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Iconic Water Features Sailing Route

(127.0 km)

This sailing route takes you to 13 iconic water features that are part of the Currents in Waterland story trail in the Waterland van Friesland area. The directions start and end in the town of Lemmer but you can start the route from any of the villages and towns along the way. The route is ideally suited to motorboats. Board your own boat or hire one in the area. There are plenty of boat rental companies to choose from. The route described below is spread over seven days. This gives you enough time to disembark every so often so you can explore the area on foot or by bike. Tip! Be sure to bring (folding) bikes with you!

The route can be sailed a…

This sailing route takes you to 13 iconic water features that are part of the Currents in Waterland story trail in the Waterland van Friesland area. The directions start and end in the town of Lemmer but you can start the route from any of the villages and towns along the way. The route is ideally suited to motorboats. Board your own boat or hire one in the area. There are plenty of boat rental companies to choose from. The route described below is spread over seven days. This gives you enough time to disembark every so often so you can explore the area on foot or by bike. Tip! Be sure to bring (folding) bikes with you!

The route can be sailed all year round. The bridges you pass along the way operate throughout the day in spring and summer. In autumn and the winter, they operate on demand and can also be opened remotely with the water sports app. To arrange this, it is often necessary to call at least two hours in advance. You can find out more about the bridges at www.vaarweginformatie.nl.

Helpful hint: Always use a nautical chart to navigate. That way, you can also check the current depths of the routes.

Day to day
Below is a description of the route with the itinerary for each day. You will find details of 11 of the 13 iconic water features you will see along the way and information about mooring your boat in the harbours and marinas.
Day 1: Lemmer – Joure
Day 2: Joure – Sneek – IJlst
Day 3: IJlst – Bolsward – Makkum
Day 4: Makkum – Tjerkwerd – Workum
Day 5: Workum – Gaastmeer – Hemelum
Day 6: Hemelum – Woudsend – Sloten
Day 7: Sloten – Lemmer

Sights on this route

1

Lemmer (De Lemmer)

Lemmer is de ultieme combinatie van strand, gezelligheid en UNESCO Werelderfgoed

Lemmer (De Lemmer)
2

Woudagemaal: largest steam pumping station in the world

Visit the largest steam pumping station in the world!

Woudagemaal: largest steam pumping station in the world
3

Follega Bell Tower

The Follega bell tower stands in a small round graveyard. It has a four-sided dome roof and houses a bell that is 78 cm in diameter, which was cast by P. van den Ghein in 1596.

Follega Bell Tower
4

Marchjepolle Island beach on Lake Tjeukemeer

One way to really enjoy the Waterland van Friesland area is to visit a little beach that you can only get to by boat. Marchjepolle is a small man-made island on Lake Tjeukemeer and the beach here is unique. Moor your boat, spread out your towel and enjoy!

Marchjepolle Island beach on Lake Tjeukemeer
5

Tjeukemeer (Tsjûkemar)

Het Tjeukemeer (Fries: Tsjûkemar), is het grootste binnenwater van Friesland.

Tjeukemeer (Tsjûkemar)
6

Langweer

Langweer is a true watersports destination. From this centrally located village in the Frisian lake area, you can sail in all directions.

Bezoek Langweer

Langweer
7

Langweerder Wielen (Langwarder Wielen)

The Langweerder Wielen is located to the west of Joure.

Langweerder Wielen (Langwarder Wielen)
8

Joure (De Jouwer)

Joure is the village without city antics.

Bezoek Joure

Joure (De Jouwer)
9

Goaiingarypster Puollen

De Goaiingarypster Puollen staat op meerdere plaatsen in directe verbinding met het Sneekermeer.

Goaiingarypster Puollen
10

Sneekermeer

The Sneekermeer (Frisian and official: Snitser Mar) is, of course, known for the Sneekweek, the annual sailing races held on this lake.

Sneekermeer
11

Kolmeersland Starteiland Sneekermeer

Net buiten Sneek, in het Sneekermeer, ligt het Kolmeersland, oftewel het Starteiland, dat vooral bekend is vanwege de zeilwedstrijden tijdens de Sneekweek en het skûtsjesilen. Rondom het eiland kan worden aangemeerd in één van de jachthavens.

