Friesland Travel Guide

Browse 1 travel reviews, 8 travel blogs and 494 travel photos from real travelers to Friesland.

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Friesland Overview

Friesland is a province in the northern part of the Netherlands representing a land area of 3,349 square kilometers and a water area of 2,392 square kilometers, making it one of the most attractive provinces of the Netherlands for water sports (together with Zeeland). Friesland is the 3rd largest province in territory, and with only 650,000 inhabitants it is one of the least densely populated provinces.

Friesland is part of the ancient area of Frisia, which in history included the whole northern and western coast of the Netherlands, and the German Wadden Sea coast, up to where now is the border with Denmark. The culture of the Frisians started to emerge around 400 - 200 B.C. Friesland is the only province in the Netherlands which is officially bilingual: the Frisian language has an official status administratively and in education. The Frisian name of the province is Fryslân.

Apart from the province's main income source, agriculture, tourism forms a major source of income, thanks to its many lakes, the Wadden Sea, and its islands Vlieland, Ameland, Terschelling and Schiermonnikoog, which are all very popular with tourists. In exceptionally cold winters the many lakes and canals get frozen and the biggest speed skating event in the world, the Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour) is held. It is a race of almost 200 kilometers on natural ice, with a limited maximum number of contestants of 16,000. The most recent winter that this race could be organized was in 1997.

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