Ameland is one of the West Frisian Islands lying off the north coast of the Netherlands. Its total land mass covers 60 km2 (105 sq mi) and has a population of around 3,500, most of whom live in its four main villages. Ameland’s main natural features are its sand dunes and beaches.
Ameland’s landscapes provide varied habitats for wildlife and one of the key areas for bird watchers is the Oerd, a large sand dune complex where over 60 different species of birds can be seen there each year. This makes it an ideal location for bird spotting and photography.
The beaches and sand dunes host a whole series of activities including blow karting, kite surfing, orienteering on foot or by bike, surfing, kayaking, rafting and mountain biking, as well as yoga for those who just want to unwind. The beach also features a men’s and women’s rugby tournament in June annually where professionals and recreational players pit their skills against each other on the beach over three days.
Ferries run from Holwerd on the Friesland mainland, and Ameland also has an airport near Ballum. At low tide, it is possible for the more adventurous to walk across the mudflats to the island, although a local guide is recommended due to the possible dangers.