That you have clicked on this article probably means that you love hiking as much as I do. I have made many hikes throughout the Netherlands and that is why I can show you the most beautiful areas and the best routes. With its extensive hiking network and beautiful nature reserves, the Netherlands is ideally suited for a hiking vacation. You are also in the right place for beautiful day hiking trips.
Although the Netherlands is a small country, there are many official hiking trails. In the category ‘Long Distance Hiking Trails’ (with a length of 150 km or more) there are no fewer than 23 routes. All together they form a network of approximately 7500 kilometers. All official long distance trails are well signposted and marked in both directions. In this article I tell you about the most recommended long distance hiking trails to include in your vacation in the Netherlands.
The route guides and website about the walking routes are unfortunately all in the Dutch language. When you need help to get the suitable information I can help you.
The Pieterpath is the most popular hiking trail among Dutch people. The trail is 492 km and traverses the Netherlands from the far north to the southernmost point. The whole trail runs very close to the German border. And do you know why it is called the Pieterpath? It is because the start is in the small village of Pieterburen and it ends at Sint Pietersberg.
The landscapes that you encounter along the way are rural open meadows in the north, silent forests in the middle and in the south a beautiful hilly landscape. The area is sparsely populated and not very touristy, but the chance of meeting fellow hikers is high.
Dutch Coast Path (Nederlands Kustpad)
The Dutch Coast Path is a must do if you love the sea, but don’t like sunbathing all day on the beach. The path is 718 km in total and covers both the west coast along the North Sea and the north coast along the Wadden Sea. Special about the Dutch coastal area are the sea dunes along the west coast; a narrow strip of sandy hills between the sea and the interior that also result in specific types of vegetation. The coastal area is busy and pleasant on nice days when the Dutch people relax on the beach or at the terraces along the beach.
It is understandable that you are not going to walk the full coastal path, in which case I recommend choosing a part between The Hague and Hoek van Holland.
Roman Limes Path (Romeinse Limespad)
The Roman Limespath is a long distance path that is 275 km and it leads from the coast in the west to the German border in the east, along the northern border of the former Roman empire. Along the way you will pass through historic cities and along the path you will see Roman watchtowers, archaeological finds and other Roman themed seeings.
It is proven that this is an excellent hiking trail, since it has been voted Dutch hiking trail of the year 2019. The Roman Limes path has also a variant for cyclists.
Related article: Hiking and cycling – Roman Limes Route
Grand River Trail (Grote Rivierenpad)
If you study the map of the Netherlands well, you will notice that the Netherlands is crossed by several rivers. Rivers that originate far inland in Europe flow into the North Sea via the Netherlands. In the fight against water the Dutch are very capable of protecting their land and trying to contain the course of the rivers. The Dutch Delta is therefore a unique area with a lot of water, dikes and pleasant little villages. The Grand River Trail traverses the Netherlands from west to east and follows typically Dutch rivers such as the Lek, Linge and Waal. The trail is 276 kilometers in total. Because the route runs along many fruit orchards, it is highly recommended to walk the path during the blossom season in April or May.
Maarten van Rossumpath
The Maarten van Rossumpath is named after the highly feared army commander who lived in the Netherlands between 1478 and 1555. It is one of the most diverse routes in terms of landscapes and you also visit many interesting cities. The walking route is 384 kilometers long and runs from south to north in the eastern half of the Netherlands.
In the south you walk through the river landscape, after which you can explore the beautiful forests of the ‘Veluwe’. The northern part of the route runs through the lovely countryside of Overijssel and Drenthe, interspersed with forests and fields and the special phenomenon of Hunebeds.
Pilgrim Path (Pelgrimspad)
The Pilgrim Path is the Dutch part of the famous route to Santiago de Compostela. Where modern pilgrims start their hike from France or Spain, in the Middle Ages the journey started from their front door. The Dutch Pilgrims path runs from Amsterdam to Maastricht and covers a distance of 466 kilometers. The highlights are the beautiful historic cities of Amsterdam, Den Bosch and Maastricht. The beautiful Dutch nature that you encounter along the way is also very enjoying.
On this route you will only meet a small number of pilgrims, so do not expect facilities such as pilgrim hostels and stamps.
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