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.
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.
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.
This year I was invited to share 8 of my favorite spots in Zeeland for the upcoming months. Starting in November until June. I thought I would share the spots I share on my instagram page in a blog post. So you will be able to find all my 8 favorite spots in one click.
I will be adding to this blog post for the next 7 months. So make sure to keep on checking this blog post.
Zeeland is more then just beaches. This spot is located in the dunes in Nieuwvliet and is called ‘De Verdronken Zwarte Polder’. This area will either be flooded or dry depending on the tide of the sea. You will find wooden walking paths here to get easy acces to the beach, so you can keep your feet dry.
There are a lot of birds in this area, as well as some sheep. I even spotted a kingfisher here! It kept circling around me and coming back.
You can hike here on the east side, the hike starts at the Zeedijk, you can follow the red markers which is about a 3k hike.
How to get here? You can park your car at the Dwarsdijk, Nieuwvliet and cross the dunes from the parking lot where you can pick up the hiking route. The parking lot is located right next door to Roompot Beach Resort. In the winter months parking is free, but during summer you will have to pay to park here.
2. Lighthouse Breskens
In Breskens you will find a beautiful cast iron lighthouse. It has been there since 1868. It is the oldest still existing cast iron lighthouse in the Netherlands. It is one of the most iconic buildings in West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen.
During low tide you can walk along the beach to Breskens. During high tide you can walk along the dykes.
From the lighthouse you can see the skyline of Vlissingen, which is located on across the Westerschelde.
How to get here? The lighthouse is located at the Panoramaweg, where you can park your car for up to an hour. You can also park your car at the end of the Panoramaweg, where there is a big parking lot. Where parking is free during the winter months.
3. Forest Clinge
In Clinge you will find a beautiful forest. It is a beautiful place to go for a hike and you can even wander into Belgium from here into “Het Stropersbos”, as it is situated on the border.
During fall you will find a lot of toadstools here. As well as squirrels busy collecting their winter harvest.
How to get there? There is a little parking lot in Clinge at the entrance of the forest. The parking lot is located at the Hoogegeeststraat, Clinge.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite spots are in Zeeland. Would love to hear them!
There is this song in Dutch about the beach in Zoutelande, but Zoutelande is so much more. I love this corner of Zeeland. The dunes are quite high, which makes for some beautiful view points. You can walk along the walkway in the dunes. Which gives you a beautiful overview of the sea and the backlands.
In the dunes you will find some shelters left from the war. There is even a museum, which you can visit during the summer months. When I was there it was closed though.
How to get there? There are multiple parking lots in Zoutelande, which are clearly marked. I parked my car at parking Wulkpad. Which is only a street away from the beach.
5. Castle Westhove
Did you know there are castles in Zeeland?
One of them is kasteel Westhove, situated in the Dunes near Domburg and Oostkapelle. The gardens are free to access and there are beautiful hiking trails.
I hiked the blue route, which is about 3km, but you can add an extra loop by including a visit to the beach. Which is exactly what we did. Having our morning tea on the beach, watching the waves crashing ashore.
How to get there? There is a parking lot at the Duinvlietweg, Oostkapelle. During the season this is a payed parking lot. All routes start from this parking lot.
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.
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.
The Netherlands is known for it’s tulip fields. You will find the famous tulip fields around Lisse, The Netherlands. But did you know that away from the crowds there are also tulip fields situated in Zeeland?
The tulip fields in Zeeland are mostly situated around Hulst and Graauw. You can make a little road trip out of it.
8. Dishoek & Westkapelle
Zeeland is known for it’s beaches. Which inadvertently links it to lighthouses.
One of the lighthouses is situated on the road and you can actually drive up to the lighthouse at Westkapelle. You can park your car at the foot of the lighthouse and watch the sunset in the sea.
The other lighthouses, there are two of them, you will find in the dunes of Dishoek. An area where you can hike for hours. Or just enjoy the beach.
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.
We 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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
We don’t have anything special planned yet for March, so we will see what this month will bring!