Amsterdam, Scheveningen, Noordwijk aan Zee, the Wadden Islands... These are popular spots in the Netherlands that you might have visited already. That makes sense, because the Netherlands is known for its charming canals, historic cities, and watery landscapes. We often pick tourist destinations for a day or maybe even a weekend trip. However, there still are countless hidden spots that are often overlooked. In this blog you can discover 10 less well-known Dutch places absolutely worth visiting.
A blog by parkvakanties.nl, in collaboration with TopParken
Lage Vuursche is a charming and picturesque village located in the province of Utrecht, which is surrounded by lush forests and royal landscapes. Lage Vuursche is known for its quiet and idyllic atmosphere, making it a popular destination. The village is mostly known for Drakensteyn Castle, the former residence of Princess Beatrix. The castle, surrounded by large gardens, contributes to the royal aura of Lage Vuursche. You can go on great hiking and cycling tours in the surrounding forests and nature reserves, and in the town itself you can go to one of the teahouses or pancake restaurants to recharge. Looking for a sporty trip? Visit the mini golf gardens, featuring the most beautiful mini golf courses of Europe. You'll find them right here at home! Complete your visit to Lage Vuursche by staying in a luxurious vacation home in the middle of nature.
© VVV Op de Heuvelrug
Thorn, located in North Limburg, is also known as "The white town". That's because this picturesque town is known for its many characteristic homes that are painted white, and its small alleyways. This striking architecture contributes to the unique atmosphere and look of Thorn. There is plenty to do in Thorn during a trip of a weekend or a few days: stroll through the white town, taste the wines of Thorn, or cycle along the Maas and the landscape of Limburg. The narrow cobbled alleyways and white homes sort of create a Mediterranean atmosphere, especially in the sun and under clear skies: like you are walking through a Greek or Spanish town!
© VVV Thorn
Green hills, a cable car, and a toboggan run: 3 words that probably immediately make you think of a vacation in Austria. But what if we told you we have this in our own little country as well? Between the mossy green hills, in the middle of the beautiful hilly landscape of South Limburg, you'll find Valkenburg. If you are plannign to visit Valkenburg, we recommended staying for a weekend or longer, because there is so much to do for people of all ages in this area. For example, you could stay at Résidence Valkenburg and discover everything this marl town has to offer, from caves and art and culture to boutiques, restaurants, and landmarks. Tip: Résidence Valkenburg is also the perfect home base if you want to see more of Limburg, like Thorn!
Just outside the Randstad you'll find the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. In National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug you can cycle or walk past rivers, ancient forests, drifting sands, and heathlands. Don't fancy nature? You can still have lots of fun on the Heuvelrug. Visit countless castles and manors, like Paleis Soestdijk, Kasteel Amerongen, and Slot Zeist. Learn all about Dutch history at the Austerlitz Pyramid and the Nationaal Militair Museum. Too many activities for one day? Stay over at Résidence Lage Vuursche, in order to explore the Utrechtse Heuvelrug with new energy the next day.
© VVV Op de Heuvelrug
De Rijp is a historic town, located on a former island in the province of North Holland. In this 'hidden location' you'll find quietness, space, nature, monuments, fun museums, and nice bars. De Rijp is known for its conserved historic chcaracter, and offers a look into the past of the Netherlands. During your visit you'll pass homes typical of Zaandam, and various national monuments. You can also explore De Rijp from the water: join a boat excursion, sail through the narrow canals and lakes of the Eilandspolder, or dare to travel around on a paddle board. Make your quality time in North Holland even more special by staying in a holiday house that is surrounded by water. Park Westerkogge is located near De Rijp, the Markermeer, and Hoorn; the perfect location for both relaxed and active weekend getaways.
