Would you like to see wildlife, many different landscapes, large sand drifts? The Veluwe is the place to be.
The Veluwe is situated in the province of Gelderland and spans an area of about 100,0000 ha. Clockwise, it is enclosed by the city of Hattem in the north, Apeldoorn, Dieren, Arnhem, Wageningen, Ede, Barneveld and Harderwijk.
Although there are many forests, the landscape is very diverse: woodland, heath, small lakes and large sand drifts. The Veluwe has two national parks which are called National Park Hoge Veluwe,
and National Park Veluwezoom,
www.natuurmonumenten.nl/nationaal-park-veluwezoom (Dutch only).
Origin of the Veluwe
The Veluwe is the largest push moraine complex in the Netherlands, stretching 60 km from north to south and reaching heights up to 110 metres. It was formed during the ice age, about 200,000 years ago. Glaciers pushed the sand deposits in the Rhine and Maas Delta sideways, creating the hills, which now form most of the Veluwe.
Flora and Fauna
There are both coniferous and deciduous forests on the Veluwe, and some 500 different plant species can be found. The region is also home to many different species of animals, such as wild boars, several species of deer, several species of snakes, foxes, and badgers.
There are wild animal tracks, gentle streams, vast heathlands, and you may even see a shepherd with his flock in amongst the changing landscapes.
The Veluwe offers many opportunities for recreation. Campsites and bungalow parks are the most preferred places to stay and there are more than 500 of them. Besides the natural beauty of the area, there are four zoos, over 50 museums and the royal palace Het Loo at Apeldoorn.
The Veluwe is perhaps the finest and largest cycling area of the Netherlands. Forests, moors and sand drifts. You cycle through beautiful villages, the river valleys of the Rhine and IJssel or the Veluwe lakes. Cycling through this beautiful area is pure enjoyment now that a unique web of bicycle routes has been completed in the form of the Veluwe bicycle route network.
The Veluwe is also a fantastic area for walking. The ever-changing landscape, the tranquillity and space, as well as the rich cultural history make walking in the Veluwe a fascinating experience.
The two national parks National Park Hoge Veluwe and National Park Veluwezoom, are worth a visit. They both offer possibilities to walk, cycle and see wildlife. National Park Veluwezoom is much rougher than National Park Hoge Veluwe. It also has several lookouts, the most well known is called Posbank.
The highest point in this National Park is 110 metres above sea level.
It is best to start your visit to the Veluwe at one of the National Parks. A visit to the Veluwe can be a day trip or but you can also stay a couple of days to allow more time to explore the area.
Suggested day trip:
In the morning, you can visit either the National Park Hoge Veluwe or the National Park Veluwezoom. You can have lunch at the visitor centre. In the afternoon you can either visit the other National Park or visit the city of Elburg, which was once a fishing and trading place at the Zuiderzee (now called IJsselmeer, as it is not a sea any more). It is also known as a city with a fortress.
Two or more days:
In the north of the Veluwe you find the Veluwemeer, a lake that offers a lot of possibilities such as surfing, sailing, swimming and making cruises.
In Putten, there is a museum farm called Mariahoeve, www.mariahoeveputten.nl/museum (Dutch only), which dates back from 1907. Everything in the farm looks as in those days. There are several places on the Veluwe where you can see a shepherd with his sheep leaving in the morning or coming back in the afternoon.
You can read Dutch websites in English using Google translate, www.google.com/translate. It will not always give a perfect translation, but it will give you an idea of what the text is about.
National Park Hoge Veluwe:
National Park Veluwezoom: www.natuurmonumenten.nl/nationaal-park-veluwezoom (Dutch only).
Tourist site for the Veluwe: www.theveluwe.com
Elburg: www.vvvelburg.nl (Dutch only)
Farm Mariahoeve: www.mariahoeveputten.nl/museum (Dutch only)
Images by Genoveva Geppaart
Map from plzcdn.com