I think that two hours are more than enough for non-bird watchers to get a good impression of the Marker Wadden. You can visit the Steltloper in the two hours as well as some bird huts and combine this with a visit to the beach.     Staying overnight on the Marker Wadden If I go to the Marker Wadden again in the future (which I certainly plan) I will try to stay there overnight. Because many boats dock mid-day, the island is also busy around that time. As the accommodation options are limited, I heard that you are almost alone on the island in the evening and in the morning.   At this moment there are a few cabins from Landal Marker Wadden and the opening of a natural camping area is planned in 2021. With your own ship it is also possible to spend the night on the Marker Wadden.   Walking on the Marker Wadden Various walking trails have been laid out on Haveneiland that are flat and easily accessible. At the pavilion you can get a map of the Marker Wadden with the hiking trails and an overview of the viewpoints. Besides the Steltloper there are two bird huts and there is also a bird watching screen Aalscholver, which I could not visit due to the limited time. All sights are within walking distance of each other. Some trails are closed during the breeding season, inquire at the information point about the possibilities. In addition, various guided walks are organized by Natuurmonumenten.     Ook nog handig om te weten Dogs are only allowed on a leash around the harbor basin. There are no garbage bins so carry out what you carry in and there is only a public toilet at the pavilion. The island is still under construction and so not everything is accessible, sometimes you will see an excavator or other construction tools in the landscape. Surfing and drones are not allowed on the Marker Wadden.     Also good to know Short but sweet, that was my visit to the Marker Wadden in National Park Nieuw Land. The short visit certainly convinced me to come back again and perhaps spend the night on the Marker Wadden in the future. I thought it was very impressive to see how man-made nature can bring about so much beauty and become a home for so many birds.   I made this expedition to the Marker Wadden in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own. I will visit five national parks and nature reserves in the fall of 2020, the other articles I wrote about this can be found here.  

The post An expedition to the Marker Wadden in Nieuw Land N.P. appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Have you ever heard of the Marker Wadden? This nature reserve in the Markermeer in The Netherlands consists of various islands and is part of the Nieuw Land National Park. The national park has been open to the public since 2020 and I was asked to visit Marker Wadden in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. In this article I will tell you all about it including a lot of practical information for your visit. Enjoy reading!
 
Also read: a micro adventure on the Wadden Sea during a running aground excursion
 

About the Marker Wadden and National Park Nieuw Land

The Marker Wadden is the largest man-made nature reserve in the world. Construction started in 2016 and the ‘Haveneiland’ (Harbor Island) was accessible to visitors for the first time in 2020. The Marker Wadden islands are of great importance for birds, fish and underwater nature and provide new life in the Markermeer. There are currently five islands, of which only the Haveneiland is accessible to visitors, the rest of the islands is for nature. The location of the Marker Wadden is northwest of Lelystad in the Markermeer.
 
The Marker Wadden are part of the Nieuw Land (New Land) National Park, the 21st and newest national park in The Netherlands. The other parts of the Nieuw Land National Park are the Markermeer, the Lepelaarsplassen and the Oostvaardersplassen. Together they share the rich history of the former Zuiderzee and the creation of the Flevopolder.
 

Bird watching on the Marker Wadden
Bird watching on the Marker Wadden
 

Visiting the Marker Wadden

You can visit the Marker Wadden in various ways. For example, a ferry goes to the Marker Wadden from the port of Lelystad, the rates and the sailing schedule can be found on the Natuurmonumenten website. You can also join an expedition, I traveled with the Abel Tasman via Rederij Naupar. If you have your own ship, you are also very welcome in the port of the Marker Wadden. The national park is not accessible over land.
 
The Marker Wadden is a walking island, bicycles and motorized transport are not allowed. Some paths are accessible for wheelchairs and disabled people.
 

One of the bridges on the Marker Wadden
One of the bridges on the Marker Wadden
 

An expedition to the Marker Wadden

It is a sunny Sunday in September when I arrive in the port of Lelystad. As soon as we have left the port of Lelystad, the sails are hoisted and we set course for the Marker Wadden. It is a clear day and soon I can already see the Haveneiland in the distance. Slowly but steadily we get closer and after lunch is served on board, the Abel Tasman moors in the harbor of the Marker Wadden. It’s busy because it’s a sunny day, but that can be expected on a Sunday after all.
 
I have two hours to spend on the Marker Wadden. I decide to stop by the information point first, which you can find near the harbor. The guided hikes and excursions are already fully booked for the day, so I decide to go out and explore by myself instead.
 

Departure from Lelystad
Departure from Lelystad
On board the Abel Tasman
On board the Abel Tasman
Arrival at the Marker Wadden
Arrival at the Marker Wadden
 

Bird watching on the Marker Wadden

My first stop is at the Steltloper observation tower, which is located on the beach of the Marker Wadden. From the lookout you have a wide view of the Haveneiland and the Markermeer. I quickly shoot some photos and then continue my way to one of the bird watching spots.
 
Because the Marker Wadden are still under construction, there are warnings about quicksand here all around. It is important to stay on the indicated trails and not leave them.
 
Not much later I arrive at birdwatching hut Lepelaar. There are not many other people when I step inside and it shows that there are no other birds to be seen at the moment except ducks. I scan the water anyway, but see no other birds.
 
Via a number of beautiful boardwalks I walk to the next birdwatching hut: Duikeend. This is a very special viewing hut because you can partly see under water. I see a heron and various other birds. Because of the distance to be kept, I cannot stay long because I would also like to give other visitors the opportunity to spot birds from this unique location.
 
Once back at the harbor, I have about fifteen minutes left before I have to board the Abel Tasman again for the return sailing back to Lelystad. I decide to buy a drink at the beach pavilion and enjoy the wind in my hair and the sun shining on my face on the beach. It’s clear that the beach is a popular destination because I have not seen as many people as there are here on the rest of the island.
 
By then it is time to return to the ship for the return trip to Lelystad, where we sail back into the port about two hours later.
 

Viewtower Steltloper
Viewtower Steltloper
One of the boardwalks on the Marker Wadden
Bird watching hut Lepelaar
Bird watching hut Lepelaar
Bird watching from the Duikeend hut
Bird watching from the Duikeend hut
 

An expedition to the Marker Wadden: yes or no?

Personally, I found the two hours I had on the short side. As a nature lover I love to stroll around at my pace, to be somewhere for a longer period of time with my binoculars and to explore everything at my leisure. Because I was a bit under time pressure, I felt like I had to hurry and couldn’t take the time I normally would.
 
Having said this, I think that two hours are more than enough for non-bird watchers to get a good impression of the Marker Wadden. You can visit the Steltloper in the two hours as well as some bird huts and combine this with a visit to the beach.
 

This is what the Marker Wadden look like
This is what the Marker Wadden look like
 

Staying overnight on the Marker Wadden

If I go to the Marker Wadden again in the future (which I certainly plan) I will try to stay there overnight. Because many boats dock mid-day, the island is also busy around that time. As the accommodation options are limited, I heard that you are almost alone on the island in the evening and in the morning.
 
At this moment there are a few cabins from Landal Marker Wadden and the opening of a natural camping area is planned in 2021. With your own ship it is also possible to spend the night on the Marker Wadden.
 

Walking on the Marker Wadden

Various walking trails have been laid out on Haveneiland that are flat and easily accessible. At the pavilion you can get a map of the Marker Wadden with the hiking trails and an overview of the viewpoints. Besides the Steltloper there are two bird huts and there is also a bird watching screen Aalscholver, which I could not visit due to the limited time. All sights are within walking distance of each other. Some trails are closed during the breeding season, inquire at the information point about the possibilities. In addition, various guided walks are organized by Natuurmonumenten.
 

Bird watching hut Lepelaar
Bird watching hut Lepelaar
View over Marker Wadden from Steltloper
View over Marker Wadden from Steltloper
 

Ook nog handig om te weten

Dogs are only allowed on a leash around the harbor basin. There are no garbage bins so carry out what you carry in and there is only a public toilet at the pavilion. The island is still under construction and so not everything is accessible, sometimes you will see an excavator or other construction tools in the landscape. Surfing and drones are not allowed on the Marker Wadden.
 

Watch out for quicksand
Watch out for quicksand
 

Also good to know

Short but sweet, that was my visit to the Marker Wadden in National Park Nieuw Land. The short visit certainly convinced me to come back again and perhaps spend the night on the Marker Wadden in the future. I thought it was very impressive to see how man-made nature can bring about so much beauty and become a home for so many birds.
 
I made this expedition to the Marker Wadden in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own. I will visit five national parks and nature reserves in the fall of 2020, the other articles I wrote about this can be found here.
 

