There are so many reasons to visit Netherlands countryside: the windmills, the tulip fields, the medieval castles and the landscape overall is wonderful and unique!
Just tell me! How many countries have you seen to have so many windmills per square meters? And such a developed pumping system?
Actually none of the countries on Earth has such a developed pumping system because the Netherlands is the only country located a few meters under the sea level. So, they constantly need to pump the water out from the mainland back to the sea.
The Netherlands has so many hidden secrets and so many beautiful places to visit!
When you plan your trip to Netherlands you should include on your list the following places and activities:
1. A visit to Zaanse Schans or Kinderdijk
Both windmill villages are UNESCO World Heritage sites for a couple of years and are representative of dutch traditional life. This is how people used to live in the medieval ages! The windmills were the main tool in pumping the water back to the sea, so that is why they built them everywhere.
Nowadays the windmills have just a decorative role, most of them are not used to pump out the water. Some of the windmills were transformed into hotels and restaurants and sleeping in such a place is a unique experience. We chose to spend one night in a windmill, at Molen Hunsingo a very interesting place located 200 kilometres away from Amsterdam. We loved the rooms, the food and the services and it was the best way to begin our countryside tour.
2. Try their local food when visit Netherlands countryside
We strongly recommend you to try some dutch dishes like:
- Pea soup – a traditional soup with peas, vegetables and sausages
- Hutspot- a mixed from potatoes, carrots and onions mashed together and eaten with any type of meat
- Hachee- meat with vegetables stewed together
3. Explore Valkenburg Castle
This magnificent castle is the only castle located on a hill from Netherlands. The medieval ruins lay on top of a hill and are located very close to Maastricht, 220 kilometres away from Amsterdam.
The history of the castle begins at around 1115, when it was built by Gosewijn I, Lord of Valkenburg. Over the years the castle was many times destroyed and rebuilt. It is believed that the ruins which still stand out are part of the castle built-in 1330.
The castle was confiscated by Napoleon troops in 1795 and was used also by the medieval knights. The place has a very interesting history and worth paying them a visit.
The easiest way to get to the castle is in a rented car. With a rented car, you can designate your own tour across the country without having any worry about the public transport schedule and route and is the most comfortable and easy way to visit Netherlands countryside.
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4. Go to the seaside
Yes! You read correctly! Why don’t you spend a whole day at the beach?! Even if the water is a little bit cold and you cannot take a bath, the beaches and the bars from the nearby area are really great.
We suggest you spend a few nights at Sea Lodges Bloemendaal a really wonderful lodge located just 30 kilometres away from Amsterdam. Each of the lodges has a private bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen, a living room and 2 bedrooms. They are located close to the beach, nestled between the sand dunes or hidden in the forest. Which one is your favourite? Sea Lodges Bloemendaal 5 ? Sea Lodges Bloemendaal 6 or Sea Lodges Bloemendaal 7? Check them out!
We didn’t take any baths in the sea while in the Netherlands because the water was too cold for me but we walked on the beach a lot. It was such a great way to clear our mind and destress a little!
5. Buy some cheese from local producers
When visit Netherlands countryside, go to Edam or Gouda. These are the original places where these 2 tasty kinds of cheese were invented.
Edam is a mild flavour cheese slightly nutty or salty with almost no smell if we compare it with other cheese. Gouda instead has a mildly pungent flavour and has a creamy texture.
Both locations are pretty close to Amsterdam, Edam is 30 kilometres away while Gouda is 70 kilometres away.
You can take public transport or rent a car to explore both places in a single day!
The Netherlands is full of surprises and has many wonderful places waiting for you to be discovered! A tour across the country is the best way to explore Netherlands!