The Netherlands is known for so many things: windmills, clogs, tulips, dykes, bikes and very tall people. It’s unique; totally unlike any of its European neighbours. For a start, a lot of its land is below sea level and it’s very very flat. The Dutch are lovers of motorhome rental and campervan hire which means there are a huge number of sites with great facilities all over the country; they are also some of the friendliest and most liberal people in Europe so if you’re looking at spending some time here you will be made most welcome.
The Netherlands has an unlimited amount of interesting places to visit, from cities such as Amsterdam with its canals and coffee shops (if you think these are where you would bring your mum for a mid morning cake and a nice drink, do some research!), Delft; famous for its pottery, and Medieval Utrecht. Then there are the areas of countryside full of sheep, National Parks, lakes and sandy coast; for a small nation it really is jam packed.
Dutch is the charming national language of the Netherlands with most people speaking the other official language Frisian. The Dutch are great linguists, so you will find that German, French and of course English are widely spoken. They can even combine all four languages in to same conversation, depending on what emotion they want to convey, brilliant!
Good to know.
The main roads in the Netherlands are wide and well maintained. The rules of the road and markings are pretty much standard throughout Europe, with just a few exceptions and watch out for all those bikes. The urban roads through towns and villages although well maintained can be rather tiresome, full of speed ramps, chicanes and knee high black and white anti parking poles, not good for the paintwork.
Speed limits are 50 or sometimes 30km/h in built up areas, 80km/h outside of the town, and 100/120 km/h on motorways. There are heavy fines for exceeding the speed limit; take special care when you see a sign saying ‘Trajectcontrole’ which indicates an automatic average speed check area.
Avoid taking your motorhome rental or campervan hire vehicle into the city centres, especially Amsterdam and The Hague, as the streets are extremely narrow and parking is a nightmare. If you see yellow lines painted on the pavement the general rule is keep going and don’t be tempted to stop or park.
Filling stations along the main roads are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and except major credit card; some unmanned stations will also have machines that will accept cash.
For information on the Aire de Service and campsites visit the link below which gives detailed stopover locations for motorhome rental and campervan hire vehicles. This page is in Dutch but a translation tool will easily change it into something you can understand. http://www.campervriendelijk.nl/ Click on the tab that says camper or camperplaatsen and then Nederland. This will then bring up a searchable area for sites and facilities.
Where do you start? The Netherlands is jam packed with museums, beautiful cities, long unspoilt beaches, and national parks; the old cliché ‘something for everyone’ is very apt here. If you’re travelling in a motorhome rental or campervan hire you can cover the areas that interest you most, and in such a short list there will always be places that have to be left out, but here goes.
Visitors with motorhome rental or campervan hire vehicles to the Netherlands won’t encounter the same problems as those travelling through the mountains of Italy, or the bends of Austria. Here, the main roads are long, straight and you can predict the weather up ahead because you can see for miles. The best road trips will probably be those that are particularly geared to your particular area of interest such as flowers, food or art, stopping off at some of the famous places along the way. Here are just a couple of examples.
The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated places in the world, so wherever you go, being totally alone is probably quite rare. However, there are places where it is possible to get away from the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet. Some of these places don’t allow motorised transport, so motorhome rental and campervan hire vehicles will have to remain outside, you can always hire a bike to get around.
Amsterdam is one of those cities that you could visit time and time again and still see something completely different each time. There are great buildings along the canal sides, café’s and bars crammed into the squares, museums, bikes, trams; the place is heaving with locals and tourists and yet it feels safe and fun. There is simply nowhere else like this!
Rotterdam or ‘Manhattan on the Maas’ as the locals think of it, is a vibrant and lively city with great architecture, acres of museums and art galleries and even better shopping opportunities. It’s famous across the world as being one of the world’s biggest ports, and despite its 650 years of history it’s a really trendy place to visit.
‘The biggest village in Europe’, that’s the nickname for Den Haag or The Hague. This beautiful historic city lies behind the dunes in the north of Holland and has regal and legal connections. Outside the city there are beaches, famous cities and towns famous for their cheese industry; making The Hague a great place to visit.
Zeeland translated into English literally means sea land, and that’s what it is; an area of peninsulas and islands connected by dams and bridges. This area is particularly flat, so if you leave your campervan hire or motorhome rental on site and hire a bike, you will discover some wonderful cycling terrain.
Bordering Belgium to the south, Germany to the east, and the North Sea to the north and west, a large area of the Netherlands has been reclaimed from the sea and is below sea level. This flat land is cross crossed with rivers, dykes, canals and the fertile reclaimed land known as polders. There are also the beaches on the North Sea coast, the forests of Arnham and the bulb fields to the west, the central lakes and some long and impressive coastal sand dunes.
The Netherlands beaches are to the north and west facing the North Sea; this may not sound too ‘exotic’, but if you are looking for some un-crowded beaches that aren’t packed with tourists; this is the place to come. The Dutch love their coastal region, so you will find plenty sites suitable for motorhome rental and campervan hire. Here in the Netherlands beach doesn’t just mean coastal, there are also lake beaches to discover too. Here’s just a few of the best coastal beaches in the region.