Weekend getaways in The Netherlands and Belgium

Are you looking for a perfect weekend getaway in The Netherlands or Belgium? In this post I will share some of my personal favorites with you.

The Forest, Belgium

On a private domain in Belgium, you will find this tiny house, the Forest. Where you can take a bath within the forest. The tiny house has room for two people and the cabin is heated by a cosy fire place.

In summer time there is a BBQ you can use, or you can cook on open fire and roast some marshmallows.

There is a large pond next to the cabin and you can take the canoe out for a spin.

Cabin the Forest


Buitenplaats Beekhuizen

In the middle of the forest at the Veluwezoom, you will find pods and glamping tents from Buitenplaats Beekhuizen. It is the perfect place to go when you love to go hiking in the forest.

I love the fact that you are surrounded by the forest, wherever you look. At night it is still completely dark here and you will need a lantern to go outside. It is the perfect place to enjoy a campfire and watch the stars.

Pod Buitenplaats Beekhuizen


Bed and breakfast Zuidoord

This beautiful bed and breakfast is located on the island of Voorne Putten, only a short ride away from the city of Rotterdam, but still in the middle of nature. Surrounded by the countryside of The Netherlands, you will have a beautiful view for miles right from the garden of the bed and breakfast. The perfect place to relax and recharge.

Close to the city of Hellevoetsluis and surrounded by beautiful beaches and nature. You can rent a bike and go for a bike ride along Voorne Putten. Or you can put on your hiking boots and take a long walk along the beach of Rockanje or Voorne Putten.


Hotel de Sterrenberg

Right outside of national park the Veluwe you will find Hotel Sterrenberg, an adults only hotel, with an amazing restaurant. If you want a little bit more luxury this is the place to go. You can start your visit to the national park right from the doorstep of the hotel or you can stay at the hotel and enjoy a relaxing day at their spa and afterwards an amazing dinner at their restaurant, Woods.

Camping de Blauwe Haan

If you are looking for something different, right in the middle of nature, camping the Blauwe Haan is the place to go. It is a beautiful campsite situated in the beautiful province of Drenthe, The Netherlands. You will find this campsite right at the entry of the forest, so you can hike straight from your tent or rental property. We stayed in one of the domes, which houses up to 4 guests. With a fully furnished kitchen and a toilet. The only thing you will need to leave the dome for is a shower. It is close to the beautiful nature reserve of Dwingeloo, where you can take beautiful hikes.

Weekend getaways

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 night at the Forest, Belgium

I am always looking for unique places to stay close to home. I have been following The Forest for a while now on Instagram and this winter I could snatch up a last minute night at this beautiful cabin.

A private domain

The cabin is situated on a private domain, which is completely fenced off. You arrive along a beautiful tree lane from which you can already spot the cabin. The cabin is next to a small pond, where a kingfisher has taken up his residence. While we were staying at the cabin, we watched him fly his rounds along the pond from the bed in the morning. A beautiful sight.

A forest getaway
Since the cabin is situated on a private domain, it feels like you are in the middle of the forest. On the other side of the main road you can hike in the Troostembergbos. Which makes this cabin the ideal getaway for forest lovers like me.

The cabin
The cabin is equipped for two people. Keep in mind though that there isn’t a shower in the cabin, only a bath tub.

You do have the possibility of using their barbecue or grill on an open fire in the fire pits that are provided at the cabin.

One of the things I loved the most about this cabin is the canoe that is available for your use the entire stay. Even though it was freezing when we stayed there, I took the canoe out for a little tour of the pond.

Afterwards I could warm up next to the cozy fire place, which heats up the cabin in winter. The owners will start the fire place before your arrival, so the cabin is nice and toasty when you get there.

A day hike in Nisramont, Belgium

The Belgium Ardennes had been on my list to visit for ages. And even though it is close by (about a 2/3 hour drive) for some reason we have never made it out there. So I thought it was time to finally explore this beautiful region of Belgium. So I invited one of my friends to go on a day hike.

We headed out early in the morning, around 4 am, because we wanted to make it in time for the sunrise. Unfortunately it took us longer then we expected to reach our final destination, so we missed out on the sunrise.

Our final destination was Nisramont. There the river the Ourthe passes through the forest and it is the start of a 13 km hiking trail.

We parked our car at the big parking lot near the little restaurant which is situated at the head of the trail. After a quick coffee we headed out onto the trail.

