Netherlands

Goeree Overflakkee: visiting the tulips in the Netherlands for free

Yes, the tulip season in the Netherlands has started again! The famous Keukenhof (Garden of Europe), the big tourist attraction with its tulip fields, has been open again since 21 March and will close its doors again on May 19. In that short period, almost 1,5 million visits the colorful tulip fields. That’s a lot of people. And it’s quite an expensive trip. So how about visiting the tulip fields in the Netherlands for free and without the crowds? Go to this secret spot: the island of Goeree-Overflakkee, close to Rotterdam.

Tulpen | Tulips | Goeree-Overflakkee | Nederland | Netherlands | The Orange Backpack
Tulpen | Tulips | Goeree-Overflakkee | Nederland | Netherlands | The Orange Backpack
Tulpen | Tulips | Goeree-Overflakkee | Nederland | Netherlands | The Orange Backpack

About the tulip fields

Many tulip farmers are based at Goeree-Overflakkee. I have been told that 10% of Dutch tulips come from this field! When the tulip fields start flowering from the end of March to the end of May, the island is transformed into a colorful paradise. Endless fields with tulips in all colors stretch out in front of you in the Dutch landscape!  

This spectacle is one of the best-kept secrets of the locals. Dutch photographers and locals have been able to find the beauty of nature at this Dutch island for some time, while tourists head off to Keukenhof in large numbers every year. We’d choose Goeree Overflakkee over Keukenhof anytime. And it’s even for free, as the tulip fields are just all over the island at the tulip farms.

You can stop just anywhere at a tulip farm and marvel at this stunning sight. Make a photo – or more – but remember not to touch and damage the tulips, as this is the main income for the local farmers.

Tulpen | Tulips | Goeree-Overflakkee | Nederland | Netherlands | The Orange Backpack
Tulpen | Tulips | Goeree-Overflakkee | Nederland | Netherlands | The Orange Backpack
Tulpen | Tulips | Goeree-Overflakkee | Nederland | Netherlands | The Orange Backpack

Practical: where and when do you find the tulips?

The island of Goeree-Overflakkee is located in the province of South Holland, just above the islands of Zeeland. It is only an hour’s drive from Rotterdam. You will find the fields in particular areas around the towns of Middelharnis, Oude- and Nieuwe-Tonge and Dirksland.

It is impossible to say exactly where you will find the fields since the farmers cannot use the same piece of land every year. This way they keep the soil fertile. But it will not be difficult to spot the tulip fields. If you drive towards the places mentioned, you will encounter them everywhere. The huge areas of color are of course very striking and there are so many!

The tulips go into the soil around October to show their colors in early spring. You can see the first tulips from the end of March, but they are at its best from mid-April to mid-May.

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Tulpen | Tulips | Goeree-Overflakkee | Nederland | Netherlands | The Orange Backpack
Tulpen | Tulips | Goeree-Overflakkee | Nederland | Netherlands | The Orange Backpack
Tulpen | Tulips | Goeree-Overflakkee | Nederland | Netherlands | The Orange Backpack

This is the best way to visit the tulip fields

Grab the bike! If you visit the Dutch tulips, you naturally do that on the most Dutch means of transport. You can rent bicycles at various places on Goeree-Overflakkee. The bicycle rental in Middelharnis is very handy and well-priced.

Of course, you can rent a normal bike, but how nice is it to take an electric bike, where you see so many elderly people riding today. You can easily cover large distances with it and you will be particularly happy with the pedal assistance if you have the strong sea breeze. We thought it was great fun to cross the landscape along the beautiful tulip fields with an electric bicycle!

You can drive so many beautiful tulip fields in one or two hours – by bike, but of course also by car – but if you have the time: do a nice tulip bike ride! Here you will find a map with a route.