The Netherlands is home to the most unique nature houses, cottages and cabins to experience Dutch nature and countryside at its best. Because our home country is much more than just the city of Amsterdam with its famous canals and big tourist attractions. The best way to explore the Netherlands off the beaten track? Find a unique place to stay outside of the big cities and relax and unwind while uncovering the most stunning places to visit. As locals, we’ve stayed at many unique nature houses and holiday homes around our home country and we can tell you exactly where to go. Continue reading to learn more about the most special nature houses in the Netherlands.
Read more: 10 unique hidden gems in the Netherlands and 10 best things to do in the Netherlands according to locals.
15 special nature houses in the Netherlands
#1 Scandinavian Lavvu
Sint-Michielsgestel, Brabant | Current prices and availability | 2-3 guests | This cabin should definitely be on your bucket list for your trip to the Netherlands, as it’s one of the most beautiful nature houses you will find around the country. The unique cabin has a Scandinavian design with a round gabled roof, beamed ceiling and lots of wood. This romantic tiny house has an outdoor shower, wood-burning stove, sauna and hot tub. It’s the perfect place to relax and unwind, while exploring the south of the country.
#2 Medieval castle in the Dutch Achterhoek
Vorden, Gelderland | Current prices and availability | 6 guests | The ten-year-old in you will probably be more than excited to stay in this authentic medieval castle. The monumental building is located in the east of the country in an area called the ‘Achterhoek’. Castle Vorden dates back to the thirteen century, offering you an authentic royal experience. The castle has three guest rooms on the third floor and you can only reach them with a spiral staircase. You’re free to roam around the castle during your stay, exploring the fully furnished rooms, vaults, towers and secret passageways. As the castle is located in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, there’s plenty to do and see in nature. Or you could just stay at the castle and walk around the beautiful castle gardens and forests.
#3 Cardboard eco cottage Wikkelhouse
Noorden, Zuid-Holland | Current prices and availability | 2 guests | The Wikkelhouse is a unique Dutch design to inspire people to live more sustainably. The modular tiny house is constructed with cardboard only, covered with a waterproof coating. There are a few of these lightweight eco houses around the Netherlands, this one being constructed on a private property on an island close to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. It is only 35 m² and has room for two guests. The waterfront view and location in a nature reserve make this the perfect nature house for your stay.
#4 Charming white church in Groningen
Zijldijk, Groningen | Current prices and availability | 2 guests | In one of the most northern villages in the country, this cute white church has been converted into a holiday home. The church was built in 1886, but is now fully equiped to house two guests on their travels, including a kitchen and bathroom. The nature house is surrounded by a beautiful private garden, including a vegetable garden where you can pick your own vegetables and herbs to prepare dinner. The UNESCO protected Dutch Wadden Sea is just around the corner and so is the small German island Borkum, the historical towns of Appendam or Groningen and the beautiful Dutch nature.
#5 Authentic Dutch windmill near Amsterdam
Abcoude, Utrecht | Current prices and availability | 6 guests | Visiting the famous Dutch windmills should definitely be on your bucket list for your visit to the Netherlands. But how about staying in one? The Mondriaan Mill near Amsterdam is an authentic Dutch windmill from 1874. It is named after the famous Dutch painter Mondriaan who painted this beautiful mill on the river Gein many times. The mill has three floors with three bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and bathroom. The old beamed ceilings and beautiful views make this a unique nature house!
#6 Unique treehouse cabin
Ruinen, Drenthe | Current prices and availability | 6 guests | Have you ever dreamed of living in a treehouse? That childhood dream will come true when staying in this stunning treehouse cabin in the northeast of the Netherlands. It has three bedrooms, accommodating up to six guests, a wood stove and even a private patio with a hot tub. Bathing high up between the trees is a unique bucket list experience to cross off your list at this nature house. The treehouse is located on a small holiday park, surrounded by three nature reserves Dwingelderveld, Drents-Friese Wold and Wieden-Weerribben. You can only book this unique place to stay in the winter season, when the rest of the park is closed and you can fully enjoy nature at its best.
#7 Unique Happy Island near Amsterdam
Oudemeer, Noord-Holland | Current prices and availability | 2-3 guests | If you are looking for a unique place to stay near Amsterdam, Happy Island in Oude Meer is where you want to go. This private island has an old oil boiler that has been converted into a comfortable and colorful holiday home. Although you are close to Schiphol Airport and can even see the control tower in the distance, Happy Island will make you feel far away from the busy city life, as soon you leave the mainland and row your boat to your island house. You’ll have your own rowing boat during your stay, and there are canoes available as well, creating the possibility to explore the nature reserve around the island from the water.