Did you know the geographic center of the Netherlands is located in Lunteren in Gelderland? You'll recognize the central point by a boulder that is in the exact middle of the Netherlands. The area around the boulder, the Goudsberg, has lots of fun to offer for a day or weekend trip: hike through the forests of the Luntersche Buurtbosch, or just enjoy the beautiful view over the Gelderse Vallei. Or take a selfie at the famous boulder and keep the people back home up-to-date from the middle of the Netherlands! Want to say you stayed over near the center of the Netherlands? Even that's possible! Near this central point you'll find Landgoed de Scheleberg, a beautiful holiday park for all ages. Book a luxurious holiday house to perfectly unwind on the Veluwe.
De IJzeren Man is the place where fun, catering, and adventure meet in fun Brabant. De IJzeren Man is a recreation lake located in Vught, which offers activities throughout the entire year. In summer, this recreation lake is perfect for beach and water fun. Rent a pedalboat, lounge on a beach bed, or order refreshing drinks at the Strandhuys. Little ones will also have fun for hours with various water activities and a large playground. In the beach pool you'll find lots of playing equipment, water slides, and diving platforms. Guaranteed water fun for all ages! Even when the weather is not that nice, there is plenty to do at De IJzeren Man: you could go for a beach walk, or have fully arranged group trips in the climbing forest, or just have some nice drinks in the family restaurant. After a full day of activities, you want to have a shower and get ready for the next day as quickly as possible: that's possible at the nearby holiday park Résidence de Leuvert!
The Ginkelse Heide is a beautiful nature reserve in Ede. Here you can have fun all year: hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and you might even spot the Big Five of the Veluwe. Did you know the Ginkelse Heide is the habitat for many red deer, wild boars, sheep, and roe deer? Besides a remarkable nature reserve, this heathland is also a historic location. During Operation Market Garden in the Second World War, hundreds of allied paratroopers landed on the Ginkelse Heide. Each year this is remembered and re-enacted during the Airborne memorial. Impressive! The heathlands are most beautiful between mid August and mid September: in this period the Ginkelse Heide is blooming and the bushes will have a purple color. The perfect moment to stay a few nights at Bospark Ede or Recreatiepark 't Gelloo. These two vacation parks are the perfect home base for a hiking or cycling holiday on the Veluwe throughout the entire year.
Bredevoort, also known as the Book Town, is a historic fortified town in the Achterhoek. There is a wealth of second hand bookstores in this charming and vibrant town, so that's perfect if you are crazy about books! Furthermore, Bredevoort is a beautiful town where you can stroll through ancient streets, the old town moat, and the beautiful fortress park. Bredevoort has something for everyone, whether you go here for the historic beauty, the book market, or just to enjoy the hospitable atmosphere. There's also plenty to do for art and culture lovers: visit various art studios, the Koppelkerk, or the various concerts that are organized. See more of the Achterhoek? Book a holiday house or recreation villa at Résidence Lichtenvoorde, with optional private wellness facilities or even a private swimming pool for more luxury.
© Hip en stijl fotografie
Radio Kootwijk, a monumental transmission building, is located in a protected nature reserve in the middle of the Veluwe. It's mostly known for its former transmission park, which was built at the start of the 20th century for wireless communication with the Dutch East Indies. The area around radio Kootwijk is characterized by quietness and space, because this was needed for undisrupted transmissions, and free development of nature. That's why you'll find a variety of plants and wildlife around this masterpiece, and it's one of the most valuable nature reserves in Europe. There are tons of activities with a guide in and around Radio Kootwijk throughout the year, but you can also visit the building independently. Walk through the impressive hallways, admire architectural details, and learn more about the role Radio Kootwijk played in the world of wireless communication. Discover Radio Kootwijk and the nature reserve from Recreatiepark Beekbergen and Resort Veluwe, which both are about a 20-minute drive from the transmission building.
Are you curious about one, or maybe more, of these hidden gems in the Netherlands? Come and stay at one of the nearby TopParken vacation parks. Enjoy comfortable vacation homes, located in unique locations throughout the Netherlands. Furthermore, our vacation parks offer facilities like indoor and outdoor swimming pools, playgrounds, restaurants, sports pitches, and game rooms. We'll create valuable vacation memories together.