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

Lac Blanc

Last August we went to France for another camping trip. This time our destination was the Mont Blanc region.

One of the things I had put on the list to see there was Lac Blanc. So we asked at the campsite how to get there and set out early in the morning.

We parked our car at Trechamps. There is a map at the parking lot and the route up has really good signs. So we set out with just the map the campsite owner printed for us. Keep in mind that this is not an easy trail. You will be climbing from 1400 meter elevation to over 2000 meters.

The entire hike to the lake is a climb, you will even encounter a couple of ladders and ledges. Since I am afraid of heights this wasn’t my favorite part of the hike and I was happy to leave the ladders behind me and set foot on a regular mountain trail again.

If you want to avoid the ladders I would recommend taking the lift all the way up to Flegere and hike from there to Lac Blanc instead. Just keep in mind to make sure you are back in time for the last lift down, which was 15.30 when we were there.

Before you reach Lac Blanc you will come across Lac des Cheserys, which for us was our final destination. As the hut at Lac Blanc was closed and it was extremely crowded on the trail as soon as we crossed paths with the trail coming from the lift. So instead of climbing more ladders for about 20 minutes we enjoyed the incredible view of the Mont Blanc from Lac Cheserys.

After resting up and putting our feet in the lake, which you can imagine was heavenly after hiking in 25 degree weather in the heat of summer. We started our descent back to the car. The first part of the trail you will follow the same one back as you went up, but unfortunately the pass going back down to make a circular route was closed off so we had to take the same route back.  Which meant taking the ladders back down. Fortunately there was only an older couple behind us so I could take it easy getting on and off the ladders. There were even hikers so friendly to make sure my hiking stick was securely fastened to my backpack.

After the ladders you will come back to the regular trail where you can enjoy the views of the Mont Blanc one more time before you get back to your car.

It wasn’t an easy hike, but the views of the Mont Blanc made up for it every second of the hike. The total trip took us about 6 hours.

 

Puy de Dome, France

Two years ago, in 2016, we went on a 4 week roadtrip through France. Which took us to many incredible places and hikes.

One of the places we decided to make camp at was the Auverge. The Auvergne is a beautiful part of France, and luckily it isn´t yet overflown with tourist. Which for us was a big plus. If you love nature, the Auvergne is definitely the place to be. The Auvergne is known for it´s volcanoes.  One of them is the Puy de Dome, which is the most famous volcano of the region.

The Puy de Dome is a very popular destination for paragliders, but it is also a beautiful place to hike.

Our never ending wanderlust Puy de Dome-0369There is a big car park at the foot of the Puy de Dome, from where you can either take the train up to the top or you can hike, ofcourse we decided to do the hike.
Our never ending wanderlust Puy de Dome-0260
The first part of the trail will take you through a forest until you get to the start of the trail going up the Puy de Dome. From there it is a long trail going up and up and up, until you reach the summit at 1415 meters. There are benches along the trail everywhere, so you can enjoy the view of the surrounding volcanoes.

Our never ending wanderlust Puy de Dome-0300
Our never ending wanderlust Puy de Dome-0335
Our never ending wanderlust Puy de Dome-0323
When you get to the summit you will find a restaurant, where you can have a bite to eat. There are also benches where you can eat your own sandwiches.


When you want to head down, you just follow the train for the first few meters. After a couple of hundred metres you will find the entrance to the trail down. There are stairs to take you back down to the car park and this part of the trail will take you through an incredible landscape. I was waiting for the hobbits to pass me on this part of the trail.

 

Game of Thrones series part 2

When we stayed at the Basque coast in Spain we litteraly hadn’t done any research beforehand. Luckily we had WIFI at the campsite so I did some research on what we should do while we were there.

When I saw pictures from San Juan de Gaztelugatxe I knew this was one of the places I wanted to visit while we had the chance.
Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7818
It is a church, that dates of the 10th century, that is build on an island and you can only reach it by climbing the men made stairs that lead to the top of the island. There are 231 steps total on these stairs!

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7908

So on a cloudy day we drove down there and when we got to the parking lot you could seriously not see a thing. The entire place was covered in fog! People were already not bothering to take the hike down.

So we discussed what we were going to do, either risk hiking down and still not being able to see a thing or just hike down and hope for the best.

We decided to go with the second choice and I can tell you it was the best descission we could make. When we got down to the foot of the stairs there were seriously only a handful of people there and the fog stayed on top of the shore.

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7828

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7862

We hiked to the top of the island and hung out at the top for a while. When we were there the little church at the top was closed, but since we were the only people up there I decided to ring the church bells. I hope that doesn’t mean bad luck!

Besides the little church there isn’t anything else on top of this island. But this place seems to be taken right out of a fairytale, which makes it an amazing place to visit in my book. I can see why they chose this place to film Dragonstone in the Game of Thrones. They did add in the castle though on top of the island, so don’t expect a huge castle when you visit.

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7885

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7906

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7883

When you head back you will find a restaurant at the top of the trail. Where you can grab a bite to eat or something to drink after your hike.

If you travel with little ones you can also take a trail to a vantage point, where you can just take in the sight, without having to hike up and down the cliff.

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7888

 

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7950

Our never ending wanderlust San Juan-7900