Whether you are a new arrival to the country, you have decided to postpone your holidays abroad, or you just want to see a bit more of the country, why not venture out in the Dutch outdoors? Once you leave the canals of Amsterdam or Utrecht behind, you will find that the Netherlands has a lot more to offer. Have a look and see what more the Netherlands has to offer. Go on adventure or unwind, have fun with friends and family or enjoy the silence of nature. Plan your daytrip or weekend away and in one of the following places and get to know the country better!
Let the wind clear your head on the Wadden islands
The Wadden Islands form an archipelago of 14 Dutch, 24 German, and 5 Danish islands running across the coasts of The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The Wadden islands are in continuous movement and form a unique ecosystem that can be found nowhere else in the world. Most of the Wadden area is an environmentally protected area, to preserve some of the rich flora and fauna specific to this area.
Of the Dutch islands 5 are inhibited and reachable by ferries or in some cases by foot. The islands, with their open horizons, endless skies and the opportunity to mudflat hike from one island to the other, offer both adventure and relaxation. Visit the idyllic villages on these mostly car-free islands or stroll endlessly along the beaches and dunes.
Rent a bicycle in The Hoge Veluwe National Park
Stretched across the province of Gelderland the Hoge Veluwe National Park offers its visitors a unique combination of nature, history, art and architecture. Rent a bike at one of the park entrances and discover it all by yourself or with a guide, across the fenced 55 square kilometre area consisting of heathlands, sand dunes and forest. With any luck you might encounter wild deer, ponies, moufflons, boars, or foxes.
Visit the park between mid-August and mid-September to view the heathlands in full bloom, its fields of purple stretching as far as the eye can see.
And how about a visit to the Kröller-Müller museum while you’re in the park, boasting almost 90 paintings and more than 180 drawings of Vincent van Gogh, next to works by masters including Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondriaan.
Along the route you may find yourself admiring the architecture of the Country Residence Sint Hubertus, or pass along one of the memorials of the Second World War and Operation Market Garden, which took place in the area.
Learn how the Netherlands lives with water at the Delta Works
Visit one of the seven wonders of the world, the impressive Delta Works in the south of the Netherlands. Find out how the Netherlands – as a country mostly below sea level – has learned to live and protect itself against the waters.
Here you’ll learn all about an important part of Dutch history: the infamous disastrous flood of 1953, which led to the build of a unique flood protection construction of 8 kilometers in length that can shut off the entire Eastern Scheldt in 75 minutes.
A visit to the Deltapark Neeltje Jans, a theme park in the area, allows you to take a boat trip to view the Storm Surge Barrier from up close and with a bit of luck catch a glimpse of some playing seals. The film showing how the ingenious system of 62 enormous sliding gates to prevent floods were built is definitely also worth a watch.
Although the Delta Works may not be close by, they will make an impression to last a lifetime. And if you’re in the area anyway, why not combine it with a visit to the beach in Renesse, or visit one of the century old towns like Middelburg or Zierikzee. Go for the full experience and enjoy lunch or dinner with freshly caught mussels, oysters or lobster.
Hiking or mountain biking across the Loonse en Drunense Duinen
In the Loonse and Drunense Duinen in the friendly province of North Brabant you will find forest, heather and especially a lot of sand. It is one of the largest drifting sand areas in Western Europe. The wind can blow undisturbed in many places and that ensures an ever-changing landscape. That, and the changing of the seasons, make every visit a new experience.
Go for a hike, horse riding or rent a mountain bike and follow one of the many adventurous routes across the park. On the edges of the Loonse and Drunense Duinen you will find many pubs with a terrace and playground, to catch your breath and enjoy a drink or some food.