Take the ferry from Norway to Groningen

Winter in the City of Groningen, the Netherlands Kaart van Groningen The historic city of Groningen in the Netherlands Explore the countryside of Groningen in the Netherlands Autumn on an estate in Groningen, the Netherlands Picturesque towns and villages in Groningen, the Netherlands Go cycling of walking in Groningen, the Netherlands Railway holiday in Groningen, the Netherlands Strand en duinen op Schiermonnikoog in Nederland

The ferry from Kristiansand to Eemshaven

There is good news: from april 2022 you can take the ferry from Norway to the Netherlands (and vice versa). This new service is from Holland Norway Lines and will sail three times a week. The ferry will depart in Kristiansand on the southern shores of Norway en will arrive in Eemshaven on the northeastern corner of the Netherlands. You will board in the afternoon, spend the night at sea and will disembark in the morning. So you will sleep in a cabin.

Car or train?

You can take the car, camper, motor or bike with you on the ferry so you will have all the freedom in the world. But you can also come as a footpassenger because the port of Eemshaven has it's own railway station. From there you can take the train to the City of Groningen in just 53 minutes. Other places with stations along this railway line where there is something to see are Uithuizen, Warffum and Winsum. Commentary: the train service is provided for by the company Arriva. The journey planner below is from NS (Dutch Railways, other railway company), simply because it's a better journey planner.

Holland Norway Lines: Kristiansand - Eemshaven | Railway journey planner


A trip to or holiday in Groningen

You could take this ferry to travel to other parts of the Netherlands or beyond our country but do not forget that the first Dutch region you will encounter has something to offer as well. This website is all about the northern part of the province called 'Groningen' and also about the city which bears the same name. The City of Groningen has a population of about 200 000 people, bosts beautiful historic quarters en buildings but is also very lively because of the large student population. There is a whole range of hotels, restaurants and café's to relax.

Cycling

But there is more in this northern region than just the city. The countryside north of the city provides excellent bike paths and relatively quiet roads where you go cycling, with your own bike or with a rental. The Netherlands a real cyclists country where many people have bikes and are used to riding them. Therefore the infrastructure for cyclists is excellent and especially here in the far north it is relatively tranquil.

Countryside and islands

So you can go cycling in our flat countryside where you will encounter villages, a lot of medieval churches, dykes a long some rivers and of course al long our shores. This region has a couple of characteristics, some of them quite unique. The land here seems flat but that is not really the case as you will see because many villages and hamlets are built on man made mounds. These 'wierden' are not very high (only meters) but you will notice them in a number of places. These were built in the time when there were no dykes to protect the people and it's buildings. Many a time there is a pittoresque medieval church on top of the wierde. Did you know that there is no region in Europe with a higher densitiy of medieval churches than here in Groningen?

But there are also historic attractions like the old Menkemaborg (stately country house with moat and garden) in Uithuizen, Openluchtmuseum het Hoogeland (open air museum with small 19th century cottages) in Warffum and the late medieval, very compact city centre of Appingedam. Winsum has been named as most beautiful village in the Netherlands (2021). In the northwest of the province you can go to Lauwersmeer National Park and from the ports of Lauwersoog and Eemshaven you can also visit two of the Wadden Islands. From Eemshaven (yes, the very place where you arrive from Norway) there also departs (daily) a ferry to the German island Borkum. From Lauwersoog you take the ferry (daily) to the more pittoresque Schiermonnikoog. These small islands are no places to take the car so park it, take the ferry en go further on foot. On those islands you can rent bicycles.

Information and destinations

This website is written in Dutch, this particular page is one of the few exceptions. Luckily for you the site contains a lot of photos, interactive maps with interesting locations and the walking routes and cycling routes can be viewed on map as well. For instance: go to Bestemmingen to find possible destinations, to Overnachten to find and book hotels or other types of accommodations, to Wandelroutes to view walking routes and to Fietsroutes to study cycling routes. On the pages below you will find a small number of destinations in this specific region around Eemshaven, including the City of Groningen. In case you travel by train: all of these have a train station. The first two along the railway line between Eemshaven en the city. Winsum is a pretty village. Loppersum and Appingedam are situated along another railway line. To get there you first travel to the City of Groningen (last station), hop off and hop on the train to Delfzijl. Pieterburen is a village in the northern countryside and close to the coast. You can get there by bus if you want to. The sixth location is the name of a Wadden Island and that is Schiermonnikoog. You can get there by ferry (45 of even 20 minutes). Eemshaven itself by the way is industrial so that's no place to linger.


