In the north-eastern part of The Netherlands you will find the province of Drenthe. It is perfect for a weekend trip or holiday, for it offers modern design, beautiful hikes and extensive nature. Or learn about Drenthe’s history with 5,000-year-old buildings and a former Nazi camp from the Second World War. These are the 6 highlights of Drenthe and the reasons for a trip to this unique province.
6 best things to do in Drenthe in the Netherlands
# 1 Stay in a special place to sleep
How about a teepee, bus, dome or cabin? Or a modern hiker’s cabin or design house? And of course in the middle of the woods and the Drenthe landscape. We explored the coolest places to sleep in Drenthe and experienced how such a special house gives the ultimate holiday feeling. Read our extensive blogs about the special tiny houses at Camping BuitenLand or the design huts with a beautiful view of Voscheheugte.
# 2 Explore the national parks
Forests, heaths, sand drifts, pools and lakes: nature in Drenthe is wonderfully versatile. The three national parks are perfect for long hikes or bike rides. The Drents Friese Wold, the Dwingelderveld and the Wieden-Weerribben are nature reserves as national parks. But also outside the parks you will find beautiful places to fully immerse yourself in Dutch nature.
# 3 Camp Westerbork and the observatory
Website | In World War II, Westerbork was used as a transit camp to extermination camps such as Auschwitz and Sobibor. The site of this former camp still tells this story. There is a museum, but the old camp site with railways, barracks and monuments is free to enter. Background information is provided on signs and speakers. The most impressive monument with the countless stars is in the background the telescopes that together form the largest observatory in the world. The link between the two types of stars is nicely done. Ahead of the telescopes is the Milky Way path with an explanation of our galaxy.
# 4 The characteristic village of Orvelte
Orvelte is said to be one of the most beautiful villages in the Netherlands. The village is full of monuments that could date from the nineteenth century. From an authentic blacksmith shop to characteristic farms to cobblestone roads. The village shows how old crafts were once carried out and you can take a tour with the horse tram. Real old Dutch entertainment and that is so popular that you can not even enter the village by car. There are special parking spaces and markets for visitors are organized.
# 5 Take a walk at high altitudes
Website | For cool mountain hikes you should not be in our flat Netherlands, but in Drenthe Staatsbosbeheer has made a unique alternative. This Boomkroonpad (roughly translates to Treetop path) is the most beautiful walking route in the Netherlands and runs through the treetops at a great height. Also nearby you can walk in the Hondsrug nature reserve, along the dolmens, forests, fens and heath.
# 6 The age-old dolmens
The dolmens in Drenthe are perhaps the most mysterious buildings in the Netherlands. They were built 5,000 years ago from huge boulders from the Ice Age. It must have taken enormous manpower to build the structures. It was once thought that they must therefore have been made by giants. You can see 47 of the 52 dolmens along the N34. To attract visitors, the road is also known as the Hunebed Highway. The largest dolmen is the D27 and can be found in Borger.