Wadlopen is a recreation enjoyed by Frisians, Dutch, Germans, Danes, and others in the Netherlands, northwest Germany and in Denmark. Wadlopers are men and women who, with the aid of a tide table, use a period of low water to walk and wade on the watershed of the mudflats, especially from the Frisian mainland coast to the Frisian islands.
The Wadden Sea, a belt of the North Sea, is well-adapted to this traditional practice. Belts of this shallow sea lie off the mainland of the Netherlands, between Friesland and the Frisian Islands; off the coast of Germany; and off the coast of southwest Jutland in Denmark.
In the Netherlands, wadlopers can walk from the mainland to Terschelling, Ameland, Engelsmanplaat, Schiermonnikoog, Simonszand and Rottumeroog. Other wadlopen routes are known but are not recommended, either because of their inherent dangers (the correct path is difficult to follow and/or there are insufficient margins of error in timing the trip) or for the minimization of ecological disturbance, or both. In Germany, wadlopers can walk to Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog, Spiekeroog and Minsener-Oldoog. There is also a connection between the islands Amrum and Föhr.
Though the tides change in very regular cycles, tourists and foreigners can easily misjudge the situation and find themselves quickly surrounded by the rising water on all sides, far away from the beaches. A guide should be hired to prevent any mishaps.