The post An expedition to the Marker Wadden in Nieuw Land N.P. appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/marker-wadden-nieuw-land-national-park/feed/ 0
Running aground on the Wadden Sea https://www.we12travel.com/wadden-sea/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wadden-sea https://www.we12travel.com/wadden-sea/#respond Fri, 25 Sep 2020 06:17:37 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21858 Waddenzee WerelderfgoedDid you know that the Dutch Wadden Sea is on the UNESCO World Heritage List? The landscape here is formed by wind and water and is full of life. Every year, millions of migratory birds make a stopover in the Wadden region on their journey to warmer or colder places. Countless bird species, seals, porpoises and many other animal species live in the Wadden area. The most special way to explore the Wadden Sea is during a running aground and mudflat walking excursion. In this article I’ll tell you all about it! Before you continue reading, check out the short video I made:     Arrival in Harlingen It is a cool September morning when I get in the car to drive from Arnhem to Harlingen, a journey of about two hours. I leave well before sunrise because the ship that I go on an adventure leaves at 9 am. As I cross the Ketelmeer I see the sun rising to my right over a low hanging cloud of fog. Not much later I’ve arrived in the Friesian town of Harlingen, all the way up north. I park my car just outside the center and walk, while the sun rises further, to the sailing ship the Noordfries, with which I am going on an expedition today.     Leaving the harbor Skipper Maria welcomes me and the other guests on board. She gives a short explanation of what we are going to do today and hopes that there will eventually be enough wind to put up the sails. We sail out of Harlingen on the motor and into the Waddenzee. The sun is now high in the sky and we consider ourselves lucky that today is such a beautiful day to go on an adventure.     Hoisting the sails Finally the sails are hoisted and the wind slowly blows us towards the mudflats. We can help with the sailing and have also plenty of time to relax on board and enjoy the beautiful weather. Meanwhile, Wadden expert Tom explains the Wadden Sea and tells more about the history of the area and what we can expect from mudflat walking. Dog Basta also joins in.     Running aground After about an hour on the water, the Noordfries comes to a stop. We have run aground. The bottom of the ship has hit the sandbank and now we have to wait until the water sinks and is low enough to disembark. The water is sinking at about half to one centimeter per minute and since the water is now about a meter high, we have to wait another hour and a half.   The high tide and low tide is an interesting phenomenon. We will soon be able to see the tide even better. This phenomenon is caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and other planets. We are located just west of Harlingen and the water that runs out here comes and goes to the tidal inlet between Texel and Den Helder to the west of us. The total tide difference is about 2.5 meters.     On the Zuidwal The bank where we are located is called the Zuidwal and is a few kilometers away from an unmanned oil rig. This sandbank is part of the Zuidwal volcano, a dead volcano located about two kilometers below the water surface. While the sea is slowly sinking lower, we see the first birds appearing on the mudflats in the distance, a sign that the lowest water level is approaching.     Mudflat walking A delicious lunch is served and not much later it’s time to hit the mudflats. The water is still about 30/40 centimeters high, but the sand is already visible below. I put on my water shoes, but this turns out not to be a convenient choice. After just a few meters of wading I get stuck in a deep channel and get sucked in. With the help of Tom I get out again, but I almost lose my shoe. So it’s definitely better to continue barefoot and it is more pleasant for sure as well.   We are allowed to walk around freely and take pictures on the mudflats. I see thousands of bird’s feet in the sand, look for shells, eat seaweed (because I learned that in the Oosterschelde) and find starfish and crabs. It’s a very special feeling to walk on the bottom of the sea like this.   In the distance ships sail and Tom says that they are about 2.5 meters higher than us, in other words the difference in height of the water is enormous in my opinion. However, it seems like it is less big, partly because of the distance.   After spending some time on the mudflats I walk back to the Noordfries, which has since completely fallen dry and is surrounded by sand only. Also on the way back you have to be careful not to step into the gullies (if you do, then it is slippery) and after I have made some pictures of the ship from the mudflats, it is time to climb back on board via the rope ladder.     Waiting for the high tide There are tasty snacks waiting for us once back on the ship and we fully enjoy the sunshine on our faces. I browse through the Bosatlas of the Wadden. Very slowly the water level starts to rise again, but it will take another two hours for the ship to be released. It is very special to see the water flow around the ship again and to see the water level rise. Crabs are carried away by the current and a few hours later it is no longer visible that we have just stood here at the bottom of the sea.     Back to Harlingen After a delicious dinner, the Noordfries sails back to Harlingen. I may try to navigate for a bit, but this is so much harder than sailing a small boat, which is all I have done before.   While the sun slowly sets, peace returns to sea. There are hardly any other ships left and every now and then a seagull passes by. Just before sunset we reach the harbor of Harlingen, bringing a special experience to an end.     Conclusion and disclaimer The running aground excursion is a special way to get to know the Wadden Sea. I can truly recommend you to join this excursion. You do not have to be very fit, but to get on and off board you have to use a sturdy rope ladder. You wade through the water for a while and are free to come and go wherever you want on the mudflats. You can stay with the Wadden expert, but you can also go on a discovery tour yourself.   Hopefully I have inspired you to visit the Wadden Sea once when you are visiting The Netherlands. For dates and prices of this excursion, please visit the Historical Zeilvaart website (in Dutch). I experienced this micro adventure in collaboration with Holland National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own.  

The post Running aground on the Wadden Sea appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Did you know that the Dutch Wadden Sea is on the UNESCO World Heritage List? The landscape here is formed by wind and water and is full of life. Every year, millions of migratory birds make a stopover in the Wadden region on their journey to warmer or colder places. Countless bird species, seals, porpoises and many other animal species live in the Wadden area. The most special way to explore the Wadden Sea is during a running aground and mudflat walking excursion. In this article I’ll tell you all about it! Before you continue reading, check out the short video I made:
 

 

Arrival in Harlingen

It is a cool September morning when I get in the car to drive from Arnhem to Harlingen, a journey of about two hours. I leave well before sunrise because the ship that I go on an adventure leaves at 9 am. As I cross the Ketelmeer I see the sun rising to my right over a low hanging cloud of fog. Not much later I’ve arrived in the Friesian town of Harlingen, all the way up north. I park my car just outside the center and walk, while the sun rises further, to the sailing ship the Noordfries, with which I am going on an expedition today.
 

Sunrise in Harlingen
Sunrise in Harlingen
 

Leaving the harbor

Skipper Maria welcomes me and the other guests on board. She gives a short explanation of what we are going to do today and hopes that there will eventually be enough wind to put up the sails. We sail out of Harlingen on the motor and into the Waddenzee. The sun is now high in the sky and we consider ourselves lucky that today is such a beautiful day to go on an adventure.
 

Departure from Harlingen
Departure from Harlingen
 

Hoisting the sails

Finally the sails are hoisted and the wind slowly blows us towards the mudflats. We can help with the sailing and have also plenty of time to relax on board and enjoy the beautiful weather. Meanwhile, Wadden expert Tom explains the Wadden Sea and tells more about the history of the area and what we can expect from mudflat walking. Dog Basta also joins in.
 

Basta on the Noordfries
Basta on the Noordfries
 

Running aground

After about an hour on the water, the Noordfries comes to a stop. We have run aground. The bottom of the ship has hit the sandbank and now we have to wait until the water sinks and is low enough to disembark. The water is sinking at about half to one centimeter per minute and since the water is now about a meter high, we have to wait another hour and a half.
 
The high tide and low tide is an interesting phenomenon. We will soon be able to see the tide even better. This phenomenon is caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and other planets. We are located just west of Harlingen and the water that runs out here comes and goes to the tidal inlet between Texel and Den Helder to the west of us. The total tide difference is about 2.5 meters.
 

On the Wadden Sea
On the Wadden Sea
 

On the Zuidwal

The bank where we are located is called the Zuidwal and is a few kilometers away from an unmanned oil rig. This sandbank is part of the Zuidwal volcano, a dead volcano located about two kilometers below the water surface. While the sea is slowly sinking lower, we see the first birds appearing on the mudflats in the distance, a sign that the lowest water level is approaching.
 

Running aground on the Wadden Sea
Running aground on the Wadden Sea
 

Mudflat walking

A delicious lunch is served and not much later it’s time to hit the mudflats. The water is still about 30/40 centimeters high, but the sand is already visible below. I put on my water shoes, but this turns out not to be a convenient choice. After just a few meters of wading I get stuck in a deep channel and get sucked in. With the help of Tom I get out again, but I almost lose my shoe. So it’s definitely better to continue barefoot and it is more pleasant for sure as well.
 
We are allowed to walk around freely and take pictures on the mudflats. I see thousands of bird’s feet in the sand, look for shells, eat seaweed (because I learned that in the Oosterschelde) and find starfish and crabs. It’s a very special feeling to walk on the bottom of the sea like this.
 
In the distance ships sail and Tom says that they are about 2.5 meters higher than us, in other words the difference in height of the water is enormous in my opinion. However, it seems like it is less big, partly because of the distance.
 
After spending some time on the mudflats I walk back to the Noordfries, which has since completely fallen dry and is surrounded by sand only. Also on the way back you have to be careful not to step into the gullies (if you do, then it is slippery) and after I have made some pictures of the ship from the mudflats, it is time to climb back on board via the rope ladder.
 

On the bottom of the sea
On the bottom of the sea
Wadden Sea World Heritage
Birds have been here
The Noordfries
The Noordfries
A starfish I found
A starfish I found
 

Waiting for the high tide

There are tasty snacks waiting for us once back on the ship and we fully enjoy the sunshine on our faces. I browse through the Bosatlas of the Wadden. Very slowly the water level starts to rise again, but it will take another two hours for the ship to be released. It is very special to see the water flow around the ship again and to see the water level rise. Crabs are carried away by the current and a few hours later it is no longer visible that we have just stood here at the bottom of the sea.
 

The current while the high tide comes in  on the Wadden Sea
The current while the high tide comes in
 

Back to Harlingen

After a delicious dinner, the Noordfries sails back to Harlingen. I may try to navigate for a bit, but this is so much harder than sailing a small boat, which is all I have done before.
 
While the sun slowly sets, peace returns to sea. There are hardly any other ships left and every now and then a seagull passes by. Just before sunset we reach the harbor of Harlingen, bringing a special experience to an end.
 

At the rudder
At the rudder
Skipper Maria
Skipper Maria
Arrival back in Harlingen
Arrival back in Harlingen
 

Conclusion and disclaimer

The running aground excursion is a special way to get to know the Wadden Sea. I can truly recommend you to join this excursion. You do not have to be very fit, but to get on and off board you have to use a sturdy rope ladder. You wade through the water for a while and are free to come and go wherever you want on the mudflats. You can stay with the Wadden expert, but you can also go on a discovery tour yourself.
 
Hopefully I have inspired you to visit the Wadden Sea once when you are visiting The Netherlands. For dates and prices of this excursion, please visit the Historical Zeilvaart website (in Dutch). I experienced this micro adventure in collaboration with Holland National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own.
 

