Getting there: By bus Assen (NS station), but we got there by car
Scenery: Trail into the forest, dunes like desserts and a beautiful small town
After a lot of months without our hiking getaways (thanks to COVID-19), we finally did our first dutch adventure of the year. This time, we decided to visit the beautiful province of Friesland by doing a road trip. Our main intention was to visit Leeuwarden (Awarded cultural capital 2018), but also we wanted to do a hike in a National park of that province. Luckily, we found on google maps the Drents-Friese Wold National Park, that actually is a national park that is shared by two provinces, Friesland and Drenthe.
Appelscha looked like a nice option for starting our hike, especially because we found the perfect Airbnb in there, completely recommended! Amazing huge breakfast, it was so much that they even gave sandwich bags, so we could prepare our lunch with the leftovers, of course, we did it and we saved on lunch for two days! After breakfast, we started our hiking trip from a desolated Appelscha. This little town is lovely by its own, and since it is so close to the national park is very quiet.
Just after the first kilometer south, we immersed ourselves in the first forest. The trees were so tall and the trail was noiseless, perfect for some relaxing moment in the morning. We walked in here for around 1 km more before getting to the road.
Once we got to the road, there were many farms with amazing horses. One of them was a famous Friesian horse, these types of horses are originally from Friesland and they are impressive. Some of their characteristics are the black color and the size, they are huge!!! Also, they have a lot of presence and elegance.
Then, we immersed ourselves in the national park, where there is a huge dune area that looked like a desert. This was the hardest part of the trail because it was really hot. Anyways, it was a different experience in our dutch hikes.
After walking in the desert, we reached a lovely lake in Canada! Yes, Canada is the name of this lake just in the middle of our hike. In here, we had a lovely sandwich made from the leftovers of the breakfast. The lake was full of families enjoying the nice weather. So, it was a nice lunch watching all the locals swimming and relaxing.
Our last stop of the journey was to reach the visitor center of the national park. Here, there were many beautiful wood sculptures of animals. We rested for a couple of minutes here and started walking to our accommodation.
In total, we did around 24km around this amazing national park. We crossed from one province to the other one, and that is always nice to say 🙂 The hardest part was the dune one, well, and the end as well, since we were already very tired.
Once we got to our Airbnb, we enjoyed a quiet and nice evening in the room.
Getting there: All is connected by train or buses between each other and from Vienna
Scenery: Trail with forest, vineyards, Danube river and many types of fruit trees
Just a few hours from fancy Vienna, there is a land where you can immerse in nature and enjoy magical culinary adventures. Wachau Valley gives you the experience of walking from the river shores to vineyards trail, and just a few steps further from the Austrian forest.
We did a 4-day hiking tour around this area, and I think is one of the most beautiful hiking we had ever done. We went at the beginning of September, so it was still summer and there was the beginning of fall festivals (When they collect all the grapes). Stay tuned to read more about it:
Day 1: Vienna to Melk
We took from a train from Wien Hauptbahnhof (train station) to Melk (Direction Salsburg), with a transfer in St.Pollen (it was around 32 euros one way). The journey was about one hour long, and it was amazing how comfortable were the trains in Austria. The economy class felt like a business one.
We arrived at Melk around 3 pm. Just in time to check-in in our accommodation, Pension Babenberger. Here we got a comfy room with included Austrian breakfast (boiled eggs, all types of bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, ham, and cheese). Enough for our first day of hiking.
This day we went to check out the beautiful little town and we saw the sunset reflected on the Stift Melk (Melk Abbey). Finally, we closed our day with a good burger and refreshing beer at Koloman.
Day 2: Melk to Spitz (29km)
Our first stop was Melk Abbey, we didn’t enter but we want to look around. Just the entrance was beautiful, and we decided to go back one day and stay for a long time inside. Then, we started walking throughout the fields. I think there chamomile and corn. Finally, we started our way up through the forest. All the trail had useful signs and places to rest.
Once we got to the top of the mountain, the scenery is surreal. We had lunch just before entering a field full of pine trees (the smell was amazing!). Then on our way down, we had this magical view of the valley.
Finally, we arrived at Spitz around noon. The views in the last kilometers were fields full of vineyards and nice houses. We stayed that night in a historical hotel called Mariandl. Apparently it was important due to an old movie filmed there, so the hotel includes a museum of the movie.
