Het Twiske Recreation Area, Zaan- Region

Het Twiske Recreation Area, Zaan- Region

Het Twiske Recreation area is situated north of Amsterdam, between Zaanstad and Purmerend. In the wide area Het Twiske is being mentioned on ANWB traffic signs. The area owes it’s name to a little river named the Twiske, which formed an open connection between Wormer and the IJ-river. This recreation area of 650 ha is being managed by Recreationship “het Twiske”. The vast recreation are the Twiske, stretches among the villages of Oostzaan, Landsmeer and Den Ilp.

The entrance to the Blauwe Poort water park is free. There is a pirate ship in the middle of the lake and the water is just 1,40m deep. In the water park there is also a restaurant and a snack bar. Another restaurant option, near the marina De Roemer, is Het Pavillioen. You can rent canoes, motor boats or a sailing boat for maximum 5 persons and visit the most beautiful areas of 't Twiske. Check for sailing route information in the visitors' center.

The surface area of 650 hectares which is one third water offers ample opportunities for swimming , diving, surfing and sailing. There are beaches , an adventure playground and water , a diving fun, a marina, Twiske-mill in Landsmeer. Good chance if you are Scottish Highlanders encounter. In the Twiske you can enjoy on and around the water. There are many water sports , but also walkers, and skaters fieters get them here too . You can make a stopover in the restaurants and bars in the area .

Het Twiske is a few kilometers north of Amsterdam centre (easily cyclable) just outside the Landsmeer. It is a large lake with boating, canoeing, fishing, picnic areas. On the east side, accessed from Etensroer or car park P15 is the Wezenland Beach (the northernmost beach on the side of Oostzaan ) has been designated as naturist area . This beach is from the main entrance with signs . It is sign posted as "naturisteterraine" in the park and is marked as Wezenland Strand on the park's map. Sail boats, rowing boats, canoes and bicycles are for hire at Port De Roemer. Sailing lessons are organised during the summer months and, especially for the youth, there is an Adventure Play area and ‘the Blue Gateway’ ('De Blauwe poort'), a water play area. There are special breed animals kept on special farm De Marsen and, for children, there is an animal grassland. Roaming and grazing majestically in the wildlife area, a herd of Highland Cows (Schotse Hooglanders in Dutch) and ponies.


The peat area around the Zaan knows peatery since the beginning of the era. In the peat ditches were made to drain the area and to win dry turf/peat. That continued for hundreds of years. Also because of the influence of water and wind, little and big meadows came into existence. Because keeping cattle got harder because of this, they decided to reclaim Het Twiske in 1983.

Many unemployed from the area had to help to get the job done. When in 1956 the south part of the area was reclaimed, they stopped the activities. In the meantime the little river, now called Het Twiske, had disappeared for the most part.

A few years later they started to lay out the Coentunnel-road They needed a lot of sand for that and they found it under the peat and the clay of Het Twiske. Because of the sand-winning a big puddle came into existence. That was a good thing. Then in the early there was a need for recreation-space near the big cities. The decided to arrange Het Twiske for several kinds of recreation. The little river Het Twiske was dug out again and the water-surface of the area was extended to 200 ha.

Het Twiske Area Map:

Het Twiske area map
Area Indication:
1. Information Centrum
2. Harbour De Roemer
3. Farm De Marsen
4. Blauwe Poort
5. Adventure Playground
6. Play-ditch
7. Green-beaches/belts
8. Surf beaches
9. Main Entry

The Land:

It is nice staying in Het Twiske. There are beaches, play grasses and day-camping areas. You can relax, while the children are enjoying their selves at the adventure playground or the water playground De Blauwe Poort. All these areas are well reachable. Do you want to make a walk? Starting at the parking place, several routes along the most beautiful parts of Het Twiske are clearly directed.

