Beauty of east Holland – Top Veluwe things to do

Shall I tell you about one of Holland’s best kept secrets, one of the most beautiful nature areas of the Netherlands which is still very pure and quite undiscovered? Although my country is only a small part of Europe it has a lot to offer which is still quite unknown to many people, and I am happy to show you in this blog post!

In my earlier post Beauty of Holland- 8 must visit cities and sights I already showed you the bigger cities of my country, like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, and a few of the heritage sights near these cities. But there is much more beauty to be found if you have the time to travel around and know where to go.

Next to our popular capital Amsterdam Holland has a huge area of spacious landscapes with wide country side views, many different forests and nature areas, authentic farmhouses, castles, museums and a multitude of local attractions and zoo’s.

Heide on Dutch Veluwe (1)Dutch farmhouses on the Veluwe (3)  Dutch farmhouses on the Veluwe (2)Welcome to the Dutch Veluwe

When you want to experience the true heritage of my country and if you fancy hiking or cycling in quiet surroundings while enjoying Holland’s flat but very diverse landscapes, then the east side of Holland is definitely the right area to visit.

This is where you will find a big nature park of 55 km2 called ‘’De Hoge Veluwe’’, indicated in the pink square in below map.

Dutch Veluwe map

This nature area in the province of Gelderland has many different landscapes including beautifully colored heaths, small lakes, woodlands, some of Europe’s largest sand drifts and a diversity of wildlife inhabitants. Here high sand dunes are partially covered with heath lands which form a magnificent sight.

The Veluwe is one of my favourite areas for a small vacation in my own country, as it is for many Dutchies. But luckily not so touristy yet because it’s still quite unknown to foreigners and the area is very wide. Spread out over the nature reserve there are different campsites and bungalow parks for an overnight stay, although I prefer the many authentic hotels which can be found here.

Beauty of Holland heathlands on the Dutch Veluwe

Besides the area’s natural beauty there are many tourist attractions around, such as 4 zoo’s, over 50 museums and the bigger cities Arnhem, Nijmegen and Apeldoorn where you can shop till you drop and dine in a multitude of restaurants.

From a couples point of view I will show you my top 6 favourite things to do here, with and some without children, through many of my own pictures as usual.

(Remember to click on the picture to see the full size and description, and click on below the pic to scroll through the gallery!)

  1. Picnic, walk or rent a bike to explore the Dutch countryside

One of my absolute favourite outdoor activities is cycling and walking through nature. De Veluwe is perfect for this as it very wide and diverse, so renting a bike is the perfect way to see as much of the area as possible. I love to cycle around without hurry and several stops along the way for a picnic, small bench break or just chill on a blanket together completely surrounded by nature.

Cycling on the Dutch Veluwe (3)Chilling on the Dutch Veluwe (2)  Chilling on the Dutch Veluwe (1)Nature of Dutch Veluwe

But also pass by farmhouses, small towns and have lunch or drinks at one of the many unique restaurants in the quaint villages around the Veluwe, which represent Dutch heritage so well.

Cycling on the Dutch Veluwe (1)Restaurants on the Dutch Veluwe

2. Visit the Dutch summer palace; Paleis het Loo in Apeldoorn

Built by King Willem III in the 1600’s to impress nobility and inspired by Versailles in Paris this summer palace is a stunner! Home to the Dutch royal families until 1962 the palace is now open to the public as a state museum, listed among the top 100 Dutch heritage sights.

Palace het Loo Apeldoorn frontside

Front side of Het Loo Palace

Palace het Loo Apeldoorn stables

Palace het Loo Apeldoorn backside

Back side of Het Loo Palace

Although I lived in Holland my whole life I never visited this place before and was amazed by the beauty of the palace from both the front-and backside and especially by the imposing gardens. How can you not feel like royalty looking out over these magnificent gardens?

Palace het Loo gardens Apeldoorn (1)

Designed with perfect symmetry, several fountains, basins, parterres and statues these gardens are often called the ‘’Dutch Versailles’’ which is recognizable and can be clearly seen in these pictures.

Palace het Loo gardens Apeldoorn (2)

Symmetry and patterns inspired by Versailles

Palace het Loo fountains Apeldoorn

Looking out over the Palace Gardens of het Loo

Looking out over the Palace Gardens of het Loo

If you want to gain some more insight in the history and lives of Dutch royalty and especially if you like baroque interior, a tour around the palace itself is recommended as well.

Palace het Loo interior (3)  Palace het Loo interior (1)

3. Find out all about Dutch heritage in the Openluchtmuseum

This outdoor museum in Arnhem offers a beautiful wide display of authentic buildings, original objects and Dutch customs which tells you all about the history of Holland. Discover the authentic trades and way of life in the old days when Holland was still mainly a farming country and people lived in quaint wooden houses, windmills and traditional farm houses.

