Centrally located in the Land of Leeghwater is the Eilandspolder. It has a dimension of 1650 ha and consists of 25% of water and is uniquekly situated between the historical villages of Graft-De Rijp, Noordeinde, Grootschermer, Schermerhorn and Driehuizen.This was once a peat island in the middle of large lakes and was called Schermer Island.
The wet agricultural lands are still used as meadows and pastures and are now a unique natural landscape, home to water and meadow birds. Today the Eilandspolder and the polder De Mijzen are protected nature reserves.
Other small islands in the area were Markenbinnen, Oterleek, De Mijzen en De Matten. The farmers on these wet lands lived under difficult circumstances. The inhabitants of Schermer Island did, however, manage to turn these problems into good fortune. They made a living through fishing and small-scale cargo shipping. They also made a name for themselves as whalers. In the middle of the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century, De Rijp was one of the most prosperous villages of the northern part of Holland.
The Eilandspolder has a soggy and nutrient-rich peat soil. In the spring you will find meadow birds like black-tailed godwit, lapwing and oystercatcher. You can also observe rare marsh birds - bittern and rutweed - at the reed collars. In the winter, widgeons and teals await the Eilandspolder for rest and food. In the spring the spoonbill is a welcome guest.
The wet agricultural land is still in use as pasture and hayfield and forms a unique landscape for these water and meadow birds.
"Staatsbosbeheer", "Landschap Noord-Holland" and a number of farmers try to maintain the best possible balance in this unique nature reserve. The numbers of widgeon and spoonbill (1% of the world population) have ensured that a part of the Eilandspolder falls under the European Birds Directive.
Discover the Eilandspolder nature reserve while walking, cycling, skating, sailing, or - in winter - skating. Several routes have been set out that take you past the most beautiful places.
The tourist office is situated in the weighing house:
Kleine Dam 1
1483 BJ De Rijp
Telephone: +31 (02)99-671979
During the winter you can only reach us by e-mail.
From july 1st. till end of September all days open between 12.00 and 15.00 hours.
Travel to De Rijp from Amsterdam
De Rijp is an easy 45-minute trip from Amsterdam. Busline 305 travels to De Rijp twice an hour. Look out for the bus on the river side of Amsterdam Central Station.
Take advantage of the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket which offers unlimited travel on buses, trams, trains and metros in the Amsterdam Area for 24 hours for: 1 day - € 19.50, 2 days - € 28.00, 3 days - € 36.50.