Cyclists also have good option. There is an extensive network of paths is connected to cycle paths from Amsterdam, Zaanstad and Purmerend.
Rent a bike in Het Twiske? That is possible at harbor De Roemer.
For riders/horsemen there is a riders route.
Just walk or cycle to the (completely restored) mill which drains the water of Het Twiske.
Or pay a visit to the farm De Marsen, where most of the cattle is walking around free.
In the spring you can visit the stables to see the new born animals with your (grand)children.

In the restaurants and kiosks you can get something to eat or drink. Pavilion Het Twiske has a terrace at the Slooterplas. At the Blauwe Poort there is a pancake house with view over the entire water playground.
Enjoying at Het Twiske, land or water

The Water:

Almost a third of Het Twiske consists of water. Thanks to the good quality of the water and the beauty of the landscape, the area is very popular with swimmers, divers and surfers. For the safety, the swim and surf areas are separated. Board sailors have their own beaches at the Slooterplas and De Does. For divers a platform put at the bottom somewhere near the Kure Jan Beach.

Harbor De Roemer is the center of the water-sport in Het Twiske. There (but also at De Does) you can rent a canoe, rowing or sailing boat, a stabling for canoes and surf boards and a trailer slipway.

Do you like to angle? Then Het Twiske has to offer you a lot. Pools and creeks came into the most beautiful spots. There is a special fish-scaffolding for less valid people. To guarantee the peace, motor boats are not allowed in Het Twiske.


Even on beautiful days, when thousands of visitors are there, Het Twiske still knows rest. The so called silence areas are only reachable by foot, boat or bike. There you can find hay land and meadows with sometimes rare flowers and meadow birds. Ponies and cows with thick red/brown pelts (Scottish Highlanders) graze there. In “De Belt” and “De Blokken” the nature is at its prettiest. For that reason the silence areas of Het Twiske are absolutely worth a visit in all seasons.

And more:

Do you want to go out for a day with a class or a group? Het Twiske is an excellent place for sporting days, birthday parties and school trips. The wide playgrounds, the good swimwater, the surf beaches and the rent of rowing- and sailing-boats, canoes and bicycles offer the possibility to create a varied day. When a little wet is allowed, water playground De Blauwe Poort is an unique experience for children and their companions. Farm De Marsen provides lessons for elementary education and has lesson material (nice to prepare a visit).


In Het Twiske there are as little rules as possible. Nevertheless there are a few you should observe and which are inserted in the General Regulation. For Example: always keep dogs on a lead and no dog allowed on the beaches between May and September. At De Blauwe Poort dogs are not allowed at all. On a limited number of places in Het Twiske nude recreation is allowed.

First Aid:

The Central First Aid-post is situated in the harbor building De Roemer. De posts at the beaches and at the De Blauwe Poort are in connection with the central post.


All facilities in Het Twiske are free, except for the rent of boats etc.

Twiske Gate (Twiske Poort) [also called Green recreation center (het groene recreatiecentrum)]

Twiske Gate (Twiske Poort)
Twiske Gate (Twiske Poort) is a freely accessible water playground . Around a large shallow lake (maximum depth 1.40 m) have play equipment for children from small to large. Twiske Port in conjunction with the Adventure Playground and the port Roemer a popular destination for school trips. Twiske Gate offers a challenging location for the organization (business ) trips . The nature of the Recreation Twiske Poort offer a variety packages for sports. For young and old, businesses , individuals , schools , tourists, water sports or adventure, something for all ages . Each day may have different theme. Activities depend on weather and may themselves be changed . On the beach side are visitors welcome. There is a newly constructed beach volleyball and children will enjoy the pirate ship in the playground and in the water. Yo can rent a bike, GPS or canoe. Just 10 minutes from Amsterdam and Zaandam.
Business hours
April: Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday hours from 10:00 - 18:00
May: daily from 10.00 - 18.00
June, July and August: daily from 10.00 - 19.00
September and October (except autumn): Wednesday 13.00 - 17.00 and Sunday from 10.00 - 18.00
Autumn: daily from 10.00 - 18.00
Note: Twiske Gate can be closed in bad weather. Check with doubt in the visitor center, tel 075 684 1943 38 . Large groups please pre- register.
Location and Contact Address:
Recreation Twiske Port (Recreatiecentrum Twiske Poort), Zuiderlaaik 1 1511 BX Oostzaan
Postal address : Signal 67 1446 WT Purmerend
T: 0299 390009, F: 0848 307 304, Information on the restaurant reservations for parties, tel 020 482 1964 64. Email: i...@twiskepoort.nl , Website: http://www.twiskepoort.com