The post Running aground on the Wadden Sea appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/wadden-sea/feed/ 0
The best unknown Norway hiking trails https://www.we12travel.com/unknown-norway-hiking-trails/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unknown-norway-hiking-trails https://www.we12travel.com/unknown-norway-hiking-trails/#respond Wed, 23 Sep 2020 13:00:04 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21821 The best unknown hiking trails in NorwayAre you going hiking in Norway? Then forget the Preikestølen, Trolltunga and other famous hikes in Norway where you stumble all over the other tourists. There are really countless top hikes in Norway that are not so crowded and are just as worthwhile. In recent years I have visited Norway several times and although the weather was not always awesome, I was able to make some nice hikes. In this article I share a number of unknown Norway hiking trails with you. Enjoy reading!     Rimstigen During my very first trip to Norway ever (read: 2014) I stayed in a cottage in the narrow Nærøyfjord, which, together with the famous Geirangerfjord, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The owner also lived in the yard and told me about this hike, which started right behind the house: in just an hour of walking up I would reach a beautiful viewpoint over the Nærøyfjord.   That hour turned into two because if there is one thing I have learned about Norway hiking routes over the years is that the Norwegians are very fast and the times are relatively tight. The journey up is steep and winding, but once at the top of 735 meters above sea level, you have a beautiful view of the Nærøyfjord deep below.   From Rimstigen, the name of the viewpoint, you can go a little further, but the trail is not maintained from here and only suitable for experienced hikers. Want to read more? Go here to read all about the Rimstigen hike.     Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park Do you want to go glacier hiking in Norway? Then I can recommend the hike to Møsevassbreen in Blådålen. Hardly any tourists come here (at least, only a handful when we were there, quite different from the crowded places) and it is really beautiful.   Blådålen, or the blue valley, is a valley dominated by a huge hydroelectric power station, but once you have passed it, the landscape becomes more beautiful and beautiful. The asphalt road takes you far from civilization and once at the end of the road you come to Møsevatnet. Here is a map of the area and some hiking trails have been drawn. However, the hike is not marked, you just follow the best possible route and the cairns.   After a good hour you will come to a ledge, from where you have a beautiful view of the Møsevassbreen glacier. The glacier is located on the south side of the Folgefonna National Park, on the other side of the mountains from the touristic Odda.   This spectacular hike is not difficult, but sometimes it takes a while to find the best trail. You hike back and forth on the same route. After the ridge you can continue up, but you will no longer have a view of the glacier. This is definitely one of the best unknown hikes in Norway!     To the top of Tvindefossen The Tvindefossen is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Norway, just outside the village of Voss. You visit the waterfall at the base, but hardly anyone knows that you can also find the top. With your back to the waterfall, take the road up to your left. This can be done by car, it is a paved road that circles your mountain. After a few hairpin bends you will see a walking trail in the bend, here a short walk of about 10-15 minutes to the beginning of the Tvindefossen starts. Follow the trail and you will get there automatically … be very careful because the drops are long and there’s no fences!     Aurlandsdalen The ‘Grand Canyon of Norway’ is the nickname of Aurlandsdalen. This long valley forms the source for the Aurlandsdalen hike, a multi-day hike with possible overnights in mountain huts. I didn’t hike from cabin to cabin in Norway, but I did the hike through the lowest part of Aurlandsdalen, from Østerbø to Vassbygdi. This is a tough 6 hour hike through the valley. Sometimes you hike down, but now and then you also have to climb a lot.   Along the way you will pass impressive rock formations, splashing waterfalls and abandoned farms. And with a little luck hardly any other hikers, depending on the period in which you travel. I did this hike in June and really didn’t meet anyone, an advantage of going so early in the season. The disadvantage is that there is still a lot of snow, so I could not walk the upper part of the Aurlandsdalen track.   You can read the complete Aurlandsdalen article here     General travel tips for hiking in Norway I’ll end this article with some general tips for hiking in Norway. First of all, prepare for bad weather. Partly due to bad weather, I was also unable to do several hikes. In this case, bad weather was not that there was a quick shower, but that it was pouring down nonstop. It was so bad on the hike to Åkrastølen that the bridge over the river was destroyed. So always bring rain gear and a first aid kit. The best (as far as possible) weather forecasts can be found on the YR app.   Furthermore, the Norwegians are well trained and used to hike in the mountains. My experience is that the indicated walking times are often relatively short and that a simple hike can be quite difficult for a beginner. Use as a rule of thumb that you can make a maximum of 350 to 400 vertical meters per hour. The well-known trails are well marked, unknown trails often less good or not. In many places you make river crossings on foot and there are no bridges.   There are really hiking trails everywhere, I can recommend the Outtt app to download for hiking tips in Norway. And be sure to ask around with the locals, for example we ended up at the Møsevassbreen, I couldn’t find anything about it on the internet.   Conclusion about the best unknown Norway hiking trails Hopefully you found this article about hiking in Norway useful and we provided you with a nice dose of hiking inspiration. If you have any questions, please let us know. This article contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase via such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no extra cost.  

The post The best unknown Norway hiking trails appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Are you going hiking in Norway? Then forget the Preikestølen, Trolltunga and other famous hikes in Norway where you stumble all over the other tourists. There are really countless top hikes in Norway that are not so crowded and are just as worthwhile. In recent years I have visited Norway several times and although the weather was not always awesome, I was able to make some nice hikes. In this article I share a number of unknown Norway hiking trails with you. Enjoy reading!
 

Hiking in Norway in the rain
Hiking in Norway in the rain
 

Rimstigen

During my very first trip to Norway ever (read: 2014) I stayed in a cottage in the narrow Nærøyfjord, which, together with the famous Geirangerfjord, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The owner also lived in the yard and told me about this hike, which started right behind the house: in just an hour of walking up I would reach a beautiful viewpoint over the Nærøyfjord.
 
That hour turned into two because if there is one thing I have learned about Norway hiking routes over the years is that the Norwegians are very fast and the times are relatively tight. The journey up is steep and winding, but once at the top of 735 meters above sea level, you have a beautiful view of the Nærøyfjord deep below.
 
From Rimstigen, the name of the viewpoint, you can go a little further, but the trail is not maintained from here and only suitable for experienced hikers. Want to read more? Go here to read all about the Rimstigen hike.
 

Rimstigen hike
The Rimstigen hike
 

Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park

Do you want to go glacier hiking in Norway? Then I can recommend the hike to Møsevassbreen in Blådålen. Hardly any tourists come here (at least, only a handful when we were there, quite different from the crowded places) and it is really beautiful.
 
Blådålen, or the blue valley, is a valley dominated by a huge hydroelectric power station, but once you have passed it, the landscape becomes more beautiful and beautiful. The asphalt road takes you far from civilization and once at the end of the road you come to Møsevatnet. Here is a map of the area and some hiking trails have been drawn. However, the hike is not marked, you just follow the best possible route and the cairns.
 
After a good hour you will come to a ledge, from where you have a beautiful view of the Møsevassbreen glacier. The glacier is located on the south side of the Folgefonna National Park, on the other side of the mountains from the touristic Odda.
 
This spectacular hike is not difficult, but sometimes it takes a while to find the best trail. You hike back and forth on the same route. After the ridge you can continue up, but you will no longer have a view of the glacier. This is definitely one of the best unknown hikes in Norway!
 

best unknown hikes in norway hiking map
A hiking map of Blådalen
Folgefonna glacier hiking in norway best hikes in norway
Folgefonna glacier
 

To the top of Tvindefossen

The Tvindefossen is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Norway, just outside the village of Voss. You visit the waterfall at the base, but hardly anyone knows that you can also find the top. With your back to the waterfall, take the road up to your left. This can be done by car, it is a paved road that circles your mountain. After a few hairpin bends you will see a walking trail in the bend, here a short walk of about 10-15 minutes to the beginning of the Tvindefossen starts. Follow the trail and you will get there automatically … be very careful because the drops are long and there’s no fences!
 

biking in fjord norway
At the top of Tvindefossen
 

Aurlandsdalen

The ‘Grand Canyon of Norway’ is the nickname of Aurlandsdalen. This long valley forms the source for the Aurlandsdalen hike, a multi-day hike with possible overnights in mountain huts. I didn’t hike from cabin to cabin in Norway, but I did the hike through the lowest part of Aurlandsdalen, from Østerbø to Vassbygdi. This is a tough 6 hour hike through the valley. Sometimes you hike down, but now and then you also have to climb a lot.
 
Along the way you will pass impressive rock formations, splashing waterfalls and abandoned farms. And with a little luck hardly any other hikers, depending on the period in which you travel. I did this hike in June and really didn’t meet anyone, an advantage of going so early in the season. The disadvantage is that there is still a lot of snow, so I could not walk the upper part of the Aurlandsdalen track.
 
You can read the complete Aurlandsdalen article here
 

Aurlandsdalen hike in Fjord Norway
Aurlandsdalen hike in Fjord Norway
 

General travel tips for hiking in Norway

I’ll end this article with some general tips for hiking in Norway. First of all, prepare for bad weather. Partly due to bad weather, I was also unable to do several hikes. In this case, bad weather was not that there was a quick shower, but that it was pouring down nonstop. It was so bad on the hike to Åkrastølen that the bridge over the river was destroyed. So always bring rain gear and a first aid kit. The best (as far as possible) weather forecasts can be found on the YR app.
 
Furthermore, the Norwegians are well trained and used to hike in the mountains. My experience is that the indicated walking times are often relatively short and that a simple hike can be quite difficult for a beginner. Use as a rule of thumb that you can make a maximum of 350 to 400 vertical meters per hour. The well-known trails are well marked, unknown trails often less good or not. In many places you make river crossings on foot and there are no bridges.
 
There are really hiking trails everywhere, I can recommend the Outtt app to download for hiking tips in Norway. And be sure to ask around with the locals, for example we ended up at the Møsevassbreen, I couldn’t find anything about it on the internet.
 

Conclusion about the best unknown Norway hiking trails

Hopefully you found this article about hiking in Norway useful and we provided you with a nice dose of hiking inspiration. If you have any questions, please let us know. This article contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase via such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no extra cost.
 

