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Highlights of the Netherlands, please

Travel Forums Europe Highlights of the Netherlands, please

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1. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

t_maia has indicated that this thread is about Netherlands

Hi,

it is my turn. ;)

I'm looking to do a cycling trip in the Netherlands this summer. Starting and end points should be either Leer (Ostfriesland) or Bad Bentheim or one of the other train stations close to the Dutch border in Niedersachsen, Germany.

I'm looking to cover a max distance of 400 kms over a period of 14 days. (Less distance would be better, I want to explore and relax, not win the Holland Ladies Tour.)

What are the highlights that I do not have to miss? Any suggestions for an initiary that covers 200-400 kms?

I have been to Amsterdam already, so no need to go there for me. I would rather see the backcountry this time. I'm interested in Wadlopen, but I can do this in Germany too, so it is not a must.

I'll be travelling with tent and camping gear, btw. Is it tolerated if you camp wild? How frequent are camping sites?

[ Edit: Edited on 05-May-2009, at 05:16 by t_maia ]

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 7y

Hi t_maia,

Free camping is officially not allowed in the Netherlands. Since a while though, our national forest conservation has a list of free camping places mostly in or at the edge of forests. You can contact hem on their
website to ask if they have information about that in English (website is rather limited in english).

For more information about campings in the netherlands check this (bigger campings) or this (smaller green campings) website.

There is a national cycling organisation in the Netherlands but their website is in Dutch only. You might contact them as well for routes, because there are good biking routes in the Netherlands (green and red signs) which are generally in the more rural areas as well.

As of highlights apart from cities, I would certainly try to visit the northern provinces (Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe) as well as the southwest province of Zeeland, which are all extremely quite compared to more west and central parts of the country. Also, there are some nice national parks in this region. This applies to Overijssel and parts of Gelderland (Veluwe is nice) as well.

In the extreme southeast corner of Zeeland you can find the Drowned country Saefthinge, which looks a bit similar like Wadlopen, but the circumstances are more different.
Be sure not to miss the massive and impressive Deltaworks in this province. The link provides more info about activities and places in Zeeland as well, like another nature walk at Zwin, on the border with Belgium (extreme southwestern point of the Netherlands). You can cross by boat from Vlissingen to Breskens (bikes, walkers only).
The disadvantage is that Zeeland is just a bit far away, but you can always take a 2 hour trainride or so and take your bike.

Have fun, hope his helps a little.

Cheers!
Michael.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-May-2009, at 07:44 by Utrecht ]

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 7y

Is there a klompen festival?

4. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting tway

Is there a klompen festival?

Yes there is. You'll find a list of them here: Dutch Dance Schedule

5. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting t_maia

What are the highlights that I do not have to miss?

You'll find them all here I think: What's On - Netherlands

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

I would certainly try to visit the northern provinces (Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe) as well as the southwest province of Zeeland

And I was considering to visit Utrecht. Guess I'll just stick to the small villages. ;)

but you can always take a 2 hour trainride

No way. Taking the train on a cycling trip is pretty much contradictory. I might do it if it is raining cats and dogs to get out of the rain. I also plan to take the train to get to the German-Dutch border, but apart from that I want to cycle.

The only thing that could make me take the train would be if you told me that the best way to see the Netherlands would be to cycle from the area around Den Haag to Enschede (LF 4, Midden-Nederlandroute). Then I would take the train from Bad Bentheim to Den Haag or such.

I was looking at http://www.landelijkefietsroutes.nl/ , got any recommendations for which route to take?

7. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 7y

Quoting t_maia

I would certainly try to visit the northern provinces (Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe) as well as the southwest province of Zeeland

And I was considering to visit Utrecht. Guess I'll just stick to the small villages. ;)

but you can always take a 2 hour trainride

No way. Taking the train on a cycling trip is pretty much contradictory. I might do it if it is raining cats and dogs to get out of the rain. I also plan to take the train to get to the German-Dutch border, but apart from that I want to cycle.

The only thing that could make me take the train would be if you told me that the best way to see the Netherlands would be to cycle from the area around Den Haag to Enschede (LF 4, Midden-Nederlandroute). Then I would take the train from Bad Bentheim to Den Haag or such.

I was looking at http://www.landelijkefietsroutes.nl/ , got any recommendations for which route to take?

If you are around Utrecht, let me know, I'll show you around, no problem!

Regarding the biking routes, considering you wanting to visit some more rural areas I would recommend LF 3 (except the one between Arnhem and Maastricht, 18, 19 and 22. They are mainly in the northeast and east of the country and thus far more interesting compared to the busier parts in the south and west.

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

I guess I should have been more specific. I don't mind cities (I am very much a city girl), but I would like to see places that are a good mix of "Dutch" and "touristy". The kind of places I missed my first time round, when I had only time for an extended week-end trip to Amsterdam.

9. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

3 nights in the Amsterdam Red Light is a must. A few of the top music venues have closed down (or been knocked down) recently, but there's still plenty of good choons to be found. I go there every year (got back just a couple of months ago) and it was just wicked. One of the safest cities I know of, in the world - and incredibly friendly.

10. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 7y

Quoting t_maia

I guess I should have been more specific. I don't mind cities (I am very much a city girl), but I would like to see places that are a good mix of "Dutch" and "touristy". The kind of places I missed my first time round, when I had only time for an extended week-end trip to Amsterdam.

Well, I guess what you mean sort of. Actually Utrecht is a bit of mix to be honest, so is Deventer for example. And there are some nice cities along the routes or closeby, like Kampen and Zwolle.
Also Den Bosch ('s Hertogenbosch), a bit to the south, is a good mix without it being it overly touristy.