Here is our summary of where to bike, boat, swim, walk, enjoy nature and take your children out to let off steam in the north of Holland.
Six hundred and fifty hectares of ‘recreation’ land, two thirds of which is under water. Includes beaches, scuba diving platform, an adventure- and water-playground, a harbour, nature reserve.
North of Alkmaar. Includes bike and walking trails, a fresh-water lake with beaches, forest, reed banks and a nature trail. Good for biking, jogging, a day out with children, nature-lovers and water sports fans.
Between Amsterdam-Noord, Zaandam, Hoorn and the Markermeer. Peaceful, bucolic landscape. Farming is dairy-focussed so plenty of cows. Includes several nature reserves and recreation spaces. Features open grass polders with reed banks, and traditional farm and village houses. Popular biking, walking and boating area.
Alkmaarder- en Uitgeestermeer
Countryside located in the heart of Noord-Holland, between Alkmaar and Haarlem. Situated alongside a lake are natural spaces (Dorregeest, De Hoorne, Uiterdam, De Woudhaven, Zwaansmeer and the island Pannekoek) with beaches, relaxing- and playgrounds and a camping ground. Several walking trails cross a beautiful polder landscape, with canoe routes across the lake. Bike trail ‘pontjesroute’ is recommended.
Between Amsterdam, Haarlem and Velsen. Almost 3000 hectares of greenery, nature and tranquillity. This is where you can enjoy the typically Dutch veenweidegebieden (peatlands). Monuments, parks, playing-fields, a climbing wall, a ski-slope. ‘The’ place for modern forms of outside entertainment such as the annual Dance Valley.
Amstelland is the green belt between Amstelveen and the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal. Includes beaches, play facilities for kids, horse trails, a golf course, nature walks.
For detailed information and route maps visit:
www.recreatienoordholland.nl (in Dutch)
Translated from the Dutch language by David van Bakergem.