Sailing routes in Friesland

Middelseerûte restored to former glory

Many years ago, the historical Middelseerûte, part of the Eleven Towns marathon route, was a very important sailing connection between Leeuwarden and Sneek. It is now a good alternative for the busy Prinses Margietkanaal, for motorboats and sailing yachts with a mast which is easily lowered. Sailing channels have been deepened, bridges raised and new moorings realised. All this has made it a fantastic sailing route which allows regular interaction with activities on dry land. This route meanders through the old salt marshes of the former Middelsee and is accessible for boats with a maximum creeping height of 2.40 m (depending on the water level) and a draught of 1.30 m. Day trips to Franeker and Bolsward are also a good option on this route. Within a couple of years, the Middelseerûte from Leeuwarden to Sneek will also be possible by bicycle.

In the middle of the countryside between Lits and Lauwers

Enjoy this very varied sailing trip through an authentic piece of Fryslân. Sail freely past picturesque villages, new overnight moorings and fascinating places of interest. Thanks to adaptation of the bridge heights, the wonderful Lits-Lauwersmeer route is suitable for larger motorboats with a creeping height of approximately 2.90 m (draught up to 1.50 m). This beautiful sailing route connects the Frisian Lakes and the Lauwersmeer with the towns of Drachten and Dokkum, and offers plenty of opportunities to go ashore during your sailing trip. This area, with its rich history and characteristic landscape, is extremely suitable for lovely walks and long bike rides. With a view to this, the Frisian Lakes project has also arranged for new footpaths and cycle paths in this area.

Aqueducts route: plenty of room for roads and water

In the south-western lakes area of Fryslân, no less than five new aqueducts provide open sailing connections between the most popular water sports areas in this part of the province.

An obstacle for water sports has been disposed of at Galamadammen: the dreaded bridge with its tricky wind traps has been replaced by the Galamadammen aqueduct which now allows unhindered passage of traffic over land and water. Woudsend too was a difficult place to pass. Here, the Ie aqueduct and a new ring road have called a halt to the troublesome traffic situation at the bridge in the centre of the village. Close to Hommerts-Jutrijp, the Jeltesleat aqueduct has replaced the bridge of the same name, otherwise known as the busiest bridge of Fryslân, with 70,000 boat passages per year. Two new aqueducts have been built around Sneek: the Houkesloot aqueduct ensures an open sailing connection between the Snitser Mar lake and the city centre. The Geau aqueduct replaces the bridge in the southern ring road, an important junction for the busy A7 trunk road. These new aqueducts make Sneek more accessible by both road and water and are especially safer as an alternative for the route over the busy Prinses Margrietkanaal.

Staandemastroute: the beauty of central Fryslân

Ships can now sail via Dokkum, around Leeuwarden to Terherne without lowering their mast. This is a fantastic sailing route for recreational boats, in the centre of Fryslân. From the Van Harinxmakanaal in Leeuwarden, it is possible to sail south over the Langdeel aqueduct to Wergea. Then past the village through the vast grasslands to the south, to Domwier and Grou. The waterfront of Grou is a fun place to be, with its promenade, overnight moorings and The Teahouse. After leaving Grou behind, the route takes you to another ideal water sports centre: Akkrum. Ships with a fixed mast can therefore also sail around Leeuwarden and follow the Staandemast route to the north. Past the Prinsentuin to Dokkum via the Dokkumer Ie, a famous section of the Eleven Towns marathon route.

Sailing through woods, fields and heath

This is the other Fryslân, with woodlands, peat colonies and heath fields. Welcome to the south east part of the province. From the Tsjûkemar, and from Wolvega and Heerenveen, the Turf route takes you through a wonderfully diverse landscape to West Drenthe and the top of Overijssel. While doing so, recreational boats will pass the Linthorst Homan locks and the nearby Drieweg locks. The Linthorst Homan locks are also operated at lunchtimes in the peak season, in order to keep the traffic moving. This route offers plenty of opportunity to moor for a walk, cycle ride or an overnight stay. Nijetrijne has a new overnight mooring marina with sanitary facilities, a waste water discharge station, camping facilities and a restaurant.

A boat trip becomes a family trip

The new Woudaap route allows the complete family to enjoy the Frisian lakes area. This route is accessible for both motor boat and sailing yachts. In the watery heart of the Woudaaproute, we find the village of Terherne. Here, the world of the famous Hielke and Sietse Klinkhamer twins and their equally famous boat, the Kameleon, comes to life. The style of the 1950s and 1960s and the figuration of well-known characters from the books by Hotze de Roos make Terherne a real life Kameleon village. Other places to go ashore are Langweer, Woudsend, Heeg, IJlst and Sneek. This fun sailing route is an exciting voyage of discovery for all the family. The Frisian Lakes project has ensured comfortable mooring facilities and easy access to the villages along the route.