The post The best unknown Norway hiking trails appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/unknown-norway-hiking-trails/feed/ 0
Oosterschelde National Park: picking seaweed and whalewatching https://www.we12travel.com/oosterschelde-national-park/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=oosterschelde-national-park https://www.we12travel.com/oosterschelde-national-park/#respond Wed, 09 Sep 2020 15:25:09 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21767 Nationaal Park OosterscheldeDid you know we have no less than 21 national parks in The Netherlands? Our country is filled with them and each of them has its own unique features. Over the next couple of months I’ll visit 5 of them and will show you the beauty and variety of Dutch nature. I hope it’ll inspire you to explore our country beyond the well known places and have some truly amazing micro adventures. My first trip took me to Oosterschelde National Park in Zeeland, which is located in the southwest of The Netherlands.     About Oosterschelde National Park Oosterschelde National Park is the largest and wettest national park in the Netherlands. The park was established in May 2002 and is best known for the Oosterscheldekering, a large construction which makes it possible to close the Oosterschelde (a large water inlet) when the waterlevel is rising. Most of the landscape is formed by wind and water, so you will find different landscapes during the day because of the ever changing tide. During the tide, 800 billion liters of water flows in and out of the Oosterschelde, providing a fantastic nature experience for its vsitors.   There are plenty of adventures you can experience in Oosterschelde National Park. I made a combination of three activities: I’m going to pick seaweed during a so-called seaweed walk, take a hike on the dikes of Zierikzee and look for porpoises, a small whale species. And all that in just one day!     Arrival at Neeltje Jans As I live in the opposite region of The Netherlands, I’m leaving home at about 07.00 am to make sure I’m in Zeeland at the right time. Then there is a message from Ellen who organizes the seaweed walk: the excursion starts an hour and a half later due to rain. Since I’m already on my way and will arrive at the original time, I first decide to take a short walk at Delta Park Neeltje Jans, a work island that is part of the Oosterscheldekering.   I park my car at the visitor center, which is located in the Ir. J. W. Topshuis, from where the Oosterscheldekering is operated. Unfortunately, the visitor center appears to be closed due to the corona virus, but there is an overview map with walking routes at the parking lot. As it’s by now pouring down with rain, I decide to sit in the car and wait out the heaviest bit of it, after which I put on my hiking boots and hit the trail.     A short walk on Neeltje Jans I’ve got about an hour and would like to make a short hike on Neeltje Jans. There are no less than five different walks you can do here:   – the ‘Parelpad’ (pearl path), a 1.5 km experience path – the orange route, 3.5 km to the bird viewing area – the green route, a 1.5 km long walk for the disabled / wheelchairs – the yellow route, a 2.8 km long walk along a viewing screen and natural slufter – the blue route, a 3.7 km long walk to the North Sea beach   The Parelpad starts from the point where I stand and I decide to take that walk and maybe change to another trail along the way. However, there is already so much to see on the Parelpad that I cannot even manage to take a different route in terms of time. I look at information panels about the Oosterschelde and the birds that live here, scan the horizon with my binoculars and suddenly it is time to head to the starting point of the seaweed walk.     Just put your head under water ‘If you really want to experience the Oosterschelde, then just put your head under water!’ This is how Ellen starts with the seaweed excursion, an initiative of WildWier. WildWier is run by Ellen and Guido, who stand with their feet in the water every week to pick seaweeds. Sometimes with guests, but also for restaurants, for example. More information can be found here.   We start the excursion with a short introduction to seaweed. Ellen explains that there is a lot of seaweed in the Oosterschelde and that you can eat everything without any problems. The seaweed here is of excellent quality. However, you must know you are not allowed to pick weeds in the Oosterschelde, but WildWier has a permit for this. This is to prevent over-picking and to prevent the Oosterschelde from being picked empty.   I also learn about the different types of seaweed. For example, on the high tide line we see bladderwrack and clubweed and underwater we find the sea lettuce and the wakame among other things. We can pick all seaweeds we want and eat them straight away. At first we stay close to the place where the cars are parked, but after we have tasted and harvested our own seaweeds here, we go to some shallow pools to harvest other species of seaweed.     Tasting the seaweed As mentioned, you can eat all the seaweeds in the Oosterschelde National Park without any problems. Of course it gives a somewhat salty taste because of the salty water, but to be honest, it tastes really delicious even with a grain of sand here and there. A fellow harvester finds a crab in an oyster and a bunch of young boys who are also on the tour go out on an oyster hunt. Everything is allowed during this excursion, it is playing outside at its best.   We end the excursion with making our own seaweed sushi that we eat during an ode to the sea. It tastes delicious and with a full bowl of seaweed for home I say goodbye to Ellen and my fellow harvesters.     Onwards to Zierikzee My plan was to have lunch at ‘Proef Zeeland’, but because the excursion started later than planned, I decide to drive from Neeltje Jans directly to Zierikzee for the second part of my day: a hike in search of porpoises.   Upon arrival in Zierikzee it turns out to be super busy, the summer season is in full swing here and the tourists are everywhere. I manage to get a parking space but decide not to spend much time on my lunch. I walk into the city center, have a quick sandwich and then go to the starting point of my walk.     Porpoises in National Park Oosterschelde When I discussed with the organization what I would like to do in National Park Oosterschelde, the main thing was that I would like to see porpoises in Zeeland. The porpoise is a small whale that grows to a maximum length of 1.80 meters and therefore looks a lot like a dolphin. You can observe them in different places, but at the pier of Zierikzee at the end of the harbor is one of the best places.   I’m advised to walk the hiking route ‘Levensstijd’ by the Dutch nature association. This walking route combines a visit to the pier with the Levensrijd and Rengerskerke nature reserves, a resting area for birds. The route is connected by a numbered network and therefore easy to follow. Note that the link is in Dutch!   I walk along the Havenkanaal (harbor channel) and quickly leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. The sun has now started to shine and burns all over my skin, so it’s high time to apply some sunscreen. After about two kilometers I arrive at lookout point Kiekuut, a bird watching spot. I view through my binoculars and see a number of spoonbills. I can stay here for an hour without any problems, but decide to continue my mission in search of the porpoise.   After another kilometer I arrive at the pier. Here is ‘Studio Bruinvis’, an information pole with a sonar hydrophone that picks up the sound of porpoises at the buoy a little further in the water. If there are porpoises swimming near the buoy, you can hear this at the push of a button and you know whether you need to be alert. I press the button but don’t hear anything. And again. And again. But I don’t hear any porpoise noises. I decide to sit on a bench and bring out the binoculars again. In the distance I see the immense Zeeland Bridge and ships sail everywhere.     And then I wait … There is a couple sitting behind me and I ask them if they ever see porpoises. “Sure enough, almost every day, between 5 and 6 is a great time.” I look at my watch, it is half past four. I decide to wait another half hour because there is also a long journey home awaiting me. I peer over the water with the binoculars, but I’m not lucky. Just when I decide to come back another time, I see movement in the water in the distance. I quickly grab my binoculars again and sure enough, I see a fin through the viewer. And another one. They are lightning fast and immediately disappear under water. I grab my camera, but I can’t get a picture, they are too far away and disappear too quick. Then I’ll just enjoy them through the binoculars!   The group of porpoises makes one more jump and then they disappear. I keep looking for another fifteen minutes but don’t pick them up anymore. Too bad, but it was great to see whales from land and that in our my own country!   I stroll further along the dike, I am not even halfway through my original walk just yet. Then I decide to walk on the dike in the wind and below me I see a beautiful boardwalk, which is part of the harbor porpoise walking route. Without a doubt I will leave my planned walk and walk back to my car on the boardwalk. On the way I see more spoonbills and a lot of other birds unknown to me.   At the beginning of the evening I eventually get back to the car. To be fair, it was a long but exciting day. I started with a completely new experience of picking and eating the seaweed and ended with seeing porpoises. I couldn’t have asked for more!     Conclusion en disclaimer During my ride back home, I decide that I definitely want to come back here again. Not only to spot porpoises, but also to go kayaking, take more walks and view the Oosterscheldekering extensively. Too much for a day, but perfect for a long weekend.   Hopefully I have inspired you to visit the Oosterschelde National Park in The Netherlands. If you want to know more, check out the website of the park . I experienced this micro adventure in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own.  

The post Oosterschelde National Park: picking seaweed and whalewatching appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Did you know we have no less than 21 national parks in The Netherlands? Our country is filled with them and each of them has its own unique features. Over the next couple of months I’ll visit 5 of them and will show you the beauty and variety of Dutch nature. I hope it’ll inspire you to explore our country beyond the well known places and have some truly amazing micro adventures. My first trip took me to Oosterschelde National Park in Zeeland, which is located in the southwest of The Netherlands.
 

View over the Oosterscheldekering
View over the Oosterscheldekering
 

About Oosterschelde National Park

Oosterschelde National Park is the largest and wettest national park in the Netherlands. The park was established in May 2002 and is best known for the Oosterscheldekering, a large construction which makes it possible to close the Oosterschelde (a large water inlet) when the waterlevel is rising. Most of the landscape is formed by wind and water, so you will find different landscapes during the day because of the ever changing tide. During the tide, 800 billion liters of water flows in and out of the Oosterschelde, providing a fantastic nature experience for its vsitors.
 
There are plenty of adventures you can experience in Oosterschelde National Park. I made a combination of three activities: I’m going to pick seaweed during a so-called seaweed walk, take a hike on the dikes of Zierikzee and look for porpoises, a small whale species. And all that in just one day!
 

Bird watching in Oosterschelde National Park
Bird watching in Oosterschelde National Park
whales in zeeland
Hike route ‘Bruinvis’ – a themed whale route
 

Arrival at Neeltje Jans

As I live in the opposite region of The Netherlands, I’m leaving home at about 07.00 am to make sure I’m in Zeeland at the right time. Then there is a message from Ellen who organizes the seaweed walk: the excursion starts an hour and a half later due to rain. Since I’m already on my way and will arrive at the original time, I first decide to take a short walk at Delta Park Neeltje Jans, a work island that is part of the Oosterscheldekering.
 
