Come to the dark site
Real darkness is becoming ever more scarce. Fortunately, in Dark Sky Park Lauwersmeer you can have an intense and varied experience of the darkness.
Reading time: Approximately 5 minutes
The fact that National Park Lauwersmeer has been designated as an official Dark Sky Park is unusual, because nights are becoming brighter in the Netherlands. Real darkness is hard to find. Darkness is good for nature. Birds use it to set their biological clocks, migratory birds arrive at destination, bats find enough to eat at night, moths rest and the same applies to people.
So, make the most of the opportunity and immerse yourself in the power and beauty of a real night in the Lauwersmeer area. Take a look at this birds’ paradise on the former seabed from the other side. From the dark side.
To be seen in the dark
Nobody lives in Dark Sky Park Lauwersmeer and the darkness is actively protected. Surprising: it is so dark here, you see more. After about twenty minutes your eyes adjust, and you discover all sorts of things. Stars you would not see otherwise, maybe even the Milky Way. But also hedgehogs, owls and moths, of which there are more than forty species in this National Park. Don't use a torch or your telephone, because after that light you need to adjust again.
You hear a lot too. Different sounds than during the day, sounds you may not be able to place immediately. Geese flying overhead. A calling doe. A screaming fox. You can just imagine that people used to think up exciting stories or ghosts with those sounds.
Out and about
You can experience the darkness of the Dark Sky Park in many different ways. Sail on the black waters of the night, or cycle on the darkest cycle path in the Netherlands. The park has many routes where you can take a walk below the stars. Visit one of the sky platforms on your trip. You can stand there and enjoy the starry sky or, better still, enjoy them lying down.
You prefer not to go out on your own? Go out with the forest ranger on a night-time excursion to see the stars, to find moths, or spot bats. On rare days, you can even see the Northern Lights.
Cycle route: Darkest cycle path in the Netherlands
Walking along the pitch black bike path in the Kollumerwaard you will see the lights of Zoutkamp, the gas flame of Grijpskerk and to the southeast the glowing city of Groningen. The bike path begins at the car park on Kwelderweg and ends at the Hooge Zuidwal. And back again.Discover more