Hindeloopen – situated in the Nationaal Landschap Zuidwest-Friesland (National Nature Reserve Southwest Friesland) – is part of the Friese IJsselmeerkust (Frisian IJsselmeer coast) and borders on:

The IJsselmeer is a large inland lake of about 4-5 metres deep. It was created by damming up the Zuiderzee (Zuyder Zee) in 1932. The IJsselmeer has always been a very nutritious environment. In winter the IJsselmeer, including the Markermeer and IJmeer, is one of the major freshwater lakes of Northwestern Europe for the habitat of diving ducks and goosanders.

Besides diving ducks living on triangular mussels, the open water birds are mainly fish-eaters, such as cormorants, goosanders, common and black terns. The IJsselmeer area is one of the most important habitats for spotted crakes and common terns (sitters) and smews, ruffs, Caspian and black terns (non-sitters) in Holland. This area is highly important for resting birds as well as a moulting place for grebes (sometimes over 10.000 birds).

Nature reserve ‘Stoenckherne’
Between Hindeloopen and Workum you will find nature reserve Stoenckherne with its reed swamps, moist infertile meadows, shoals and mud flats outside the dike. The inside of the dike, the Workumer Nieuwland has a similar landscape as well as intensively used pastures and fields. It is a paradise rich of water for both lovers of nature and meadow- and water birds.

Source: Vogelbescherming Nederland (Dutch Birds Protection)

Bocht fan Molkwar (near Molkwerum)
Along the IJsselmeer coast, in the Bocht fan Molkwar a few islands were created by It Fryske Gea (Frisian nature conservancy) in 1995. Since then the landscape varies from lean meadows, reeds, brushwood and raised sandy flats. Those man-made islands are of great importance to the ruffs. The bare soil is a great nesting place and around April even over 15.0000 birds stop the night sometimes. Other resident birds are plovers, avocets and colony birds, such as common terns, black-headed and herring gulls. Many special plants can be found on the islands, such as the pretty centaury.

On the cut reed- and infertile land of the Bocht fan Molkwar meadow birds are sitting, amongst them garganeys and lapwings. The blue-headed wagtail feels very much at home there as well. Ducks, marsh harriers and a great many bearded reedlings find shelter in the reed lands and fringes. Also reed warblers and reed buntings can be heard and seen here. Grebes sit in colonies.

You cannot walk freely in the ‘Bocht fan Molkwar’, but from the bird-watching cabin you have a great view of the entire area. The cabin can be reached by following the sea dike from Molkwerum to Hindeloopen. There are notice boards with information to be found at the dike and in the bird-watching cabin. Near the cabin is a parking lot next to the road on the Noorderdijk.

Source: It Fryske Gea (Frisian nature conservancy)

Nationaal Landschap Zuidwest-Friesland (National Nature Reserve Southwest Friesland)



  1. (Nederlands) Expositie winter op aardewerk

    14 December 2018 @ 10:00 - 26 September 2019 @ 18:00
  2. (Nederlands) De 11stedenzwemtocht door Maarten van der Weijden

    June 21 @ 08:00 - June 24 @ 17:00
  3. (Nederlands) Sits. Een wereldprocuct in Hindeloopen

    June 29 @ 11:00 - October 31 @ 17:00
  4. (Nederlands) Hielper zomerfeest

    July 27 @ 13:00 - 23:00
  5. (Nederlands) IFKS

    August 10 @ 09:15 - 14:30