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Dutch dukes

From coast to border

  • Destination: The green heart, rivers country, across the Neterlands
  • Kind of trip: 12 day trekking from the North Sea in the west to the German border in the east
  • Duration: 14 days (13 nights)
  • Difficulty trip:
  • Inclusive: Thirteen overnight stays in comfortable 3 star hotels including breakfast, luggage transport, maps and English route directions, GPS tracks, free parking, VAT, tourist taxes and Guarantee Foundation
  • Exclusive: The outward and homeward journey, lunch, diner, a few euros for the various ferries and travel and cancellation insurance
  • Dog: Not allowed
  • Price:
    • € 1.250- per person based on 2 people (including luggage transportation)
    • € 1.899-for one person (including luggage transportation)
    • € 999,- per person based on 2 people (excluding luggage transportation)
    • € 1.399-for one person (excluding luggage transportation)
    • If you want to walk with more than 4 people, please contact Hike in Holland for an adjusted price
Location:
Totale wandelroute dwars door Nederland
Description:

This tour traverses Holland from the coast of the Northsea, with England almost in view, to just across the German border. You’ll start your walk in the beach resort Scheveningen, and will walk through wonderful cities such as Delft and Rotterdam into the Green Heart of Holland, then into the Utrecht Hillside, into the Rivers country to the town of Nijmegen and the German border. You’ll see the landscapes changes as you walk along. You’ll pass through the unique polders, through woods, along big and small rivers, across small hills. Through new nature areas, and through old ones. You’ll visit wonderful cities like The Hague, Nijmegen and Delft, but also picturesque little towns like Nieuwpoort, Leerdam, Wijk bij Duurstede, Amerongen and Heteren. We have found a comfortable hotel for you after every stage, and we can also transport your luggage for you if you like, so you can hike carefree at your own pace. Not every walker is the same after all. Both the start as well as the end of the walk are easy to reach with public transport from the airport.

Unique:

The idea to walk from one border to the order is very attractive, but not very practical in Holland, due to the location on the sea. So a walk from the coast to the border is the just as attractive alternative we offer you with this tour. The unique part of walking through the whole width of the country is the changes in the landscape, and the changes in the people as well, such as the local dialects. The landscapes change from very flat to lightly hilly, from the polders with its thousands of little ditches to the somewhat dryer areas, though the big rivers will follow you to the border. After this tour, you’ve really visited Holland and will have gotten to know the wonderful nature areas, the history, the people, and you’ll carry a little bit of Holland with you home.

Day to Day

the beach at Scheveningen, Nothsea coast

The Northsea at Scheveningen

Day 1 Arrival in Scheveningen (The Hague)

You arrive at the starting point of this hiking trip, the beach at the Northsea. You'll be staying in a cozy and hospitable hotel. You can relax at the beach or in one of the many cafes on the Scheveningen boulevard. Or of course you can also visit The Hague, that's around the corner. You can visit for instance the Peace Palace or Palace Noordeinde: the working palace of our king Willem Alexander. Or one or more of the interesting musea in The Hague , for instance: the Essher Museum, Panorama Mesdag of the Maurits House.
a Delft Blue cow in the city center of Delft

A cow of Delft Blue in the city center of Delft

Day 2 Scheveningen - Delft (20 km)

Today you’ll start the first walk along the North Sea, but soon the walk starts going inland. You’ll pass through some old and stately parks on your way to the old city center of The Hague. You’ll visit well known monuments like the Peace Palace, Noordeinde Palace en the Inner Court. Through the oldest indoor shopping center and the Chinese area you’ll slowly exit the town center and along an old waterway you’re heading in the direction of Delft. You’ll visit another nice park on the way before ending the day on a lively square in the old town center of Delft, where you can relax after this first walk.
One of the many small waters between Delft and Rotterdam

One of the many small waters between Delft and Rotterdam

Day 3 Delft - Rotterdam (21 km)

Today your walk starts through the old city center of Delft, along the old town hall, and the “new” church with its tower of over a hundred meters. You may climb it, and you may also have a look at the grave of William of Orange, the founding father of Holland. Then along an old stream, formerly used for shipping produce from the fertile Westland into Delft, you’ll exit Delft towards the village of Den Hoorn. From here it’s to the south along an old road, used for the horse tram in the old days. Through some parks you’ll reach the nature area of Midden-Delfland. On the horizon, Rotterdam can be seen, but you’re not there yet. Along some grass and gravel paths, and some cycle paths, you’ll reach the village of Overschie. From there it’s along the water again into the town of Rotterdam. You’ll leave the water to walk towards your hotel along an old lane with stately houses.
The windmills of Kinderdijk an Unesco Worldsite

The windmills of Kinderdijk, an Unesco world herritage site

Day 4 Rotterdam - Lekkerkerk (19 km)

Today it’s a walk in bits and pieces with a lot of water. However, the day is started with a nice walk through Rotterdam, visiting some of its characteristic buildings, like the Central Train Station, the Market Hall and the cubic houses. Then you’ll take the fast ferry, leaving Rotterdam across the water, instead of walking through the many suburbs. You’ll leave the ferry in the small town of Alblasserdam. From here it’s not far to the famous windmills of Kinderdijk, a Unesco site, and for a reason. Many windmills, still operating, can be found here. If your family expects a typical Dutch picture, then this is the place. From Kinderdijk, you’ll take another (short) ferry across the river Lek. Then you’ll follow the river for a while and then will enter the polders to reach your destination for today, Lekkerkerk.

