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Family Travel Guide to Veluwe, Holland: Top Attractions and Activities

joop rakhorst  By Joop Rakhorst

(January 19, 2024)

Exploding with rich history, mesmerizing landscapes and a platter of family-friendly activities to choose from, Veluwe in Holland is no less than a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Nestled among the golden green Dutch meadows, interspersed by fairy-tale like forests and sparkling lakes, this part of Holland offers not only an idyllic backdrop for your next family vacay but a trove of unforgettable experiences. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, culture buff or adrenaline junkie - this Family Travel Guide to Veluwe has got you covered as we zero-in on its top attractions and activities! Buckle-up for a tour beyond the tulip fields as we delve into the heart of rural Holland that's set to captivate all ages.

Our Veluwe (Holland) Travel Guide for Families offers valuable information and recommendations on family-friendly activities, attractions, and accommodations in the region. From camping sites and outdoor adventures to cultural sites and museums, this guide aims to help families plan a memorable and enjoyable trip to Veluwe.

Exploring Veluwe Region in Holland

 holland veluwe

The Veluwe region in Holland is a hidden gem, offering a rich tapestry of natural beauty and cultural attractions. If you're looking for a family-friendly destination that combines the great outdoors with historical charm, Veluwe has it all. This expansive region features stunning landscapes of forests, heaths, sand drifts, and meres. Whether you enjoy hiking or cycling, there are ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. The national parks of Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom offer well-maintained trails where you can explore at your own pace.

In addition to its natural wonders, the Veluwe boasts splendid old towns and magnificent castles and manors. Apeldoorn, with its picturesque old center and the grandeur of Het Loo palace, is a must-visit. Here, you can stroll through the beautiful gardens and discover historical artifacts. For animal lovers, the nearby Apenheul animal park is a delightful experience. Arnhem, the capital of Gelderland, is another city worth exploring. With its historic center and attractions such as the Netherlands Open Air Museum and Burgers' Zoo, there's something for everyone.

How to Get There

Getting to the Veluwe region is relatively easy thanks to its central location within the Netherlands. If you're traveling from abroad, flying into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is often the most convenient option. From there, you can either rent a car or take public transportation to reach the region.

If driving is your preferred mode of transport, the excellent road network in Holland makes it straightforward to navigate your way to Veluwe. The journey from Amsterdam to Apeldoorn takes approximately one hour by car.

Public transportation is also a viable choice, with regular train services connecting major cities like Amsterdam and Arnhem to Veluwe. From Apeldoorn or Arnhem, you can easily reach other towns within the region using local buses or taxis.

Once you've arrived in Veluwe, it's recommended to have your own transportation for ease of exploring the various attractions and getting around the expansive region. Renting a car is a popular option and allows for flexibility in your itinerary. Alternatively, if you prefer a more eco-friendly approach or enjoy an active lifestyle, cycling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. The Veluwe features a 40-kilometer long cycling path that runs through picturesque routes.

Now that you know how to get to Veluwe and have an overview of what this charming region has to offer, let's dive deeper into the top attractions and activities awaiting you and your family.

On-the-go: Traveling around by Car or Bike

When exploring Veluwe, Holland with your family, traveling by car or bike provides flexibility and convenience. With its well-maintained road system, driving allows you to reach various destinations at your own pace. Imagine embarking on a scenic drive through charming villages, vibrant tulip fields, and lush forests. You can easily visit multiple attractions in a single day while enjoying the breathtaking landscapes that Veluwe has to offer. Alternatively, if you prefer a greener and more active approach, biking is an excellent option. The region boasts an extensive network of cycling paths that crisscross through picturesque countryside and national parks. Hop on your bikes as a family and embark on unforgettable adventures discovering hidden gems along the way.

Ecological Diversity

The Veluwe is renowned for its rich ecological diversity, boasting a variety of habitats that serve as homes to diverse plant and animal species. Some notable features include:

The vast forests on the Veluwe, including coniferous and mixed forests, provide shelter for red deer, wild boars, and foxes.

Heathlands, such as those in the Hoge Veluwe National Park, are crucial for various bird species like the nightjar and tree pipit.

The Veluwe also hosts rare plant species, such as the black grouse, which depends on the heathland areas.

History of Nature Conservation

The origins of nature conservation on the Veluwe can be traced back to the early 20th century. In 1909, the first part of the Hoge Veluwe National Park was established by the Kröller-Müller couple, with a strong emphasis on preserving natural beauty.

During the '30s and '40s, further efforts were made to protect nature, designating additional areas as nature reserves to preserve the unique flora and fauna.

In subsequent decades, various nature conservation organizations and local communities have been involved in initiatives to conserve the Veluwe, focusing on sustainable forest management and preserving biodiversity.

Recent Developments in Sustainable Tourism

The Veluwe has witnessed a surge in sustainable tourism initiatives in recent years. Accommodations are adopting eco-friendly practices, such as energy-efficient amenities and waste reduction.

Educational programs have been launched to raise awareness among visitors about the vulnerability of the local nature and how they can contribute to sustainable tourism.

Cycling and hiking routes have been redesigned to ensure minimal disruption to fragile ecosystems while still providing visitors the opportunity to experience the stunning nature.

Top Family-Friendly Attractions in Veluwe

Veluwe, Holland offers a wide range of family-friendly attractions that cater to all ages and interests. Immerse yourself in nature at the Hoge Veluwe National Park, where you can explore vast landscapes by foot, bike, or even spot wildlife from the comfort of your car. For a unique experience, visit the Kröller-Müller Museum located within the park, showcasing an extensive collection of modern art and sculptures.