I park my car at the visitor center, which is located in the Ir. J. W. Topshuis, from where the Oosterscheldekering is operated. Unfortunately, the visitor center appears to be closed due to the corona virus, but there is an overview map with walking routes at the parking lot. As it’s by now pouring down with rain, I decide to sit in the car and wait out the heaviest bit of it, after which I put on my hiking boots and hit the trail.
 

Ir J W Topshuis in Nationaal Park Oosterschelde
Ir J W Topshuis
 

A short walk on Neeltje Jans

I’ve got about an hour and would like to make a short hike on Neeltje Jans. There are no less than five different walks you can do here:
 
– the ‘Parelpad’ (pearl path), a 1.5 km experience path
– the orange route, 3.5 km to the bird viewing area
– the green route, a 1.5 km long walk for the disabled / wheelchairs
– the yellow route, a 2.8 km long walk along a viewing screen and natural slufter
– the blue route, a 3.7 km long walk to the North Sea beach
 
The Parelpad starts from the point where I stand and I decide to take that walk and maybe change to another trail along the way. However, there is already so much to see on the Parelpad that I cannot even manage to take a different route in terms of time. I look at information panels about the Oosterschelde and the birds that live here, scan the horizon with my binoculars and suddenly it is time to head to the starting point of the seaweed walk.
 

The walks on Neeltje Jans
The walks on Neeltje Jans
 

Just put your head under water

‘If you really want to experience the Oosterschelde, then just put your head under water!’ This is how Ellen starts with the seaweed excursion, an initiative of WildWier. WildWier is run by Ellen and Guido, who stand with their feet in the water every week to pick seaweeds. Sometimes with guests, but also for restaurants, for example. More information can be found here.
 
We start the excursion with a short introduction to seaweed. Ellen explains that there is a lot of seaweed in the Oosterschelde and that you can eat everything without any problems. The seaweed here is of excellent quality. However, you must know you are not allowed to pick weeds in the Oosterschelde, but WildWier has a permit for this. This is to prevent over-picking and to prevent the Oosterschelde from being picked empty.
 
I also learn about the different types of seaweed. For example, on the high tide line we see bladderwrack and clubweed and underwater we find the sea lettuce and the wakame among other things. We can pick all seaweeds we want and eat them straight away. At first we stay close to the place where the cars are parked, but after we have tasted and harvested our own seaweeds here, we go to some shallow pools to harvest other species of seaweed.
 

Seaweed excursion
Ellen from WildWier
A seaweed display
A seaweed display
A crab in an oyster
A crab in an oyster
 

Tasting the seaweed

As mentioned, you can eat all the seaweeds in the Oosterschelde National Park without any problems. Of course it gives a somewhat salty taste because of the salty water, but to be honest, it tastes really delicious even with a grain of sand here and there. A fellow harvester finds a crab in an oyster and a bunch of young boys who are also on the tour go out on an oyster hunt. Everything is allowed during this excursion, it is playing outside at its best.
 
We end the excursion with making our own seaweed sushi that we eat during an ode to the sea. It tastes delicious and with a full bowl of seaweed for home I say goodbye to Ellen and my fellow harvesters.
 

Sea lettuce
Sea lettuce
Oosterschelde National Park seaweed picking
The scissors are ready
Some of the seaweeds
Some of the seaweeds
Picking seaweed in Oosterschelde National Park
Picking seaweed
 

Onwards to Zierikzee

My plan was to have lunch at ‘Proef Zeeland’, but because the excursion started later than planned, I decide to drive from Neeltje Jans directly to Zierikzee for the second part of my day: a hike in search of porpoises.
 
Upon arrival in Zierikzee it turns out to be super busy, the summer season is in full swing here and the tourists are everywhere. I manage to get a parking space but decide not to spend much time on my lunch. I walk into the city center, have a quick sandwich and then go to the starting point of my walk.
 

The harbor of Zierikzee
The harbor of Zierikzee
 

Porpoises in National Park Oosterschelde

When I discussed with the organization what I would like to do in National Park Oosterschelde, the main thing was that I would like to see porpoises in Zeeland. The porpoise is a small whale that grows to a maximum length of 1.80 meters and therefore looks a lot like a dolphin. You can observe them in different places, but at the pier of Zierikzee at the end of the harbor is one of the best places.
 
I’m advised to walk the hiking route ‘Levensstijd’ by the Dutch nature association. This walking route combines a visit to the pier with the Levensrijd and Rengerskerke nature reserves, a resting area for birds. The route is connected by a numbered network and therefore easy to follow. Note that the link is in Dutch!
 
I walk along the Havenkanaal (harbor channel) and quickly leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. The sun has now started to shine and burns all over my skin, so it’s high time to apply some sunscreen. After about two kilometers I arrive at lookout point Kiekuut, a bird watching spot. I view through my binoculars and see a number of spoonbills. I can stay here for an hour without any problems, but decide to continue my mission in search of the porpoise.
 
After another kilometer I arrive at the pier. Here is ‘Studio Bruinvis’, an information pole with a sonar hydrophone that picks up the sound of porpoises at the buoy a little further in the water. If there are porpoises swimming near the buoy, you can hear this at the push of a button and you know whether you need to be alert.

I press the button but don’t hear anything. And again. And again. But I don’t hear any porpoise noises. I decide to sit on a bench and bring out the binoculars again. In the distance I see the immense Zeeland Bridge and ships sail everywhere.
 

Studio Bruinvis
Studio Bruinvis
The Zeeland Bridge
The Zeeland Bridge
 

And then I wait …

There is a couple sitting behind me and I ask them if they ever see porpoises. “Sure enough, almost every day, between 5 and 6 is a great time.” I look at my watch, it is half past four. I decide to wait another half hour because there is also a long journey home awaiting me.

I peer over the water with the binoculars, but I’m not lucky. Just when I decide to come back another time, I see movement in the water in the distance. I quickly grab my binoculars again and sure enough, I see a fin through the viewer. And another one. They are lightning fast and immediately disappear under water. I grab my camera, but I can’t get a picture, they are too far away and disappear too quick. Then I’ll just enjoy them through the binoculars!
 
The group of porpoises makes one more jump and then they disappear. I keep looking for another fifteen minutes but don’t pick them up anymore. Too bad, but it was great to see whales from land and that in our my own country!
 
I stroll further along the dike, I am not even halfway through my original walk just yet. Then I decide to walk on the dike in the wind and below me I see a beautiful boardwalk, which is part of the harbor porpoise walking route. Without a doubt I will leave my planned walk and walk back to my car on the boardwalk. On the way I see more spoonbills and a lot of other birds unknown to me.
 
At the beginning of the evening I eventually get back to the car. To be fair, it was a long but exciting day. I started with a completely new experience of picking and eating the seaweed and ended with seeing porpoises. I couldn’t have asked for more!
 

Spotting porpoises
Spotting porpoises
The boardwalk
The boardwalk near Zierikzee
Nature in Oosterschelde National Park
Nature in Oosterschelde National Park
 

Conclusion en disclaimer

During my ride back home, I decide that I definitely want to come back here again. Not only to spot porpoises, but also to go kayaking, take more walks and view the Oosterscheldekering extensively. Too much for a day, but perfect for a long weekend.
 
Hopefully I have inspired you to visit the Oosterschelde National Park in The Netherlands. If you want to know more, check out the website of the park . I experienced this micro adventure in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own.
 

