On the shores of the IJsselmeer in Gaasterland you will find the only cliffs in the Netherlands. There are three of them: in Oudemirdum, in Mirns and the Rode Klif (red cliff) near Warns. All three originated in the Ice Age when the land in Gaasterland was pushed up by glaciers, sometimes as high as 13 metres. Along the coastline, bits of land kept disappearing into the waves. Admittedly, the cliffs in Gaasterland are not as impressive as the famous White Cliffs of Dover or the Irish Cliffs of Moher, but they are real cliffs. What’s more, you can make a selfie at the edge of the cliff without worrying about a tragic outcome. So why don’t you go see for yourself? And enjoy the view from the cliff across the IJsselmeer to the distant horizon.
Having parked your bike or car, the beautiful view from the six meter high Oudemirdumer Klif is just a short walk away along the Minne Minnespad to the IJsselmeer. It’s a great spot, thanks to the altitude, the peace and quiet, the abundance of space and the special nature, including over 200 plant species. And thanks to the former Zuiderzee, some plants even like seawater. Maybe you’ll spot a badger who lives in a set in the cliff side. Look up and who knows, you might see a ‘flying door’, a nickname for the white-tailed eagle, due to its wingspan of up to 2.5 metres. Or maybe you hear the bird call of a common linnet, a common whitethroat or a sedge warbler.
Building sandcastles on the beach? Playing football in the grass? Swimming in or surfing on the IJsselmeer? Or walking in the woods...? All this is possible at the Mirnser Kliff. Behind you are the subtle edges of this cliff, which in turn are framed by the Rijsterbos woods, where you can make beautiful walks among the giant oak and beech trees. Enjoy the colourful kites skimming through the air from the beach, or grab your own kiteboard and join in. At the Mirnser Kliff you will also find a tethering place for horses, making this a wonderful place to rest during an outdoor ride.
Rode Klif near Warns
This cliff owes its name to the red colour of its iron-rich boulder clay. It is also the site of a monument made of boulders commemorating the Battle of Warns, which took place on 26 September 1345. The upper stone states ‘Leaver dea as slaef’ – Better to be dead than a slave. During this battle between the Frisians and the Dutch, the Dutch fled after being attacked by the locals. They took the wrong turn and had to plough through the swamps with their heavy armour. A tactical error that led to their defeat and allowed the Frisians to keep their independence for another 150 years.