Last week we enjoyed a mini holiday on the beautiful Ameland! We stayed at Strandcamping Duinoord Ameland in a real glamping tent. For the children it was the first time in a tent and for me it was a long time ago. Moreover, it was the first real holiday with the three of us and for that reason alone it was very special.
A few weeks before departure, I am approached by email if we would like to come and celebrate a long weekend holiday at Strandcamping Duinoord. Vacation…, long weekend…, beach… So I don’t have to think about that for a second. The last weekend of the May holiday suits us best and because the children have to go back to school on Monday, it is arranged that we cannot arrive on Friday, but on Thursday.
For someone who, a few years ago, barely dared to take the highway due to fear of driving, a drive of almost three hours is something to swallow. But luckily driving has been going very well lately and I also see it as a nice new challenge. Another way to prove to myself that I can do it and that I and we can make such a long journey. Because yes, we would also make the crossing to Ameland by boat on the boat…
The boat departs Thursday at 2 p.m. With a three-hour drive in mind, a departure time of 10 a.m. seems quite safe to me, but according to my parents I should leave a little earlier. Because packing always takes longer than expected and I still have to do everything at the last minute, we are finally in the car at a quarter to ten and ready to go! If we don’t encounter any crazy things along the way, I’m confident that we’ll make it to that boat.
With a short stop in Steenwijk for a quick lunch, we arrive at the boat exactly at half past one, half an hour before departure. Driving it is a piece of cake and when we take a seat outside on the deck and start sailing, the holiday feeling descends naturally. Delicious! Let our weekend on Ameland begin! From now on, no more stress about being on time and enjoying the view of the sea and Ameland, which we see getting closer and closer.
Arrival at Strandcamping Duinoord Ameland
Once in the harbor we drive off the boat and directly to Strandcamping Duinoord, you are there in less than 10 minutes. We are warmly welcomed at the reception and given some information. We then drive by car to Strandcamping Duinoord Zuid, the part of the campsite where our tent is located. It’s not called a beach campsite for nothing, because the campsite is literally in the dunes, right by the sea. From Duinoord Zuid you walk via a path through the dunes via the campsite to the sea. That will take you more than ten minutes. Doable, we think!
Our Rent-a-tent glamping tent
We park the car and with a handy luggage cart we bring the stuff to our tent. Which, by the way, is fully equipped. This 5-person tent has two separate sleeping areas, a living area with carpet on the floor, a kitchenette with large fridge (with freezer compartment), gas stove and coffee maker and, here it comes: even a ‘wet room’ with shower and toilet! At the front, the tent has a spacious veranda with an awning with two wonderful relaxing chairs.
The children immediately get busy with their belongings and ‘decorating’ their bedroom. They sleep comfortably in pairs in one bedroom, I alone on the double bed in the other room. When we are a bit settled it is time to do some small errands. We decide to keep it simple that evening and to have a drink with baguettes, cheeses and small snacks. Real vacation!
Day 1: swimming, lighthouse and Hollum
The next morning we have breakfast with what we already have ‘in the house’: tasty sandwiches, some fruit and for me a mug of freshly brewed filter coffee. I have a bean machine at home, but secretly I love old-fashioned filter coffee. After breakfast we quickly get ready for a swim. It is a great wish of the children to go to an indoor swimming pool. Since the weather forecast for today is less favorable than for tomorrow, we will start with that. We visit the swimming pool of holiday park Klein Vaarwater. A paddling pool, a 1.40 m deep pool and a 50 m long slide. Not very big, but fine to have a good time for a few hours. When I say it’s time to go, the kids don’t really want to leave yet… That says enough!
The lighthouse of Ameland
But we will go, because my next plan is a visit to the lighthouse of Ameland. When we get close we can already see it towering above the landscape. It’s such a characteristic red-white lighthouse and the nice thing is… you can climb it (for a fee)! Quinn finds it a bit exciting, but then steps up all the stairs. Once at the top we have a beautiful view over the island and the sea.
The lighthouse is located at the foot of the village of Hollum, so that is a logical next destination. We eat an ice cream and go into some shops. I enjoy the characteristic houses and atmospheric streets. For that reason alone, Hollum is worth a visit. Later I heard that there is much more to do in and around the village than you might think. So we have to go back again.
We end the first day with a delicious pizza from the campsite. You place your order at the store, they bake the pizza and then you can choose whether you eat it inside or outside or whether you take it with you to your camping pitch. We take a seat in one of the cozy seats next to the store and enjoy a nice meal.
Day 2: boat trip to the seals and round Nes
The second and last full day of our mini vacation has arrived. This morning the three of us go to the store for a bag of fresh rolls and freshly squeezed juice. The campsite is car-free and we don’t have any bicycles with us, so we walk to the shop in less than 15 minutes. You will find a wide range of fresh products and all the tasty things you crave during your holiday. They use normal supermarket prices, so that’s a nice windfall.
The choice of sandwiches is huge and we can’t wait to eat them. So quickly back to the tent. After breakfast we quickly get ready for a very special trip… There is a seal tour on the program!
Seal tour Ameland
In a trip of a total of two hours you sail along Ameland and to and from the plate or sandbank where the seals lie. With good weather, sailing itself is already wonderful. We sit on top of the outside deck to enjoy the sun. There is little wind and in the sun it is even nice and warm. At the seals the boat comes to a stop and we have to be very quiet on board so as not to frighten the seals. I wonder if Quinn can keep calm, but it works wonderfully well. We can see and photograph the seals very well, super fun! On the way back, the ‘play room’ opens on board and the kids can play while I enjoy the sun (and the rest 😉).
When we get off the boat we go to the center of Nes, which is close to the harbor. Just like Hollum a beautiful village. Very nice to walk through. We are now hungry and on the boat I already saw that there is a good fish shop in Nes. You can wake me up at night for these homemade shrimp croquettes, so delicious! The fries also tasted very good.
We stroll a little further and to be honest, Nes’s range of shops surprises me. Although you will not find large chains, you will find smaller shops with very nice brands and stuff. I’m shopping this cool color blocking outfit for a choir performance that is coming up soon. And when we walk past a shop with bags, interior items and souvenirs, Quinn spots very nice Ameland hoodies. They can both choose one from me and are completely happy with it. Me too, because they look great and they like to wear these kind of sweaters.
We have dinner at Bravo, a hip restaurant in a very nice spot, right behind the dunes. We sit outside and catch the last rays of the day so beautifully. After dinner we walk on the beach for a last greeting to the sea. After all, it is our last evening and so time to go back to the tent and carefully tidy up and pack.
With a smile and a little sadness we say goodbye to Ameland. Not forever, because we will definitely return to this wonderful island with its beautiful villages, beautiful beaches and friendly people. Although we were only gone for four days in total, we were really away from it all and the holiday feeling was immediately present from the moment we got on the boat. By the way, it was my first real holiday alone with the kids and I really liked that and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Strandcamping Duinoord Ameland, thank you for the hospitality and the wonderful mini holiday!