Hiking Friesland-Appelscha (Drents-Friese Wold National Park)

Distance: 24 km

Getting there: By bus Assen (NS station), but we got there by car

Difficulty: Low

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.

Lunch at Canada Lake

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.

Hiking route Applescha and Drents-Friese Wold National Park

Once we got to our Airbnb, we enjoyed a quiet and nice evening in the room.

Happy Hiking!

From Bodegraven to Leiden, via Alphen aan den Rijn

Distance: 28 km

Getting there: Both cities have NS train stations

Difficulty: Low

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.

Happy hiking!

3-days hiking around Texel

Distance: 62 km divided in 3 days

Getting there: Ferry from Den Helder (connected by NS trains)

Difficulty: Low

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 cafĂ©s, 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!

Happy hiking!

From Delft to Leiden, via Vlietland

Distance: 28 km until our place in Leiden

Getting there: Both towns have train NS stations

Difficulty: Low

Scenery: Forests, beautiful residential areas, walk along the canals, Vlietland recreational park and cities

After a hard week, we decided to make a shorter hike than the one from last week (Noordwijk to Haarlem, Link: http://thefoodiehiker.com/hiking-from-noordwijk-to-haarlem/ ).

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.

Oude Kerk view fromZuidwal Street

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.

Happy hiking!

Hiking from Noordwijk to Haarlem

Distance: 30km

Getting there: Public transport. Noordwijk by bus and Haarlem by train

Difficulty: Low

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.

Noordwijk to Haarlem trail through the Dunes

Happy hiking!

From Gouda to Dordrecht, via Schoonhoven

Distance: 24 km until Schoonhoven, and 27km until Dordrecht (2 ferries)

Getting there: Public transport, both cities have train NS stations

Difficulty: Low

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.

Happy Hiking!

From Dordrecht to Rotterdam via Kinderdijk

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.

Happy hiking!