Vakantiebestemming Stad Groningen Vakantiebestemming Winsum in Groningen Vakantiebestemming Pieterburen in Groningen Vakantiebestemming Appringedam in Groningen Vakantiebestemming Loppersum in Groningen Vakantiebestemming Schiermonnikoog in Noord Nederland


Specific hotels and bookings

On the next five tabs you will find four specific hotels where you can stay: the first one in the city, one on an island (Schiermonnikoog) and the other three in the countryside or village. The info in those tabs are in English, bookings can be made in Norwegian (or any other language). You will book on the well known platform booking.com. On top of the booking page you will also see the logo of Ontdek Noord Groningen (name of this website, translates as: Discover North Groningen). Enjoy your stay in this northern part of the Netherlands!



Interactive map

Below you see the interactive map of the north of Groningen, including the city and the island of Schiermonnikoog. Eemshaven is situated in the northeast of this map.




In case you are looking at this page on a smartphone:

Check the interactive map here

Hotel Prinsenhof - City of Groningen


Click the booking link and you will see that the selected language is Norwegian. You can also swap to English.


De Prinsenhof (rougly translated as the 'court of princes') is a stately, historic four star hotel in a relatively quiet location but also on a stones throw from the Martini Church whith it's gigantic tower and also the Grote Markt (great market) in het city centre. From the end of the 16th century the Prinsenhof was the house of the governor, for a while at least. At the back you can stroll through the Prinsentuin, the walled rose garden.

In the city there is a lot to see. The Martinitoren (church and tower) has already been mentioned. There is also the neoclassical City Hall, the beautiful A Church at the end of the Vismarkt (fishmarket) and the historic quarter around the northern harbour is very scenic. Het Hoge der Aa is one of the most beautiful streets in Groningen. The city also bosts two iconic modern buildings. Forum Groningen is situated near the hotel and offers a library, a museum, a great roof terrace and more. It as an architectural gem which offers views from every floor. Near the railway station (one of the most beautiful in the country) there is the Groninger Museum, a very colourfol building near the canal that you can't miss. It offers historic and more modern collections. Probably the best known museum here in the north.

How to get there from Eemshaven: if you disembark the ferry as a footpassenger than you can hop on the train. That service will bring you to the city in 53 minutes. Hop off at the last station (Groningen). From there it is 1,5 km walk to the hotel but you can also take the bus. There are multiple buses that ride to the Grote Markt (near the hotel). These are services 1,3,4 and 10 and these go very frequently.

This is probably the most expensive hotel in the city. Obviously there are a lot more hotels you can pick. You can check the following link about Groningen to check the other ones (second tab). That page will also show an interactive map with interesting locations and visitor attractions in the city and region (in Dutch):

Hotels in the City of Groningen

B&B Batenborg - (near) Winsum


Click the booking link and you will see that the selected language is Norwegian. You can also swap to English.


The Batenborg is a monumental farm and bed and breakfast along the Winsumerdiep (canal/river), near the village of Winsum. Here you can book a double room but also an appartement. Winsum boasts a number of different places to eat and drink, most in the beautiful village centre, along the bridge over the canal. The b&b is situated in a rural location, about 1,5 kilometre from the village centre. So it's not a logical place to stay if you travel by public transport. Here you find yourself in the Reitdiep (naam of a river/canal) area, one of the oldest cultural landscapes in Europe. It is a landscape with dykes, water ways and grassy lands with grazing cattle. Go north into the Hogeland (other cultural landscape) and the use of the land changes into agriculture. There is a train station in Winsum so you could leave the car, walk to the station and visit the city for a day.

