The Netherlands

You don't have to go far from home for a romantic city trip, adventurous bike ride or sleeping in the open air for a week. There is so much to discover in the Netherlands that you need a lifetime to visit all the (hidden) pearls.

City trip in the Netherlands


Do you want a day or weekend away in the Netherlands? Then take a city trip in one of the many cozy places you will find in the Netherlands. Visit large cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where there is always something to do, or opt for a smaller but certainly no less pleasant city such as Groningen or Eindhoven. Enjoy the Burgundian life in Maastricht or stroll through romantic Leiden. Visit the planetarium of Eise Eisinga in Franeker or have a party during the Sneekweek in Sneek. Eat a fish in the harbor of Volendam or eat mussels on a terrace in Vlissingen. Whichever city you choose in the Netherlands, hidden gems are everywhere waiting to be discovered by you.


Car routes in the Netherlands


Take a road trip close to home through the varied Dutch landscape. Take a tour along the forest and heathland across the Veluwe or drive through open plains along mounds in the Frisian countryside. Discover the Betuwe from Rheden, from where you drive the Land van Maas and Waal route to Wijk bij Duurstede. Along the way you will visit nature reserves and historic harbor towns. If you want to delve further back into history, you should follow the Hunebed Highway in Drenthe. For a foreign feeling you drive the Mergelland route through the hills and past the castles and half-timbered houses of South Limburg. Along this road, the N34, you will find 47 of the 53 Drenthe dolmens. Gourmets enjoy a culinary road trip along the Wadden.


Hiking trails in the Netherlands


Nowhere else in Europe you will find so many hiking trails and walking routes per kilometer as in the Netherlands. Follow a marked walking route of Natuurmonumenten or Staatsbosbeheer, download a route via Komoot or create your own route along walking junctions. Each province in the Netherlands offers a completely different landscape. Walk in Limburg through the hills of the Mergelland, in Utrecht over the ridge, in North Holland along the coast and / or in Drenthe along the burial mounds.


Avid hikers can follow one of the official Long Distance Hiking Trails (LAWs) or Regional Trails. The most famous LAW is the Pieterpad, which runs from Pieterburen in the north to the Sint-Pietersberg in the south. A greener alternative to this route through the Netherlands is the Roots Longest Nature Path in the Netherlands. The Krijtlandpad in Limburg runs in a hundred kilometers long round along the highlights of the South Limburg landscape.


Cycling routes in the Netherlands


The relatively flat Netherlands is a paradise for cyclists. Compile your own cycling route on the basis of nodes that are well marked throughout the Netherlands or follow a local walking route. Throughout the Netherlands you will find beautiful nature reserves for your bike ride. For example, in Groningen and Friesland you can cycle over the dike for days on end, and roll through the dunes on the west side of the Netherlands. In the Veluwe you can cycle through the woods for hours without meeting anyone, and in South Limburg you train your calf muscles in the Mergelland.


The Netherlands is also the country for a relaxing cycling holiday. Cycle bike-packing along cycling junctions in the Netherlands, or follow a long-distance cycling route (LF route). The Netherlands' most famous long-distance walking route, the Pieterpad, has an alternative for cyclists. The Fietserpad runs on quiet roads from North Groningen to South Limburg. History fans cycle the Limes route across the northern border of the former Roman Empire (the Limes). In two hundred kilometers you will pass forty special sights that refer to history. Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh on the 435-kilometer Van Gogh cycle route through Brabant.


On a micro adventure in the Netherlands


No time for a long vacation but still want to get away from it all? Go for a weekend or on a micro adventure in the Netherlands. A micro adventure is a short, simple adventure close to home. For example, relax in De Peel in Brabant or set up your tent for one night in the Lauwersmeer area. Hikers can do two legs of a long distance walking route. The stages of the Veluwe Zwerfpad and the Pieterpad are ideal for this. Water rats take one of the most beautiful canoe routes in the Netherlands and enjoy the tranquility in the Weerribben or the lively bustle along the Utrecht canals.


Sailing on Dutch waters


The Netherlands is a wetland country, so there is plenty of room for adventure on the water. Sail in a canoe or kayak over narrow waters in the Biesbosch or Giethoorn, for example. Giethoorn is also called the Venice of the Netherlands, thanks to the extensive network of canals in the village. From the water you can enjoy the cute houses and their colorful gardens, after which you look for the tranquility of the Weerribben Wieden. Anyone who dreams of doing the Elfstedentocht, but does not want to wait until the frost finally comes, sails the route in a motorboat or canoe. It is pouring, launch your boat in Leeuwarden and sail along the landscapes that almost every Dutch person will recognize from the images of the last Elfstedentocht. The meandering Berkel River is known as one of the most relaxing sailing routes in the Netherlands. Step aboard the Berkelzomp and learn from the skipper all about the former trade and the village of Almen. On the Abel Tasman you imagine yourself on a pirate ship, including a plastic sword and hook. You will experience an even greater adventure on the IJsselmeer, the Netherlands' largest inland waterway that is perfect for a (solo) sailing trip.


Lesser known Dutch places


The Netherlands is full of hidden gems. The Northern Netherlands landscape, which many see as a large, empty plain, is home to beautiful nature reserves where you can walk in peace. Also in North Brabant you will find extensive nature parks where you can stroll around undisturbed for hours. Areas such as the Biesbosch are frequently visited, especially in summer, but it is also very beautiful in autumn and winter. In North Limburg you will find a dune area at a great distance from the sea: the Maasduinen, good for hours of walking and cycling pleasure. You feel like a real pioneer on the Marker Wadden, the newest piece of nature in the Netherlands. Keep your eyes and ears open during your visit to these nature reserves, and who knows, you might spot one of the Dutch Big Five.


If you feel more at home in the civilized world, you can visit the fortified town of Doesburg. Here you will find more than 150 monuments and museums, so you can enjoy yourself for hours. More to the north you will find the fortress Bourtange, a defense work from 1593. Walk along the ramparts and through the cozy alleys and imagine yourself back in the time of Willem Lodewijk van Nassau. Another picturesque village is Monnickendam with its historic city center full of seventeenth century buildings. Don't forget to eat some fish in the harbor. Anyone who wants to imagine themselves in Egypt for a while, goes to the only pyramid in the Netherlands: the pyramid of Austerlits. Climb the pyramid, a tribute to Napoleon, and enjoy the view over the ridge.


Campsites and holiday homes in the Netherlands


You can camp almost anywhere in the Netherlands, with a wide choice of luxury and less luxurious campsites. If you want to camp in nature and wake up to the birdsong, book a natural camping site or Campspace. Wake up at the most beautiful camping spots in Dutch nature in, for example, the Dark Sky Park Lauwersmeer or on the beach in the National Park Zuid-Kennemerland. Camping at the farm is possible at an SVR campsite. For a little more luxury, but still the camping feeling, you are looking for a glamping. Spend the night, for example, in the butterfly garden of Amsterdam-Noord or in a Nomadic Yurt in the Texel dunes.


You will also find plenty of cozy holiday homes in the Netherlands. For example, spend the night at a family holiday park in the Veluwe or on a Wadden Island. You can book special overnight stays in the middle of nature via nature house.nl.


Write Dutch history


Record your Dutch adventure in a journal from Travel Diaries and share it with friends, family and possibly the entire web. Write your history with texts and photos and have the book printed for the coffee table.