There are two dive sites in the Twiske . A dive site located north of P13. The other dive site lies south of the Kure - Janstrand at P18. In Kure - Janstrand is a diving spot. In some places the water is more Stootersplas than 35 meters deep.

Horseback riding

Horseback riding is only allowed on the trails and the equestrian field . The riding area is located on the west side of the Twiske (Parking P15). This area is open all year round free. There is no riding in the Twiske. At the edge of the Twiske are two riding schools. Manege -Pension Twiske , Den Ilp 56A in Den Ilp ( 020 482 1915 17 ) and riding / livery Taams , The Get in Oostzaan 125 ( 075 684 1944 44).

Getting Het Twiske

From Amsterdam CS and CS Zaandam you can take bus 92 : get off at Oostzaan Kolkweg stop (for the main entrance ) or stop Kerkbuurt ( The port for the Visitors and Roemer ). From Kerkbuurt in Oostzaan takes about 20 minutes. On the east side of the bus 93 runs from Amsterdam CS to Tramplein Purmend. Look for an individual travel advice www.9292ov.nl

Port Harbor De Roemer (Haven de Roemer)

You can find several water activities such as Sailboats, Rowboats, Canadian canoes, Pedalo, Bike rental etc.
Harbor Roemer Hours:
From May 1 to October 3: Monday 10.00 till 17.30, Tuesday 10.00 till 20.30, Wednesday 10.00 till 17.30, Thursday 10.00 till 17.30, Friday 10.00 till 20.30, Saturday 10.00 till 18.30, Sunday 10.00 till 18.30.
From October 4 through April 30 , the port is also closed and In bad weather, the port will be closed .
For any further information and reservations, contact: Noorderlaaik 2 1511 Oostzaan. Tel: +31(0)75-6844890., fax:075 6842911, Email: i...@havenderoemer.nl , Website: http://www.havenderoemer.nl/

Mill De Twiskemolen (Twiske-mill), Landsmeer
Farm De Marsen, Tel: +31(0)20-4825205.
Pavilion Het Twiske, Tel: +31(0)75-6844831.
Pancake restaurant De Blauwe Poort, Tel:+31(0)75-6844831.
Canoe Routes Between "Zaandam and Oostzanerveld (14 km)" as well as "Polder Oostzaan, Den Ilp, Het Twiske and Oostzanerveld (21 km)": http://www.kanoroutes.nl/e-zaandam.htm
Het Twiske Bicycle Tour In Zaan-region
Het Twiske, Zaan-Region Mill Cycle Tour

Mountain bike track, Cyclo-cross bicycle in the context of Rabotop North Holland and mtb trail in Twiske, Amsterdam (North) and Purmerbos: http://www.mtb-twiske.nl/

Tourist Information Center:

At the entries to Het Twiske and at central spots in the area there are information boards. In the info-Centrum there is an exhibition on Het Twiske. Also a slide show is being shown. For schools there is lesson-material available about soil, water and birds. The info-Centrum is situated in the management-office.
Management-office Recreation area Het Twiske,
Noorderlaaik 1, 1511 BX Oostzaan, Tel: +31(0)75-6844338, Email: i...@hettwiske.nl
Click here (Only in Dutch) for the website of Het Twiske for update information.

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