Kolmeersland Starteiland Sneekermeer
12

Sneek (Snits)

Sneek, or Snits as we say in Friesland, is the water sports city of the Netherlands. But Sneek is more than water sports and the Sneekweek. The city is bustling with events, culture, unique hotspots, and nice shops.

Visit Sneek

Sneek (Snits) Waterpoort Sneek
13

Water Gate Sneek

The Waterpoort in Sneek is a water gate, a gate in a defensive wall that connects a city to a waterway. In the 15th and 16th century, a defensive wall had been built around Sneek.

Water Gate Sneek
14

IJlst (Drylts)

IJlst (or Drylts in Frisian) is not only one of the famous 11 cities, but also a 'wood city'. For many years, tree trunks were processed here by the legendary wood trading companies Oppedijk and S.O. de Vries.

Visit IJlst

IJlst (Drylts) Molen IJlst
15

Museum en Werkplaats Houtstad IJlst

Experience the history of IJlst during an active visit to: Museum and workshop Houtstad IJlst. IJlst has been connected with wood for many centuries.

Museum en Werkplaats Houtstad IJlst Viking Games 4 november 2023 Houtstad IJlst
16

Houtzaagmolen de Rat

Visit wind powered sawmill ‘De Rat’ and step back in time three hundred years!

Houtzaagmolen de Rat
17

Bolsward (Boalsert)

Bolsward, or Boalsert as we say in Friesland, is the city where history and architecture play a leading role. Let yourself be carried away by the rich history of this eleven cities city.

Visit Bolsward

Bolsward (Boalsert) Bolsward Broerekerk
18

Fyftjin en Fierder

Fyftjin en Fierder is een kunstwerk van de hand van Pieter Jan Stallen. Het werk gaat over historie én toekomst van de Elfstedentocht, heel nadrukkelijk over allebei!

Fyftjin en Fierder
19

Terpdorp Allingawier

Allingawier is een pittoresk terpdorpje, gelegen tussen de IJsselmeerkust en Hanzestad Bolsward. 

Terpdorp Allingawier Allingawier terpdorp
20

Makkum

Makkum is een badplaats aan de IJsselmeerkust in Zuidwest Friesland, even ten zuiden van de Afsluitdijk.

Bezoek Makkum

Makkum wapen van makkum
21

Afsluitdijk Wadden Centre

On the Afsluitdijk causeway, at Kornwerderzand, you will find a remarkable building resembling a foaming wave, breaking on the causeway wall: this is the Afsluitdijk Wadden Centre.

Afsluitdijk Wadden Centre
22

Jaagpad langs de Workumertrekvaart

Een prachtig jaagpad om langs te fietsen of wandelen is het jaagpad bij Tjerkwerd langs de Workumertrekvaart. Je fietst of wandelt direct langs het water.

Jaagpad langs de Workumertrekvaart
23

Workum (Warkum)

Workum (or Warkum as we say in Friesland), is one of the famous Frisian cities that has enjoyed city rights since 1399. Located on the shores of the former Zuiderzee and bordering the Frisian lakes.

Visit Workum

Workum (Warkum) Workum Fontein
24

Strand Langehoekspôlle (Knine-eilân)

Aan de oostkant van de Langehoekspôlle in de Fluessen, ook wel bekend als Knine-eilân vind je een heerlijk zwemstrand.

Strand Langehoekspôlle (Knine-eilân)
25

Fluezen (Fluessen)

De Fluessen, in het Fries Fluezen, is het op één na grootste meer van Friesland. De Fluessen grenst aan de Morra en het Heegermeer en aan verschillende kleine natuurgebieden zoals de Vogelhoek, in het Fries de Fûgelhoeke.

Fluezen (Fluessen)
26

De Wolvetinte

De Wolvetinte is a beautiful nature reserve near Aent Lieuwespolder that provides ideal habitat for waders and several types of ducks. The quality of the habitat is preserved by the local bird protection agency Fûgelûntwyk It Heidenskip and its partners.

De Wolvetinte
27

Morra (De Morra)

De Morra is een meer wat grenst aan de Fluessen en het Johan Friso kanaal. Dorpen in de buurt van de Morra zijn Koudum, Hemelum en Warns.

Morra (De Morra)
28

Oudemirdumer Klif (cliff at Oudemirdum)

The cliff at Oudemirdum is 6 metres high. It was formed during the last ice age but one when the land was pushed up by enormous glaciers that advanced from Scandinavia and deposited large boulders in Gaasterland.