The post Oosterschelde National Park: picking seaweed and whalewatching appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/oosterschelde-national-park/feed/ 0
Hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany https://www.we12travel.com/hiking-in-the-mosel-valley-in-germany/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hiking-in-the-mosel-valley-in-germany https://www.we12travel.com/hiking-in-the-mosel-valley-in-germany/#respond Wed, 05 Aug 2020 08:25:26 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21646 wandelen aan de moezel over de moselsteigWhoever believes that the Mosel valley in Germany is just for old people is totally wrong. In 2015 I already visited the Mosel valley and recently I visited again for enjoying some hiking trails. I hiked some nice circular trails as well as a part of the Moselsteig, a long distance trail in Germany. In this article I tell you everything about hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany, including tips for the most beautiful routes, where to stay and more. Enjoy reading!     About the Mosel and the Mosel Valleyl The Mosel (or Moselle) is a 544 kilometer long river in France, Luxembourg and Germany. It originates in the French Vosges and flows into the Rhine near Koblenz. The most beautiful part of the Moselle can be found in the Mosel Valley, roughly between the cities of Trier and Koblenz. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills covered with vineyards, steep slopes and a winding river. Along the way you will find old castles and fortresses, numerous remains from Roman times and beautiful viewpoints.   The most famous places on along the Mosel river are Trier, Cochem and Zell. Most villages are connected by a bus route or a railway, which makes walking here possible without going on holiday with your car and / or hiking parts of the famous Moselsteig.     The Moselsteig The Moselsteig is one of the longest quality trails in Germany with 365 kilometers in distacne. Each stage is between 11 and 24 kilometers long and combines hiking along the banks of the Moselle with hiking through the vineyards and along high viewpoints.   In addition to the Moselsteig, there are various “Seitensprungen” or circular walks that combine the Mosel banks with the hinterland. Which is perfect if you want to stay in a one place and hike from there, rather than to walk from A to B to C. With these Seitensprungen you combine the best places of the Moselle with each other.   Because there is public transport in many places, you can determine your route and distances yourself. I did not do the Moselsteig in its entirety, but did run several stages and / or parts of it. The nice thing about combining stages with circular walks is the fact that you not only walk along the river, but also take in the rolling and relatively quiet hinterland.   The Moselsteig is not difficult, but it has considerable climbs and descents, sometimes with some climbing and scrambling. Along the way, some Via Ferrata are possible, but if you do not want this, you can skip it, there is always an easier alternative route indicated.     Route suggestions for the Moselsteig I hiked stages 13 and 14 from the Moselsteig entirely. Stage 13 leads from Reil to Traben Trarbach and stage 14 goes from Reil to Zell. These are perfect if you want to catch the Moselweinbahn train route. I stayed at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil and hiked as follows:   Day 1. train Reil – Traben Trarbach, hike back to Reil (15 km, 5 hrs) Day 2. train Reil – Bullay, hike 3 km from Bullay to Zell, from Zell back to Reil (12,5 km, 4 hrs)   I found this the easiest as you always walk back to your hotel rather than a train station, which makes you hike against the clock for a bit and thus is this more relaxing.   Along the way you will come across the “Collis Steilpfad”, a simple Klettersteig (without harness, also to bypass), and the Prinzenkopfturm with beautiful views of the surrounding area.   Tip: take these hikes in the fall when the leaves turn color, the Moselle is a lot quieter than in summer and the colorful landscape makes your hike in the Moselle extra special!     The Calmont Klettersteig Also very awesome is the Calmont Klettersteig. This simple Via Ferrata is located between Bremm and Ediger Eller. The Calmont is the steepest vineyard in Europe and they have built a nice Via Ferrata. Not a real challenge for the experienced alpinists, but nice to test your alpine skills once if you are unsure whether a real Via Ferrata is your thing.   From here you can do the steep climb to the Calmont Gipfelkreuz and walk back along the Moselsteig to Ediger Eller along the high route. You can read my complete blog about the Calmont Klettersteig here.     Hiking trail Moselachter During my most recent trip to the Moselle I spent the night in Landal Sonnenberg in Leiwen. From here I made the circular hike Moselachter, or a circular walk in the shape of an 8. I started from my house and first did the ‘left eight’ (the eight is on its side) that mainly took me through the forest and along the viewpoint Moselkino. I also passed the most beautiful viewpoint of the Moselle in 2016 at Leiwen.   Then came by a steep section steeply up a relatively narrow and worn out trail (not for people with a fear of heights) and eventually back to Leiwen via the quiet hills behind the valley. This hike is 15 kilometers long and took me about 5 hours.     Hiking tour Mehringer Schweiz Another beautiful Moselsteig Seitenprung is the circular walk Mehringer Schweiz. I did part of this tour in combination with the Moselsteig, the highlight of which was the visit to the Fünfseenblick, a viewing tower with a beautiful view over the Moselle near Mehring and Pölich. You will also walk through the vineyards of the Moselle and visit the Roman villa in Mehring. This walk is 14 km and takes about 5 hours.     Hiking in the Mosel Valley: what to know as well Each part of the Moselle has its own hiking map. If you walk the Moselsteig, you can order a walking guide including map material online. Most Seitensprungen are also included here. Before my trip I downloaded the app “Gastlandschaften Rheinland Pfalz”, it contains all routes and you can also use it as navigation during your hikes in the Mosel Valley.   However, the routes are also well marked everywhere, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Most trails are fine, when a trails is more difficult this is often indicated so that you can opt for a simpler detour where possible.   The Moselweinbahn goes from Traben Trarbach to Bullay. The rest of the transport is mostly by bus. On this website you will find more information about the Bus und Bahn around the Moselsteig.     Where to stay in the Mosel region I stayed in the Moselle valley twice. The first time at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil, a cozy and authentic hotel on the river. The second time I rented an apartment at Landal Sonnenberg, a beautifully situated and small-scale Landal park in the southern part of the Moselle near Leiwen. There are also plenty of campsites on the Moselle, mostly on the banks of the river.   Conclusion and disclaimer Hopefully you found these articles about hiking along the Moselle useful and I got you excited to visit the Mosel valley in Germany. If you have any questions and / or additional tips, please leave them in the comments. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we will receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.  

The post Hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Whoever believes that the Mosel valley in Germany is just for old people is totally wrong. In 2015 I already visited the Mosel valley and recently I visited again for enjoying some hiking trails. I hiked some nice circular trails as well as a part of the Moselsteig, a long distance trail in Germany. In this article I tell you everything about hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany, including tips for the most beautiful routes, where to stay and more. Enjoy reading!
 

Wandelen langs de Moezel
View from the Moselsteig
 

About the Mosel and the Mosel Valleyl

The Mosel (or Moselle) is a 544 kilometer long river in France, Luxembourg and Germany. It originates in the French Vosges and flows into the Rhine near Koblenz. The most beautiful part of the Moselle can be found in the Mosel Valley, roughly between the cities of Trier and Koblenz. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills covered with vineyards, steep slopes and a winding river. Along the way you will find old castles and fortresses, numerous remains from Roman times and beautiful viewpoints.
 
The most famous places on along the Mosel river are Trier, Cochem and Zell. Most villages are connected by a bus route or a railway, which makes walking here possible without going on holiday with your car and / or hiking parts of the famous Moselsteig.
 

Wandelen in de Moezel
The Mosel valley in the fall
 

The Moselsteig

The Moselsteig is one of the longest quality trails in Germany with 365 kilometers in distacne. Each stage is between 11 and 24 kilometers long and combines hiking along the banks of the Moselle with hiking through the vineyards and along high viewpoints.
 
In addition to the Moselsteig, there are various “Seitensprungen” or circular walks that combine the Mosel banks with the hinterland. Which is perfect if you want to stay in a one place and hike from there, rather than to walk from A to B to C. With these Seitensprungen you combine the best places of the Moselle with each other.
 
Because there is public transport in many places, you can determine your route and distances yourself. I did not do the Moselsteig in its entirety, but did run several stages and / or parts of it. The nice thing about combining stages with circular walks is the fact that you not only walk along the river, but also take in the rolling and relatively quiet hinterland.
 
The Moselsteig is not difficult, but it has considerable climbs and descents, sometimes with some climbing and scrambling. Along the way, some Via Ferrata are possible, but if you do not want this, you can skip it, there is always an easier alternative route indicated.
 

De Moselsteig bij Leiwen
The Moselsteig near Leiwen
 

Route suggestions for the Moselsteig

I hiked stages 13 and 14 from the Moselsteig entirely. Stage 13 leads from Reil to Traben Trarbach and stage 14 goes from Reil to Zell. These are perfect if you want to catch the Moselweinbahn train route. I stayed at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil and hiked as follows:
 
Day 1. train Reil – Traben Trarbach, hike back to Reil (15 km, 5 hrs)
Day 2. train Reil – Bullay, hike 3 km from Bullay to Zell, from Zell back to Reil (12,5 km, 4 hrs)
 
I found this the easiest as you always walk back to your hotel rather than a train station, which makes you hike against the clock for a bit and thus is this more relaxing.
 
Along the way you will come across the “Collis Steilpfad”, a simple Klettersteig (without harness, also to bypass), and the Prinzenkopfturm with beautiful views of the surrounding area.
 
Tip: take these hikes in the fall when the leaves turn color, the Moselle is a lot quieter than in summer and the colorful landscape makes your hike in the Moselle extra special!
 

De Moselsteig tussen Traben Trarbach en Bullay
The Moselsteig between Traben Trarbach and Bullay
Herfst in de Moezel
The fall colors make the hiking extra special
 

The Calmont Klettersteig

Also very awesome is the Calmont Klettersteig. This simple Via Ferrata is located between Bremm and Ediger Eller. The Calmont is the steepest vineyard in Europe and they have built a nice Via Ferrata. Not a real challenge for the experienced alpinists, but nice to test your alpine skills once if you are unsure whether a real Via Ferrata is your thing.
 
From here you can do the steep climb to the Calmont Gipfelkreuz and walk back along the Moselsteig to Ediger Eller along the high route. You can read my complete blog about the Calmont Klettersteig here.
 

calmont klettersteig duitsland
On the Calmont klettersteig
Calmont Klettersteig
The Calmont Klettersteig between Ediger Eller and Bremm
 

Hiking trail Moselachter

During my most recent trip to the Moselle I spent the night in Landal Sonnenberg in Leiwen. From here I made the circular hike Moselachter, or a circular walk in the shape of an 8. I started from my house and first did the ‘left eight’ (the eight is on its side) that mainly took me through the forest and along the viewpoint Moselkino. I also passed the most beautiful viewpoint of the Moselle in 2016 at Leiwen.
 
Then came by a steep section steeply up a relatively narrow and worn out trail (not for people with a fear of heights) and eventually back to Leiwen via the quiet hills behind the valley. This hike is 15 kilometers long and took me about 5 hours.
 

Weinsicht Moezel
Weinsicht Mosel on the Moselachter
Het uitzicht op de Moezel
View from Moselachter
 

Hiking tour Mehringer Schweiz

Another beautiful Moselsteig Seitenprung is the circular walk Mehringer Schweiz. I did part of this tour in combination with the Moselsteig, the highlight of which was the visit to the Fünfseenblick, a viewing tower with a beautiful view over the Moselle near Mehring and Pölich. You will also walk through the vineyards of the Moselle and visit the Roman villa in Mehring. This walk is 14 km and takes about 5 hours.
 

Fünfseenblick Moezel
Fünfseenblick in the Mosel
Uitzicht Moselsteig
Fünfseenblick
 

Hiking in the Mosel Valley: what to know as well

Each part of the Moselle has its own hiking map. If you walk the Moselsteig, you can order a walking guide including map material online. Most Seitensprungen are also included here. Before my trip I downloaded the app “Gastlandschaften Rheinland Pfalz”, it contains all routes and you can also use it as navigation during your hikes in the Mosel Valley.
 
However, the routes are also well marked everywhere, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Most trails are fine, when a trails is more difficult this is often indicated so that you can opt for a simpler detour where possible.
 
The Moselweinbahn goes from Traben Trarbach to Bullay. The rest of the transport is mostly by bus. On this website you will find more information about the Bus und Bahn around the Moselsteig.
 

Wandeltip Moezel
Omschrijving van een lastiger stuk
 

Where to stay in the Mosel region

I stayed in the Moselle valley twice. The first time at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil, a cozy and authentic hotel on the river. The second time I rented an apartment at Landal Sonnenberg, a beautifully situated and small-scale Landal park in the southern part of the Moselle near Leiwen. There are also plenty of campsites on the Moselle, mostly on the banks of the river.
 

