Route suggestion IJsselmeer I The 5 nicest ports on the Frisian coast I Netherlands

Routesuggestie 5 bestemmingen aan de Friese kust

During a sailing trip, there is plenty to do and once in port, you can enjoy a drink and a snack on deck.But suppose you want to stretch your legs and do something fun after the cruise.Where is the best place to sail? Along the IJsselmeer lies an array of picturesque port towns. Each destination has its own atmosphere, cosy city centre, beautiful historical buildings, (specialty) shops, terraces, restaurants and fun sights. Choice stress all-over. These five destinations on the Frisian coast are definitely worth a weekend, midweek or (short) holiday.


The first must-see is Lemmer. Known for its picturesque harbour, rich maritime history and also 'gateway' to the Frisian lakes. Once moored in the harbour, there is plenty of time to walk to the nearby Lemster beach for a refreshing swim or walk. The centre also invites for a stroll along the historical canals with cosy terraces, nice shops and the still in use traditional fishing boats and historical ships that are moored there.And for those who want to know more about the history of Lemmer or fishing with Lemsteraken, botters and schouwen, the Museum Lemmer is a must. Finally, there is the ir. D. F. Woudagemaal. This is the largest working steam pumping station in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been used since 1920 to pump excess water away to the IJsselmeer.


Another great port is Stavoren; Friesland's oldest port, also a Hanseatic city and one of the Frisian Eleven Cities. You moor your ship in the cosy harbour right in the centre, with plenty of cafés and restaurants. In the harbour, you will immediately spot the famous "Vrouwtje van Stavoren", next to the old bridge and sea lock. And there is a huge fish with an open maw from which water flows. This fountain is part of the 11fountain project, since 2018 every Frisian Eleven Cities town has a special fountain. Like Lemmer, Stavoren has a rich history, which you can find out more about through the panel route 'Wandering through Stavoren' by museum the Ponthus. If you prefer a breath of fresh air or a swim, you can also head to the nearby beach here.


This picturesque town lies between Stavoren and Workum and, like Stavoren, is part of the Frisian Elfstedenroute. By boat, you will moor in the middle of the town and look directly at the old lifeboat shed, the wooden bridge, lock from 1619 and the liebench with Biblical depiction of fishing. Hindeloopen used to be an important trading town and is world-famous for its Hindeloopen paintings and costumes. When walking through the streets, just pay attention to the nameplates and signboards.

On a walk, you will pass narrow canals with the typical wooden bridges, the fountain "Flora and Fauna" and the Hindeloopen museum housed in an old monument from 1683 where justice used to be administered (Lady Justice still hangs above the platform). Boards with old photos tell you more about the town's history.

You can also enjoy cosy terraces and local specialities such as seafood and regional dishes in Hindeloopen. Children can have fun on the beach, in the playground near the harbour or while visiting the Frisian Skating Museum. As far as we are concerned, Hindeloopen is an absolute must for young and old.


Workum lies further north, between Makkum and Stavoren, and is known for its Frisian pottery and shipbuilding yard 'De Hoop'. Besides several quaint shops and terraces, the town is home to dozens of national monuments such as the old town hall and the St Gertrudis church from the 15th century and is also part of the Frisian Elfstedentocht. The fountain "de Woeste Leeuwen", depicts the bearers of Workum's town coat of arms. And while you're in Workum, don't miss the Jopie Huisman museum. This well-known Frisian painter from Workum was once a dealer in rags and old iron and developed into a great painter, draughtsman and watercolourist. His extraordinary works are on display (only) at this museum.


The last in the line of recommendations is Makkum and is close to the Afsluitdijk. From Makkum you can sail to the Wadden Sea in no time, if you have a bit more time. Walking through the historic centre, you'll pass a centuries-old lie bench, the old sluice, stately merchant houses, the Waag and the village is still home to a dozen cutters.

The small fishing village is best known for the centuries-old pottery of the Tichelaar family, the only remaining ceramics factory in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, you can no longer visit this factory, but at café Restaurant de Prins, at the lock by the harbour, a beautiful tile wall from 1790 still hangs in the taproom.

Furthermore, mega-yachts are built in Makkum by shipyard "Feadship" and for those who don't mind taking a stroll, outside the centre is the Holle Poarte, a beach with a real boulevard and many terraces where you can enjoy a Mackumer special beer.

In short, plenty of beautiful destinations on the Frisian coast, where there is plenty to see and do. We can't choose. Can you?

Would you like to sail on the IJsselmeer?

View our extensive range of traditional sailing ships or contact one of our staff, they will be happy to tell you more about these special destinations on the IJsselmeer.