Spitz is a cute little town, full of picturesque tiny streets and great views of the river. We had dinner in a restaurant called Gasthaus Spitzerl. Obviously, we want some regional cuisine and this place did not disappoint at all. Our dish was a Spitzerl’s Herrengröstl, a combination of roast potatoes with roast pork, bacon, onions, fried eggs served with cabbage-salad paired of course with some local wine, RieslingFederspiel. The perfect way to recover from a long hike. Our dessert was a regional dish called Marmeladepalatschinken, and it is basically 2 crepes with Wachauer apricot jam and ice cream.
Day 3: Spitz to Krems (19km)
On the third day we were already a little bit tired, not only because of the hiking from the before, but also because before coming to Wachau we spent a full week in Vienna. so we decided that we were going to walk until we felt it was enough. For that, we had an enormous and delicious breakfast in the hotel. The best eggs we had in all our days in Austria, and a pretty good selection of different kinds of bread. The hotel has a small vineyard that you can visit, and from there you had a beautiful view of the river.
Our next stop was Weißenkirchen in der Wachau. For getting there we immersed again into the forest. But first, we reached a nice spot to view Spitz from a mountain. Once we got to our destination, we realized there was a festival called Erntedankfest (fall festival). It was so full of locals enjoying the good wine and some delicious pastries because well is Austria. We grab two homemade cakes, one with amaretto and the other one was a black forest, both were delish!
After spending some good time at the festival, we started our last part of the hike. We walked to Dürnstein, but this time we did not follow the trail. Instead, we walk along the river. We did this because we want to have that view and also because we were already a little bit tired. Dürnstein is a beautiful and touristy town. We had lunch just the moment we arrived, and then we walked around the city. It was crowded with tourist and actually we barely feel that people live there. From there we decided to grab a bus to Krems, where we were going to rest that day before going back to Vienna the day after.
Once we arrived at Krem by bus, we relaxed in the Hotel Klinglhuber. The room was very comfy and it was very near the train station, so was perfect for the next day. We went for dinner at a restaurant called Schreiberhaus. This place was very near our accommodation and it was one of the few places open on a Sunday (that is difficult to find in Austria). For dinner, we had local wine and baked fish with vegetables and potatoes: Amazing! Glenn had fried chicken and local beer. The plate portions of this place were huge, so we were fully satisfied.
Day 3: Krems to Vienna
The final day, we decided we want to checkout Krems downtown. It is very small but full of life. We were pleasantly surprised to see all the cafés and nice architecture. On our way back to Vienna, we saw fields full of local produce, like this pumpkin field.
That was our full hiking trip our the Wachau Valley. Our budget for this trip was:
Transport (from Vienna and bus in Wachau): 84 euros
Scenery: Trail with castle views, forests, limestone mines, mountains, and suburbs.
On our Prague Holiday, we decided to take a day to escape the craziness of the city and deep into the magical Czech forest. One option for this was Bohemian Paradise, but since it is far (around 2 hours by train) and we only had one day for this, we chose another closer hike.
We started our hike from Karlštejn train station, an hour train (route S7) journey from Hlavní nádraží station, in Prague city center. After walking with all the tourists going to the castle through the small picturesque town, we turned right just in the main entrance of the castle to start the trail on the forest.
A few meters later, we reached the entrance of the national park. This national park is hiker friendly, giving you many benches and tables to rest along the trail. Also, all the signs and maps are very clear, so it easy to follow. On the way, there are many types of scenarios, from old houses to crops and deep forests.
After discovering one of the many caves present in the trail, we found a nice roof with benches where we had our local produce sandwich (Moravian ham, Parenica cheese, and bakery bread). Later, we went to the limestone mines (Solvayovy Lomy), where there were numerous types of old machinery and a café.
The trail after the mines had amazing views of the mountains, especially from Vyhlídka Mramor scenic spot. From there you can see the little town of Svatý Jan pod Skalou, where there are a huge monastery and the tomb of St. John under the rock. You can go to the cave where he lived for several years, it is kinda creepy but interesting at the same time.
Finally, our last trail to reach Srbsko was mainly on the road until the last 2 km that we turned right and enter some forests. This little town is full of new houses, it is more like a suburban town. From here we reached the train station and took the train back to Prague.
Czech forests are just magical and I like the fact that there are hills and a lot of interesting archeological rocks. I think we only saw a little bit of what the Czech Republic could offer to the hikers. I would love to come back and discover more from this tiny but diverse country.
Scenery: Trail along the Rijn (Rhine) river, small towns, highways, and Groene hart (green heart)
I used to travel from Leiden to Utrecht every day for 8 months, and I was always curious about visiting the cities along the way. Since we decided to take a hike near Leiden, choosing this hike was a good idea to discover some of them.