Conclusion and disclaimer

Hopefully you found these articles about hiking along the Moselle useful and I got you excited to visit the Mosel valley in Germany. If you have any questions and / or additional tips, please leave them in the comments. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we will receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.
 

The post Hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/hiking-in-the-mosel-valley-in-germany/feed/ 0
Blådålen and Møsevassbreen in Norway – a place where noone goes https://www.we12travel.com/bladalen-and-mosevassbreen-in-norway/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bladalen-and-mosevassbreen-in-norway https://www.we12travel.com/bladalen-and-mosevassbreen-in-norway/#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2020 09:41:11 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21611 MøsevassbreenAre there still unknown places in Norway? Places that hardly anyone goes, where there are no blogs about and which you cannot read about in the travel guides? I thought this was not the case until a year ago, when I ended up in a place so incredibly beautiful that you can’t imagine there are hardly any other tourists. Still, that place is there and I found it by accident. I’m talking about Blådålen and the Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park in Norway.   A vacation in Åkrafjord If you mention Åkrafjorden, hardly anyone knows this fjord. And neither did I until last year. Although I had traveled twice in Fjord Norway before, there was still an unfamiliar fjord in front of me, which I accidentally stumbled upon during my search for a small cottage in Norway. We were looking for a quiet holiday home on a fjord in Norway and above all: affordable. I spent hours searching, and eventually ended up renting at a small house above the Åkrafjord.   After a few days with just rain and a lot of time spent indoors, we decide to go out. Searching for beautiful hikes in the area does not initially give a lot of options. We make an attempt to hike to the Åkrastølen, but the bridge across the river has been washed away by all the rain from the previous days. On various Norwegian hiking apps we research other hiking options and then suddenly I notice the south side of the Folgefonna National Park. On Google Maps I see a road and a line along a lake to a glacier. The next day we decide to go for it, in search of a nice adventure!     A drive through Blådålen “The blue valley” or Blådålen is an hour’s drive from our cabin. First we have to leave the fjord, up the mountain pass and there seems to be a small road into the valley. The valley is dominated by the huge water reservoir and the hydroelectric power station, but once past this an amazing portion of beauty opens up in front of us.   Not only is the weather beautiful, but all around us are lakes, mountains and green meadows. We are surrounded by herds of sheep and even spot a huge sea eagle with our binoculars. Using our navigation we drive on, there is no longer a cell service but the road should lead to a lake, from where we can hike towards the glacier.     Arrival at Møsevattnet After a long climb with hairpin bends over a very narrow road we arrive at the Møsevattnet, a turquoise lake surrounded by rocks and in the distance: a glacier. It turns out to be the Møsevassbreen, one of the glaciers of the Folgefonna National Park. There is an information panel at the parking lot showing that there is some kind of hiking trail towards the glacier.   We grab our backpacks, put on our hiking boots and set off for the glacier, off to seek some adventure!     Heading to Møsevassbreen Is there a trail? No there is no real trail. There are occasionally cairns who indicate the route, but otherwise it is mainly a lot of jumping and climbing over boulders. Sometimes it is flat, sometimes it is steep and hands are involved. After an hour we look up, the glacier mouth seems to be just as far away.   We descend again to the lake, then we rise again. Finally we arrive at a ridge and the marking ends there. Below us there is an abyss, we cannot continue here unless we climb up. From here, the trail only ascends further away from the glacier.   But … that doesn’t matter. In the meantime we have come quite close to the glacier (without meeting anyone on the way) and we sit and enjoy the stunning views. The sun sometimes breaks through and illuminates the bright blue ice in a special way. A piece of ice calves off the glacier, which then thunders into the water of the Møsevattnet with a loud bang.   So we sit here for over an hour to enjoy a cup of tea and a stroopwafel. There we are, in at the end of the world, just an hour and a half away from the main road. Enjoying all the beauty within sight.   In the end we decide to slowly start making our way back. Every now and then I glance over my shoulder. What a wonderful surprise during a rainy holiday!     Also check the video that I made of this trip:     Conclusie en disclaimer Before I started writing this blog I tried to do some research on Blådålen and Møsevassbreen but I found almost no information online about this valley. Shame? No, certainly not, because although I hope that more people will enjoy this beautiful place in Norway in the future, I also hope that mass tourism will not discover it. Do I contribute to this in a certain way by writing this? Perhaps. But I also really enjoy sharing a newly discovered place with you. The eternal dilemma of the travel writer …  

The post Blådålen and Møsevassbreen in Norway – a place where noone goes appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Are there still unknown places in Norway? Places that hardly anyone goes, where there are no blogs about and which you cannot read about in the travel guides? I thought this was not the case until a year ago, when I ended up in a place so incredibly beautiful that you can’t imagine there are hardly any other tourists. Still, that place is there and I found it by accident. I’m talking about Blådålen and the Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park in Norway.
 

A vacation in Åkrafjord

If you mention Åkrafjorden, hardly anyone knows this fjord. And neither did I until last year. Although I had traveled twice in Fjord Norway before, there was still an unfamiliar fjord in front of me, which I accidentally stumbled upon during my search for a small cottage in Norway. We were looking for a quiet holiday home on a fjord in Norway and above all: affordable. I spent hours searching, and eventually ended up renting at a small house above the Åkrafjord.
 
After a few days with just rain and a lot of time spent indoors, we decide to go out. Searching for beautiful hikes in the area does not initially give a lot of options. We make an attempt to hike to the Åkrastølen, but the bridge across the river has been washed away by all the rain from the previous days. On various Norwegian hiking apps we research other hiking options and then suddenly I notice the south side of the Folgefonna National Park. On Google Maps I see a road and a line along a lake to a glacier. The next day we decide to go for it, in search of a nice adventure!
 

Akrafjord
Åkrafjord in Fjord-Norway
 

A drive through Blådålen

“The blue valley” or Blådålen is an hour’s drive from our cabin. First we have to leave the fjord, up the mountain pass and there seems to be a small road into the valley. The valley is dominated by the huge water reservoir and the hydroelectric power station, but once past this an amazing portion of beauty opens up in front of us.
 
Not only is the weather beautiful, but all around us are lakes, mountains and green meadows. We are surrounded by herds of sheep and even spot a huge sea eagle with our binoculars. Using our navigation we drive on, there is no longer a cell service but the road should lead to a lake, from where we can hike towards the glacier.
 

Roadtrip door Blådalen
Roadtrip in Blådalen
De blauwe vallei in Folgefonna
Folgefonna National Park
Schapen komen een kijkje nemen
Sheep taking a look
 

Arrival at Møsevattnet

After a long climb with hairpin bends over a very narrow road we arrive at the Møsevattnet, a turquoise lake surrounded by rocks and in the distance: a glacier. It turns out to be the Møsevassbreen, one of the glaciers of the Folgefonna National Park. There is an information panel at the parking lot showing that there is some kind of hiking trail towards the glacier.
 
We grab our backpacks, put on our hiking boots and set off for the glacier, off to seek some adventure!
 

Aankomst bij Insta Møsevattnet
Arrival at Insta Møsevattnet
De Folgefonna en de Møsevassbreen in de verte
Folgefonna and Møsevassbreen
 

Heading to Møsevassbreen

Is there a trail? No there is no real trail. There are occasionally cairns who indicate the route, but otherwise it is mainly a lot of jumping and climbing over boulders. Sometimes it is flat, sometimes it is steep and hands are involved. After an hour we look up, the glacier mouth seems to be just as far away.
 
We descend again to the lake, then we rise again. Finally we arrive at a ridge and the marking ends there. Below us there is an abyss, we cannot continue here unless we climb up. From here, the trail only ascends further away from the glacier.
 
But … that doesn’t matter. In the meantime we have come quite close to the glacier (without meeting anyone on the way) and we sit and enjoy the stunning views. The sun sometimes breaks through and illuminates the bright blue ice in a special way. A piece of ice calves off the glacier, which then thunders into the water of the Møsevattnet with a loud bang.
 
So we sit here for over an hour to enjoy a cup of tea and a stroopwafel. There we are, in at the end of the world, just an hour and a half away from the main road. Enjoying all the beauty within sight.
 
In the end we decide to slowly start making our way back. Every now and then I glance over my shoulder. What a wonderful surprise during a rainy holiday!
 

Folgefonna en de Møsevassbreen
Folgefonna and Møsevassbreen
De gletsjer aan het einde van het meer
The glacier at the end of the lake
 
Also check the video that I made of this trip:
 

 

Conclusie en disclaimer

Before I started writing this blog I tried to do some research on Blådålen and Møsevassbreen but I found almost no information online about this valley. Shame? No, certainly not, because although I hope that more people will enjoy this beautiful place in Norway in the future, I also hope that mass tourism will not discover it. Do I contribute to this in a certain way by writing this? Perhaps. But I also really enjoy sharing a newly discovered place with you. The eternal dilemma of the travel writer …
 

