Hiking in Saeftinghe, Zeeland

The sunken land of Saeftinghe is a nature reserve situated on the border of Belgium and The Netherlands. It is the place where the river the Scheldt meets the sea the Western Scheldt. That is why the water in Saeftinghe is brackish. It is the biggest brackish husky in Europe. Due to the constant change of the tide, Saeftinghe is an ever changing nature reserve.

You can visit Saeftinghe on your own or your can book a guided tour at the visitor centre located in Emmadorp. Which have started up their tours again as of the 17th of May 2021.

The hiking routes which you can visit on your own also start from the visitor centre in Emmadorp, where you can also park your car for free.

There are two walking routes, “het ruige laarzen pad” and the “plankierpad”. On “het ruige laarzen pad” you will need rain boots. On the “plankierpad” they aren’t required, but I would wear them anyways, since it is really muddy. They are both short trails, 1 and 2 km long, but you can combine them for a longer hike. If you want to hike longer then just this short hike, you can also walk along the Dyke or along the backroads.

Plankierspad
I have hiked both, but this time I am concentrating on the Plankierspad.
Starting at the parking lot at the visitor centre in Emmadorp, located at Emmaweg 4, Nieuw-Namen. The trail is about 2 kilometers long. You will walk over footbridges and through the mud.

First you cross the dyke, where you will find a map of Saeftinghe. Because of the elevation of the Dyke it is a good viewing point, where you can oversee the nature reserve. On the right side you will see the cooling towers of Doel and the port of Antwerp in the distance. In front of you, you will see the Western Scheldt, where you can see the boats pass by on their way to the port of Antwerp.

From there you hike down to the gate to enter Saeftinghe. Immediately when entering you will find a sign indicating both trails.

At the sign you will go right, where you enter the trail. It is an easy to follow trail as there is only one to follow. There are little wooden signs along the way with assignments for the kids. You can get a booklet with the assignments for the kids in the visitor centre. If you pay attention, you might spot some birds that live in Saefthinge.


How to get to Saeftinghe?

You can park your car at the visitor centre in Emmadorp.
Emmaweg 4, Nieuw-Namen
There is a big parking lot in front of the visitor centre. You just have to cross the dyke to enter Saeftinghe.

Let me know in the comments if you have visited Saeftinghe.

A hike in Waterdunen, Zeeland

In Zeeuws-Vlaanderen a new nature reserve has been created the past couple of years. As a resident of this beautiful area, I of course wanted to discover this beautiful area. Waterdunen is situated on the south of the beautiful fishers town of Breskens. It is situated in between the sea and land. It is also a Delta work, a different one from the ones we have all known for years.

An everchaning nature reserve
In Waterdunen the tide of the sea influences the area. Water flows in and out every single day. Which creates an everchanging nature reserve. The perfect spot for coastal birds to live and breed.


Bird spotting
Since it is such an amazing spots for birds to live, Waterdunen is the perfect location to go bird spotting. Along the hiking routes you will find shelters to observe and watch the birds from a safe distance, without disturbing them. In the shelters you will also find information on the birds that live in the area.

Hiking
In Waterdunen multiple trails have been mapped out for visitors. They vary in distance from 4,5 kilometers up until 9 kilometers.

We hiked the orange bird route, which is according to the sign 5,5 kilometers. My Garmin said it was 6,5 kilometers. Most of the route takes you over paved walkways, which makes the route accessible for everyone. The last part of the route will take you along the panorama road along the lighthouse of Breskens.

The orange route takes you along multiple bird houses, so you can take a moment to just relax and watch the birds from a distance.

How to get here?
There is a parking lot situated at the Walendijk, Groede. During the summer months you have to pay to park here. Don’t worry about space, because it is a huge parking lot. You only need to worry about space is on hot summer days, when everyone wants to visit the beach.

A day hike at Paleis het Loo, the Netherlands

Our travel plans have changed majorly due to Covid this year. So instead of venturing out to the mountains for a trip we decided to stay a bit closer to home. To be precise we decided to visit the beautiful Veluwe again. In my opinion one of the most beautiful areas of the Netherlands. I have been here multiple times in the past couple of years, since it is an easy weekend getaway.

With a longer stay it was time to explore some new places. One of them was Paleis het Loo. At the moment the national museum at the palace is closed due to maintenance. It is scheduled to reopen in 2021. So instead of visiting the palace we did a day hike around the palaces gardens which measure 650 hectare.

