The beautiful wide beaches found within the National Park Schiermonnikoog are amongst the widest beaches in Europe. The sandbanks start in the shallow coastline of the North Sea and gradually move towards Schiermonnikoog, eventually attaching to the island, which leads to the beaches growing even wider. For many years, the beaches on Schiermonnikoog have been ranked within the top 10 cleanest beaches in the Netherlands.
The “Green Beach”
In the past two decades, many little dunes have formed on the North Sea Beach. These are slowly starting to be be covered with dune plants such as marram grass, sea milkweed and biestarwegrass. Some of these dunes have even started to grow sea buckthorns, which highlights that these dunes are rarely flooded by sea water now.
In sandy spots in the dunes, other beautiful plants such as searocket and sea thistles grow. The searocket plant blossoms in the summer. It’s white and purple flowers give off a delicious scent. Even orchids have recently been spotted in the dunes on the beach.
A walk to the most easterly point of the islands, also known as “De Balg”, is an amazing experience. The journey to this beautifull sandy part of the island, is becoming a much longer trip nowadays due to the island expanding naturally on the East side. At this point the island is almost 2 kilometres wide.
The Balg is one of the youngest nature reserves in the Netherlands. Only one or two plant species are able to grow here, due to the wild elements of nature, such as gusts of sand, and that the area completely floods during stomy weathers. The sea leaves a lot of wanted and unwanted treasues behind; this is the reason that the Balg is the best place to look for shells. The Balg is also an excellent place to spot seals!
The beach is the best place to experience National Park Schiermonnikoog in an active way. Depending on the force and direction of the wind along the shore line, many treasures can be found such as shells, seaweeds and even starfish.
In the shallow parts of the coastline, the Nort Sea provides excellent swimming opportunities. During high season, the sea between beach pole 6 and 7 (the beach area in front of Beach Pavilion “De Marlijn”) is manned and people can swimm under the watchful eyes of trained lifeguards. The lifeguards are able to advise on safe times to swim depending on the tides, windforce and currents. Their advice is indicated by different coloured flags, showing whether it’s safe to swim or not.
At a variety of beach entrances you can find safety information about swimming, as well as the do’s and don’ts on the beaches. Please reads these notice boards carefully for your own safety. The notice board can also advise you where to find the nudist beach. (Not permitted between beach pole 2 to 7)
The dune rows along the beach protect the island from high water during spring tide and winter storms.