News Articles

Sneek among world’s top-ten water sports destinations

According to BBC travel experts

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SNEEK, the Netherlands - According to the travel experts at the U.K.’s main broadcaster BBC, the Frisian city of Sneek is one of the world’s best destinations for water sports. It shares the distinction with such internationally well-known locations as the Canary Islands, Venice, Italy, and Florida.

Calling Sneek - in Frisian known as Snits - ‘a charming town with many excellent restaurants,’ it is cited as a great departure point for trips on the Sneek Lake and the many other lakes in the area.

Sneek, recently finishing second (behind Amsterdam) as the Dutch town with the most beautiful inner city, perhaps is best known for its unique Water Gate. The 17th century structure has two towers on each side of a bridge which itself is spanned by a double gate above which lived the toll keeper.

The town originated in the 12th century. Four centuries later, Sneek was a walled city, the only one in Friesland. The walls were razed again by the early part of the 18th century. A few decennia later, both land gates into the town were demolished as well.

As a centre of water sports, Sneek hosts the Sneek Week every August, which draws hundreds of boats and tens of thousands of spectators. The town also sponsors a skutsje (as do many other communities in the province), the large, flat-bottomed replica’s of erstwhile freight barges, now are being used for racing. Every summer, a weeks-long series of races are held on the lakes nearby.