Mudflat hiking Wadden Sea

Mudflat hiking Wadden Sea


Mudflat hiking in the Wadden Sea

Engelsmanplaat - Along the northern coast of the Netherlands is a shallow belt of mudflats and sandy barrier islands. Usually it remains underwater, but twice a day, when the tide goes out, the waters retreat a massive expanse of tidal flats. This region is known as the Wadden Sea and it's one of the largest natural large-scale intertidal ecosystems on earth. When the tide is low, mudflat hikers can walk from the mainland to the Engelsmanplaat, a small sandbank in the Wadden Sea. The only things you need are old shoes, a tide table, a guide and a good condition.

Mudflat walking to the Cape on the Engelsmanplaat
Mudflat walking to the Cape on the Engelsmanplaat

De Kalkman

The Engelsmanplaat is approximately 0.8 square kilometers in size and is almost completely submerged at high water.It is located between the islands Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. On the sandbank there is a bird watcher's house called the 'De Kalkman'. It is an ideal beacon for mudflat walkers because it can be seen from afar. In summer, volunteers watch over the Engelsmanplaat from the bird watcher's house. In addition to these bird watchers, a single mudflat walker and a windblown bridal couple(!)), the sandbank is the domain of sandpipers, common terns and regular terns.
Another beacon on the sandbar is the 'cape'. This one was installed by the government a few years ago, after the previous one had disappeared into the sea during a storm.

Het Rif (The Reef)

One kilometer past the bird watcher's house is another sandbank: Het Rif. This sandbar is located on the North Sea and protrudes slightly further above the water, so that it floods less quickly.

Wadlopen: het oversteken van een geul
Het oversteken van een geul

Where does the name Engelsmanplaat come from?

One story is that an Englishman once built a house on the plate with the intention of living there permanently. The plan failed miserably. According to Wikipedia, the name 'Engelsmanplaat' probably originated from the stranding of a ship belonging to the Schiermonnikoog shell fisherman Feye Willems Engelsman in 1708. Maybe it's true, maybe it's skipper's Latin. What is certain is that the Engelsmanplaat has also been referred to by other names in the past, such as 'Ingelsche Plaet', 'Langhe Sandt', 't Hooge Sandt', 'Hooghe Banc', 'Jouerman', and the local name 'De Kalkman'. The many names are not strange in themselves. The Wadden Sea is constantly in motion. Plates and trenches are constantly changing.

The Black Madonna of the Wadden offers protection
The Black Madonna of the Wadden offers protection...

Wedding on the Wad

The Engelsmanplaat is an official wedding location of the municipality of Dongeradeel. Friesland. A few times a year the YES-word is given, with seals and birds as silent witnesses...

Engelsmanplaat photo gallery

What do visitors say about Engelsmanplaat?

Engelsmanplaat trips in the area

    Adress and visitor information


    Address: Tussen Ameland en Schiermonnikoog
    Postal code and City: Engelsmanplaat
    Region: Waddenzee
    Province/Region: Waddeneilanden

    Visit: An average visits takes approx. 4 hours.
    There are several ways to visit the Engelsmanplaat. If you are a sailor, you can fall dry on the plate at low tide. There are also sea kayakers that make the crossing. Another option is to go mudflat hiking. From the Frisian village of Wierum you can walk from the dike to the house on the Engelsmanplaat. First through the mud and a gully and then over firm sand and back via the 'Hiezel'. Depending on the weather and the chosen route, the round trip takes about 4-5 hours. With the North wind, the view is beautifully clear. Our trip was 18 km with a difficulty of 3 out of 5 stars.

    Let op: The locations on the map are indicational. It is not always the entrance, parking lot or best route. The map shows up to 8 locations in the area. Want to see all locations? Check our Hotspot map or use the Search option on this website.



    Full moon


    After your mudflat hike, drive on to Lauwersoog. This harbor is home to many fishing vessels and in one of the restaurants you can eat fresh fish and have a drink. A nice end to a beautiful day on the Wad.

    Where to stay Engelsmanplaat?

    Copyright © Hotspot Holland 2003 - 2024
    We are HotspotHolland, the Netherlands Travel Guide. Sightseeing, tours, trips and original getaways

    NL EN DE

    Dutch Cookies

    This site uses cookies for analytics, personalized content and ads. By continuing to browse this site, you agree to this use.