Early Spring brings visitors from far and wide to see Amsterdam’s iconic flower fields but come September, the Veluwe is where the action’s at – its endless, rolling landscape transforms into a sea of spectacular purple as the park’s native heather comes into bloom. With hundreds of km of designated cycle paths, it’s a great place to discover by bike and once you’ve worked up a sweat, you can take refuge by one of the many small lakes under the shade of a leafy tree, watching as nature does its thing. For fans of the high life, a hot air balloon is a magical way to witness the spectacle – with a glass of champagne in hand as the endless purple landscape unfurls beneath you, it’s an experience you won’t forget.
The nearby Hansa towns are hidden gems that are also well worth a visit. Historically, their location near the water made them really important trade settlements – packed with monuments and historical sites, there’s plenty to discover as you stroll around. Our favorites are the little towns of Elburg and Hattem – Elburg boasts a fortress dating back to the Middle Ages and an old 15th century convent which is now home to the town’s museum. There, you’ll find the original cannon used to defend the town against its enemies, alongside the ‘wall houses’ where Elburg’s poorest citizens once lived.
Nestled close to the river Ijssel and the lush green forests of the Veluwe, Hattem is perfectly located for trailblazers out there, with idyllic walks that start in the town center and finish up in the spectacular surrounding landscape. Head for the castle Molecaten to shimmy up the observation tower, where breathtaking panoramas await.