Lauwersmeer National Park
The Lauwersmeer National Park is ideal for walking, cycling and sailing. With a rich and varied flora and fauna, this is the favourite location for bird-watchers. Visits can be perfectly combined with an excursion to the island of Schiermonnikoog.
A true paradise for water sports fans
The Lauwersmeer National Park is ideal for water sports fans: sailing, canoeing, kite surfing; anything is possible in this untouched area with plenty of space for everyone. Moor your boat in one of the four marinas at the Lauwersmeer Lake: the Lunegat, in Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen, the marinas in Oostmahorn or Zoutkamp, or the harbour at Lauwersoog. The lake has a number of recreational jetties and some islands where sailing fans can anchor.
Hiking and bicycle tours
Various hiking and bicycle tours haven been set out in the Lauwersmeergebied. The Tourist Information Offices provide various folders, the most beautiful of which are marked. Walks are 50 kilometres, and the longest bicycle tour is 45 kilometres and runs around the lauwersmeer.
In addition to beautiful scenic areas, the bicycle paths take in characteristic villages such as Zoutkamp. Fish trade used to draw many people to the village; this was one of the places from which fishing boats set out to sea. Before 1969, the Lauwersmeer Lake was the Lauwerszee Sea and had an open connection with the Wadden Sea. In the Visserijmuseum (Fishery Museum) located in Zoutkamp at the water, they know all about it.
If you walk down the quay from the museum for a couple of minutes, you will see the ‘face of Zoutkamp’: multicoloured buildings with the Paling Rokerij (eel smokehouse) which sells delicious fresh fish – a perfect and healthy lunch tip for cyclists stopping in Zoutkamp.
The Reitdiep runs from the city of Groningen to the village of Zoutkamp at the Lauwersmeer Lake. The meandering De Hunze river (currently Reitdiep) is one of the oldest man-made landscapes in Europe. There are various beautiful walking and cycling routes along the Reitdiep.
The ferry to the island of Schiermonnikoog departs from Lauwersoog. The greater part of this Wadden Island is a National Park, so this is where you find tranquillity and space. There are wonderful options for cycling, hiking, letting the wind blow through your hair on the extensive North Sea beach or swimming in the sea. Hotel van der Werf is located in the village. The marina is a tidal harbour and, depending on the boat, can be reached two hours before and two hours after high tide.