You can enter the trail by walking past the restaurant on the left side, where you will find the sign of the start of the trail. You will follow the red markers along the trail. The trail is marker really well, so a map isn’t quite nescessary. We hiked about 5 hours, but we did make lots of stops to shoot. Especially the first couple of kilometers.

Our never ending Wanderlust Nisramont-8882Along the trail there are a couple of look outs, which will give you an incredible overview over the river the Ourthe and the surrounding forest. Beside the lookouts there are several places where you can sit and enjoy the river. Which is incredible especially on summer days.

If you hike this trail in the fall make sure to bring a hiking stick, because this trail can become really slippery. There are two steep climbs at the end of the trail, which will be quite challenging in wet conditions.

We did the hike during the heat of summer, so when we ended our hike we took a dive into the river. Which was incredible. There are a lot of spots at the river where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the river. You can also rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards at the restaurant to explore the river from the water.

For me the best moment of this hike was jumping in the lake after finishing our hike, because it had become 36 degrees by the time we finished the trail.

I can’t wait to come back to the Ardennes in the fall and explore more of this beautiful region.

Have you visited the Ardennes in Belgium before? What is your go to hike?

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The Hallerforest

The Hallerforest is famous for the bluebell, they usually bloom during the month of April.

Since I had never been there before I decided to go there at the end of March, of course the bluebells weren’t blooming yet. Even without the bluebells I absolutely loved this forest. I could wander around this forest for hours on end.

In March the forest was still completely deserted at sunrise. For me it is the absolute perfect time to head into the forest. I love to wander around a forest that is just waking up.


You will find two trails in the Hallerforest, a short and a longer trail, but you can also just wander around the forest. There are a lot of signs, so it is quite easy to get around.


While I was shooting, a deer crossed the trail, unfortunately I didn’t see him, but my friend that tagged along did. He even saw the deer twice, but apparently I need new glasses, because I really didn’t see him.

We decided to not hike a trail, but just wander around the forest. Which in this forest is a perfect option, because the forest holds so many beautiful lanes.

Have you ever visited the Hallerforest?


 

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!

 

 

Brewery the Halve maan in Bruges

If you follow me on instagram and you watch my instastories, you know I occasionally like to drink a beer. You might even have seen the Brugse Zot make an appearance in my instastories.

We have been to Bruges quite often, since we live closeby. We try to do something different everytime we go to the city. So this time we decided to visit the brewery for the very first time.

The brewery is situated in the city centre of Bruges at the Walplein, where the Maes family has been brewing beer for centuries. If you can smell the brewing process you know you are close. That is how I stumbled across it the last time I was in Bruges and didn’t realize I was closeby.

We decided to do a tour of the brewery, since we were curious about the brewing process. There are two different tours they offer at the brewery.

There is a basic tour which last 45 minutes and the tour starts every hour. At the end of the tour you can get a degustation of a Brugse Zot at their inhouse bar. The basic tour is 10 euros per person, but when you get your tickets online you will get a discount.

Besides the basic tour you can also do an XL tour which cost 19 euros per person and comes with a professional beer tasting at the end of the tour. This tour is 90 minutes and organized in smaller groups. They offer this tour only once a day at 2.15 pm.

We did the basic tour of 45 minutes and we had a terrific tour guide which told us all about the brewing process and the history of the brewery. Did you know that they transport the beer under the streets of Bruges to their second location, where it is now days bottled?

They took the pipeline in service in 2016 and they payed for the project with crowdfunding. I wish I had known about this crowdfunding before, who doesn’t want to get a liter bottle of beer every year for his birthday? Or if you donated enough you would get a free beer every day for the rest of your life, who wouldn’t want that?

Unfortunately we visited the brewery on a Saturday, so they weren’t actually brewing. They only brew beer on weekdays, so I guess we have to go back to take another tour when they are brewing during the week.

During the tour you will get to go to the roof of the brewery as part of the tour. The roof will give you an incredible view of the city of Bruges.

Our neverending Wanderlust De Halve Maan-6752

At the end of the tour we got a free Brugse Zot at the bar in the brewery. The beer that is served here isn’t filtered and comes straight ouf the brewery. So it is the only place in the world you can try an unfiltered Brugse Zot from the tap. If you ever happen to be in Bruges it is one of the things you absolutely can’t miss.

