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Coordinates: 52°12′19″N 4°32′18″E / 52.20528°N 4.53833°E / 52.20528; 4.53833

Sailing on the river Zijp, one of the connecting waterways
Historical map of the lakes in 1617

The Kagerplassen (a Dutch term meaning "the Kaag Lakes") is a small lake system in South Holland located to the northeast of Leiden.[1] The Kaag Lakes are a popular area for boating, watersports, fishing, camping and walking. Windmills, waterfront pasture land (weilanden) with grazing animals, quaint Dutch boats and buildings and (in season) flower fields are all part of the charm of boating and walking in this area.


The Kaag Lakes are part of two municipalities: Kaag en Braassem and Teylingen. Three villages that lay directly on the lakes are:

A number of other villages and towns (including Leiden itself) are located on connecting waterways providing easy access to the lakes.

The Kaag Lakes consist of an interconnected system of smaller lakes and waterways. The Kaag Lakes are fenland lakes (veenplassen) and part of the Holland-Utrecht wet fenland area (veenweidegebied). There are several islands, including the following:

  • The only inhabited island is Kagereiland, on which De Kaag is situated.
  • Two others islands, de Lakerpolder en de Kogjespolder, are managed by the Dutch Forestry Commission (Staatsbosbeheer).
  • Another island situated in the southwestern part of the system is called Boterhuiseiland (literally, "Butterhouse Island"). For at least 50 years this has been the home of the Kaag Lakes Sea Scout Centre (Zeeverkennerscentrum Kagerplassen). During the boating season this centre provides a basis for around two dozen Sea Scout groups in the region. Campgrounds on the island are also used by other Dutch Scout groups.
  • There is a canal named De Zijl that connects Leiden with the Kager Lakes (in the neighborhood of Leiderdorp).

The lakes are home to several sailing schools. The oldest sailing school is 't Vossenhol, founded in 1947 and situated on the Dieperpoel. In 1952 sailing school De Kaag was founded.

The Kaag Lakes are connected to a larger network of lakes and waterways called the Holland Lakes (Hollandse Plassen). The other lake systems are called the Braassemermeer, Wijde Aa and the Westeinderplassen. They are all connected by the Haarlemmermeer Ring Waterway, the Does river and many smaller waterways. This network means that much of northern South Holland is enjoyable for boating.


There are a multiple ferry lines around the lakes :

  • De Kaag (island) - Buitenkaag by a 24-hour ferry.
  • A ferry line between Zevenhuizen and De Kaag-island (June - August).
  • A ferry service between Leiden (Merenwijk, north) and Eastern Warmond (Bicycles and pedestrian only).



  1. ^ Some of the information in this article is a translation of the Dutch article on the Kagerplassen on the Dutch Wikipedia.

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