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June 2020, Netherlands
Let the summer roadtrip begin!
We were reluctant to getting out of the house too much or too soon, but things started to improve in the Netherlands. People are generally keeping distance and there are lots of places to explore outdoors.
Even if we thought the entire traveling season would be ruined, we decided to explore the Netherlands this year. Why not try a local roadtrip? 😀
So we drove across the country for 1 week, and here’s what we discovered on the way. Hope that you are also looking for safe destinations to spend your holiday. If so, this might serve as a useful 1-week roadtrip itinerary in the Netherlands.
Goede reis! Bon voyage! Drum bun! 🙂
Netherlands 1-week roadtrip itinerary
Day one of the roadtrip takes us to Giethoorn, or the ‘Venice’ of the Netherlands.
Little did we know that we will be the only visitors for the day. Can’t believe this village exists!
Looking back, the “tourists-free” Giethoorn was the highlight of our summer roadtrip.
Even though we crossed the country for almost 1000 km, my heart was stolen by the colorful villages surrounded by water. When nature was harsh, people have found unbelievable and ingenious resources to make a living. They even reclaimed land from the sea! And this is what i truly admire about Dutch people.
Not far from Giethoorn, we find a hiddem gem along the way.
The Orchid Farm is the perfect stop to escape a rainy day and explore the jungle. Flamingos, turtles, butterflies, monkeys, fish, ducks and even alpacas will be your companions along the journey.
It’s really hard to leave without taking with you one of the beautiful orchids inside the Exit Shop. I tried to resist, but couldn’t. 🙂
BROEK IN WATERLAND, MONNICKENDAM, MARKEN
Buckle up, colorful villages are coming next!
Driving through North Holland province is a dream. Passing by the picturesque Broek and Monnickendam, we make a stop in the fishing port of Marken. Formerly an island, it is connected to the main land by a dike since 1957.
The cute wooden houses, white lighthouse with red hood and the beautiful water view, make us feel like time stood still. Needless to say we are again the only visitors in town.
Broek, Monnickendam and Marken are not the only colorful villages in North Holland. Our trip to Edam and Volendam is in a previous article. Back then we had no idea that we will actually live here. 🙂
ARCHEON MUSEUM PARK
Back to Stone Age!
From prehistoric times, to the Roman legion and medieval crafts, our first museum visit after a long long time is a real joy. If you want to feel the old times vibe, Archeon park is a good place to start with.
Seeing the highlights of Netherlands in 1 hour? Sure you can!
At Madurodam you have the whole country at your feet: mini streets, buildings, ships, trees, basically mini-everything at a 1:25 scale.
It’s like in Gulliver’s travels! 🙂
Then, after all the hustle and bustle of the city, we run to the beach. Scheveningen, the most famous stretch of sand in the Netherlands, is completely empty. The pier stands majestically far in the distance, with unlimited view over the the North Sea.
Perfect setup to end a beautiful day!
BEEKSE BERGEN SAFARI PARK
Driving among giraffes in the Beekse Bergen Safari Park is a real adventure. Fun fact: their only interest is licking the cars.
We even spot wooden treehouses, tents and lodges where you can spend the night. All accommodations are scattered between two savannahs and a lion area. Now THAT is the ultimate experience. Maybe next time. 🙂
NETHERLANDS OPEN AIR MUSEUM
Looking for green areas takes us to the Netherlands Open Air Museum, near Arnhem. We have 44 hectares and lots of authentic Dutch buildings to start the journey into the past. Bonus: a hop-on hop-off tram that takes us around the park. That’s perfect after a full day on the ground.
Learning history while walking in nature can be fun!
HOGE VELUVE NATIONAL PARK
Could not end the roadtrip without a nature escape.
Grab a bike and spend the day in the immense surroundings of the Hoge Veluve National Park. Exploring the sand dunes and the woodland, while trying to spot a deer or two, can easily take the whole day.
Note to self: get up earlier next time. 😂
If you have more time
We will definitely try to reach the extreme points of the Netherlands with the next holiday. Here are some ideas if you have more than a week:
- Limburg in South;
- Groningen and Bourtange in North-East;
- The Frisian Islands in the North-West: Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland, Schiermonnikoog.
Fun fact: we were not sure how the hotels work during the corona-times, and didn’t want to take any risks. So we started our roadtrip in Utrecht, in the middle of Netherlands, and returned back in the evening after every visit. It was quite fun to have the holiday feeling again, while getting cozy at home during the night.
Car rental: 240 EUR/week, insurance included
The Orchid Farm: 14.5 EUR/pers
Archeon Museum Park: 23 EUR/pers; *Free with MuseumCard
Madurodam: 17.5 EUR/pers
Beekse Bergen: 24 EUR/pers
Netherlands Open Air Museum: 19.5 EUR/pers; *Free with MuseumCard
Hoge Veluwe National Park: 11 EUR/pers; Day pass car/motorcycle: 7.75 EUR
All of the above have reopened with a limited number of visitors per day. So make sure to reserve your ticket&arrival time in advance on their websites.
All in all, we did pretty good for a first vacation during a pandemic. We are still exploring what roadtrips are achievable this summer.
Do you have recommendations? Drop us a line! 😀
Happy travels and stay safe!