Sailing routes in Friesland (NL)

Sailing in Friesland

The province of Friesland is known for its Frisian lakes: around 30 lakes that are connected through pools, ditches, and canals. Friesland is, therefore, a great destination for water sports enthusiasts: you can sail the most impressive routes without getting ‘interrupted’ by land. Moreover, there are more than enough (Marrekrite) mooring options in the villages, towns, and nature.

And the Frisian people? We are proud of our beautiful province, hospitable and more than happy to advise and help our visitors. Especially when you join us in our passion for water sports: most Frisians themselves are avid water sports enthusiasts too, which immediately creates a bond. You are very welcome!

Map of sailing routes in the Netherlands

Please find a map of our favorite sailing routes in Friesland and the rest of the Netherlands below. The routes are divided into week, midweek, weekend and day routes. Click on the icon on the left next to “Bezienswaardigheden en routes” (places of interest and routes in Dutch) to select the different routes.

Our favourites:

Explore the famous 11 cities of Friesland by boat

Friesland is famous for it’s ‘elfstedentocht’ (11-city tour). Every year, the Frisians (and a part of the rest of the Netherlands) go crazy when the temperature drops below 0. More specifically: when the temperature drops below 0 for enough time to freeze the waters that connect the 11 cities of Friesland: Leeuwarden, Sneek, IJlst, Sloten, Stavoren, Hindeloopen, Workum, Bolsward, Harlingen, Franeker and Dokkum. When the ice is thick enough everywhere, an ‘elfstedentocht’ will be organized: the largest outdoor ice skating event in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, in recent years the weather conditions didn’t meet the criteria: the last Elfstedentocht so far was held in 1997. 

But here’s the good news: even though you usually can’t ice skate the ‘elfstedentocht’, you can sail it by boat. By sailing the elfstedentocht you will come across the eleven beautiful cities: think of cozy terraces, impressive old churches, old city walls, intimate squares and canals and interesting museums.

The 11-city tour can be found in the map above under the Week routes in the legend (purple). It is a route of almost 200 kilometers and and a result it takes approximately 1.5 to two weeks to sail it. You can sail the 11-city route with a few motorboats or sloops. Not all motorboats are suitable for the eleven city tour.

The IJsselmeer and the Wadden Sea

The IJsselmeer and the Wadden Sea are larger, spacious sailing areas – each with their unique character. For example, they can be a lot more restless, such as the Wadden Sea with its ebb and flow and associated currents. Are you a very experienced skipper? Then you may also sail in these so-called Zone II areas. For safety reasons, we will always discuss this with you beforehand and ask you to demonstrate your experience with us. 

Do you have more questions about the sailing routes? Feel free to contact us. You can call us on 0031 512 513 276 or email us at We are looking forward to planning your ideal sailing route together!

Copyright © 2021 - Yachtcharter De Drait – Friesland, NL & Brandenburg, DE