We started our hike from Bodegraven central station. This town is small and charming. It has some local specialties, such as beer and cheese. It is a suburban town, meaning that on a Sunday morning there was not a lot of activities around. I was impressed by some local art and the windmill just in the city center used as a café, it was a shame that was closed that day because it looked like a good place to try some local cuisine.
After Bodegraven, we entered to a long trail next to the Rijn. This was around 5km, and there was all kind of sceneries boarding the river, such as houses, parks and many types of industries.
Once we finished the Rijn trail, we walked inside some residential areas and crossed some highways. We had lunch in a lovely park just outside Alphen aan den Rijn.
Once we had our bellies full, we explore around Alphen aan den Rijn city center and some suburbs. We were pleasantly surprised by how big is our neighbor town. There are some cafés, restaurants, and theaters. For sure, we will be back to get to know it better and maybe try some food around here.
Just when we were missing already a little bit of green, we immersed ourselves into the lovely Groene Hart. This magnificent protect area is just in the center of Holland. In here, you can breathe a completely different air and definitely appreciate some of the most beautiful landscapes I have seen in the Netherlands. You can find many types of farms, windmills and quiet places to relax after a busy week. It is not a surprise why it is visited by many locals on a weekly basis.
Finally, we started our last phase of the day. Once we got into Leidercorp, we knew our home was just a few steps away. From the last farms from the Groene Hart, you can see the city at the end. Nevertheless, the final kilometers are always the hardest ones. We walked around 7 km in a straight line with the hope that the track inside the city was going to be short, but we were wrong. Anyways, just the moment we arrived at our destination, all that suffering was conquered by a good feeling of achievement.
Even we had good weather, without rain (a surprise in the Netherlands) and not too warm (perfect in summer), this one was a hard one. Especially because the landscape is not changeable, so the tracks could seem like eternal. Anyway, if you want a walk within dutch cities with convenient public transport connections, this could be a nice option.
Getting there: Trains service to Seddin and Potsdam from Berlin
Scenery: Forest, come easy hills and Einstein summer house
Even Berlin is big enough to spend many days exploring it, we wanted to discover it from another point of view. As good hikers, we did some research about possible hiking routes around Berlin, and we decided to do this one due to the easy transportations and the scenic wonders.
This trail is part of the 66 lakes routes that surrounds Berlin. The total distance of the route is 417km, but since we only had one day to do it, we only walked 20km.
The first part of the trail was full of the tallest pines I have ever seen and beautiful lakes.
After getting out of the forest, we entered a nice little town called Caputh. Famous due to the presence of Albert Einstein Summer House and lovely street art.
We were ready to have lunch after Caputh, so after checking the ruins of Marienquelle, we ate our tasty sandwich from Kamps (a german bakery chain) and some local chocolates.
Finally, we started the last part of our hike by entering Postdam -Süd. This is a big park, where it is easy to get lost as we did. We climbed to a hill, near Mirenhaus, where there was a relaxing view from the far mountains. Additionally, very closed from this point there is Feuerwachturm Kleiner Ravensberg, an impressive white tower.
Potsdam station was just 4 km away from this tower and it is a big town with new architecture and industrial atmosphere. We took the first train back to Berlin once we got to the town, so we did not see much more about this place.
It was a really nice walk, and I loved that we met Berlin from another point of view. We hope to return one day and hike another track from the 66 lakes trail.
Getting there: Ferry from Den Helder (connected by NS trains)
Scenery: Remote farms, contact with local animals, and beautiful beaches
Texel was one our top list since the moment we decided to start hiking in the Netherlands. It is famous for its nature and the nice beaches, so we knew that a multi-day hike trip there was a good idea, and indeed it was.
First Day: 20km
We actually started walking before getting to Texel, since we walked from Den Helder station until the ferry terminal, around 2km. Our intention was to get to know this little port town, and I glad we did it that way since Den Helder is beautiful. It is full of restaurants next to the canals, spectacular boats and some interesting attractions, such as the award-winning library and the maritime museum.
We decided to start our journey from the ‘t Horntje, where the is the port of the ferry from the mainland (Den Helder). From here we started walking through the farm’s fields, the view is amazing. There are all kinds of colors due to the crops.
The first town we visited after the farm’s trail was Den Burg. This little town has plenty of cafés, shops, and benches. In here, we had our first snack of the day, some fruits and energy bar to keep going.
