You are now on the UNESCO World Heritage site of Schokland, a former island in the Zuiderzee. This one-time island visibly elevates from the new, flat polder landscape of Noordoostpolder.
This enchanting environment will constantly surprise you. Culture and nature seamlessly intertwine to introduce the centuries’ old amazing history of this area. Discover the surprising beauty during some great walks or cycling trips to Schokland, Urk and Nagele.
A product of the ‘De 8 en Opbouw’ architectural collective, Nagele is a village with a unique design history. The places in the Netherlands where you can peruse the collective’s take on the future are few and far between. Notable features include the flat roofed housing and other buildings complemented by a rectilinear street planning. You pass through this remarkable village on the Zuiderzee Islands cycling route.
The former island of Urk is a dynamic and individual fishing community. A charming village where you still gain that true island feeling when meandering through the maze of alleys that make up the old village centre. Each modest house is individual. Surprising vistas, intimate small squares, traditional gable end signs with many elegant decorations featuring anchors and boats.
Oud-Kraggenburg is a former peninsula in the Zuiderzee, with a lighthouse keeper’s home constructed on a mound. There used to be a small inland port at the foot of the mound, which was recognised as a ‘safe haven’. This was once a refuge where sailing boats and steamers could seek shelter at times of fog or storms. The lighthouse keeper’s house is now a private residence, however you still sense the closeness of the sea when you cycle past.
Schokland’s old port on the northern tip of the former island was once the home port to a fleet of over 200 inland sailing ships and fishing vessels. Barely a handful of buildings remain on Schokland. Only the Middelbuurt church, the lighthouse keeper’s home and the foghorn cottage were left standing after Schokland was cleared in 1859.
The Gesteentetuin rock garden is something of a time machine. You start by travelling back some 200,000 years. A number of boulders can be explored and examined here, deposited in Noordoostolder by glaciers during early glacial periods. The informative visitors centre has a fascinating video presentation on how the earth was shaped.
The following is available at the Schokland Tourist Hub:
Electric bike loading dock
Bike hire (limited)