This route is suited for beginner and boats with a clearance up to 3m.
Terherne, Akkrum, Princenhof, Drachten, Opeinde, Eastermar, Zwaagwesteinde, Westergeest, Kollum, Dokkum.
Enjoy the peace, nature, water and the cosy villages and cities. That’s possible in the varied area of ‘De Lits’ and ‘De Lauwers’. The new Lits-Lauwersmeer route connects the Frisian lakes and Lauwersmeer with the towns of Drachten and Dokkum. This surprising piece of Friesland offers a fantastic route, which is ideally explored in a larger motorboat.
The entire route has a height of 3.00 meters and is accessible for boats with a draught of 1.50 meters. There are plenty of fantastic mooring places. Along the Stroobossertrekvaart and Oude Lauwers for example, or at one of the islands in the very special De Leijen lake. Bird watchers will be in their element here in the bird observatory. If you’re looking for a more sporty option, moor at Zwaagwesteinde and explore Sippenvennen nature area by canoe.
Villages and towns
Not only the water itself but also the dry land along the Lits-Lauwersmeer route is worth the effort. Beautiful, cosy villages invite you to visit them. Picturesque Eastermar, Kollum with its famous cheese days, Burgum with its pingo ruins and Buitenpost with De Kruidhof botanical gardens. Drachten is one of the larger towns along the route, which offers fun shopping. Smallingerland Museum displays works by Frisian artists. In Dokkum, Friesland’s second oldest town, we find the Town hall with rococo paintings, the former Orphanage and the Weighing house. Here too is the nature museum and Admiralty house regional museum.
On your bike
From water to the cycle paths: The Lits-Lauwersmeer route area is ideally suited to exploring by bicycle. Why not use the cycle route network to plan your own short or longer trip?
Between two National Parks
Expansive, picturesque and wonderfully peaceful. Uniquely situated between two National Parks: De Alde Feanen and Lauwersmeer, with the Friese Wouden in the middle, where the countryside is interspersed with villages. This area through which the Lits-Lauwersmeer route winds to the Lauwersmeer, has a lot to offer water sporters.
The Lits-Lauwersmeer route starts not far from Drachten, near De Alde Feanen National Park. This peat bog has many aspects, from marshland woods to marsh marigold meadows. More than 450 species of plants and 100 types of birds feel at home here. The visitor centre in Earnewald offers an interactive game and a number of viewing and touching boxes to help you get a feel for the area.
Heading north, we pass Opeinde, the largest village in the municipality of Smallingerland. The quiet graveyard features a wooden eighteenth century bell cage with two bells, which still peal for funerals. We now sail onto De Leien. The lake is peaceful, almost deserted. Reed lined islands rise up ahead. Some of them have moorings where you can enjoy peace and quiet. Further north over De Lits, Eastermar invites you to stop for a while. A new, multifunctional building catches your attention, but also blends in with the rest. Children run around the playground. the friendly harbour master offers a warm welcome to all.
Out on the paths
Just above Eastermar, the route takes you over the Bergumermeer lake. There is a very special bird observatory in the reeds along its shores, with spectacular views. The Frisian landscape is particularly unique here, and the many footpaths and cycle paths take you to special places. The many mooring spots, lots of them new, are in the most beautiful and peaceful locations. It would be a shame not to stop.
Freshwater and salty air
The route continues to Kollum, also suitable for boats with a fixed mast, unlike the rest of the route. Wander around the old village or visit one of the art galleries. Get yourself a chunk of Kollumer cheese to take with you on the route to the Lauwersmeer: a fantastic, vast nature area on the border between Groningen and Friesland. The dam built here has transformed the salt marshes into an expanse of freshwater, interrupted by woodlands and reeds. The salty air gives you a clue: the sea is not far away.