Around Groningen

This route takes you through the beautiful nature of Friesland and Groningen and offers a variety of landscapes that both provinces have to offer. While sailing, you can enjoy the breathtaking nature reserves, lakes, and canals and discover picturesque villages.

From our harbor, we head out via the Houkesloot onto the Sneekermeer. The Sneekermeer is one of the most popular and beautiful lakes in Friesland. The lake is not only popular among water sports enthusiasts but also among nature lovers and recreational enthusiasts. The Sneekermeer offers a wide range of activities, including sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, canoeing, rowing, and fishing. Moreover, there are various marinas and sailing schools where you can go for lessons, rental, and maintenance of boats. The landscape around the Sneekermeer is particularly beautiful. You will find beautiful views over the water, but also idyllic villages with old farms, mills, and picturesque streets. In addition, the Sneekermeer is surrounded by green pastures and forests where you can enjoy hiking, cycling or horse riding. The lake also has an important historical significance for Friesland. For example, the first sailing competition in the Netherlands was organized here in 1816, which marked the start of the famous Sneekweek. This annual
sailing competition still attracts thousands of visitors from home and abroad.

We cross the Sneekermeer and sail via the Prinses Margrietkanaal towards Grou. We pass through Terhorne and Jirnsum.

Grou is one of the most popular water sports villages in Friesland and offers a lot of entertainment for visitors. Especially in the summer, numerous water sports events are organized. The village, located on the Pikmeer, is known as the starting point of the annual Skûtsjesilen. In addition, Grou has a cozy village center with various shops, restaurants, and attractions. Grou has several moorings and also a number of restaurants directly on the water.

We head out via the Neare Galle towards Leeuwarden. We sail through idyllic canals and pass the village of Wergea.

The village has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages. It was then an important trading place because of its location on the river Boarne. In the 17th and 18th centuries, trade flourished further, especially due to the presence of a shipyard and a brewery. Nowadays, Wergea is mainly an agricultural village. There are several farms in the area, and fishing is still an important source of income. The village has a marina for approximately 170 boats and various facilities. The marina has various amenities, such as showers, toilets, a washing machine, and a dryer. There is also a restaurant where you can enjoy a snack and a drink.

We head towards Leeuwarden and sail under the N31 through the Himpenser Wielen and eventually turn left over the van Harinxmakanaal towards the center of Leeuwarden. There is plenty to do in the capital of Friesland. Leeuwarden offers numerous good restaurants, shops, museums, and nightlife venues. Moreover, there are many activities to undertake in this always vibrant city, where you can experience a real city feeling. Although you sail around the center of Leeuwarden on this route, it is definitely recommended to explore Leeuwarden for a day.

In Leeuwarden we sail in a north-eastern direction to Dokkum along the Dokkumer Ee, which is also part of the Eleven Cities Tour. We pass well-known spots such as Bartlehiem and Burdaard. Dokkum is a city that always has a lot going on, a charming city located in the northeast of Friesland, on the edge of the Lauwersmeer National Park. The city has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages and is especially known for the legend of Boniface, who was murdered here in 754. Nowadays, Dokkum is a popular tourist destination with plenty of sights and activities.

As a tourist in Dokkum, you can enjoy the charming city center with its old buildings, canals, and cozy shops and terraces. Visit the Bonifatius Chapel and the Bonifatius Well, which remind us of the legend of Boniface. Take a walk along the ramparts, the old city walls, and the town hall. Visit the Admiralty House, where you can learn all about Dokkum's maritime history and the Frisian Admiralty.

As we pass Dokkum, we sail towards the Lauwersmeer National Park via the Dokkumer Grootdiep and Dokkumer Diep. The lake was formed after the closure of the Lauwerszee in 1969. The area is now an important nature reserve. While sailing on the Lauwersmeer, you can enjoy beautiful views of the water and the surrounding nature. The area is an important breeding ground for birds, and you can spot many different bird species here, such as the spoonbill, godwit, and avocet.

There are several places on the Lauwersmeer where you can moor a boat. For example, there are marinas and mooring spots available near the villages of Lauwersoog, Zoutkamp, and Oostmahorn.

The marina in Lauwersoog is the largest marina on the Lauwersmeer and can accommodate more than 700 boats. The marina has all the facilities you need, such as water and electricity, toilets, showers, a laundry, and a supermarket. Additionally, there are several restaurants and cafes located in the marina.

In Zoutkamp, there is also a small marina with space for approximately 30 boats. Here, you can moor your boat and enjoy the charming village with its colorful old fishing houses and historic buildings. Like the marina in Lauwersoog, there are various amenities available, such as water, electricity, and toilets. Furthermore, there are mooring spots available in various locations around the Lauwersmeer where you can moor your boat for free. The Lauwersmeer also marks the border between Friesland and Groningen.

We continue our journey on the Reitdiep with the goal of reaching the city of Groningen. A nice harbor to visit is the Reitdiephaven, which has various amenities including a large supermarket and many nice shops. The harbor is described as cozy and very pleasant to stay in. We sail a bit back and head towards Zuidhorn on the Van Starkenborghkanaal. The canal is wide and calm, making for a pleasant boating experience.

In Zuidhorn, several mooring spots are available, including a marina and a transit harbor. The marina is suitable for longer stays and offers all the facilities you need, such as water, electricity, and sanitation facilities. The transit harbor is more suitable for shorter stays and only offers basic amenities such as water and electricity. Zuidhorn itself is a cozy village with an old center and various shops, restaurants, and terraces. You can easily moor your boat here to explore the surroundings or do some shopping. Additionally, there are several cycling and hiking routes available from Zuidhorn that take you through the beautiful surroundings of the Westerkwartier.

We enter Friesland near the village of Gerkesklooster and Stroobos, where the border between the two provinces runs, and set course for the Bergumermeer. There are various mooring spots available at the Bergumermeer, at marinas or campgrounds with all kinds of facilities. The lake is a great place to spend time and offers beautiful views. We continue on to the Wijde Ee towards the National Park De Alde Feanen, which is truly stunning. National Park De Alde Feanen consists of a large network of lakes, canals, marshes, and reed fields. It is one of the largest wetlands in Europe and is home to many species of plants and animals, including rare birds such as the black tern and bittern. It is an absolute must-visit to enjoy the beautiful nature here for a few days.

Further along the route, we pass through the villages of Akkrum and Terherne, the last villages before arriving at the Sneekermeer.

Terherne is a charming village known as the 'Kameleondorp'. The book "De Kameleon" is a children's book series written by the Dutch author Hotze de Roos. The series is about the adventures of the twins Hielke and Sietse Klinkhamer and their boat named De Kameleon. The series takes place in the fictional village of Lenten, which is based on the village of Terherne in Friesland where the author was born. There are many activities for children and nice restaurants by the water.

Upon arrival at the Sneekermeer, there are several beautiful mooring places and landing stages that all offer a magnificent view of the beautiful lake with the city of Sneek visible in the far distance.