At the palace you have two parking lots. I opted for the one further away from the main area, due to the Covid 19 restrictions and the palace being closed. Coming out of the direction of Apeldoorn you just drive past the main entrance and a couple of hundred meters down the road you will pass another small sign indicating that you can enter the gardens. This is Parking lot Bosloo.

The entrance fee to the garden is 2 euros per person. Which you can pay at the entrance of the park at the parking lot. There is a cash and a card option at the machine. There is no parking fee.

One of the first things I noticed while entering the gardens was the differsity of the trees and the plants growing there. There are so many varieties I had never seen in the Netherlands before.


You will also find heather along the trail. Which at the end of July already started to bloom. I loved those purple flowers, unfortunately they only bloom for such a short time.
Besides heather you will also find blue berries along the trail, as well as many other plants.

Ourneverendingwanderlust Paleis het Loo 3We decided to hike the red route, which is a 7 kilometer long trail that will lead you away from the palace. You will find multiple trails in the gardens. Varying in length from 2 kilometers to 14 kilometers, as well as wheelchair accessible routes. So there should be a trail for everyone.

The red route is an easy hike with some rolling hills. It almost feels like you aren’t even in the Netherlands at all. Since the Netherlands are normally really flat. It adds to the feel of being on vacation. Even though you are close to home.

The route is well marked with wooden posts painted with the color of your route. Along bends they also placed multiple posts to make sure you won’t end up on another trail.

Our neverending wanderlust Paleis het Loo-1700

Along the trail you can take a little detour to the wildlife lookout. Where I spotted some wild boars in the middle of the day, as well as a red deer. Which I had never encountered before. It made for a great memory of this trip.

After finishing this trail you can also hike to the palace from this parking lot. Here you will find a map with all the hiking trails in the park.

I definitly want to go back to hike some other trails here.

Have you ever visited Paleis het Loo in the Netherlands?
If yes, did you hike in the gardens?

Our neverending wanderlust Day Hike at Paleis het Loo

 

A day hike in Westerschouwen Zeeland

During summer I always stay close to home. One of the places I love to visit then is the forest in Westerschouwen, Zeeland. 

Westerschouwen is the biggest forest in Zeeland and is located right in the dunes of Westerschouwen. So you can easily combine your hike with a beachday. What about hiking early in the morning and ending the day on the beach?

The forest isn’t a natural forest, the area used to be all sand, but in 1920 they planted pine trees and marram grass. When the area became more touristic they expanded the forest with broad leave trees. Nowdays it is a protected forest.

There are multiple ways to explore the forest at Westerschouwen. There are hiking trails, mountainbike trails, bike trails and horse trails. So there is a trail for everyone. There are also paved trails for people in wheelchairs.

The trail
We did the yellow hike, which is 8 km long, and takes you through the forest, by the lakes and the lookout all the way to the beach. The path starts at the Kraaijensteijnweg, Westenschouwen. There is a big parking lot at the end of the street. The path is clearly marked with yellow signs. Just pay attention at the end that you go off the trail onto the paved path back to the excursion barn. Otherwise you will keep hiking in circles.

Since the trail is in the dunes, there are a lot of paths that are just mulled sand. Besides the sand you will also hike up and down the dunes. Which can make it a challenging hike.

My favorite part of this hike are the lakes. Next time I will bring a picknick and have lunch here and hang out and hike back out at the end of the day.

I also loved the lookout, where you can see for miles. Make sure not to walk by it as it looks like a no entry zone, but the lookout is open for everyone.

Our neverending Wanderlust Westerschouwen-9844

You can also combine the hike with a beachday, because from the parking lot it is only a 5 minute walk to the beach.

Oh and when you go early, there is a really big chance you will get to see deer in this forest.

Have you ever been to Westerschouwen?

Our neverending Wanderlust day hike Westerschouwen

Buitenplaats Beekhuizen, a weekend getaway in The Netherlands

Those days between Christmas and New Year’s are always the kind of days that seem to go by without a thought. So this year I decided to change things up and book a weekend getaway with Valerie. A special one for that matter. I decided to head back to the Veluwe, one of the most beautiful parts of The Netherlands.

The Pod at Buitenplaats Beekhuizen

I booked a pod nestled in the middle of the national park of Veluwezoom. A pod is a little wooden cabin. At Buitenplaats Beekhuizen you will find the pods and tents surrounded by the forests. I booked a stay from Friday until Monday. Upon my arrival it was already clear that this isn’t to long to stay here. There are countless hiking trails around and activities. You will have a hard time deciding what to do first.