You can also have lunch at the brewery, but I would say make a reservation beforehand. When we were there the place was crowded and you couldn’t even find an indoor table to sit to drink your beer.  The lunch did look delicious though, so I will have to go back to have lunch at the brewery another time.

Have you ever visited a brewery? If you did which brewery did you visit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The month of January

The other day I came up with this idea to do a review of the month, so you can have a little sneak peek in our live while we are not out travelling. We both have a day job, so we try to get out during the weekend as much as possible. This month has been full with all sort of activities. Let me tell you all about them.

Vakantiebeurs Utrecht

Every year we go to the ‘Vakantiebeurs’ in Utrecht, which is the biggest travel fair in The Netherlands. So of course this January we went there again and came home with lots of inspiration. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen some of my pictures of the fair in my instastories.

We looked into trips to Japan and some destinations closer to home, like the North Coast of Spain and the Dolomites in Italy. Either one will probably be our destination for our spring roadtrip.

There is also a hall with lots of camping gear and this year there was a stand with rooftop tents, which we added to our list of gear we would love to purchase in the future.

Hiking

Ofcourse we also went hiking, this time we ventured to the Kloosterbos in Belgium, where we did just a small hike in the late afternoon and we were so lucky to come across 4 deer on our hike! I can barely believe it myself, since I had never seen a deer in this area before.

We also stayed close to home for our walks with Milow where we ventured into the forest as much as possible.

Photography

Ofcourse I can’t go an entire month without going out just to photograph, so I went into town to do some night time photography.

Ourneverendingwanderlust .-6264
Bruges
The last weekend of January Andy and I headed out to Bruges with one of my friends. We visited the brewery the Halve Maan. I had never visited the brewery before, but ofcourse I did have some Brugse Zot before, which is one of the house brands of the brewery. Did you know that they transport the beer underneath the streets of Bruges? I will tell you all about Bruges in another blog.

Our neverending Wanderlust Buges-6574

Our neverending Wanderlust Buges-6644

Our neverending Wanderlust Buges-6714

As you can tell we had a busy, but fun month of January. Along with a lot of trips and fun activities we also had a lot of appointments for our new home, which they hopefully start building in June. Keeping our fingers crossed for that.

So what did you do this month? And would you like me to continue posting a review of our month?

Lightfestival Gent

The lightfestival in Ghent Belgium is held this year from the 31st of January until the 4th of february and I was one of the lucky people that got to go to the instawalk the day before the Lightfestival started.

I entered one of my instagram shots at the beginning of January with the chance to win a ticket to the instawalk and I was selected as one of the winners.

So Tuesday night I headed to Gent for a guided instawalk and the opportunity to meet the artist of the art pieces.

The route is 6,6 kilometers long and has no beginning or end, but it does have one way traffic. We didn’t see all the art pieces, but the one on Sint Pieter is my favorite. There are so many amazing pieces of art.

I think I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

Our neverending wanderlust Lichtfestival Gent-6825

Our neverending wanderlust Lichtfestival Gent-6811

Our neverending wanderlust Lichtfestival Gent-6897

Our neverending wanderlust Lichtfestival Gent-6802

Our neverending wanderlust Lichtfestival Gent-6814

Our neverending wanderlust Lichtfestival Gent-6920

Our neverending wanderlust Lichtfestival Gent-6788
If you want to see these beautiful light projects you can visit the lightfestival from this Wednesday the 31st of January until Sunday 4th of February.

Bruges by night

On a Friday night in October I went to Bruges to photograph this beautiful city by night. I have been to Bruges during the day a hundred times, but I had never been to the city by night and I can tell you it was incredible.

During the day you will have to fight the crowds in this beautiful city. At night it is a completely different story, even though you won’t be alone roaming the streets at night. You will have these amazing places almost to yourself, there will only be a handful of people.

Angelique van Waarde Brugge WM-3120

We just wandered around all the narrow streets in the old city centre. If you love night time photography you will love this city, because there is something to photograph around every corner.

Ofcourse  a night in this beautiful city isn’t complete without enjoying a beer in this city and if you drink a beer here, you should definitely try a “Brugse Zot”.

So if you ever get a change to visit the city of Bruges make sure you stay at least one night, so you can enjoy the beauty of this city by night as well and one of the many amazing restaurants.

Angelique van Waarde Brugge WM-3167