Heathland on the Veluwe, heathland dry with in the middle a green coniferious bush
Netherlands,  Road Trips

North Veluwe Road Trip: Forest, Sand Drifts and Heathlands

The Veluwe is a beautiful area in the Netherlands. This North Veluwe Road Trip showcases all the Veluwe has to offer. But there’s more to be seen on the route such as Palace ‘t Loo and a beautiful fortified city. Museums, forests, sand drifts and heathlands are along the route.

Forest at Royal domain Het Loo, trees still without leaves. Some branches on the ground and leaves and grass
Forest at Royal domain Het Loo

North Veluwe Road Trip

We followed the route set out by the ANWB, which you can find here in Dutch. There’s a map provided on the site. The following towns and cities are included:

  • Hoog Soeren
  • Apeldoorn
  • Vaassen
  • Emst
  • Epe
  • ‘t Harde
  • Elburg
  • Doornspijk
  • Nunspeet
  • Vierhouten
  • Elspeet
  • Uddel
  • Garderen

Length: 87 kilometers/54 miles

Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours.

Town by Town Itinerary

Let’s discuss all the beauty this one-day road trip has on offer. It’s a lot. A totally different area and scenery than the Flower route. There are no flower fields on this route, but plenty of other beautiful nature. A few days later we drove the Lek and Linge Route.

Hoog Soeren

A small village close to Royal domain Het Loo. The Royal domain takes up a large part of the North Veluwe area. There are several parking lots from where hiking paths set out. The Royal domain has lots of game and birds. It consists of hardwood, coniferous forest and heathlands.

Forest at Royal domain Het Loo, a walking path in the middle going through the forest
Forest at Royal domain Het Loo
The road through the forest at Royal domain Het Loo,
The road through the forest at Royal domain Het Loo

Apeldoorn

Apeldoorn is one of the oldest vacation towns in the Netherlands. It’s in the middle of the Veluwe. Entrances to De Hoge Veluwe National Park and National Park de Veluwezoom are nearby. To the North of Apeldoorn is Palace Het Loo, which was the Summer residence of the Royal family and is now a museum. Apeldoorn also has Apenheul, a zoo with only monkeys in it.

Vaassen

Vaassen is a large town with a beautiful 16th century water castle, namely De Cannenburch. Which is truly a beautiful building in Renaissance style.

Water castle De Cannenburgh, seen from a bit farther away, with a small white gate in front, a road running to it
Water castle De Cannenburgh
A path near the water castle, with willows on both sides
A path near the water castle

Emst

A small town on the Veluwe, which is close to the Kröller-Müller museum at De Hoge Veluwe National Park.

Epe

A large town in the North of the Veluwe, surrounded by nature.

‘t Harde

A military town surrounded with the Oldebroekse Heide and Doornspijkse Heide. Two beautiful heathland areas.

Elburg

A small fortified city and fishing town, on what used to be the Zuiderzee. There are several beautiful old buildings still preserved that can be visited. There are several museums in Elburg, such as Zandverhalen (bible stories from sand sculptures) and museum Elburg.

Doornspijk

One of the oldest villages in North-West Veluwe. The town is mostly based on the agricultural community.

Nunspeet

Nunspeet is a town close to the Veluwe lake and surrounded by forest and meres (shallow lakes). You can get more information on the nature here at the Nature activity center Zandenbos. During day light you can follow a path through the forest by car.

The road through Het Zandbos, a road (not wide) dividing the forest with trees and grass on either side
The road through Het Zandbos

Vierhouten

A small village that is surrounded by 4 forests, from which its name probably derives.

Elspeet

Elspeet is famous for its sheep’s herd, which can be found grazing on the heathlands in Summer time.

Heathland on the Veluwe, heathland dry with in the middle a green coniferious bush
Heathland on the Veluwe
Heathland on the Veluwe
Heathland on the Veluwe

Uddel

A town close to the Uddeler lake, which is perfect for hikes around it or in its surroundings.

Garderen

This town on the Veluwe has a climbing park, which has the highest climbing route in the Netherlands at 25 meters high. One of the oldest woods in the Netherlands is here, namely the Speulderbos. Each year from April till December you can visit ‘t Veluws Zandsculpturenfestijn Garderen, with a new theme each year. It’s a display of sand sculptures.

Where to Eat

We drove the road trip Noord Veluwe back in April 2021, when there was still a lockdown. All museums and restaurants were closed. Only take out was allowed. Terraces were also closed.

Gasterij Zondag is the starting and end point of the route. They have delicious apple pie, tea and coffee.

Apple pie, coffee and tea to go placed on a wooden round table
Apple pie, coffee and tea to go
Gasterij Zondag, with tables and benches in front of the restaurant. White colored outside and a tatched roof
Gasterij Zondag

Restaurant Theehuis Uddelermeer has a delicious bun with meat and peanut sauce. It’s also across from the Uddeler lake.

Bun with meat and peanut sauce, placed on a plastic plate
Bun with meat and peanut sauce
Restaurant Theehuis Uddelermeer, as seen from the parking lot, several buildings with thatched roofs
Restaurant Theehuis Uddelermeer

Where to Stay

Hogenboom Vakantieparken De Berkenhorst in Kootwijk has nice cabins, a restaurant and swimming pool.

EuroParcs Bad Hoophuizen in Hulshorst has beautiful holiday rentals near the Veluwe lake with a restaurant, beach club and swimming pool.

When to Visit

The route is beautiful all year long, however in August and September the heathland is in bloom and will have beautiful purple colors. In September, but mostly October the leaves will turn in beautiful yellow, red and brown colors.

Hiring a Car and Airports

We drove the route with our own car. When hiring a car, we have excellent experiences with Hertz, Alamo and Stern.

When arriving by plane before embarking on this road trip: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, located 82 kilometers/51 miles from the starting point. Lelystad Airport is 35 kilometers/22 miles from Gasterij Zondag. International Airport Teuge is 26 kilometers/16 miles away.

Tips

  • Most hiking paths start at the parking lots near the roads.  
  • There are many biking paths in these nature areas, so hiring a bike would be perfect.

This North Veluwe Road Trip is Perfect

It shows a beautiful part of the Netherlands.    

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