Island visits

Vuurtoreneiland  ©Jaap van der Veen


Vuurtoreneiland (literally: Lighthouse Island) is a little fort island off the coast of Durgerdam, near Amsterdam, and is still relatively unknown. It’s an exclusive monumental location in a unique part of Holland. On this fort island you are surrounded by water, tranquillity, light and air. With its wooden houses, the picturesque harbour town of Durgerdam is a special location. Only a stone’s throw from the Dutch capital, it offers unobstructed views over lake IJmeer. Every last Sunday of the month, a ferry leaves for Vuurtoreneiland from the harbour at Amsterdam IJburg and from Amsterdam Centre near the Muziekgebouw aan het IJ (a concert hall).
Upon arrival on the island visitors receive a guided tour by the forester, who tells about the history, culture and nature on and around the island. You also have the opportunity to walk around on your own and enjoy the quietness and the beautiful views of the Amsterdam skyline, lake Markermeer and the town of Durgerdam. Don’t forget to bring along a flashlight and binoculars, to help you find your way in the bunkers!

Ferry crossing to Fort Island IJmuiden

A visit to the Fort Island starts with an atmospheric trip across the water. Two ships ensure good accessibility of the island: they are the ‘Fortwachter’ and the ‘Koningin Emma’.  Keeping guard 24 hours a day, the ‘Fortwachter’ (Fort Watchman) is the boat of the island itself. This 12.5-metre (41-feet) long aluminium landing craft was built in America.  The ‘Koningin Emma’ (Queen Emma) is a seaworthy round-trip boat owned by shipping company Dankzij in IJmuiden. The ‘Koning Emma’ is normally moored at the ‘Kop van de Haven’ (Harbour Head) near the Sluisplein square in IJmuiden.

This boat is used to transport groups to the Fort Island from the Kop van de Haven, De Noordpier and the Seaport Marina. The ferry crossing to the island takes approximately 10 minutes.

Travelling to Fort Island Pampus by ferry, canoe or private boat

The Fort Island Pampus is situated approximately 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) north of the entrance to the harbour of the fortified town of Muiden. Pampus can be reached over water by various means of transportation. Ferries to the island depart from Muiden and IJburg. You can also sail to the fort on a private boat, though. There are two mooring places on the south side of the island.

People who want to visit Pampus by canoe can land it on the small beach next to the breakwater during opening hours. If you only want to make a stop here to take a breather and don’t want to visit the island, you won’t need to purchase an entrance ticket.

Boat to Pampus + Muiderslot castle leaving from IJburg (Amsterdam)

A visit to Muiderslot castle is even more fun if you go there by boat. From the 1st of April, Rederij het IJ offers a boat service from IJburg in Amsterdam to Muiderslot. During high season, from the 1st of May through the 30th of September, the boat sails twice a day, Mondays excluded. In April and October there are two sailings on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, there’s only one service a day. The boat departs from the harbour of IJburg in Amsterdam and travels via Pampus to Muiderslot castle.
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