There are some b&b's in the village of Winsum as well. You can check the following link about Winsum to check some other ones (second tab). That page will also show an interactive map with interesting locations and visitor attractions in the region (in Dutch):

Accommodations in Winsum


Some walking routes from Winsum

Below you will find some walking routes to follow. The texts are in Dutch but the maps should be very clear. You can zoom in the interactive maps and also use the gpx files in case they come of use. The first two are circular walks: the first passes the b&b almost, the second one starts in the village centre. The third goes from a to b: it is the second stage of the Pieterpad, the best known long distance walking route through the Netherlands. This second stage is 20 km walk to the city of Groningen. At the end of the route you can take the train back. But from the train station there is still 1,5 to go to the b&b. You can also pick the first stage: walk to the bus station, take the bus (line 68) to Pieterburen to and then walk stage 1 to Winsum which is 12 km and passes the b&b almost.

Wandelen in Schouwerzijl Wandelen in Tinallinge Wandelen over het Pieterpad in Groningen



Cycling routes via Winsum

Below you will find three long cycling routes through the surrounding area. Maybe these ones are too long but there are so many paths and roads that you can easily shorten them. Just study the interactive map.

Fietsen langs boerderijen in het Reitdiepgebied en het Centrale Woldgebied Fietsen in het Middag-Humsterland Fietsen op het Hogeland

Hotel Landgoed Ekenstein - (near) Appingedam



Click the booking link and you will see that the selected language is Norwegian. You can also swap to English.


Ekenstein is a historic estate in the northeast of the province of Groningen, situated along the Damsterdiep (canal) and only a couple of kilometres away from the medieval town Appingedam. You can dine in the historic house of Ekenstein where you will find a restaurant and also a terrace. You can take a walk on the wooded estate of Ekenstein. Here you could rent a bike (also electric) and expore the surrounding countryside. Follow cycle paths or quiet roads, there are a lot of possible routes to follow. Along the way you will encounter small villages, old churches and a mixture of agricultural lands and fields with grazing cows or sometimes sheep. Nearby (at the camping) you could also rent a canoe and experience the area from the water.

How to get there from Eemshaven: it would be logical to take the car if you are staying here but you can use public transport if you want to. If you disembark the ferry as a footpassenger than you can hop on the train. That service will bring you to the city of Groningen in 53 minutes. Hop off at the last station (Groningen). Then walk to the adjacent bus station and take the bus (line 6) to Delfzijl. Hop off at the stop Eekwerd (before Appingedam). Then it is a one kilometre walk to Landgoed Ekenstein.

There are a couple of hotels in the area around Ekenstein. There is the village of Loppersum and the town of Appingedam. Both have a direct railway link with the city of Groningen. Loppersum has a four star hotel with spa, Appingedam a more basic hotel. The hotel in Loppersum is situated very near the train station so that's a very short walk. You can check the following links to check (and book) these hotels. Those pages will also show an interactive map with interesting locations and visitor attractions in the region (in Dutch):

Hotel Spoorzicht (Loppersum) | Wapen van Leiden (Appingedam)


Some walking routes from Ekenstein

Below you will find some walking routes to follow. The texts are in Dutch but the maps should be very clear. You can zoom in the interactive maps and also use the gpx files in case they come of use. The first two are circular walks, the third goes from a to b. In that case, first walk to route to Appingedam, take the train to Loppersum (5 minutes) and than follow the path from Loppersum back to the hotel.

Wandelen op Ekenstein Wandelen bij Eenum Wandelen op Ekenstein



Cycling route via Ekenstein

Below you will find a long cycling route through the surrounding area. Maybe this one is too long but there are so many paths and roads that you can easily shorten it. Just study the interactive map.

groen vlak Fietsen in Appingedam groen vlak

Waddenhoes Gastenverblijven - Pieterburen



Click the booking link and you will see that the selected language is Norwegian. You can also swap to English.


