4 Hikes to explore The Netherlands

The Netherlands isn’t only a country where you can ride your bike, but The Netherlands is also a good country for hiking. After hiking 200 kilometers of the Pelgrim’s route to Santiago de Compostella in Spain last year, it is time to explore some special hikes in The Netherlands.

Unconsciously we walk a lot in busy cities and forests in The Netherlands. Honeyguide Yalou will tell you about 4 beautiful hikes in The Netherlands. So take some time of the next few weekends to explore some of these beautiful hikes. Will you join Yalou on her hikes?

ALONG CASTLES AND FORTRAGES

1.De Hollandse Waterlinie Route

As soon as I heard of the hike along ‘De Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie’ I was excited. This long distance hike is 185 kilometers long. It starts in Muiden and finishes in The Biesbosch. During your hike you will walk along the old defense lines of The Netherlands. Along these route you will find castles and fortrages. This hike is definitely a must see, as it is even on the World heritage site Stelling van Amsterdam.

WITH YOUR FEET IN THE MUD

2. Barefoottrails in The Netherlands

There is nothing that compares to walking on your feet in the garden during summer time. The only downside is that I come home with dirty feet. Or do you know that amazing feeling of sand in between your toes? You can also experience this feeling on one of the barefoot trails in The Netherlands.

During a hike on a barefoot trail, you will walk on al sorts of materials. This varies from soft sand to grass, wooden branches or even wooden wood chips. Barefoot trails are getting more and more popular these days. Groningen is one of the places where you can experience a barefoot trail, it is called ‘Opende’ and a little bit more to the south you will find the barefoot trail of ‘Hof van Twello’, which is a farm with a barefoot trail. Do you live closer to Bergen op Zoom in Brabant? Then you are in luck, because here you will find a barefoot trail at ‘Landgoed Lievensberg’!

CROSSING THE SEA

3. Wad Walk

Something that can’t be forgotten on a hiking list of every Dutchman is hiking along the mudflats. I have been wanting to visit the island of Vlieland for a long time and I would like to combine a visit to the island with hiking on these unique piece of nature. Because hiking along the mudflats is only possible if everything lines up. Which also makes it so special. You can hike from the mainland to one of the islands and learn from a guide more about the beautiful ecosystem of the mudflats. Are you looking for a more activa tour? Or would you prefer a more educational tour? The choice is up to you!

TOWARD THE RIVER ‘DE LEK’

4.      GELUKKIGERWIJSPAD

The Gelukkigerwijspad, which translates to the happy wisdom path. The name itself makes you want to experience this trail. This trail is 125 kilometers long and start in the pelgrims city of Amersfoort through the forest where you will end up on the Utrechse Heuvelrug. The trail winds along the river ‘De Lek’ close to the city of Rhenen, towards Wijk Bij Duurstede and Utrecht back to the start in the city of Amersfoort. Back in the fifteenth century Amersfoort was a place of pilgrimage, where miracles happened and pilgrims came for every corner. Are you coming to test your luck?

This guestblog was written by the editorial staff of Honeyguide, the Dutch inspirational platform of concious and special traveling. On the website http://www.heyhoneyguide.com they collect the most beautiful hidden gems and expierinces in The Netherlands. This is how Honeyguide insprires you to go beyond the beaten track and to enrich your spare time with the most beautiful adventures around the corner.

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.

My favorite spots in Zeeland

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.


1. Nieuwvliet-Bad

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!

4. Zoutelande

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.

6. Saeftinghe

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.

Read more about hiking in Saefthinghe here.

7. Tulip fields

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.

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?