Oudemirdumer Klif (cliff at Oudemirdum)
29

Mirnserklif

If you set off from the Rijsterbos forest and walk in the direction of Lake IJsselmeer you will come to the cliff at Mirns. It is a place that attracts kite surfers, kite flyers and beach lovers. The cliff was formed during the last ice age but one.

Mirnserklif
30

Rode Klif (Red Cliff) at Lake IJsselmeer

At the edge of Lake IJsselmeer there is a red cliff that is 10 metres high. It was formed during the last ice age but one when the land was pushed up by glaciers that advanced from Scandinavia. The forces exerted by the ice created hills in the landscape.

Rode Klif (Red Cliff) at Lake IJsselmeer
31

Stavoren (Starum)

Stavoren (or Starum as we say in Friesland) is very much the main city of the IJsselmeer, being enclosed by the lake on three sides. It is also the oldest city of Friesland, founded around 300 BC at a waterway, and gaining city rights in the 11th century.

Visit Stavoren

Stavoren (Starum) Fontein Stavoren
32

Verdronken land Elahuizen

In de Fluessen vind je een boei die markeert waar vroeger het dorp Elahuizen was

Verdronken land Elahuizen
33

Heegermeer (Hegemer Mar)

The Heegermeer is named after the adjacent village of Heeg.

Heegermeer (Hegemer Mar)
34

Woudsend (Wâldsein)

Woudsend is a village nestled between Lake Heegermeer and Lake Slotermeer.

Bezoek Woudsend

Woudsend (Wâldsein)
35

Ie Akwadukt

Ten zuiden van Woudsend vind je sinds 2007 het Ie Akwadukt: een aquaduct op het kruispunt van het riviertje De Ie en de N928.

Ie Akwadukt
36

Slotermeer (Sleattemer Mar)

De Sleattemer Mar (het Slotermeer) ligt ingeklemd tussen de drie plaatsen Sloten, Balk en Woudsend.

Slotermeer (Sleattemer Mar)
37

Sloten (Sleat)

Sloten (or Sleat as we say in Friesland) is the smallest Elfsteden town in Friesland. This walled mini-city is also called sipelstêd (Frisian for onion city) thanks to the unique shape of an onion.

Visit Sloten

Sloten (Sleat) Sloten gracht
38

Lemmer (De Lemmer)

Lemmer is de ultieme combinatie van strand, gezelligheid en UNESCO Werelderfgoed

Lemmer (De Lemmer)

Directions

1

Lemmer (De Lemmer)

Lemmer is de ultieme combinatie van strand, gezelligheid en UNESCO Werelderfgoed

Lemmer (De Lemmer)

Helpful hint: Always use a nautical chart to navigate. That way, you can also check the current depths of the routes.

Day 1: Lemmer – Joure

Before you set sail, the day starts with a bike ride to the Ir.D.F. Woudagemaal in Lemmer, where you can see the oldest steam-driven pumping station still in operation. Then you board your boat and sail across Groote Brekken lake. On the other side, you turn right into the Follegasloot canal. (The bridge operates all year round so there is no need to call in advance.)


From Tjeukemeer lake you turn left and sail along the Scharsterrijn canal to Langweerder Wielen lake. Both bridges on the Scharsterrijn canal are operated (the motorway bridge is operated remotely and the bridge in the village of Scharsterbrug operates all year round).

You sail under the A7 (the immovable bridge provides enough clearance for motorboats and yachts and the second bridge operates all year round). Here you turn right into the Jouster Sylroede canal and sail into Joure, where the marina will quickly come into view. You can moor and spend the night here. If you want to cook yourself a meal on board, there are several supermarkets in Joure where you can pick up ingredients. If you prefer to eat out, you will find restaurants to suit all tastes on Midstraat road.

Day 2: Joure – Sneek – IJlst

The next morning, you sail out of Joure along the Noarder Âlde Wei (Noorder Oudeweg) canal to Sneekermeer lake. Then you turn into the Houkesleat (Houkesloot) river and sail into the Stadsgracht canal in Sneek. You can moor your boat on the Stadsgracht or Kolk canal in the centre of Sneek and explore one of the most famous historical cities in Friesland.