Waddenhoes Gastenverblijven is an accommodation where you can book a double room in the bed and breakfast but you can also pick an appartment or of even holiday home if your group is very large because the home sleeps 11. This accommodation is situated in the village Pieterburen, not far from the coast. A very specific activity on this coast is what we call 'wadlopen' which means walking/hiking on the mudflats. When the tide goes out the mudflats become visible and with a guide you can take a long hike from the coast to one of the Wadden Islands or a shorter route. You must never go alone because that is dangerous and you also should be prepared when it comes to proper boots and clothing. Check out this website, you can swap the language into English: Mudflat hiking Pieterburen. These mudflat hikes start on the coast near Pieterburen. Therefore you will need your car. If you travel through Groningen using public transport then maybe somebody of the other participants can take you. It is not far at all.

Apart from mudflat hiking you can also take a walk on land, Pieterburen is the very start of the Pieterpad, the best known long distance walking route in the country. Also, you can rent a bike (also electric) at Waddenhoes Gastenverblijven and explore the surrounding countryside on two wheels. Pieterburen also offers restaurants, a beautiful church with right next to it a small botanical garden and also a seal centre, once erected as a shelter for seals and still a visitor attraction.

How to get there from Eemshaven: it would be logical to take the car if you are staying here but you can use public transport if you want to. If you disembark the ferry as a footpassenger than you can hop on the train. That service will terminate in the city of Groningen but you must hop off in Winsum. That train station also has a bus station where more than one service departs. You will need line 68 to Hornhuizen, that will also stop in Pieterburen.

There are more b&b's and also a hotel in the village of Pieterburen. You can check the following link about Pieterburen to check the other ones (second tab). That page will also show an interactive map with interesting locations and visitor attractions in the region (in Dutch):

Accommodations in Pieterburen


Some walking routes from Pieterburen

Below you will find two walking routes to follow. The texts are in Dutch but the maps should be very clear. You can zoom in the interactive maps and also use the gpx files in case they come of use. The first one is a circular walk: it passes a couple of small villages in this part of the Hogeland, the northern cultural landscape that is dominated by agriculture. The second walk is stage 1 of the Pieterpad that has already been mentioned. The end of stage one is Winsum and there you can take back the bus (line 68) to Pieterburen.

Wandelen in Pieterburen groen vlak Wandelen over het Pieterpad in Groningen



Some cycling routes from Pieterburen

Below you will find two long cycling routes through the surrounding area. Maybe these ones are too long but there are so many paths and roads that you can easily shorten them. Just study the interactive map.

Fietsen op het Hogeland groen vlak Fietsen in Pieterburen

Strandhotel om de Noord - Schiermonnikoog


Click the booking link and you will see that the selected language is Norwegian. You can also swap to English.


Strandhotel om de Noord is a hotel near the beach on the beautiful Wadden Island called Schiermonnikoog. There is only one small, quite pittoresque village on the island that stretches 18 kilometres from east to west. You can't get here by car. You will have to park the car in Lauwersoog on the mainland and there take the ferry, or take the bus from either the city of Groningen or the city of Leeuwarden. There are two ferry services: the first takes 45 minutes and the quick one 20 minutes. When you disembark there will always be a bus. Even if it's full the next one will come shortly. The Strandhotel om de Noord is situated 1,5 kilometres north of the village and is served by line 3. The bus will stop at the doorstep of the hotel. The ferry link beneath is in English, the others are in Dutch.

Ferry to Schiermonnikoog | Bus to Lauwersoog | Bus on Schiermonnikoog


Schiermonnikoog is an island with only one small village, beautiful nature wich consists of beaches, dunes, some woods, flowers, saltmarsh and polders where lots of different birds come and visit. A part of the island is part of National Park Schiermonnikoog. There is a lot of beach, one of the biggest in Europa. It stretches the entire 18 km northern coastline and also the smaller western coast. It is a great place to go to the beach, unwind, relax and also walk or cycle. There are three locations where you can rent a bike: one at Veerdam (place where the ferry arrives) and the other two in the village. Check the link below. There you will also find a cycling route and a walking route on the island. There are more walking routes possible.

Cycling route | Bike rental | Walking route


You can check the following link about Schiermonnikoog to check two other hotels as well. The other ones are located in the village):

Hotels on Schiermonnikoog


© 2020-2021 — Ontdek Noord Groningen