Stavoren/Starum is the oldest town in the Frisian Elfsteden, also a Hanseatic town and was once the home port of the Frisian kings and sailors. The shipping industry and overseas trade brought Stavoren much prosperity. Many Vikings and Dutch counts would have been only too happy to get a piece of the pie. After the 18th century, Stavoren suffered many setbacks, the greatest of which is expressed in the legend of “Het vrouwtje van Stavoren” (The Lady of Stavoren). She still looks out over the old harbor.

But Stavoren also managed to flourish again. During the summer months it is now lively and cheerful. The town is a favorite for many because of its unique location between the IJsselmeer and the Frisian lakes. The ‘Oude Haven’ houses the ships of the brown fleet and the fishing boats. The impressive ‘J.L. Hoogland pumping station’, which takes care of the discharge of the Frisian polder water into the IJsselmeer, operates tirelessly all year round.

And the ferry service between Enkhuizen and Stavoren carries thousands of tourists and cyclists every year.

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Where to get the stamp?

From March 15 to November 15 you can pick up your stamp at the harbor office of Marina Stavoren Buitenhaven. From November 15 to March 15, the harbor office is closed and the stamp is in a box at the entrance of the harbor office. You can then put the stamp on the card yourself. This box also contains extra stamp cards, you will find the code for the barrier here and in this box you can also leave the payment of € 15 per night in an envelope. This makes getting your stamp a breeze. 

Motorhome park Stavoren

The motorhome park is located in the Marina Stavoren Buitenhaven.  A unique location, outside the dike and just a stone’s throw from the IJsselmeer. The beautiful panoramic view over the IJsselmeer here dazzles you from all sides. The motorhome park is 500 meters from the center. The site has some electrical outlets, free Wi-Fi and sanitary facilities. There is also a playground, a beach and an indoor swimming pool and for in the morning a croissanterie. Near the campsite is the beach pavilion De Potvis. Here you can have a delicious lunch, a drink with snacks, coffee and cake or an extensive dinner.

What is there to do in Stavoren?

There’s a lot to do in Stavoren these days. We have listed the best things you can do!

1. Fountain

The fish fountain of Stavoren is also part of the “11 fountains”. This fountain represents the change of times that Stavoren has experienced. The fountain was designed by Mark Dion and is a reference to Pieter Bruegel’s symbolic print “How big fish eat little ones!” Just as Stavoren was often eaten by the “big ones”.

From the fountain you can take a tour that will take you past all the highlights of Stavoren.

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2. Museum Toankamer 't Ponthús

During your visit to Stavoren, you must not miss the Toankamer ‘t Ponthús. Although Stavoren is the oldest town in Friesland, much has been lost due to floods, wars and economic decline. Fortunately, however, some unique sights have been preserved and restored where necessary. At the Ponthús, the glorious history of Stavoren comes alive again. There are various exhibitions and a continuous timeline. If you walk along it, you can read all about the sights that Stavoren still has to offer and about the events that have taken place in this town. A walk through Stavoren will be even more fun!

The address of Toankamer ‘t Ponthús is Hellingspad 10-12, 8715 HT Stavoren. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm. From November to April the museum is closed. Admission costs €4 for adults. Children up to 12 years are free. The museum is also accessible with the museum annual pass.

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3. Vrouwtje van Stavoren

The statue of the “Vrouwtje van Stavoren” stands in the harbor overlooking the IJsselmeer. Legend has it that she was very rich, but also very unhappy. She had asked one of her boatmen to return with a hold full of gold. He returned with a hold full of grain because he considered it much more valuable than gold. You can make food out of it and fill many stomachs with it. The woman did not like this and asked her captain to throw the grain overboard. Slowly, an island of swaying grass formed at this spot. The island took on more and more sand until it became such a large sandbank that ships could no longer reach the harbor. Thus ended the glorious days of Stavoren.

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4. The harbor

The harbor of Stavoren is now easily accessible again. Since the city is surrounded on three sides by the IJsselmeer and the Johan Friso sluice, Stavoren is the perfect place for a nice boating vacation in Friesland. If you prefer to spend your vacation in your camper, you can also just spend one afternoon on the water.

In the fishing harbor you will find lovely houses similar to those in Copenhagen. At the tip of the harbor you will also find pretty harbor lights and the lighthouse of Stavoren.

The railroad port is also worth a visit. This is where the train arrived, with which you could easily take the ferry between Stavoren and Enkhuizen in the time before the Afsluitdijk. In Enkhuizen you could board the next train. The steam ferry, which transported goods and livestock, also docked at the railroad port. The loaded train cars did not have to be unloaded, as they could easily be pulled onto the steam ferry via a bridge with rails. In Enkhuizen they too could continue their journey by rail. After the construction of the Afsluitdijk, the ferry was no longer needed. The remains of the harbor have since been restored and a replica of the bridge has been made. Information boards provide information about the ferry and the harbor. 

Today, a ferry still runs between Stavoren and Enkhuizen. It is no longer used for goods. Unfortunately, you cannot take your camper with you, but you can take your bicycle.

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5. Monuments

In Stavoren there are some other monuments besides the railroad port. One of these is the so-called Blokhuis. A military defense structure at a strategic location. It was built in 1525 by Emperor Charles V to keep the Frisians under control. The Blokhuis stood there until about 1580, and today a large work of art made of steel, concrete and glass can be seen on the old foundations.

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6. The St. Odulphus Path

The St. Odulphus path is a 260 kilometer long path across the southwest of Friesland. This trail is named after St. Odulphus, who came to Friesland from Brabant to convert the inhabitants to Christianity. He founded a monastery near Stavoren, but unfortunately it vanished in the Zuiderzee.


The trail is an old pilgrimage route that is (partly) still passable. The trail is divided into several sections. Part number 3 is 17 kilometers long and passes the Hemelum Monastery. This is where the monks went when the other monastery disappeared into the sea.

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7. Walks

Would you like to discover all the beauty of Stavoren on foot? From the motorhome park Marina Stavoren Buitenhaven you can walk past the Hoogland pumping station via the water sports store. This pumping station has the largest capacity in Europe. You will then pass through the most important gateway to the Frisian lakes: the Johan Friso sluice. The sluice connects the Johan Friso Canal with the IJsselmeer. Continue across the Schans, along the canal of Stavoren. There are several nice stores here, including “De Binnenhaven” (fashion, home and gifts) and “Buuf Jelly”, the loveliest store at the IJsselmeer. On the Hellingspath you pass “Bianca’s Kinderkleding” and ‘t Ponthús. If you haven’t been there yet, you can visit ‘t Ponthús right away, but you can also continue to the Oude Haven, where the Vrouwtje van Stavoren still looks over the harbor. Here you will also find the fountain. Further into the harbor are the fishing boats of Stavoren. Crossing the dike with a beautiful view over the IJsselmeer, we return to the motorhome park Marina Stavoren Buitenhaven via the Johan Friso sluice.

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8. Bicycles

Have you brought your bicycles? Then why not discover the surrounding area by bike. Nearby are three more of the eleven cities that are accessible by bike. If you don’t have time to drive the entire route, you can still get your stamps by bike. Hindeloopen is only 11 km away, Workum is 17 km from Stavoren and the town of Sloten can be reached via a beautiful ride through the forests of Gaasterland 24 km away. Don’t have your bicycles with you? No need to worry! You can rent bikes at the harbor office of Marina Stavoren Buitenhaven.

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