Drenthe is a Dutch province in the northeast of the Netherlands. If you love tranquility, wide meadows and fields, Drenthe is the perfect place for you. In addition to beautiful nature, there are a few well-known cities in the area, such as Assen (home to the motorcycle world championship), Emmen (which houses a zoo and amusement park) and Hoogeveen (known for the Hollandscheveld fair). Explore the best things to see and do in Drenthe below.
Sights and Activities in Drenthe
The best part about Drenthe is its nature. Spacious landscapes and endlessly winding hiking and biking trails invite you to explore this beautiful province. If you are an outdoor or camping fan and want to be close to nature day and night, Drenthe is the perfect destination for you.
Cycling is probably the most popular leisure activity in Drenthe. Holland, and especially the northern provinces, is known for its large, wide areas with endless cycling and walking trails. There are various cycling trails that are worth exploring. Some trails lead through the nature reserves, while others connect the cities. If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent one in almost every Drenthe town.
Hiking is a great way to enjoy nature. A popular hiking area in Drenthe is the Hondsrug, the only geopark in the Netherlands. This huge area consists of various nature reserves, forests, lakes and fields. We visited both the Drentsche Aa and the Drouwenerzand nature reserve. Both are so-called Natura 2000 protected areas, where you can find many rare animals and plant species.
The province Drenthe is famous for its Hunebedden (also known as dolmens). These are a series of prehistoric tombs built around 3000 BC. Weighing up to 40 tons, the hunebedden (dolmens) are made up of a series of stone blocks, including several supporting stones and top slabs. Today, 54 of these dolmens are still preserved. The most famous dolmen is the so-called Hunebed D27 (Borger). With its length of 22.5 meters, it’s the largest monument in Drenthe. You can find it in the Hunebedcentrum Borger, about 15 km north of Emmen.
WILDLANDS Adventure Zoo
In Emmen is the well-known WILDLANDS Adventure Zoo. What we loved most in WILDLANDS is that the zoo is divided into different worlds (themes), such as Jungola, Serenga Safari or Nortica. Each “world” offers its own day program: take a boat ride through the jungle, travel by truck through the safari or go on a polar expedition. In WILDLANDS you’ll travel around the world in just one day.
Drenthe is also excellent for horseback riding in the countryside. In many places there are smaller and larger riding stables, where you can rent a horse for a great riding excursion. Riding through the vast countryside and forests is truly a unique experience.
If you are an outdoor or camping fan and want to be close to nature day and night? Drenthe offers countless campsites to choose from! In addition to the traditional campsites (for tents, camping cars and caravans), you’ll also find a number of campsites in Drenthe where you can rent a mobile home (bungalow). These small bungalows, known as stacaravan in Dutch, are the ideal choice for those who want to be close to nature but don’t have any camping equipment.
Dutch Grand Prix
Assen is known as a motorsport town. Every year the Dutch Grand Prix (Grand Prix of the Netherlands) is held here on the race track. Assen is geographically located in the center of the province. Book your accommodation here and you will be close to all main sights!
Coevorden, previously an important fortified town, is the oldest town in Drenthe. Take a walk through town and view the remains of old buildings and the ancient castle, which is depicted on the Drenthe coat of arms.
Accommodations in Drenthe
Drenthe has the right accommodation for every taste and budget. Do you love camping in nature? Or perhaps you prefer your own vacation home in a bungalow park? The region is inexpensive compared to other provinces and offers many accommodation options near the city or in nature. Choose the accommodation that suits you or hitch up your caravan and embark on an unforgettable vacation!