The pods are small, but they are equipped with all the conveniences you will need. You won’t have a fully equipped kitchen though. You do however have a water heater, a coffee maker, a microwave and a fridge. If you do want to make homemade meals you can also book a cooking pod, but their is also a restaurant on side. As was as a breakfast service. The pods also have their own bathrooms. And my pod could even house up as many as four people.

Restaurant Woodz

The first thing you will come across when you enter the site is restaurant Woodz. The restaurant is small, but cosy. The inside area is made out of an old shipping container. Outside you will find fire pits and sheepskin blankets to keep you warm, even during the winter months.  And the food is amazing. There are even a couple of options if you are a vegetarian.

Buitenplaats Beekhuizen-4828

Hiking
Buitenplaats Beekhuizen is situated in the middle of National Park Veluwezoom. Which comes with the bonus of trails starting in your backyard. There are hiking trails starting right outside your doorstep, one of which is the Herikhuizen route. Which we hiked the first day while we were there.

Herikhuizen trail
The Herikhuizen hiking trail is a a 10k hike crossing the Veluwezoom National Park and it’s diverse landscape. From rolling hills, to heather fields and back into the forest.

The Herikhuizen trail will taking you right along the famous Herikhuizen heather fields, which only bloom in August. As well as the most famous spot to watch the heather fields in the Netherlands, the Posbank.

While on this hike you might also run into some Icelandic horses. You can ad a little extra to this hike by getting of the trail for just a little bit to visit the nature observation point Herikhuizen. Where you might spot some wild boars, or maybe even deer.


Hike Carolinahoeve
The second day we decided to hike the trail to the Carolinahoeve, a pancake restaurant, which is only accessible by foot. If you are lucky you will even come across some of the Scottish highlanders whom roam freely in this area. This is a 5k trail starting from the parking lot “Lappendeken” It is an easy trail, but even though The Netherlands is mostly flat, don’t be fooled by it, because here you will find some rolling hills.


It was the perfect weekend getaway in between Christmas and New Year’s. If you would like to book one of the pods, go over to the website of Buitenplaats Beekhuizen by clicking this link.

Beach sunrise Breskens

Growing up in Zeeland means growing up besides water. We are surrounded by it, which also means being surrounded by beaches. Mostly during summer we tend to avoid the beaches, but this summer we are turning things upside down. So instead of going to the beach during the day time we go to the beach for the sunrise.

Our neverending Wanderlust Breskens-6845I have never been a morning person, but ever since I got up for my first sunrise I have been hooked. There is nothing better then to watch the sunrise and to see the world coming back to life. It is one of those things that will always be magical.


So the first of July we took Milow to one of the beaches close to our home, Breskens. There are big parking lots everywhere along the dunes, which you only have to pay for between 11am and 6pm. So you shouldn’t have any trouble parking your car.

Our neverending Wanderlust Breskens-6814

Breskens is home to a beautiful lighthouse. Which is open for visitors. The lighthouse was build in 1866-1867. And thus has been here for over a 100 years! It is the oldest still excisting cast iron lighthouse and it is still operating.

It is one of my favorite spots along the coast here in Zeeland.

Our neverending Wanderlust Breskens-6855

Which is your favorite coastal spot?

Our neverending Wanderlust Breskens-6754

April roundup

And another month has come to pass once again. Since we are so busy this year seems to fly by! It is also the reason why I haven’t posted  in a while. I can’t believe May is already half way through. It is the month I have been looking forward to for months, because we finally started to build our new home!

So what have we been up to in April?

The Keukenhof

I didn’t go to the Keukenhof just once this month, but twice! I had never been in the Keukenhof before. So this year I finally got the chance to go. Read all about my Keukenhof trip here:A daytrip to the Keukenhof

Owl and bird of prey shoot

I signed up for an owl shoot this month, which was a lot of fun. I even got to hold an owl! It was an amazing experience to watch the birds and the love of their owner for them. And the chance to shoot (with a camera) these beautiful birds.

Spain

We didn’t decide if we were going to either the Dolomiti in Italy or back to the Basque coast until the night we left. But we decided to go back to the Basque coast, which was amazing once again. I can’t wait to share all the new things we did there this year!

So what did you do in april?

A daytrip to the Keukenhof

There are those trips that you want to do at least once in your life, no matter how much of a cliché they are. Well for me that was visiting the Keukenhof. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Netherlands, and I had never been there. not even as a child. So this year I put it on my bucket list for 2018.

And I didn’t go once, I actually got to go twice in a week’s time.