Cows in the pasture between Lekkerkerk and Schoonhoven

Day 5 Lekkerkerk - Schoonhoven (20 km)

This morning you’ll leave Lekkerkerk on an old country lane, which was used for collecting taxes. It runs throught the meadows. Today your walk is through the Green Heart. The meadows are split into narrow sections by numerous smaller and bigger ditches. There’s lots of waterfowl, like grebes and coots and meadow birds, like pheasants, herons (even purple ones if you’re lucky) and egrets, swallows and godwits. More fauna can be found in the meadows where cows and sheep alternate. Your walk is on country lanes, cycle paths and some grass paths. Near the end of the walk you’ll reach the river Lek again, which you’ll follow to reach your hotel for the night, from which you have a nice view on the river.
Mill and boat on a typical Ducth canal

A canal between Schoonhoven and Leerdam

Day 6 Schoonhoven - Leerdam (24 km)

Today is the longest walk of the trip. You’ll exit Schoonhoven through an old gate, and will take the ferry across the river Lek. On the other side you’ll first walk to the old fort Nieuwpoort, with its special city hall on top of a lock. After that there’s polder roads to take you further into the Green Heart. There’s many stately farms to enjoy, countless smaller and bigger waterways, and beautiful vista’s with the typical Dutch skies. You’ll pass through the nice village of Meerkerk, on the Napoleonic road from Amsterdam to Paris, and then along a canal for a while. After that is’s some more polder roads to take you to the town of Leerdam, known for its glass blowers, but also with a nice old town center, where there is a comfortable hotel ready to receive you.
Fort Everdingen near Culemborg

Fort Everdingen near Culemborg

Day 7 Leerdam - Culemborg (20 km)

This ay your walk starts in the old town centre of Leerdam. After that you’ll exit the town and on a narrow road you’ll enter a nature area where meadows and groves alternate. You can find lots of waterfowl here as well, like avocets and moorhen. After that it’s towards the “Wheel of Bassa”, a very deep lake, which was caused by a breakthrough of the nearby dike. This same dike is the next section of the walk. This dike used to be the border between Holland and Gelre. Off the dike you’ll walk into another nature area with plenty of water this time. You’ll exit this area through a bunker. Then it’s through the fields and meadows towards fort Everdingen, a beautiful remainder of the Dutch Waterline, an ingenious piece of engineering to flood parts of Holland as a form of defense, no longer in use, due to airplanes. After that it’s through the floodplains of the river Lek and along the dike towards your Bed&Breakfast with it’s wonderful garden in Culemborg.
The Amsterdam-Rijn canal

The Amsterdam-Rijn Canal

Day 8 Culemborg - Wijk bij Duurstede (21 km)

This morning starts with a walking tour through the old town center of Culemborg, an old trading town from the middle ages on the river Lek. Then you’ll cross the river with a ferry, and will walk through the flowery floodplains of this side of the river. Then you’ll say goodbye to the river and it’s along an old dike, also part of the Dutch Waterline, to the village of Schalkwijk. From there the route heads to a busy shipping canal, between Amsterdam and the river Rhine. You’ll follow the banks of the canal for a while until Wijk bij Duurstede comes closer. Then you’ll cross the canal near a large lock, and along castle Duurstede you’ll reach the old town centre of Wijk bij Duurstede. Your hotel is on the edge of the town centre.
A little forest lake

A little forest lake near Wijk bij Duurstede

Day 9 Wijk bij Duurstede - Amerongen (20 km)

Today there’s a bigger change in scenery waiting for you. You’ll start by leaving Wijk bij Duurstede along the old river Kromme Rijn, and then its to the east along some groves through the meadows until we reach the forest of nature area Utrechtse Heuvelrug (Utrecht hillside). You’ll walk through varied forest, through some estates to the lakes of Leersum, which are nicely amidst the heath and woods. Then its through the heath and forests in the direction of Amerongen. With a final detour through the wonderful estate Zuylenstein, you’ll head swiftly towards the old town of Amerongen, where you’ll pass a nice windmill on your way to your hotel.
Forest between Amerongen en Wageningen

Forest between Amerongen and Wangeningen

Day 10 Amerongen - Wageningen (21 km)