The post Blådålen and Møsevassbreen in Norway – a place where noone goes appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/bladalen-and-mosevassbreen-in-norway/feed/ 0
Abel Tasman National Park walks: a list with the best hikes! https://www.we12travel.com/abel-tasman-national-park-walks-a-list-with-the-best-hikes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=abel-tasman-national-park-walks-a-list-with-the-best-hikes https://www.we12travel.com/abel-tasman-national-park-walks-a-list-with-the-best-hikes/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:26:57 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=19084 Abel Tasman National Park day walksDespite the fact I don’t live in New Zealand, I’m proud to be able to say that I’ve been to Abel Tasman National Park five times over the past years. It’s one of those places that I always tend to return to while in New Zealand, even though it’s on the other side of the world. By now, I’ve actually tried most of the Abel Tasman National Park walks and I decided the time was right to make a list so you can pick your Abel Tasman walk. Enjoy!     A short introduction to Abel Tasman National Park Abel Tasman National Park is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who arrived here in 1642. It’s the smallest of New Zealand’s national parks and located on the northern part of the South Island, about a 1.5 hour drive from the city of Nelson. You cannot access Abel Tasman National Park by car, the best ways are on foot or by kayak. You can also take a tour by boat or access with a water taxi.   The park is known for the green and lush forests as well as the golden sand beaches. Birdlife is abundant in the park and it’s definitely one of New Zealand’s most amazing places to visit in my opinion. Below you’ll find a list of the best hikes in Abel Tasman National Park, from south to north.     Day walk from Marahau to Anchorage (or vice versa) One of the most popular walks inside the park is the day walk from Marahau to Anchorage Bay. This walk is about 12 kilometers and not too difficult. The trail is well paved in most places and there’s little altitude difference. You can visit some very nice beaches along the way such as Apple Tree Beach and Akersten Bay. Those beaches are generally below the main trail and will make it a bit more ups and down.   For this walk you’ll need to book a water taxi ride from Marahau to Anchorage or vice versa. I used Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi for this and booked a few days ahead as it can be quite busy. You can also do the walk in the other direction of course, which means you’ll be walking back to Marahau which gives you a bit more freedom to walk back to your car (in case you’re driving) rather than having to hurry up for the water taxi.   Check the video that I made here:     Pitt Head, Anchorage From Anchorage Bay you can walk to the Pitt Head viewpoint, just above the bay. The walk to the viewpoint is about 25 minutes one way, but you can also make a 1.5 hour loop of it. The trail is well paved, not too difficult and the views from Pitts Head are simply stunning. You can combine this walk with the Anchorage – Marahau walk if you decide to do the hike this way and you’re not in a hurry.     Bark Bay to Torrent Bay Part of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, this is a popular half day hike as well. Ask for the water taxi to drop you off at Bark Bay and walk back down south to Torrent Bay. This walk will be around 2.5 hours, depending on how busy it is at the swing bridge that you’ll find along the way. Since there can only be 5 people on the bridge at the same time, waiting times may occur. When I was there for the Abel Tasman Coast Track, I had to wait a few minutes to pass the bridge.   Headlands Track Those wishing to visit Totaranui can hike the Headlands Track, a one hour walk from the settlement. It’s just an introduction to the variety in landscape and will give you an idea about the different ecological systems inside the park. It’s a one hour return walk from the DOC campsite.   Anapai Bay One of the nicest bays inside Abel Tasman National Park is actually Anapai Bay. Since water taxis don’t go past Totaranui, it’s much more quiet here than on other beaches. I had the beach pretty much all to myself when I visited and it’s just an hours walk including one good climb from Totaranui. You can also decide to push on to Mutton Cove, another hour from Totaranui, making it a two hour one way walk. Mutton Cove was even prettier than Anapai Bay and … much windier as well!     Whariwharangi Bay At the end of the road near the settlement of Wainui you can do the Whariwharangi Bay walk. This one will lead you to the quiet Whariwharangi Bay and same name backcountry hut, a former homestead which is now in use as the last hut on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. It’s a four hour return over the hill from the parking lot. If you have a bit more time to spend, make sure to add Separation Point as well. If lucky, you can see a seal colony there. Separation Point is another hour past Whariwharangi Bay.     Wainui Falls Walk One of the best and easiest walks in Abel Tasman National Park is definitely the Wainui Falls Walk. This 1.5 hour return walk starts just outside the park, which you’ll enter along the way. The falls are 20 meters high and especially when it’s been raining they are quite dramatic. In this article you can read all about my visit.     The Abel Tasman Coast Track And last but not least, the Abel Tasman Coast Track. This famous 3-5 day Great Walk of New Zealand is a must if you enjoy tramping. I did this hike twice, one from Marahau to Totaranui and once all the way onwards to Wainui Bay. A full blog is coming up soon, you can find my old post here. I actually thought that the best part of the walk was between Totaranui and Wanui since this part of the national park gets way less visitors than the southern section. I did the hike in November and even then I still had parts of the walk all to myself, or I’d only run into little people at some places. Note that all huts and campsites must be booked year round!     Conclusion and disclaimer I hope you’ve found this article useful and that you’ve enjoyed reading about all the best Abel Tasman National Park walk options. Always make sure to check the DOC website for latest information regarding possible hikes, closures and track changes.   In this article you’ll find affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of those links, we may earn a small commission without extra cost to you!  

The post Abel Tasman National Park walks: a list with the best hikes! appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Despite the fact I don’t live in New Zealand, I’m proud to be able to say that I’ve been to Abel Tasman National Park five times over the past years. It’s one of those places that I always tend to return to while in New Zealand, even though it’s on the other side of the world. By now, I’ve actually tried most of the Abel Tasman National Park walks and I decided the time was right to make a list so you can pick your Abel Tasman walk. Enjoy!
 

Abel Tasman National Park walks
Abel Tasman Coast Track
 

A short introduction to Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who arrived here in 1642. It’s the smallest of New Zealand’s national parks and located on the northern part of the South Island, about a 1.5 hour drive from the city of Nelson. You cannot access Abel Tasman National Park by car, the best ways are on foot or by kayak. You can also take a tour by boat or access with a water taxi.
 
The park is known for the green and lush forests as well as the golden sand beaches. Birdlife is abundant in the park and it’s definitely one of New Zealand’s most amazing places to visit in my opinion. Below you’ll find a list of the best hikes in Abel Tasman National Park, from south to north.
 

Abel Tasman National Park walks
Abel Tasman National Park
 

Day walk from Marahau to Anchorage (or vice versa)

One of the most popular walks inside the park is the day walk from Marahau to Anchorage Bay. This walk is about 12 kilometers and not too difficult. The trail is well paved in most places and there’s little altitude difference. You can visit some very nice beaches along the way such as Apple Tree Beach and Akersten Bay. Those beaches are generally below the main trail and will make it a bit more ups and down.
 
For this walk you’ll need to book a water taxi ride from Marahau to Anchorage or vice versa. I used Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi for this and booked a few days ahead as it can be quite busy. You can also do the walk in the other direction of course, which means you’ll be walking back to Marahau which gives you a bit more freedom to walk back to your car (in case you’re driving) rather than having to hurry up for the water taxi.
 
Check the video that I made here:
 

 

Pitt Head, Anchorage

From Anchorage Bay you can walk to the Pitt Head viewpoint, just above the bay. The walk to the viewpoint is about 25 minutes one way, but you can also make a 1.5 hour loop of it. The trail is well paved, not too difficult and the views from Pitts Head are simply stunning. You can combine this walk with the Anchorage – Marahau walk if you decide to do the hike this way and you’re not in a hurry.
 

Pitt Head in Abel Tasman National Park
Overlooking Pitt Head in Abel Tasman National Park
Awaroa Inlet
Awaroa Inlet just before Anchorage
 

Bark Bay to Torrent Bay

Part of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, this is a popular half day hike as well. Ask for the water taxi to drop you off at Bark Bay and walk back down south to Torrent Bay. This walk will be around 2.5 hours, depending on how busy it is at the swing bridge that you’ll find along the way. Since there can only be 5 people on the bridge at the same time, waiting times may occur. When I was there for the Abel Tasman Coast Track, I had to wait a few minutes to pass the bridge.
 

Headlands Track

Those wishing to visit Totaranui can hike the Headlands Track, a one hour walk from the settlement. It’s just an introduction to the variety in landscape and will give you an idea about the different ecological systems inside the park. It’s a one hour return walk from the DOC campsite.
 

Anapai Bay

One of the nicest bays inside Abel Tasman National Park is actually Anapai Bay. Since water taxis don’t go past Totaranui, it’s much more quiet here than on other beaches. I had the beach pretty much all to myself when I visited and it’s just an hours walk including one good climb from Totaranui. You can also decide to push on to Mutton Cove, another hour from Totaranui, making it a two hour one way walk. Mutton Cove was even prettier than Anapai Bay and … much windier as well!
 

Overlooking Totaranui
Overlooking Totaranui
 

Whariwharangi Bay

At the end of the road near the settlement of Wainui you can do the Whariwharangi Bay walk. This one will lead you to the quiet Whariwharangi Bay and same name backcountry hut, a former homestead which is now in use as the last hut on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. It’s a four hour return over the hill from the parking lot. If you have a bit more time to spend, make sure to add Separation Point as well. If lucky, you can see a seal colony there. Separation Point is another hour past Whariwharangi Bay.
 

Overlooking Whariwharangi Bay
Overlooking Whariwharangi Bay from above
 

Wainui Falls Walk

One of the best and easiest walks in Abel Tasman National Park is definitely the Wainui Falls Walk. This 1.5 hour return walk starts just outside the park, which you’ll enter along the way. The falls are 20 meters high and especially when it’s been raining they are quite dramatic. In this article you can read all about my visit.
 

Wainui Falls Base
Wainui Falls walk
 

The Abel Tasman Coast Track

And last but not least, the Abel Tasman Coast Track. This famous 3-5 day Great Walk of New Zealand is a must if you enjoy tramping. I did this hike twice, one from Marahau to Totaranui and once all the way onwards to Wainui Bay. A full blog is coming up soon, you can find my old post here. I actually thought that the best part of the walk was between Totaranui and Wanui since this part of the national park gets way less visitors than the southern section. I did the hike in November and even then I still had parts of the walk all to myself, or I’d only run into little people at some places. Note that all huts and campsites must be booked year round!
 

Anchorage in Abel Tasman National Park
Anchorage in Abel Tasman National Park
 

Conclusion and disclaimer

I hope you’ve found this article useful and that you’ve enjoyed reading about all the best Abel Tasman National Park walk options. Always make sure to check the DOC website for latest information regarding possible hikes, closures and track changes.
 
In this article you’ll find affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of those links, we may earn a small commission without extra cost to you!
 

The post Abel Tasman National Park walks: a list with the best hikes! appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/abel-tasman-national-park-walks-a-list-with-the-best-hikes/feed/ 1