If you love to see blossoming fruit trees this road trip Zuid-Holland is perfect! The Lek and Linge road trip partly follows the banks of the two rivers the Lek and the Linge. See polders with cows grazing and windmills, but also orchards and fortified towns.
Road Trip Zuid-Holland
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:
Length: 105 kilometers/65 miles
Duration: 4 to 5 hours.
Town by Town Itinerary
Another one-day road trip from the ANWB, in the provinces of Zuid-Holland and Utrecht. Other road trips in Zuid-Holland are The Flower Route and the Tulip Route Holland. If you’re a lover of flower fields and blossoms, then Zuid-Holland is the perfect province for you in Spring time. Expect to see a lot of windmills as well.
A town in the Alblasserwaard (a region surrounded with waterways). Arkel has the river Linge on one side and the Merwede canal on the other side. The town has a former grain mill, the Jan van Arkel.
A small village across from Arkel and Spijk. The Merwede canal ends here in the river Linge.
A village that was founded around the year 1000, next to the river Linge. Since it got flooded a lot, dykes were built around it in around 1100.
Leerdam has the National Glass Museum. In 1765 glass was blown here for the first time. Next to being famous for its glass, the city is also known for the Leerdammer cheese.
Leerdam gained city rights in 1382. It’s in the province of Utrecht. Other attractions in the city are the Hofje van Mevrouw Van Aerden, the Aquazoo Leerdam and a boat tour on the river Linge.
There’s the castle Heukelum or castle Merckenburg, which lays in between Leerdam and Heukelum. The old city walls were covered up, but have been rebuilt in recent years. Heukelum is a cute small city.
A small city that was well fortified with walls, towers and gates. However it wasn’t enough against the army of Karel van Gelre or the French army. The city was known as Caspingium in Roman times. Asperen itself was founded in 983. Asperen gained city rights in the year 1314. Fort Asperen was part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie, a defensive line, built in the 19th century. Now it’s known as KunstFort (ArtFort) and there are all sorts of cultural activities being organized at the fort. It was one of the first forts where this was done.
The small village derives its name from the Diefdijk, a dyke which was part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (New Dutch Water Defense Line). Lots of bunkers can be found along the dyke.
A town in the province of Utrecht. Fort Everdingen was built in the 19th century as part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie.
3400 Years ago the first settlements appeared, where the current city is. However due to floods, the settlements only became permanent around the year 1000. In 1336 Vianen gained city rights. Vianen had a strategically important place, since it was situated on the river Lek. From its numerous fortifications, the city walls and Lek gate have been preserved (and more).
Vianen also has a well-preserved 15th century late Gothic city hall. There’s the Stedelijk Museum in the 17th century Roman-Catholic schuilkerk (hidden church).
This town is in the province of Utrecht on the banks of the river Lek.
A small village named after the polder it’s on.
The town was founded as a settlement around the year 1000. The Merwede canal (which was dugged in 1886) runs along the town.
A small village in between Meerkerk and Ameide. It consists of one road and that is the Broekseweg.
Ameide gained its city rights in 1277. It’s situated on the banks of the river Lek. Ameide was an important harbor during the Dutch Golden Age.
The small city hall dates from 1644, next to this old building there are some beautiful houses dating from the 17th and 18th century.
A small village which brings us back in the province of Zuid-Holland.
The small village is close to Nieuwpoort.
Nieuwpoort is a fortified city, it gained its city rights in 1283. One of the most famous battles of the Eighty Years War was fought here in the year 1600.
The fortifications of Nieuwpoort were part of the Oude Hollandse Waterlinie (Old Dutch Water Defense Line), you can still admire them. Part of the old town is a protected cityscape. The city hall is from 1697 and has a dome turret.
A town which is close to the Ammersche boezem (bossom). There are 4 polder windmills here, they used to pump water out of the polder (till 1965).
This village on the banks of the river Lek has a harbor. Close to Streefkerk you’ll see three hollow post mills and one grain mill on the Beneden Tiendweg.
A small village on the small river Giessen.
This town is situated on the banks of the river Giessen. There used to be a castle here, where the town derives its name from. It was torn down around 1800.
A town that has a long history, but a quiet one, unlike most of the other towns on this route.
The last town on the route, before reaching the end point at Arkel.
Where to Eat
We drove this route on Kingsday 2021, when there was still a lockdown. All museums and restaurants were closed. Including the terraces of restaurants. Take out was the only things allowed.
We had cold drinks at Starbucks and sandwiches from La Place at Meerkerk just off the A7, it was just before starting the route.
We had apple pie with tea and coffee at De Koffiemolen, a mill near Streefkerk. Polder views all around the mill.
Where to Stay
Ruyge Weyde Logies at Oudewater is situated on a traditional Gouda cheese farm. The rooms with kitchen and bathroom are above the cheese shop. We loved it here. A view on the polders surrounding the farm.
Also perfect would be Van der Valk hotel Ridderkerk. When driving around in a camper, than Camper Park Kinderdijk in Alblasserdam or Minicamping Polderflora in Alphen aan den Rijn are a good idea, they’re in our campsites with kids in the Netherlands.
A bit further away is the Mercure Hotel Tilburg, in the middle of the city center. Hotel NH Waalwijk is close to the Efteling.
When to Visit
The route can be driven all year long. The blossoms however can be admired in April and May. The plum and cherry blossoms start around the half of April, then the pear trees follow and at last the apple trees blossom.
If you want to hand pluck apples and pears this is usually at the end of September and the beginning of October.
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: Rotterdam The Hague Airport, located 60 kilometers/37 miles from the starting point. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is 74 kilometers/46 miles away and Eindhoven Airport is 77 kilometers/48 miles away. Lelystad Airport is 84 kilometers/52 miles driving from the starting point.
This Road Trip Zuid-Holland is Full of Blossoms
Where best to see the blossoms in the Netherlands and to see that picture perfect postcard view of a windmill with polders. It’s all included in this road trip.
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