Today starts with some lovely walking through the woods and hills. The rolling terrain is a nice change and it takes you through estates and past some more heath, on wide and narrow paths. Then, almost halfway through today’s walk you’ll exit the forests. Then it’s onto the country side on quiet roads and paths for a while. Eventually you’ll enter the student town of Wageningen, along some of the characteristic student houses. You’ll pass through the lively old town center and will then continue on a dike on the edge of town with a wonderful view on the river’s country. Eventually you’ll walk through a beautiful Arboretum, which will bring you towards your hotel. This hotel is nicely in the woods, and with a wonderful view on the rivers to the south it’s a beautiful place to relax for a while.
The river the Nederrijn by the Wageningse Mountain

The river the Nederrijn near the Wageningse "Mountain"

Day 11 Wageningen - Elst (21 km)

Your hotel is on a hill, but immediately after the start of the walk you’ll start descending towards the river Nederrijn. You’ll cross this river with a ferry. Then it’s along the river for a while, either along or on a wonderful old dike towards the village of Heteren with its characteristic detached church tower. After that it’s away from the river and into the country between two rivers. It’s meadows and orchards here, especially pretty in early spring when they’re blossoming. Along a quite road it’s finally into the town of Elst, where your cozy hotel will be waiting for you.
Fruit orchards in the Betuwe

Fruit orchards in the Betuwe

Day 12 Elst - Nijmegen (20 km)

Today your hike takes you through the rives country with plenty of variation. An old road takes you out of Elst, along old farms and typical suburbs. Here you can see the extension of towns from the 1950s to present day on your way out of town. Once out of Elst it’s through the fields to the picturesque hamlet of Eimeren. After this you’ll cross the infamous Betuwe Lijn, a railway line, only built for transportation of goods from Rotterdam harbor to Germany. You’ll reach some lakes, used for all sorts of recreation. You’ll walk along a lake for a while, and then it’s into an old estate with beautiful lanes. This brings you to the dike along the river Waal. You’ll follow the dike for a while, past the white church of Slijk-Ewijk. Later the route goes down the dike into the floodplains of the river. Finally you’ll cross the river in two steps, with a bit on an island in between. The second bridge takes you to the old center of the town of Nijmegen. You’ll visit the center for a while, and then through a park with beautiful views, until you descend back to the river Waal, where you’ll find your hotel.
Konikhorses in the Ooijpolder near Nijmegen

Wild Konik horses in the Ooijpolder near Nijmegen

Day 13 Nijmegen - Germany - Nijmegen (22 km)

Your final day is a nice circular walk from Nijmegen. Nijmegen is surrounded by all sorts of nature areas, which makes this walk a wonderful end to this tour. The walk starts along an old castle tower and an old city wall. Then along an ancient road, you’ll slowly exit town. Then the woods and hills await you, so it’s up and down for a while until you reach the Devil’s mountain, the highest point of the entire tour (76 meter above sealevel). Then it’s downhill into Germany, where you’ll walk along a small lake. Because we want you to end in Nijmegen, it is quickly back into Holland, and into the nature area Ooijpolder, where polders, meadows, and rugged nature alternate. You’ll walk on an old dike, and then on some nice paths through this area, before arriving near the river Waal again. You’ll follow this between nature and beaches in the direction of Nijmegen. You may meet some Konik horses here. Finally the route heads underneath the characteristic bridge across the river Waal back into town and back to your hotel.
Church in Nijmegen

One of the churches in Nijmegen in the city center

Day 14 Nijmegen and home

After waking up you may spend some time in Nijmegen, maybe have a coffee next to the river somewhere or do some shopping in the old town center or visit one of the museums of Nijmegen, but then it is the end of the tour, and it is time to head home or to your next destination.

Advice for extension

The trek can be extended in many different places. You can start relaxed with a beach day in Scheveningen. You may take an extra day to look around in towns like Delft, Rotterdam or Nijmegen, where there is plenty to do. You may take an extra day in Schoonhoven and rent a bicycle to tour through the green heart, or stop in Leerdam, after the longest walk of the tour and visit the national Glass blowers museum. In Wijk bij Duurstede you may take a boat tour on one of the many rivers, or take the bus to the old town of Utrecht. From Wageningen you may visit the nearby zoo with its famous panda’s. In short there are many options to do on an extension day, but a day of doing nothing may be very attractive as well… We can give you advise on your extensions as well.

Prices extension:
City 2 persons 1 person
Scheveningen €55,- €75,-
Delft €75,- €120,-
Rotterdam €60- €90,-
Lekkerkerk €55,- €95,-
Schoonhoven €65,- €95-
Leerdam €65,- €75,-
Culemborg €45,- €70,-
Wijk bij Duurstede €45,- €60,-
Amerongen €65,- €90,-
Wageningen €55,- €80,-
Elst €50,- €77,50
Nijmegen €55,- €90,-

The prices are including taxes and breakfast.

 

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