When talking about National Parks, we instantly think of those big parks that could take you days to go through. For example the National Parks in America or Canada. But did you know that Holland also has 21 National Parks? And trust us, they are worth visiting! Some privately owned, others owned by the government. The great thing is that these parks are actually pretty divers, offering a variety of heaths, forest, fens and dunes. Living close by and want to go for a quite hike these coming weeks? Consider visiting these parks on foot or by bike.
1. National Park Nieuw Land
National Park Nieuw Land is the youngest, man-made, National Park in the Netherlands and is located between Almere and Lelystad. With over 29.000 hectares of ground, it is the place to be for bird lovers.
2. National Park Weerribben-Wieden
National Park Weerribben-Wieden is one of the largest bogs in Northwest Europe. A unique landscape was, man-made, created full of lakes, waterways, reed lands, marsh forests and quaking bogs. It is over 10.000 hectares big. The National Park is surrounded by beautiful, historical villages that are also worth a visit.
3. National Park Zuid-Kennemerland
The National Park of Zuid-Kennemerland stretches from Zandvoort to IJmuiden and is home to countless special animals and plants. This beautiful area is 3800 hectares long, surrounded by dunes and located close by the beach. You should definitely put this on your list!
4. National Park Dwingelderveld
Over 4000 hectares, National Park Dwingelderveld is Europe’s largest wet moorland area. You won’t only find a wide variety of plants, but also rare species of butterflies and birds.
5. National Park Drents-Friese Wold
With over 6000 hectares of ground, it is one of the largest areas in the Netherlands. A wide variety of forest, heathland, shifting sands and brook valley grasslands.
6. National Park Schiermonnikoog
Located at the Wadden Sea, with over 5400 hectares of ground, the National Park is the habitat of over 300 different types of birds and over 500 different plants. The National Park of Schiermonnikoog is part of the world heritage and therefor worth a visit.
7. National Park Duinen van Texel
The dunes of Texel are located on one of the most famous islands of the Netherlands in the north. You’ll find a variety of wet dune valleys and dry dunes, forest, moors and unique salt marshes at De Slufter.
8. National Park Lauwersmeer
Located at the border of Groningen and Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands, the National Park is home to over 100 species of birds, flora and fauna. It is a must go to for every bird lover. With over 9000 hectares, there is more than enough to see!
9. National Park De Aalde Feanen
Staying up north, you’ll find another National Park, called De Aalde Feanen. It has over 2300 hectares and is located within the triangle of Leeuwarden, Heerenveen and Drachten. The variation of landscapes makes it the perfect home for plants and animals. You’ll find over 450 specifies of plants and over 100 species of birds.
10. National Park Drentsche Aa
The creek you’ll find in the Drentsche Aa won’t be found at any other place in the Netherlands. The total area, surrounded by 21 villages, is over 34.000 hectares. This makes the park unique in its own way and therefore it’s called a National stream and esdorp landscape.
11. National Park De Sallandse Heuvelrug
Located between the Hanseatic cities Zwolle and Deventer, the area comprises no fewer than 26 hills, the Regge river and the largest contiguous dry heathland in northwestern Europe.
12. National Park De Hoge Veluwe
You’ll find this park in the province of Gelderland and counts over 5400 hectares of ground. The well-known Kröller-Müller museum is located within the National Park. A variety of forest, heaths and grassland, and sand drift can be seen. Especially for the heaths the park is well known in the months August and September.
13. National Park Veluwezoom
The Veluwezoom National Park is located around the city of Arnhem, filled with 5100 hectares of forest, heathland and sand drifts. This park is well known for hiking lovers and counts multiple walking routes.
14. National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug
The high sand ridge in the National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug stretches from the city Rhenen to Huizen. The National Park counts 10.000 hectares of ground. It is the perfect place to go for a bike ride or a hike. You’ll go through the forest and pass by a castle and estates.
15. National Park De Biesbosch
The National Park De Biesbosch is a nature conservation area and the largest fresh water tidal zone in Europe. With over 8000 hectares of ground, you will find many streams and willow swamps.
16. National Park Oosterschelde
Definitely the largest (37.000 hectares) and wettest National Park of the Netherlands. Due to the tide, the landscape is different each time. This makes it a great place to visit more than once.
17. National Park De Loonse en Drunense Duinen
The National Park is also called the Brabantse Sahara, due to the large sandy plains. But you will also find heaths and forests. The National Park is one of the most extensive shifting sand areas in Western Europe and has a total size of 3500 hectares.
18. National Park De Maasduinen
At National Park De Maasduinen you’ll find the longest river dune In the Netherlands, created by water, wind and people. Many special plants and animals live in this 4500-hectare nature reserve.
19. National Park De Zoom-Kalmthoutse Heide
Located at the border of the Dutch province of North Brabant and the Belgian province of Antwerp, you’ll find the cross-border National Park De Zoom-Kalmthoutse Heide. The park has an area of 6000 hectares and offers a variety of woods, heaths, dunes and fens.
20. National Park De Groote Peel
This natural reserve, of 1500 hectares, is located on the border of Limburg and North-Brabant. This park is the place to be for bird lovers.
21. National Park De MeinwegLocated at the east of the city Roermond, and surrounded by the German border, the park counts over 1800 hectares. From forest, heaths, fens and stream valleys, the National Park offers a variety of landscapes.
A full list of all the National Park in the Netherlands; what else could you wish for? Hopefully one of these parks is close by, so it will be easy to go for a short walk while being quarantined. And if not; just start planning for your next upcoming trip so you’re ready to go as soon as we can all start travelling again!
P.s. Do check the website of the National Park before leaving your home to see if they have made any adjustments to their opening times or visiting policy. Keep enough distance from each other and stay safe!