We're proud that Waterland van Friesland is part of a 'national landscape', a landscape of national importance, of which there are twenty in the Netherlands. In 2006, this area was designated the National Landscape of Southwest Friesland (Nationaal Landschap Zuidwest Fryslân) by the Dutch government. Why? Here, you'll find a unique cultural-historic combination of natural elements and landscape characteristics. Walk along an old sea dike, cycle through rolling countryside, sail (or paddle a canoe) through the woodlands, enjoying panoramic views, Frisian lakes and the vast IJsselmeer lake shores. All of them are options here.
The national landscape is a paradise for birdwatchers. There are various birdwatching shelters, such as De Ral near Piaam and It Swin near Elahuizen. Even flamingos can sometimes be spotted on the shores of the IJsselmeer lake near the Steile Bank nature reserve.
In Waterland van Friesland, you can criss-cross through four completely different landscapes in any one day. All of them unique and each with their own story. Their history is sometimes very easily recognisable; salt-water shells can still be found on the IJsselmeer lake shoreline for example, as a reminder of the former Zuiderzee. Most often however, the landscape tells a more subtle story. And it becomes even more fun when you're aware of it and start paying attention... There's lots more to be discovered!
See the traces of the former Zuiderzee
The clay region
Recognise the medieval influences
Peat and lakes region
Discover the iconic Frisian lakes
This is a completely different Friesland, with raised 'cliffs', woodlands and rolling landscapes