Holiday in your own country. It still sounds strange because are you really on vacation? We used to think that way too, but because we often make trips abroad, we do more and more see the gems in our own country. The Netherlands has 20 national parks spread throughout the country. We visited one near our hometown Breda, De Biesbosch. This national park is located exactly on the border of North Brabant and South Holland and consists mainly of river islands and sand and mud flats.
But what should you be doing in such a national park? We have found 5 things that you really have to do and that you will be surprised about to find in your own country.
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Access: Car, bicycle, on foot
Clothing: Sturdy, waterproof and can be stored in a duffel bag
Type of trip: Adventurous, educational
Period: Throughout the year
1. Biesbosch Safari
A safari in the Netherlands? Absolutely. Besides the famous Beekse Bergen, you can also do a safari in De Biesbosch. For this you do need a boat because you will be sailing through the beautiful nature reserve that lies between the two rivers. We rented a motorboat at Watersport bootverhuur in Drimmelen. This does not go faster than 20 km/h, so you do not need a license for this. Costs are about 100 euros including an 50 euro deposit for a whole day. The safari takes about 4 hours if you follow the entire route. We did not thought the last part was very exciting because here you are mainly on your way back to Drimmelen over the river. Do you want more adventure? Then you can also go canoeing or supping through the area. With good weather you get the feeling that you are in Asia. A great piece of advice!
2. Discover the polders
Did you know that the Netherlands has around 4000 polders? Half of the polder surface in Europe is in the Netherlands. It is a very special bit of nature if you ask us. De Biesbosch also has a number of beautiful polder areas. You have to drive around for a while because they are well scattered around. You will find beautiful wheat fields, waters, buffalo and typical Dutch windmills.
3. Walking through the forest
The Biesbosch is around 90 km² and contains a lot of forest where you can walk through. You can discover a lot of nice places such as sand and mud flats, viewpoints and beautiful nature.
4. Biesbosch Museum
Dive into the past by visiting the Biesbosch Museum Island. Discover how the area originated and walk along the paved path over the ring dike. Do not forget to bring your towel because you are allowed to walk just through the water here. It is also very special to see the water management system in operation. With a 45 minutes cycle, the water level changes from ‘extremely low’ to ‘extremely high’ and back to ‘extremely low’.
Useful: Website Biesbosch MuseumEiland
Tip: Bring a towel
Is officially no longer within the area but definitely worth a visit. At about a 30 minutes’ drive from De Biesbosch you will find the village of Kinderdijk, known for its windmills. A real Walhalla for Instagrammers. The Kinderdijk windmills have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997. The site is of international value, not only because of the windmills, but because the technology of water management from the middle ages can be seen close together here. If you arrive by car you will need to park because you can only reach the mills on foot, by bike or by boat. Some are available for a fee.
Useful: Website Kinderdijk
Tip: Best time of visit is during the week in the mornings.
Watch the video we made
More pictures can be found on our Biesbosch Pinterest board. Did you find this blog useful? Share it with your friends!