From Sneek, you sail along the Stadsgracht canal and the Geeuw waterway to the city of IJlst. The three bridges you pass are all operated remotely all year round. Just outside IJlst you will see the De Rat sawmill on your left. You can moor your boat here and visit the sawmill and the Houtstad-IJlst Museum and Workshop next door.

You also spend the night in IJlst. If you want to pick up ingredients for dinner, there is a supermarket within walking distance. Or you can head for one of the restaurants in the town centre.

Day 3: IJlst – Bolsward – Makkum

After breakfast, you sail on into IJlst, turn right after the bridge and then sail out of the city. Here you can turn right and sail up the Wijmerts canal past the little village of Oosthem. You can operate the bridge here manually. You do not have to wait for the bridge keeper. The next city on the route is Bolsward. The other two bridges you pass operate throughout the day in summer and on demand in winter.

On the way to Bolsward, you turn right into the Workumertrekvaart canal and sail along it until you can turn right into the Van Panhuyskanaal. The bridges on this stretch also operate throughout the day in summer and on demand in winter.

Continue towards Makkum. If you turn left after the Allingawier bridge, you will arrive at the picturesque museum village of Terpdorp Allingawier. (The museum is closed in the winter!) There is a jetty here where you can moor if you want to visit the mound village. Then continue on to Makkum where you can moor for the night at one of the many marinas. At the De Holle Poarte campsite and recreation centre you will find both a marina and several beachfront restaurants. Or you can hop on your (folding) bike and grab a bite to eat in the village.

Please note! If the little canal to Allingawier is too shallow for your boat, you can sail on to Makkum, moor your boat there and cycle to the museum village.

Day 4: Makkum – Tjerkwerd – Workum

Today starts with a visit to the Afsluitdijk Wadden Centre, which is about a 30-minute bike ride from Makkum. Here you will learn all about the Wadden Sea, Lake IJsselmeer and the future of the Afsluitdijk.

After visiting the Afsluitdijk Wadden Centre, you return to your boat and set sail back along the Van Panhuyskanaal. Near the village of Tjerkwerd, you turn right into the Workumertrekvaart canal and sail towards Workum, one of Friesland’s historical eleven cities. In Tjerkwerd, you pass another towpath. The Workumertrekvaart canal leads to a T-junction where you can turn right towards Workum. Soon you will see a harbour on your left where you can moor for the night. The city centre is about a 5-minute walk from the harbour and has a range of cafés and restaurants.

Day 5: Workum – Gaastmeer – Hemelum

Today you leave Workum and sail across Gaastmeer lake to Hemelum. First you sail along the Klifrak canal and the Lange and Korte Fliet canals to the small lakes near the village of Gaastmeer. Then you sail along the Yntemasleat waterway to Fluessen lake.

As you make your way across the lake, you will see the buoy that indicates where the village of Elahuizen once stood. Further on, you come to Morra lake. If you keep left, you will end up in the village of Hemelum. Here you can moor at the harbour and set off on a bike ride through beautiful rolling countryside of Gaasterland to the cliffs. You can also cycle along the cliffs of Gaasterland to Stavoren where you can have dinner.

Day 6: Hemelum – Woudsend – Sloten

On day 6 you set off from Hemelum and sail back across Morra lake and Fluessen lake to Heegermeer lake. At the other end of Heegermeer lake, you turn right and sail along the Woudsenderrakken waterway. The bridge in the village of Woudsend operates on demand in the winter. From Woudsend, you pass the aqueduct and sail onto Slotermeer lake, where there is a lot of eel fishing. You spend the night in Sloten. The Jachthaven De Lemsterpoort marina is the best place to moor for the night. You have to sail around Sloten to get to it. The marina is within easy walking distance of the smallest of Friesland’s historical eleven cities. There are restaurants next to the canal that runs through the centre of Sloten. The De Mallemok Smokehouse and Grill on the outskirts of Sloten is also highly recommended.

Day 7: Sloten – Lemmer

Today is the last day of this nautical tour of 13 iconic water features in Friesland. From Sloten, you sail along the Ee canal and the Langesloot canal back to Lemmer.

38

Lemmer (De Lemmer)

Lemmer is de ultieme combinatie van strand, gezelligheid en UNESCO Werelderfgoed

Lemmer (De Lemmer)