4. Go for a cultural day at the Kröller-Müller Museum

This national art museum and spacious sculpture garden is located right in the middle of the National Park De Hoge Veluwe. The perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the reserve while admiring the sculptures on the 75 acres around the museum, one of the largest sculpture gardens in Europe.

Sculptures at Kroller Moller museum ArnhemSculpture gardens at Kroller Moller museum Arnhem

Marvel over the private collection of artworks with many unique van Gogh pieces inside the museum. They have the second largest painting collection of this renowned artist, after the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, lovingly collected by Mrs. Kröller-Müller herself over several decades.

Kroller Moller Museum Arnhem artworks (2)

Kroller Moller Museum Arnhem artworks (1)

Contemporary art section of the museum

5. Check out 16th century castle Doorwerth

This medieval castle is located near Arnhem just outside the small village which bears the same name as the castle. Originating from the 12th century and expanded many times after it reached its largest form in the 16th century.

Doorwerth castle on the Dutch Veluwe (4)

Beautiful medieval castle Doorwerth

The bike ride towards the castle is a pleasure already, cycling along the Rijn river. The castle is quite big with a small park around it, a vegetable garden and even its own restaurant and event location. Therefore it’s the perfect place to have some drinks, a casual lunch, dinner or even to get married in a unique way.

Doorwerth castle on the Dutch Veluwe (2)  Doorwerth castle on the Dutch Veluwe (5)Doorwerth castle on the Dutch Veluwe (1)

6. Or better yet, plan a relaxing spa day!

There are many big spa’s around de Veluwe, which is a great setting for a relaxing treatment day, but unfortunately these are all open to the public. Therefore I prefer to visit the private spa and beauty centre of Bilderberg Hotel Groot Heideborgh in Garderen, which is also situated in the nature reserve, and offers the best treatments and spa facilities all to yourself. More details about that in my next blog post, including my favourite hotels in this area.

Cycling on the Dutch Veluwe (4)

Forests of de Veluwe

I hope my pics and tips will inspire you to visit this area of my beautiful country and convinced you why it is really worth a visit, instead of only visiting Amsterdam. De Veluwe is perfect for a weekend getaway, a mid-week vacation or even for a 1 or 2 weeks trip combined with visits to other bigger cities and beautiful sights of Holland, about which you can read much more here, here, here and here.

For more pics follow me on social media for daily inspiration:

InstagramFacebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Bloglovin and Stumbleupon.

And if you’re planning to visit the Netherlands and need more tips feel free to contact me by mail:

Love to hear what you think of my pics and tips of the Veluwe and if you even knew this was part of Holland as well? Just leave a reply below…


About Authentic Chica

Traveler, wanderer and explorer from the Netherlands, with a special love for authenticity, while keeping it chic. With a passion for traveling, lust for exploring, heart for holidays and an eye for beautiful things. Find out about my tips on how to find the perfect traveling combination of authentic chicness.
Gallery | This entry was posted in blogposts, european trips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Beauty of east Holland – Top Veluwe things to do

  1. rovingjo says:

    I love to spend time outdoors. I prefer hiking to cycling but the trails in the forest look so beautiful. Like most visitors to Holland I really did not venture outside of Amsterdam so next time I visit I will need to spend some time exploring areas such as this one. Thanks for sharing and Happy Roving!!!


    • Thanx for your wonderful comment Joella and de Veluwe is def worth a visit if you like hiking! It will be my pleasure to guide you and I hope I inspired you already with my pics to come soon!
      xx Naomi


  2. Great photos! Small towns have these best charms!


  3. This is definitely my dream place to live…


  4. Wat een mooie blog Naomi en wat een prachtig stukje Nederland is dit ook he? Geweldige foto’s enne Doorwerth is leuk he?
    Thanks for sharing!


  5. Liz says:

    I’ve been thinking about exploring Europe with a focus on hiking and cycling. Thanks for the recommendation of De Veluwe!


    • O that would be great Liz, let me know if you do, Holland has so many beautiful places to visit…already wrote 5 different blogs about it:) Hope you will find some more inspi in those too! xx


  6. I love your pics and tips Naomi! Veluwe is not that far away for me, so I think I will visit it some time soon! 🙂


  7. savourbytina says:

    Hi Naomi,

    Found it!! It looks amazing!! Nice tip! Had no idea that it’s so beautiful there..




    • Yes great Tina!!! So happy to be able to inspire you✌😘 I think it is even prettier than Versailles itself👌
      Did u follow my ig story in Paris too?
      Xxx Naomi

      Liked by 1 person

      • savourbytina says:

        Off course it’s always good to inspire each other right? I was in Paris myself a few weeks a go! And I loved it so much. I wrote about it on my blog too. Totally different than your writing style so I would love to know what you think about my story! You can find it on my page..

        Love Tina ♡


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s