Just a few kilometers after De Burg, we found De Waal. This one is an even smaller town, that consists of a bunch of charming houses and a big church in the middle of the downtown.
Just after De Waal, we entered the trail surrounded by farms and crops. There was one path full of chamomile flowers, their smell was a sublime touch to experience on a hike. Later, we did a direct trail through many farms to the Airbnb where we were staying that night. This way was full of farms where we had to walk with the sheep all the way until we got to our accommodation.
Second Day: 22km
The stayed in a Fantastic Airbnb at Eendrachtweh, De Cocksdorp. The room was spacious and it has even more than what we needed. The breakfast was enormous and the location was perfect for ours. It was relaxing to wake up with the birds singing in the morning.
We got ready and headed to the De Cocksdorp beach, the northern point of the island, where we could see the famous lighthouse, a symbol of Texel.
Since the Airbnb was in the middle of farms, our first track was surrounded by more animals and beautiful scenarios. We used a ferry to cross a canal, that was a new experience for us.
After having lunch on the beach next to the lighthouse, we kept walking for a while on the beach. where we found that we were the only humans there, maybe due to the windy and wet conditions on that day. Then, we entered into the National Park Texel Duinen, and walk in here all the way to DeKoog, where we were going to spend the night.
After 22 km, we reached De Koog. I think this one is the most populated town in Texel, and apparently, it is the most touristy as well, with some beach town vibe. We wanted to try some of Texel specialties, so after some research, our dinner was in a restaurant called Sjans. It was so local that actually, the place did not have English menus. I got the slowed cooked lamb with the local beer. The lamb was exquisite, super soft and full of flavor. The prices are somehow high, but they served the main dishes with salad and fries, so at the end is a lot of food. Glenn had the ribs, and he says they were the best ribs we have tried in the Netherlands!
Third Day: 20km
We started our last day walking through the De Koog forests. Some tracks of forest were very close to the beach, this reminded me of some national parks in Costa Rica.
Just the moment we entered the dunes, we decided to have lunch. We bought some local goodies at the supermarket in De Koog. Gouda cheese and lamb ham (this one was like a type of lamb prosciutto). We were pleasantly surprised by the strong and different flavors of these two products. After lunch, we were lucky to see this type of hairy cows.
Finally, the last phase of our journey was a long way to the ferry port. Saying goodbye to nature and to Texel. We love our weekend here and we now know why so popular between the Dutch.
We will keep walking and discovering new places. Stay tuned!
Since we lived in Leiden and Delft is not far, we took one of the several trains that go there and start our hike in the picturesque Dutch ceramic town.
Probably you already heard about the Delft, due to the famous ceramic industry or the well-known university. But certainly, the architecture and atmosphere of the city make it is a very touristy place, with good reason or many of them.
One of my favorite places here is Market Place, in front of the Nieuwe Kerk. There are many cool cafés, and there is a Royal Delft shop where you can see artists painting the ceramic before putting them in the oven (to get the change of color from black to blue). Also, this place has on Sundays an antique market, and sometimes some festivals are held here as well.
If you visit Delft in summer, make sure you go to the Jazz festival that takes all the town. You can listening to different types of jazz at different stages in all Delft.
Well, we got a blueberry muffin from Bagel & Beans in the Markt Platz, great and tasty energy snack before starting the trail. From here, we arrived into the city skirts and then into a lovely park.
After this park, we start to walk inside many residential and beautiful areas, where you can appreciate big houses with lovely gardens, some of them along the canals. We had to cross some highways as well, where we looked out some delighful windmills from far.
We started looking nature again once we finished the residential are and reached Leidschendam. From here, it is an enjoyable walk through Leidschendammerhout, a big park that includes a golf course and big green areas. We had lunch at this place, surrounded by trees and watching some locals having good bike trips.
Then, we finally arrived at the famous Vlietland, here there is a recreational area where you can swim, camp, kayaking and much more. Since it was a sunny and warm day, it was crowded. After here, Leiden borders are only 3 km away, so it was the last stage of the journey. We felt at home when we arrived at one of the most bewitching parks in Leiden area, Polderpark Cronesteyn.
Finally, we arrived at Leiden city center borders through some marvelous suburbs. Some of them were new for me, so I think was worthy to walk around Leiden center-periphery. We felt at home once we arrived at Zijlpoortbrug. From here, we walked 3 km more to reach our place.
In conclusion, that was our Sunday hike. We really enjoyed it, especially due to the nice weather, not too hot and very sunny. Try it! you won’t regret it.
