Holiday Destinations The Netherlands

Sailing in Friesland

Sailing in Friesland. From its unique culture and characteristics to its incomparable landscapes and the largest chain of connected inland lakes in all of Europe, Friesland proves to be a real paradise for any and all sailing enthusiasts. Whether it is your first time in this part of The Netherlands or you’ve wanted to get to know the area a bit more, here are some things that should allow you to do just that the next time you find yourself sailing in stunning Friesland.


With a moderate marine climate, you can expect plenty of sufficient moisture in the air throughout most times of the year. Fortunately, thanks to the location along the sea, it means that Friesland experiences not too cold of winters and not too hot of summers – allowing for the perfect sailing climate. Some recurring rainfall will mean you can never pack enough weatherproof jackets and warmer clothes – whether you are sailing through the waters or anchored in and exploring all that lovely Friesland has to offer its many guests.


Because this part of The Netherlands is so well connected by water, it makes traveling in and around Friesland all the easier. For beginners, there are a plethora of routes to choose from that will make one of your first times sailing feel like a breeze; all while surrounding yourself with true, pure beauty.

Depending on the clearance of the yacht you are navigating, you may come across various bridges that need to be opened for you. If you have a very low vertical clearance, this will be quite rare – however, it is always best to be prepared. If you do need a bridge to be opened, you will need to pay the “bridge watcher” typically anywhere between 0.80 to 6.50 euros. To exchange the money, there is likely to be a wooden shoe tied to a long pole where you can place the money and wait for the bridge to open. Always make sure to have plenty of cash on hand to avoid any problems during your sailing holiday.

No license in Friesland

In Holland, you do NOT need a license to sail if your boat is under 15 meters and you sail no faster than 20km per hour. If your boat is longer than this, you may need to look into the exact specifications and laws for licenses.


Another excellent advantage of the fact that Friesland is so well connected by water is never really needing to worry about finding a nearby harbor to anchor in at. With various villages around the area, you will have no problem finding somewhere to moor your boat while you explore on land. Almost all of the harbors you will encounter will have great facilities such as showers and toilets where you can wash up. However, these are not free, and you should expect to pay anywhere from 0.70 to 1.10 euros per meter.

If you would like to forego that process, consider heading to the Marrekrite landing stages where you can spend the night for free. Otherwise, expect to pay per meter and often times for tourist tax (about 0.40-0.50 euro per person).

Villages & Towns

With so many routes in and around Friesland, it may be hard for you to decide where to stop off and even stay the night. The following villages and towns are all excellent places to explore and discover…


Former important port and trading town, this lovely historic town boasts great waterways, a safe harbor, and excellent shopping! With over 140 monuments and lovely seventeenth-century homes now made into stores, you will certainly not run out of things to see and do while here. Whether while shopping, enjoying a nice cup of Dokkum coffee, or walking its hundreds of years old streets, you’ll fall in love with this town’s unique charm.


The capital city of Friesland itself, Leeuwarden is absolutely worth the stop! Pay a visit to the famous old Weigh House, wander around the market, and snap pictures of the leaning tower of St. Jacques.


About 17 kilometers south of Leeuwarden, you will find the lovely village of Akkrum. With only about 3300 inhabitants, you will find it very small yet very endearing. Often, it is a short stopping point for sailing.


Smallest of the eleven Frisian cities, Sloten is a small but very historical city filled with old enchanting buildings and structures such as the windmill De Kaai located right in the center of the city.


A rather large city compared to the previous two, Bolsward offers its many guests plenty of attractions to see such as the beautiful canals, City Hall, and the famous Sonnema Berenburg distillery. Many travelers find that there is much to do in Bolsward and opt for staying overnight for a day or two to experience all there is to see and do.