If your family enjoys adventure and thrills, head to Apenheul Primate Park where you can observe over 300 primates roaming freely in natural habitats. Watch these fascinating creatures swing from trees and interact with each other up close.

For a dose of history and culture, pay a visit to Paleis Het Loo, a magnificent palace once inhabited by Dutch royalty. Explore the opulent rooms filled with royal artifacts and stroll through the manicured gardens surrounding the palace.

Complete your family-friendly itinerary with a trip to Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem. This expansive zoo showcases a variety of habitats, from tropical rainforests to vast savannas. Witness exotic animals up close and learn about their natural habitats and conservation efforts.

Whether you choose to immerse yourself in nature, explore art and history, or observe fascinating wildlife, Veluwe offers an array of family-friendly attractions that are sure to create lasting memories for you and your loved ones.

History Encapsulated in Veluwe Museums

The Veluwe region in Holland is not just a picturesque landscape of lush forests and serene lakes, but it is also a treasure trove of history that is beautifully encapsulated in its museums. These museums offer visitors a unique opportunity to delve deep into the rich history of the region and explore its cultural heritage. Each museum tells a story, preserving pieces of the past and offering a glimpse into the way of life that has shaped the Veluwe through the centuries.

The Kröller-Müller Museum, for instance, stands as a testament to the passion and vision of Helene Kröller-Müller, an avid art collector. Nestled within the Hoge Veluwe National Park, this museum boasts an impressive collection of modern art including works by famous artists such as Vincent van Gogh. Stepping inside this museum is like stepping into a time capsule, allowing visitors to witness the evolution of art and appreciate the profound impact it has on society.

Another significant museum in the region is the Netherlands Open Air Museum, located near Arnhem. Here, history comes alive as visitors are transported back in time to experience various aspects of Dutch life throughout different time periods. From authentic reconstructed houses to interactive exhibits showcasing traditional crafts and customs, this open-air museum offers a hands-on journey through centuries of history.

A visit to Het Loo Palace takes you on a fascinating journey through royal history. Once serving as a summer residence for Dutch monarchs, this palace is now home to an impressive collection of historical artifacts and artwork. Explore lavishly decorated rooms, stroll through meticulously manicured gardens, and gain insights into royal traditions that have shaped the course of Dutch history.

The Veluwe's museums not only offer snapshots of individual moments in history but combine their collections together to chronicle Veluwe's past as a whole.

Cultural and Historical Spots

The Veluwe region in Holland is not just known for its natural beauty, but also for its rich history and cultural heritage. Exploring the cultural and historical spots in Veluwe can be an enriching experience for the whole family. From splendid old towns to impressive museums, there is something for every history enthusiast.

Cities like Apeldoorn with its beautiful old center and Het Loo palace offer a glimpse into the past. The palace grounds are adorned with stunning gardens, and inside, you can find historical items that provide insight into the lives of royalty. A visit to Apenheul animal park nearby adds a touch of wildlife to your cultural exploration.

Arnhem, the capital of Gelderland, boasts a historic center where you can wander through charming streets and admire ancient architecture. Don't miss attractions like the Netherlands Open Air Museum, which showcases rural life throughout history, or Burgers' Zoo, a popular destination for families interested in animals and biodiversity.

Now that we've explored some of the cultural and historical spots in Veluwe, it's time to venture into the great outdoors and indulge in exciting activities and experiences.

Outdoor Activities and Experiences

The natural landscapes of Veluwe offer endless opportunities for outdoor adventures that are sure to captivate both young and old alike. Whether you prefer hiking through forests, cycling along picturesque paths, or simply immersing yourself in nature's tranquility, Veluwe has it all.

The national parks of the Veluwe – Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom – boast diverse terrain including forests, heaths, sand drifts, and meres. These vast expanses are perfect for exploring on foot or by bike. In fact, there is a 40-kilometer long cycling path that takes you through the heart of the park, allowing you to witness its stunning beauty up close.

If you're seeking a unique artistic experience, the Kröller-Müller Museum is a must-visit. Located within the Veluwe, this museum houses a large Van Gogh collection and an impressive statue garden. It offers a perfect blend of art and nature that will leave you inspired.

While exploring the outdoors, keep in mind that wildlife encounters are possible in Veluwe. Imagine waking up in your camping tent to find some unexpected guests, like curious deer or mischievous squirrels. These encounters create unforgettable memories for families and provide an opportunity to be close to nature's wonders.

Exploring the outdoor activities and experiences in Veluwe is like embarking on a captivating journey into nature's embrace. Just like a painter uses different strokes to create a masterpiece, Veluwe offers a variety of landscapes and activities to suit every individual's tastes and preferences.

Practical Tips for Family Trip to Veluwe

Planning a family trip to the picturesque region of Veluwe in Holland? Here are some practical tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone:

Memorable Camping Experience in Veluwe

Imagine sitting around the campfire as a family, sharing stories and laughter under the starry night sky. Cooking meals together over an open fire, surrounded by serene nature, can be both exciting and fulfilling. A camping experience in Veluwe allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of this region while creating precious memories with your loved ones. However, it's essential to plan ahead and ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure.

Nature houses, cabins and cottages for a trip to the Netherlands

View all holiday homes in the Veluwe here ⇨