Frisian Lake Route
From Sanzi Yacht Charter, we set course for IJlst. Via the Houkesloot, we sail towards the city center of Sneek and pass the Sneeker Waterpoort. It is one of the most famous monuments of Friesland and from the water, the Waterpoort is clearly visible. Once you have passed the bridge, you can take the perfect photo by looking back. The Waterpoort is beautifully lit at night and if you can find a spot on one of the quays, we highly recommend it. From this point, the center of Sneek is also within walking distance, where you can find all kinds of cozy shops, restaurants or visit the Frisian Maritime Museum.
After Sneek, we sail on to IJlst, which lies on the route between Sneek and Heeg and is a beautiful historic town. The most beautiful part of IJlst is located on the Eegracht and Galamagracht. Along these elongated canals, there are beautiful facades and stately houses from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The beautiful authentic atmosphere that IJlst radiates is mainly due to the many historic buildings that are present. Most of them are open to the public and are definitely worth a visit. Be sure to visit the sawmill "de Rat"; the mill was built in 1632 and is still in operation. Here, you can see how wooden beams and planks are sawed using wind energy.
After IJlst, we head towards Workum via the Oosthemmer lake and the Sneek canal. We pass Bolsward on our right and continue on the Workum canal. Once we reach Tjerkwerd, we turn right towards Makkum. It is situated on the shores of the IJsselmeer and is particularly known for its beach, water sports, and pottery.
Makkum's beach is a popular destination for tourists, especially during the summer months. It is a long, wide sandy beach with shallow water and many facilities, such as beach pavilions, lifeguards, and showers. Makkum is also known for its pottery. Makkum pottery has been produced since the 17th century and is known for its blue decorations on a white background. Some pottery factories can still be found in Makkum where visitors can observe the production process and buy souvenirs. The town also has a marina where many sailboats and yachts dock. Overall, Makkum is a charming town on the Frisian coast with a rich history and plenty of opportunities for relaxation and water sports.
We sail back a bit towards the Workum canal and before we reach Workum, we go left under the bridge towards the Gaastmeer. The Gaastmeer is about 1.5 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide, and is surrounded by green meadows and small villages. The Gaastmeer is also an important nature reserve, with many different species of birds and other animals living there. There are several hiking and cycling routes near the lake that lead through the beautiful landscape and allow visitors to enjoy nature.
If we continue straight ahead, we will reach the Oudegaaster brekken and then turn right over the Fleuzen towards Stavoren. Before we reach Stavoren, we sail through beautiful nature reserves and pass charming villages like Warns with beautiful moorings and the most beautiful views. There is so much beauty to see and discover here.
Stavoren is a picturesque town located on the IJsselmeer and has a rich history. It owes its name to the word "staveren" which means "pole foot" in Old Frisian. This refers to the poles that were used to strengthen the banks of the harbors in the past. Stavoren also has a legend dating back to the Middle Ages. According to this legend, Stavoren was once the richest city in Europe, and the legendary "Lady of Stavoren" is said to have lived here. However, the city is said to have fallen due to her greed and disappeared into the waves of the sea. Her statue can be admired in the harbor. A walk through the historic center is highly recommended.
Once back on the ‘road’, we sail back through the beautiful nature reserve and if we sail straight ahead, we come to the Hegermermeer. Here you will find several islands, including Rabbit Island. Traditionally a breeding ground for rabbits, but now mainly a beautiful piece of nature with beautiful berths and a beautiful view over the Hegermermeer and an occasional rabbit. Heeg is located ten kilometers south of Sneek on the Hegermermeer. We sail through Woudsend and eventually end up on the Slotermeer. The lake is about 9 kilometers long and 2.5 kilometers wide. The lake is also surrounded by beautiful nature reserves and there are several ports and marinas nearby where you can moor and enjoy the surroundings. A nice place is Badmeester Keimpe, right at the lake.
We sail through Sloten to reach the Grote Brekken where we turn right towards Lemmer. Lemmer is located on the IJsselmeer and is surrounded by many Frisian lakes.
In Lemmer itself, there are several marinas where you can moor and explore the city on foot. In the heart of the city center, it is often crowded for a nice berth, then you lie right on the quay where most restaurants are located. Lemmer has a rich maritime history and there are several interesting sights, such as the Ir. D.F. Wouda pumping station, the largest steam pumping station in the world and still in operation from time to time. This steam pumping station is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
After Lemmer, we sail over the Grote Brekken towards the Tjeukermeer. This lake is the largest inland water in Friesland. The Tjeukemeer is about 6 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide, with an area of approximately 13.5 square kilometers. The lake is surrounded by beautiful nature and there are various mooring places along the shores.
Via Scharsterbrug, we sail to the Langweerder Wielen, a lake near the charming village of Langweer. This lake is about 2.5 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide, with an area of approximately 350 hectares. Don't miss the charming village with its nice center and cozy restaurants. There are various berths in Langweer and you will be warmly welcomed at the visitor's harbor.
From Langweer, we sail across the lake to Joure. The village where Douwe Egberts has been roasting its coffee since 1753, where Pickwick tea was born, and where the Frisian balloon festivals are held annually. A cozy village with an urban character. You will also find some culinary restaurants here.
After Joure, we slowly sail towards the Sneekermeer. The lake is approximately 4.3 square kilometers in size and has an average depth of 2 meters. It is one of the most popular recreational areas in Friesland. The Sneekermeer offers numerous water sports activities. Along the shores of the lake, you can find several beaches where you can sunbathe and have a picnic. In addition to the many water sports activities, the Sneekermeer is also a beautiful natural area. The lake is surrounded by vast meadows, reed beds, and forest areas, making it an ideal place for hiking, cycling, or bird watching. Prominently located on the Sneekermeer is the Starteiland with a cozy marina. This island is also the central hub of the Sneekweek, the sailing event of the year