Zoutkamp is situated at a junction where four waterways meet. The Zoutkamperril, the Lauwers, the Reitdiep and the Hunsingo. That is why it is also a great starting point for your trip through Groningen or Friesland.
The Zoutkamperril takes you to the Lauwersmeer lake with little islands where you can moor or anchor the boat for a swim. But perhaps you want to enjoy nature more, which is well represented there.
Many birds live and breed on the Lauwersmeer lake. The most famous bird is the White-tailed eagle, but the Spoonbill is also a beautiful bird to spot. The flocks of Starlings with their spectacular formations are a beautiful sight.
The Lauwersmeer lake borders the Wadden Sea, where the exposed seabed is a major food source. The present Lauwersmeer lake used to be the Lauwers sea, and you can still see that. Because even if you walk deep into the woods, you will still find beach clams and cockles on the ground.
The Sea had to make way for land to protect the local residents from a flood disaster as in Zeeland in 1953. Also, the enclosing in 1969 caused many people grief, especially those who lived off the sea.
The enclosing of the Lauwers sea has created a unique nature reserve, through which you can sail with our boats.
You may see the Konik horses or the Highlanders grazing along the water’s edge. You might spot the famous White-tailed eagle or a beautiful Spoonbill.
If you choose to sail the Hunsingo, you will also pass beautiful places, like Zuidemaklap with its beautiful and recognisable drawbridge.
Perhaps you fancy some delicious scones with tea and sail on the Hunsingo down a side channel to Houwerzijl. The Tea Museum in Houwerzijl serves a delicious High Tea.
The Hunsingo takes you past Ulrum and Leens. You sail along the Leenstertillen and you can visit Borg Verhildersum via ‘t Stort and the Hoornse Vaart.
You may want to go to Pieterburen to visit the seals. Or you sail on to Eenrum, to visit the candle factory Wilhelmus.
If you keep following the canal at ‘t Stort, you will pass Adventurepark Waddenfun. If you continue sailing, you will come to Schouwerzijl on the Kromme Raken, where it flows into the Reitdiep. You can also sail to the Abel Stok pumping station. From there you can continue to Winsum. In 2020, this village was voted the most beautiful village in the Netherlands by the ANWB.
This meanders beautifully from Zoutkamp to Groningen city. This used to be an important trade route from the sea to the city.
You will pass the small town of Electra with the Waterwolf pumping station and nature farm Lammerburen.
In 1920, the Waterwolf electric polder pumping station in the Reitdiep began its important task of discharging water from a large part of the province of Groningen and the north of Drenthe. The Waterwolf was unique for its time and is a beautiful piece of industrial heritage. To this day, the pumping station is still operational. More importantly, it fulfils a key function in the discharge of excess water towards the Wadden Sea.
In the port of Elektra, you can moor for a picnic or visit the pumping station.
If you pass by, you will pass Rodehaan and Garnwerd to find beautiful terraces on the water at restaurant Garnwerd aan Zee and cafe Hammingh. Enjoy yourself and the children.
You can also sail through to the city. As a sailing guest, you may want to visit the Scheepvaartmuseum or the Groninger museum. You can take beautiful walks through the city with its beautiful city gardens. You can climb the Martinitoren, go shopping and enjoy outdoor cafés.
The Lauwers starts at a sluice, where you will descend or rise a few centimetres. You will pass camping de Rousant where you can swim.
If you sail on, you will pass Lauwerzijl, Munnikezijl and Pieterzijl. The Lauwers meanders further to Visvliet and Strobos., where you can choose to sail around to Kollum and then return via Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen to the Lauwersmeer lake.
You can also enter the Prinses Margrietkanaal at Gerkesklooster/Stroobos. This is a busy route for inland shipping. You must take into account that there is a lot of commercial shipping here.
Your journey will always end in Zoutkamp. Due to the Lauwers sea enclosing, the fishermen of Zoutkamp now depart from Lauwersoog every week. But the village still breathes fishing. That is why a visit to the Fisheries Museum can be a nice addition to your sailing day.
Local hospitality in Zoutkamp has a lot to offer. For example, you can eat smoked eel and fried fish at Gealle Postma’s fish shop. At restaurants “ZK 86” and “de Boeter”, there is a wide selection of meat, fish, Mexican food and delicious Danish ice cream. From here, you have a beautiful view of Zoutkamp’s inner harbour.
If you really want to enjoy culinary delights, Restaurant de “Oude sluis” is the place to be. Enjoy Sytse and Famke’s hospitality while you gaze out over the water of the Hunsingo.
The hospitality in Zoutkamp has a lot more to offer; pizza at Pizzeria L’ancora, Grillroom het Midden Oosten. But if you want a quick snack, you can also visit the cafeteria “Het Centrum”.