If you think about holidays in the Netherlands, city breaks in Amsterdam or The Hague will probably spring to mind. But the country has so much more to offer families, from stunning beaches and islands to fairytales and safaris! There is also a wide selection of holiday parks across the country which provide the perfect accommodation for families, with options from camping to luxury lodges. We met up with local experts Little Clogs to find out about their top ideas for family holidays in the Netherlands.
Beautiful Beaches, Dunes and Islands
The Netherlands is a haven for beach lovers, with its wide, white sands all around the coastline. The beaches are among the cleanest, safest, most child friendly in Europe; many are monitored by lifeguards and have a blue flag for safety. One recommended resort is Landal Beach Resort Ooghduyne, where the beach is just moments from your doorstep. If you can tear yourself away from the sand there’s plenty more to keep you busy, from a golf course and pool on site to sightseeing in nearby Amsterdam.
If you’re searching for an idyllic island escape, look no further than the beautiful Wadden Islands. Just a 20 minute ferry ride from the mainland, these exclusive islands were mentioned at number 3 in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Places to Visit in Europe last year! Landal Sluftervallei is a holiday park on the islands with a special position next to a nature reserve and just a 20 minute walk across the dunes to an endless white sandy beach. Kids will love being so close to nature, (look out for pheasants and rabbits pottering among the bungalows), and hiring bikes to explore!
The Netherlands is awash with fairytale references which will captivate young (and old!) visitors. A real highlight is Efteling, which is a truly magical fairytale theme park set amongst mature woodland and gardens. You will feel you have stepped into a fairytale book exploring the vast, immaculately kept park, which has plenty of features for young children as well as thrill seeking rides for the older ones! The fairytales continue in the accomodation options on site (the Efteling Hotel, Bosrijk Village and Loonsche Land), each with their own magical touches to make sure the fun never ends!
The Netherlands’ largest safari park has recently opened a luxury safari resort where you can literally sleep amongst the animals! The luxurious self catering lodges boast private terraces looking over the savannah, where you can eat your breakfast whilst watching the giraffes and zebras. The resort also has its own pool, water playground, luxury restaurant and children’s activities with the park ranger! There are other accommodation options available on the neighbouring holiday park, including jungalows (jungle themed bungalows!!), mobile homes and safari tents.
If you dream of whiling away the hours exploring the great outdoors, why not immerse yourselves in nature in one of the Netherland’s stunning woodlands! Each woodland area is beautiful and lovingly looked after; there are even special wildlife crossings called ‘ecoducts’ to allow wildlife to safely cross over motorways and railways! Landal Coldenhove is set within the Veluwe woodland, where you can explore one of the many trails by foot or using the free bike hire. The park has plenty of facilities including a pool, play park, mini golf course, brasserie restaurant and wellness centre.
Fun on the Farm
Little Clogs also hand picks a selection of farm holidays where the family can get up close with the animals whilst enjoying the Netherlands’ beautiful countryside. We love the sound of FarmCamps De Smulhoeve, which has a range of animals including bunnies, pigs, goats, chickens and horses. Children will get really hands on helping Farmer Dennis and Karin around the farm, and can even opt to have their own pet rabbit for the duration of the stay! For horse lovers old and young there is the chance to have riding lessons too. A huge bonus of this farm is its location, just 5 minutes’ from the Efteling theme park. (Little Clogs customers who book a FarmCamps holiday before 25th March can get €25 off plus free rental of children’s farming overalls – click here for more details)
Little Clogs are an Altrincham based business specialising in holidays in the Netherlands and Belgium for babies and toddlers (and older children!) It is run by mums Laura and Jane who are passionate about sharing destinations which are relatively unknown in the UK, but which provide wonderful family holidays! They have in depth local knowledge (Jane now lives in the Netherlands!) and have visited most of the places featured on the site with their young families.