A guide to Dutch mountaineering

Hiking on the Mt. Kiekberg
Hiking on the Mt. Kiekberg

In the Netherlands, nearly 60.000 people are member of the Dutch climbing and mountaineering association. The reason for that is not the many snow covered, rocky mountains of this country. On the contrary, the highest mountain of the Dutch mainland – mount Vaals – is lower than the lowest hills of our neighbouring countries Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Mount Vaals – generally quite busy with tourists – is situated in the Province of Limburg, and has an altitude of a very respectable 323 meter above sea level. Probably the absence of the true mountains in the Netherlands is the reason for the increasing popularity of mountaineering among Dutchies.

Despite the meaningless altitude of the hills in the Netherlands, there are many possibilities to enjoy the elevation of the landscape, formed a long time ago by meandering delta rivers, kilometers of glaciers and storms. In Dutch local dialects there are many words indicating natural or artificial elevated areas such as “nol”, “terp”, “bult”, “belt” and “wierde”. Close your eyes and imagine to find yourself…

  • hiking on a 150.000 year old moraine at the Veluwe Zoom National Park (110 m + NAP, the highest of the country)
  • mountain biking to the summit of the highest dune in the coastal village of Schoorl (55.5 m + NAP)
  • or visiting an old church on top of scenic mount villages in the Northern Provinces – the highest of the Netherlands is an artificial hill of 8.8 m + NAP that was build 600 B.C in the village of Hogebeintum to protect it against floods.

Below, we present some of Mywoodenshoes best mountaineering experiences. You will be treated to a lot of climbing and downhill exercise: muscle pain is guaranteed. So, grab your stuff and enjoy the northern faces and the sunny southern slopes of the very best mountains of the Netherlands. After one of these Dutch mountaineering trips you will know for sure that our country has plenty of little but attractive hills worth a visit.

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