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These nature houses can be found in the surroundings of .
Utrecht is a municipality and one of the largest cities in the Netherlands. The city provides an interesting mix of modern culture and ancient architecture and history, with some buildings dating as far back as the Middle Ages. Utrecht is also known as a catholic religious center of the country for more than 10 centuries. However, there is more to the region than the undoubtedly remarkable historic background.
If you remember the past with nostalgia and dream of a 80s-inspired-holiday, then you should definitely check out our bungalow options. Travel back in time and book a cabin in a holiday park where you can enjoy nature, meet new nature enthusiasts like yourself, and spend the evening singing with your new friends sitting in the garden. All cabins are equipped with cozy sitting areas, as well as all amenities for comfort, even television and internet connection. You can bet that you are going to get a beautiful view of mountain ranges, meadows with flowers, or forests with animals roaming free.
Utrecht’s natural riches
Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park was founded in 2003 and is named after a glacial ridge – part of the park’s landscape. This park area has been naturally created after the last Ice Age, but the sands, rivers and environmental conditions have changed its landscape. This is also one of the biggest forestall areas throughout the Netherlands with mostly oaks and beeches to see. There are many animal species typical for the park like several types of badgers and martens, as well as more than a hundred types of birds, including the beautiful black woodpecker and the bluethroat. Rare plants like the sundew have made a home in the marshes next to the nearby castle of Amerongen.
Although the Netherlands are a relatively flat area, there are places around where small hills or ridges have appeared. The Utrecht hill Ridge is an example of a low sandhill and it is as long as 50 kilometers crossing the province. Although in the past, this area was covered in dense woods, nowadays there are mainly heather and sand drifts, with some exceptions. The river Vecht has been recognized by locals as a favorite recreational area between Utrecht and Amsterdam. In this region you can find parks, castles and large houses with historical values. Many old towns along the river create a 19th century atmosphere, hard to find anywhere else.
Many walking and cycling trails are available on the premises of Heuvelrug National Park. You can also ride a horse across the beautiful forest paths and end the adventure in a nearby restaurant to try some of the best regional dishes – anything with Gouda cheese, or stamppot, hachee or hutspot. The Vecht River with its many man-made lakes and interconnected waterways, has become a popular sailing point. You can ask one of the locals to take you for a ride and tell you about the history of the region, or you can sail on your own if you know how to. Another possibility is to take one of the cruises along the river together with other visitors to the park.
If you decide to rent a bike or you visit with your own, there are a few bike routes to consider. Generally, all of the routes in the area provide a lot in terms of sightseeing, landscapes, culture and history, and some of them even go through fortified towns. There are two specific routes which we feel are a must-take, so we will leave it to you to choose between them. The first route we highly recommend is the Windmill route – this 41 kilometer rounter travels along the river Angste, the town of Gein and the north part of the river Vecht. This area is mainly rural, therefore very peaceful and quiet, but the most interesting part along the way are the mills – draining or regular. There are information boards in front of some of them, allowing you to learn more about the history of the mills’ region and each mill as well.
The other route we loved is the combined route along the country estates and the lakes. This route is a little bit shorter, in case the previous one scared you. You will ride for 36 km on a circuit route with panoramic views of the historic farms and the windmills. On this route you will also go by the famous teahouses and the luxurious estates. A unique way to experience the Utrecht region is to take one of the walking tours with the polder ranger. He is located at Fort Maarsseveen, but the tours he offers are numerous. He is the only polder ranger in the Netherlands and has many stories to share with you. If you are naturally curious and wish to learn a lot about the nature, history and traditions of the Utrecht region, this tour is the perfect way to do that.
Best time to visit
The Netherlands are the most beautiful during spring when all the flowers and plants are blooming and the country is covered in green fields as far as your eyes can see. The weather also is the nicest during this period, with temperatures rarely going over 30° C even on the hottest days. From April the weather starts to warm up significantly through the daytime and it is usually around 20° C. During evenings, often it becomes significantly colder, especially if there is wind. The weather during the early autumn months is also pleasant, however, due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the levels of humidity, rain comes and goes unexpectedly, so make sure to always take a raincoat or an umbrella with you. When travelling to the Netherlands, no matter the season, always wear one additional garment, which is more appropriate for other seasons, as sometimes it can get colder or hotter within an hour or more. It is especially not uncommon during spring for the weather to become very cold and windy all of a sudden.