Noordoostpolder (literally "northeast polder") is a municipality in the province Flevoland, Netherlands. The whole area consists of reclaimed land in the north of Flevoland. Most travelers will be heading for Schokland, a former abandoned island that has been declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main settlement in the municipality is Emmeloord, with about 25.000 inhabitants.
Besides the confirmed listing of Schokland, the Noordoostpolder itself is also nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site .
Schokland was once an island, but in the Second World War, the Dutch reclaimed the land from the water that surrounded the island, creating the Noordoostpolder (North-east polder), and thus also definitively saved Schokland. Halfway through the nineteenth century the island had had so much to endure by the sea - which took away most of the land of the islet - that the king of the Netherlands ordered its evacuation. Unfortunately its saviour will also mean its end, as the clay under the now former Island is slowly drying out. The island already lies 1.5 meters lower than it lay in the 1950's. The middle part of the former oblong island nowadays is barely elevated above the surrounding polder (which used to be the bottom of the sea). Only the northern and southern end are still recognisable as parts of a former island.
After the creation of the Noordoostpolder, detailed plans were made for the settlements that were to be build on it. Emmeloord, named after a then lost village on Schokland, was designed to be the only major town and the administrative centre of the region. It was finished in 1963. Around it, a number of villages were created, all at easy biking distance from each other. These settlements are Ens, Marknesse and Kraggenburg (all created in 1949), Bant (1951), Creil and Rutten (1953), Espel, Tollebeek and Nagele (1956) and finally Luttelgeest.
VVV tourist information office Noordoostpolder, De Deel 25 (inside the tower), ☎ +31 527-612000. The tourist information office has a good range of services and can also assist in finding a place to stay. There's a large number of maps, routes, information leaflets and souvenirs for sale.edit
The A6 is the main access road to the whole Nooroostpolder, and passes directly by Emmeloord. It connects to the A1 and Amsterdam and to the north, it connects to the A7 at Joure. Smaller roads connect the villages to each other, to Emmeloord and minor nearby destinations.
If you're coming from Amsterdam and want to go Schokland, follow the A6 and take exit 13 for Urk. Then take the N352 toward Nagele and Schokland.
Going to Schokland from Emmeloord, you can also take the N50 to Ens and then the N362 to Schokland.
Bus 315 will take you to Emmeloord from Lelystad or Groningen. Coming from Amsterdam, take a train to Lelystad and hop on a bus there. Emmeloord has no train station.
Bus 325 also connects Emmeloord to Groningen
Schokland is poorly served by public transport, so preferably arrange a rental bike or car to get there. However, from Emmeloord bus 141 (direction Zwolle) can take you as far as stop Sloetweg. From there, its a good 30 minutes walk.
The Noordoostpolder was designed to be covered by bike, and it is probably the best way to enjoy the area. Within Emmeloord, on Schokland or in the individual villages, you'll be find on foot. Other ways to explore the area are by canoe, boat, kick scooter, car or motorcycle. All these modes of transport can be rented in the area.
At Schokland, which lies around 5 km southeast of Emmeloord, next to the village of Nagele, is a museum. The museum has changing exhibitions and also a historical exhibition about the life of the former island. Some remnants of prehistoric inhabitants of the island are on display.
From Schokland you can make a small walk or bicycle-tour around the contours of the former island. Especially in the summer this is a nice experience, on the bottom of the former sea, between the grain fields.
7,5 km from Schokland lies Brennels Buiten, an "experience center", focused on nettles, with dunes, an artifical beach, live music performances, tipi's, old aircraft, and an organic clothing store. Entrance: 4 euro/pp. Address: Leemringweg 19, Marknesse.
Swimming in the Ketelmeer at Schokkerhaven-beach or (South "coast" of the polder, not far from Nagele) or under the Ketelbrug (A6-highway) with a view on the IJsselmeer.
The VVV tourist information office in Emmeloord (located in the polder tower, De Deel 25a) has a good range of souvenirs, gifts and local products. You'll find anything from local cheese and liquor to table ware with tulip decorations.
Restaurant Sonoy, De Deel 25e, Emmeloord, ☎ +31 527 291 708, . Located in the water tower, at about 40 meters above the ground, this place has a great view. This 1 Michelin star place is one of the best dining opportunities around. from €39 for 3 course dinner. edit
Le Mirage, Beursstraat 2, Emmeloord, ☎ +31 527-699104, . Tasty French cuisinefrom €25 for a menu. edit
The Rodon, Achterom 24, Emmeloord, ☎ +31 527-240275, . Greek restaurant, popular for its food and cosy atmosphere. The service is casual and friendly.main from €15. edit
Da Enzo, Kettingstraat 2, ☎ +31 527 614 000, . Italian restaurant and a good place for a pizza. The food is as you might expect in a place like this: nothing spectacular but tasty and not too expensive.from €7.50 for a pizza. edit
Het wapen van Ens, Baan 1a, Ens, ☎ +31 527-251312, . Nice restaurant with an English menu on request, in a village close to Schokland. Nice fish and meat dishes but you'll have to ask for vegetarian. On weekends, the cheaper "dish of the day" is only available in the adjoining pub.a la carte mains from € 18,50. edit
Hotel Emmeloord, Het Hooiveld 9, ☎ +31 (0)527 61 23 45, . Comfortable hotel that belongs to the Van der Valk hotel chain. Some rooms have nice views (so ask for them) and there's a sauna and fitness area.doubles from € 85, breakfast not included.. edit
Bed & Breakfast De Strandhoeve, Uiterdijkerweg 59, Marknesse, ☎ +31 257-203791, . Nice place with six thematically decorated rooms in a renovated farm. Ask for the options: you can sleep in the Dutch room, but also in the English style one, the Big Apple or the China room. If you want to visit nearby National Park Weerribben-Wieden, this is convenient location.€ 85. edit
Hotel van Saaze, Dam 16, Kraggenburg, ☎ +31 527 - 25 23 53, . A bit worn-down but a friendly place with good service and everything you normally need. It's a place for nature lovers and those who like a quiet stay: there's really not too much else around, in this village. However, if you like biking or have a car, it's a pleasant ride to destinations in the area.€ 85. edit
Eurohoeve, Oosterringweg 10-1, ☎ +31 527-201728, . Very clean and friendly family-run bed&breakfast. The 3 rooms are modern, spacious and at least 1 has a fully equipped kitchen. Although the village it's in is small, its an easy ride to attractions in the area. Wifi is free and the breakfast is good.from € 65. edit
The former island of Urk is an interesting destination, not far from Schokland. Urk was also an island, but did not have to be evacuated, thus the inhabitants have been able to preserve their own culture and character.
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