Continue reading: we wrote a blog post about our stay at this unique island cabin near Amsterdam.
#8 Back to basic raft cabin
Weesp, Noord-Holland | Current prices and availability | 4 guests | Staying on the water? This raft cabin on the river Vecht is the perfect place to enjoy Dutch nature. You can reach your raft with a boat or by foot on land. It feels as if you’re staying in the middle of nowhere, but the small town of Weesp is actually just around the corner. The raft is only 13 m², but it has facilities to cook, and it can accommodate up to four guests!
#9 Bridge house on the Amsterdam canals
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland | Current prices and availability | 2 guests | Amsterdam is famous for its beautiful canals, so what could be more fun than spending the night on the water? Sweets Hotel offers this option in its bridge houses spread throughout the city. With these tiny houses spread over all neighborhoods of Amsterdam, Sweets Hotel is the smallest, but also largest hotel in the city. Some of those bridge houses are located a bit outside of the busy city center, like this nature house at the Buiksloterdraaibrug. The tiny house on the water has a Neighbourhood Guide, helping you explore its picturesque surroundings with historical houses, an eighteenth-century windmill and a cycle route.
Continue reading: we wrote a blog post about our stay in one of the bridge houses of Sweets Hotel.
#10 Old water tower ‘Torentje van Trips’
Tripscompagnie, Groningen | Current prices and availability | 8 guests | If you’re traveling with a party of eight, you’ll love this unique place to stay in the far north of the Netherlands. An old water mill between lush green fields has been converted into a holiday home for up to eight guests. The tower offers stunning views of the Groningen landscape. As there are no other buildings in the area, you’ll get to enjoy both sunrise and sunset from the old water tower.
#11 Island cabin in Rotterdam
Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland | Current prices and availability | 2 guests | If you can only reach your cabin by boat, you know this will be the perfect place to relax. This luxurious island cabin is in the big city of Rotterdam, but at the beautiful lakes north of the bustling city center. The cabin is beautifully decorated with modern furniture, a wood stove, a big skylight and a home cinema. You’ll get your own pedal boat to come to the island and you can rent an electric motorboat to explore the Rotterdam lakes during your stay.
#12 Award-winning design cabin ‘Merry-Go-Round’
Ruinen, Drenthe | Current prices and availability | 2-4 guests | This design cabin is a true work of art, designed by artist Ira Koers and awarded in 2009 with a Dutch Design Award. The cabin is named Merry-Go-Round, as it has the same typical corridor circling around the house. The unique cabin design doesn’t work with rooms, but it has niches with different functions. The colorful design is housed on a quiet holiday resort in Drenthe, on the edge of national park Dwingelderveld.
#13 Nature house in an Amsterdam butterfly garden
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland | Current prices and availability | 2 guests | You don’t have to book a mainstream hotel in the city center when visiting Amsterdam. How about this cute nature house in a more off-the-beaten-track part of the Dutch capital? It is a great base to visit Amsterdam. Picturesque villages like Zaandam, Broek op Waterland and Volendam are nearby as well. And so are the famous windmills of Zaanse Schans. This tiny design cabin was placed in a butterfly garden. Small details in the cabin refer to those butterflies and the sustainable way it was built will remind you of nature as well. The nature house has an outdoor shower and composting toilet. It is therefore only available in spring and summer.
#14 Finnish Iglu Cabin
Oldeberkoop, Friesland | Current prices and availability | 2 guests | This unique nature house is hard to describe. Its unique design with wooden walls is extremely striking. The unique Iglu cabin in Friesland comes with its private sauna as well, also housed in such a remarkable cottage. The small cabin has its own garden and terrace, is fully equipped and is located in Frisian nature.
#15 Tiny house on wheels
Kerkwerve, Zeeland | Current prices and availability | 2 guests | Some cabins in this list are quite tiny, but if you want to experience a real tiny house on wheels, this beautifully designed nature house should be your choice. It is located in the most southwestern part of the Netherlands: Zeeland, known for its beautiful beaches and islands. The tiny house on wheels is powered by solar panels, has a rainwater system and a composting toilet, making your stay the ultimate tiny house experience.
We wrote this blog in collaboration with nature.house, a Dutch platform selecting the best cottages and cabins in the Netherlands. We already referred a lot to their Dutch equivalent natuurhuisje.nl, as we are big fans of their platform and their sustainable mission. Nature.house – and its Dutch sister platform – tries to make a contribution to nature. Until August 2020, trees were planted in Africa with each booking, and now nature.house is working together with a number of nature projects in the Netherlands, such as Staatsbosbeheer and Vogelbescherming.