The Keukenhof is known for it’s Tulip fields. Obviously you don’t need to visit the Keukenhof to see the Tulip fields, but there is so much more then just the Tulip fields at the Keukenhof.

In the Keukenhof you will find multiple greenhouse which store an amazing variety of flowers. I have never seen so many sorts of tulips together in my entire life. Besides Tulips, you will find a green house that only holds orchids, in every color imaginable.

Besides the greenhouse you will find flower beds throughout the entire parc. They even planted flower beds to form a Tulip from flowers.

The first day I went to the Keukenhof with a group of fellow photographers. When your main goal is to photograph you can easily spend the entire day there. If you only go to wander through the gardens you can probably get through the entire park in about half a day.

Ourverending Wanderlust Keukenhof-9960

Have you ever visited the Keukenhof?

 

 

 

 

 

The month of March

I can’t believe it is already the last weekend of March. It has been a crazy month, that is for sure. We still had snow in March! Which is just crazy. March was colder this year then January. Hopefully April will bring us warmer temperatures and spring will really start this month. I am so over winter at the moment and just in desperate need of some spring weather.

So what did we do in March?

The Beach
This month I spend a lot of time on the beach, as in pretty much every spare minute I had. You might ask yourself why?

Well I have been taking photography classes for the past 1,5 years and in February we got a new assignment. And this time my assignment took me to the beach.

When it comes to my photography I am kind of a perfectionist and I just want to get the perfect shot. So I always try to go out as much as possible to improve my skills.

I am happy my assignment took me to the beach, because I really love to go to the beach during this time of the year. Fortunately Zeeland, The Netherlands, holds some of the most beautiful beaches. Which are deserted during this time of the year.

Don’t expect a turquoise sea though, you might come back disappointed.

 


Snow
We also got some more snow in March, which I still can’t believe we did.
We didn’t have just one weekend of snow, no we had two snow covered weekends this month! Ofcourse I couldn’t just stay inside with all this snow.  So I grabbed my camera and headed out those two weekends.

 

Hiking
Whenever the weather allowed it we would be out and about hiking this month. Yes, I know you can also go hiking in the pouring rain. I just prefer to go hiking when it isn’t.

This month I also started to try and gain some muscle for our upcoming trips this year,  because it is obviously not a good idea to hike mountains with zero muscles.

 


First roadtrip
We were also supposed to go on our first roadtrip of the year, but unfortanetly Andy got sick and we had to postpone. I did head out to the Hallerbos, Belgium, with a friend though instead. More on the Hallerbos in another blog.

Gear
This month we also went shopping for some much needed new gear. We both got a new outdoor jacket and a fleece jacket, which I can’t wait to wear on our new adventures this year!

So what did you do this month?

The month of February

I can’t believe it is already March! Time has flown by in February. Since my review of January was a success, I decided to keep going with my monthly reviews.

So what did we do in February?

The first weekend of February we stayed home and recharged the battery, because we we were in need of a lazy weekend after January. But after the first weekend we went out again and took some fun trips.

Staatsbosbeheer Instameet

I went to the Staatsbosbeheer Instameet at the Grevelingen in The Netherlands. It is the only place in the Netherlands where you will find flamingos in the wild. The flamingos stay in The Netherlands during the winter, because it is a salt water lake and it won’t freeze over during the winter. The Grevelingen is actually the biggest salt water lake in Europe. So on an early February morning I drove out there to watch the  flamingos and the sunrise. It was cold, but defenitly worth it!


Forest trips

Ofcourse we also went to the forest. Belgium is home to one of my favorite forests, so we took some early morning trips there to shoot and hike. We were lucky and we got to witness some incredible sunrays again. February had some perfect conditions for sunrays.

Puppy shoot

Besides traveling I absolutely love photography and I am always trying to improve my skills. So when I had the chance to photograph this cute little german shepherd pup I just couldn’t say no.  I just love to shoot potraits and animals next to my forest landscapes.

The beach

During the winter months I love to go to the beach, because there will be days when you have the beach all to yourself. So when we finally had a sunny day in February we decided to go to the beach for a walk. Ofcourse I couldn’t leave my camera at home and I am glad I didn’t, because just look at this. Isn’t this perfect?

Our never ending wanderlust Zeeland-6973
Hike
Ofcourse we also went hiking during February. We bought a map of the area we live in, because it is so easy to keep hiking the same routes. We decided to step out of our comfort zone and find some new ones close to home. We are planning on doing more of these hikes in the next couple of months.

Our neverending wanderlust-7819

We don’t have anything special planned yet for March, so we will see what this month will bring!