This year teaches us more than ever that a getaway close to home can be just as much fun, inspiring and relaxing as a trip far away. We’d love to share our favorite Dutch places to slow down, unwind, take time and reflect, in and around nature. Our country is small, but it has a lot to offer…
Our favourite Dutch places in nature
When you zoom out on the map, The Netherlands seem to be packed with cities, villages and highways. And it is. Our country counts seventeen million people on quite a small space. But we do have a lot of amazing places in nature to discover and two national parks that are really worth visiting.
Nationaal Park De Biesbosch is one of the most beautiful places to go, if you ask us. This area is a protected nature reserve in Noord-Brabant, a province in the south of The Netherlands, and one big maze of islands, creeks, beaches, forests and stunning wildlife. De Biesbosch is a perfect adventure spot and we’d definitely advise you to rent a canoe, pack a picknick basket with you and discover the area on a sunny day. Great day guaranteed!
2. National Parc Zuid-Kennemerland (Kennemerduinen)
Outside of Haarlem, just half an hour drive (or better, train trip! It’s next to ‘Overveen’ train station) from Amsterdam, you’ll find Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland. This Dune landscape is perfect for a long walk (and spotting aurochs in the wild!) and especially the dunes in the center, the Kennemerduinen, are amazing to walk through. You can even walk all the way down to the beach and have a drink at Rapa Nui, one of our favourite beach bars.
3. South Limburg
In the South of The Netherlands we have a province called Limburg. It’s different than the rest of the Netherland, since it’s the only place in our flat country that has a hilly landscape. The more you go south, the better it gets. And if you are close to Gulpen, make sure to visit Het Brouwlokaal, the brewery of one of our favourite sustainable and independent breweries, Gulpener.
In the middle of our country, near Utrecht, there’s an amazing sand drift called De Soesterduinen. This place is not only extremely beautiful (it’s a popular photoshoot location), it’s also the perfect place to clear your head. The sand drift is surrounded by forests that are perfect for long walks. Your dog will love it there.
5. De Veluwe
This wouldn’t be a good list without the biggest national park our country has to offer: De Veluwe. This vast ridge of hills is covered with the most stunning landscapes and especially the purple heathers are spectacular to walk through in the early morning (we’re talking about dawn here). Rent a bike or one of the many cabins and go discover De Veluwe yourself.
Our favourite places to stay in or near nature
1. Camping Buitenland in the East of our country is by far our favourite place to go camping. It’s owned by a dear friend of Kuyichi, Floortje Dessing, and it’s a colourful and unique campsite with a great, open minded vibe.
2. Zwier in Vinkeveen, very close to Amsterdam, is the perfect stay for unwinding and just being in nature and on the water. Zwier is located at de Vinkeveense Plassen, a stunning area that is surrounded by lakes and small islands. Zwier has great glamping tents to offer and our personal favourite is their ’24 uur zonder’ (’24 hours without’) option where you get to stay all by yourself in your own little cabin on a tiny island, without a phone. You’re brought and picked up by boat. It’s a unique (and for many of us even necessary) experience.
Other favourite (sustainable) nature campings of the Kuyichi team:
- De Wildste Tuin in the province of Flevoland is a sprawling campsite near a lake.
- Het Bos Roept is a special campsite in the middle of the woods where you can book all kinds of stays.
- Hartje Groen is a nature campsite inBrabant, a province in the south of Holland that is known for its Bourgundian lifestyle.
- Hof van Moeder Aarde is a free minded eco hotspot and campsite in de Achterhoek, a green area in the East of our country.
- Camping Schoonenberg (IJmuiden, bij Amsterdam)is called an ‘oasis of peace’ by the owners and we couldn’t agree more. It’s only half an hour drive from Amsterdam and a great place to stay.
- Landgoed Ottermeer (on the Dutch/Belgian border, near Antwerpen)is the perfect stay for everyone who wants to enjoy a holiday in connection with nature, themselves and each other.
Not to forget: travel more sustainably
And last but not least we’d love to inspire you a bit to travel more sustainably. We’re not saying that you should go anywhere by bike (although our production manager Laurent would definitely recommend you to – he cycles back and forth to work almost 45 kilometers, every single day), but our flat country is perfect for a country hopping holiday on the bike. Biking is fun, there’s plenty of nice cafés and countrysides to make a stop and since our country is built-up quite densely, every day trip will have a lot of variety.
Our CR manager Zoé is going on a sailing trip this year, travelling the Dutch waters and the Waddeneilanden by sailing boat. Which are also a great tip to go to, by the way. Being on the water is also a great way to discover the Dutch cities of Utrecht and Amsterdam. We love to discover these two cities by canoeing or supping, the most sustainable and the most fun way to discover the canals, if you ask us.
Photo credits: Zwier, Camping Buitenland, Natuurmonumenten, Uit In Apeldoorn.