Getting there: Public transport. Noordwijk by bus and Haarlem by train
Scenery: Dunes, deers, beach, farms, residential area and city
I think this route has everything you want to see on the coastal side of the Netherlands, beach, forest, and animals (deers on the wild!).
We had a lovely day to do this hike, with warm temperatures (around 28C) and full sunshine. It was nice, although since we were already used to dutch cold and cloudy days, it was a real challenge to finish the hike. Nevertheless, we did it!! and actually was our longest distance in a day record, so since we are training, expect days like this from now on.
We took the bus 21 from Leiden Central station to Noordwijk. We went out in Parallel Boulevard and started waking from there. Noordwijk is a lovely beach town, full of restaurant and nice houses. We stopped by in a flea market around it and keep walking until we reached the dunes.
After entering in the dunes, we walked a few km until we reached the beach.
After lunch, we started walking in a Langeveld park, where we saw many deers just hanging out. They are so calm, probably they are already used to humans walking around there.
After here, we arrived at Vogelkijkhut Waterleidingduinen, another big park, where are all the Amsterdam treated water. This was our last stop for a snack and water refuel before getting to the Haarlem Suburbs.
Finally, we arrived at Haarlem around 5:00 pm. The walk to the train station was eternal but possible at the end. Haarlem is a beautiful city, with big houses and a more calm atmosphere than Amsterdam. We visited it once for the tulips parade, but this time we appreciated more the houses and the normal life on a warm day.
We were really proud of this walk because this was our first 30km walk and the first time that we cross a province border, from South Holland to North Holland. Please check the photo below to see the trail, or if you need more info, just comment below.
Distance: 24 km until Schoonhoven, and 27km until Dordrecht (2 ferries)
Getting there: Public transport, both cities have train NS stations
Scenery: Parks, cheese farms, windmills, open areas, rustic trails
As part of our training, decided to do at least one time per month, consecutive days of hiking. This hike was the first of this kind.
The starting point is the lovely town of Gouda, where every Thursday in Summer takes place the cheese market. For this occasion, we just walked around the town and then took the trail. Just outside of this town there is already a lot of nature, plenty of cheese farms (Boerenkaas) and lots of sheep and cows.
We spend the night in Schoonhoven , which is a cute little town next to a big river. I highly recommend the bed & breakfast called Villa Voorncamp, the bed was comfy and the owner was super nice. The breakfast was outstanding, plenty of options and big quantities. They recommended us a nice to have dinner, called de Waag in the city center. The food was exquisite, the only thing is the size of the restaurant, as it is an old building, there are only a few tables inside.
The next morning, we left our accommodation around 9 am to keep with our mission of getting to Dordrecht. The landscape in this second half did not disappoint as well. There was a more industrial part but still, we appreciated the beautiful windmills and the rural areas.
Finally, we arrived at Dordrecht. Amazing city, very old and the little streets are too cute to be real.
That was our first 2 consecutive days hike in the Netherlands. Stay tune to see more.
Distance: Around 30 by following the hiking trails (and 3 ferries)
Get there: Both cities have NS train stations
Difficulty: Low difficulty
Scenery: Windmills and industrial area
What is more Dutch than the windmills? If you visit the Netherlands and you didn’t see at least one, you didn’t experience the Netherlands at all. One of the most popular tourist attractions is the world heritage site of Kinderdijk, it has the highest amount of windmills in the Netherlands. There are many ways you can enjoy this site, like several tours from the major Dutch cities and public transport as well.
Since one of our new year’s resolution was to discover the Netherlands by foot, we decided to take one day and get there by walking from Dordrecht. In our last hike, this city was the last stop, but we were so tired that we couldn’t appreciate at all. Therefore, our plan this time was to get to know it a little bit better, discover Kinderdijk on the way and have a burger in Rotterdam.
I am very happy that we did it this way. Dordrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and for me one of the most beautiful. You can appreciate this just by looking at the tiny streets and the architecture in general.
Mostly all the trail is industrial are, just the part of Kinderdijk has a nicer landscape. The perfect place is just before getting to the touristy area, where you can enjoy all the windmills from together surrounded by the typical Dutch scenery. From here we saw all the locals enjoying the views.
After Kinderdijk, there is still some nature until we got the port. This port has a replica of Noah’s ark, from here we took the ferry to Rotterdam. In Rotterdam, we rested in a lovely park called Het Park. As a prize for our effort, we got an indulgent burger in Hamburg, Rotterdam. If you are wondering, Rotterdam has the best food in the Netherlands.
That was everything. Please comment below any question you might have.