The Netherlands is known worldwide for historical windmills, extensive tulip lands and Vincent Van Gogh. But that’s not all― the country is where the tallest people in the world live, and there are more bikes than citizens! The Netherlands is a place full of talented people, so technology is developed, and the level of well-being is high.
Hence, happy people are taking proper care of the environment as they’re grateful for what they’ve been provided by nature. Here, coastal and marine areas are protected, and unique natural reserves are prioritised to be maintained for a long time. So, you’d say there are many things to see here, so we recommend a trip around the country by foot to take advantage of the Dutch experience.
Get to the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Wadden Sea, located in the southeastern part of the North Sea, is one of the largest tidal flats ecosystems in the world. The site became a UNESCO World Heritage location due to these intertidal flats, but also for the rich biological diversity of numerous and diverse birds.
You have plenty of entertainment options when reaching the site, from walking in the Schiermonnikoog National Park, exploring the sea through mud flat walking or getting around in the dunes of Texel National Park. However, the site is pretty far away from the main airport in the Netherlands, located in Amsterdam, so you might consider getting a car rental from Schiphol to reach the place in about four hours. We promise the drive is worth it.
Detour around central national parks
If you prefer staying around the city centre, we recommend having a tour of all the national parks. You can start with the closest one to Amsterdam, Nieuw Land National Park, which is man-made. Visit the park for the most heart-warming interactions with animals and birds, where you can hire a guide for a hike while doing some bird-spotting.
Then, there’s Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, which showcases a vast fauna of dunes that make great spots for walking or cycling. A little bit to the north, you’ll find National Park Hollandse Duinen, connecting the sea and the city through a sheltered shallow lagoon and dunes perfect for adventures.
While you can take the train to reach from one place to another, getting a BB&L car rental helps you reach the destination faster, and this way, you can easily carry your hiking or surfing equipment. While you’re travelling, maybe stop around authentic villages like Volendam.
Discover the Dutch forests
The Netherlands has numerous forests and woods, but some top-notch destinations to put on your map include Veluwe, the Dwingerveld National Park and Vennebroek Estate.
For example, in the Veluwe region, more than 200 walking trails will wait for you to explore them, but they’re also great for cycling, so don’t forget to bring your bike along. During your journey, you may be able to visit the Kröller-Müller Museum and even spot a red deer.
The Dwingerveld National Park is perfect to see during the autumn when the colours of nature blend beautifully between the heaths and fens. With unique plants like peat moss bog, asphodel, and orchids in wet areas, the diverse habitat expands to insects and animals.
What about the mountains of the Netherlands?
Believe it or not, the flat ground in the Netherlands also includes a few mountains. While they can be considered primarily hills, these steep natural beauties are the perfect area for cyclists who want to be challenged. One great area for visiting is the southern part of Limburg, where you’ll experience the Burgundian lifestyle of the citizens who love to wine & dine. Cauberg, Keutenberg and Gulperberg are not to be missed here. The highest peak in this region is found at the Vaalserberg.
Other impressive Dutch mountains include Pietersberg in Maastricht, which is not really high. Still, the plateau is an excellent place for adventure, as the underground tunnels are the cherry on top. Another remarkable location is Archemerberg, a hill that was part of a moraine from the penultimate ice age, so it has much history to explore.
A unique location: Zeeland
The Netherlands can be praised for having numerous hidden gems, and Zeeland is one of them. The site is an amazing, diverse province with endless beaches and the sea next to it, but tasting the mussels is the best part of visiting Zeeland. The beautiful area has a traditional appearance due to its polders and dikes, but it’s a great vacation spot.
You can learn more about its history at the Zeeland Historical Museum, where costumes and folklore objects are displayed for tourists. In some areas, time hasn’t affected the architecture, such as Nisse, Sint Annater-Muiden or Hammsteded, where mediaeval people were mostly fishing and building ships.
What to know before your trip to the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a friendly country with diverse transportation accessibility and great people. Still, to blend in, here are some tips to remember before embarking on your way to the land of tulips:
- Always carry cash with you, as most businesses still use this payment method;
- Many restaurants, shops and companies close by six PM;
- Prepare for rainy days with a raincoat and proper clothing;
- Tipping is not mandatory;
- Tap water is free;
- Getting a card museum will help you save money;
- If you want to see the tulips, you need to visit the country during mid-April;
- You can save money by travelling by train and bike;
- Street food is one of the most delicious in the world;
What’s your take on the natural environment of the Netherlands?
If you want to have a peaceful holiday in a place with friendly people and lots of sites for walks, choose to visit the Netherlands. This wonderful country might be rainy and chilly, but offers impressive natural views. At the same time, the cuisine here is fantastic, and everything feels cosy, so visit anytime!