Are you trying to find the most beautiful heather fields in the Netherlands? I am here to make your search a lot easier! The heather fields at the National Park Veluwezoom are definitely the most beautiful ones in the entire country! The Veluwe is located on the highest point in the Netherlands and the rolling hills covered in heather are what make this place so special!
The Most Beautiful Heather Fields in The Netherlands – National Park Veluwezoom
The Veluwe is a Dutch National Park located in the province of Gelderland near the cities of Arnhem and Apeldoorn. It’s a huge National Park of at least 55 square kilometers and consists of heathlands, sand dunes and during a couple of weeks in the Summer beautiful heather fields!
It’s the oldest National Park in the Netherlands and most of the landscape was created during the Ice Age. The National Park Veluwezoom is the ideal day trip from Belgium.
When to visit the heather fields in the National Park Veluwezoom
The heather fields make for a beautiful purple carpet once every year at the Veluwe National Park. You can see them in bloom for about 4 weeks in total: they start blooming around mid August until mid September. The best time to visit the heather fields is during the last week of August.
It’s blooming of course depends on the weather during the Summer months. The dryer the Summer months the less purple the heather will look and over the course of the last years a lot of the heather actually got burnt because of the lack of water. But nonetheless, this place is still absolutely spectacular to visit!
The most beautiful time of day to see the heather fields are during sunrise and golden hour in the evening. If you’re really lucky you will even be able to see some mist rising over the purple hills in the early morning! It’s an amazing photo opportunity and one that shouldn’t be missed.
Where to park at the National Park Veluwezoom
With it’s 55 square kilometers in size it’s not that easy to figure out where exactly to start your hike! There are plenty of parking lots in place BUT there are also some very important rules to respect!
The Veluwe National Park is also a wildlife park which means that the parking lots within the park itself are off limits before sunrise and after sunset. During twilight hours the wildlife tends to roam around the most so chances of hitting one of the deer or wild boar would be pretty high. If you get caught driving up these roads you risk a very hefty fine! When visiting you’ll see a lot of signs saying that no motorised vehicles are allowed to enter the park before sunrise and after sunset!
Where you can park before sunrise – Visitor Centre Parking Lot (free parking)
Where you can park after sunrise – Posbank, Bosrand, Bloemers, Zandklep, Bocht, Driesprong
The best viewpoints to see the heather fields in the Netherlands
The most famous viewpoint is by far Posbank. But if you want to be here in time to catch the sunrise make sure to arrive at the main parking lot 40 minutes before the actual sunrise. Like I said before it’s prohibited to drive up to the Posbank parking lot so you’ll have to walk up the road. Since this is the most popular viewpoint don’t expect to be here alone. Photographers from all of the Netherlands come visit the Veluwezoom National Park during heather season.
When I arrived I honestly had no idea where to go, cause unlike in Germany or Austria there are no actual hiking arrows. You can hike around the entire National Park in a circle but of course in the early morning no one has got time for that :p. I asked a couple of locals on the parking lot where to go and they told me to walk past the visitor centre and then walk behind it. The first part goes through a forest so don’t be alarmed if you don’t immediately see the heather fields! After 10 minutes you’ll reach the Koetshuis where you can exit the forest and if you keep on walking you’ll reach the viewpoint Heuvense Bergen. It was just me, two girls and a local photographer who said that he usually has this viewpoint all to himself!
On my day trip I saw both viewpoints and I have to say that the one at Heuvense Bergen was my favourite!
What to do at the National Park Veluwezoom
The Veluwe is a true walker’s paradise! No matter which hiking route you follow make sure to spend at least a couple of hours on the Veluwe. You’ll walk through the beautiful heather fields and passed wild animals such as red deer, wild boars, horses and plenty of other animals.
If you like cycling then I’ve got good news for you cause the province of Gelderland has over 5000km of cycling paths! You can either take your own bike with you or grab one of the free white bikes at the Hoge Veluwe National Park.
The Veluwe is a true photographer’s dream come true. Wether you’re into landscape photography, wildlife photography or portrait photography, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself for at least a couple of hours!
Where else to see heather fields in the Netherlands?
Schoorlse Duinen in Northern Holland – Here you’ll find a mix of sand dunes and purple heather fields. The landscape here is rather flat since it’s located near the seaside.
Hilversum – You can find the purple heather fields here at the Hoorneboegse Heide while hiking through the moorlands.
Where to stay near the National Park Veluwezoom
If you don’t want to make the day trip and want to spend an entire weekend here you should stay at the nearby city Arnhem. It’s the capital city of the province of Gelderland and there’s plenty to do! Beside the Veluwe you can also visit the Hoge Veluwe National Park and the Netherlands Open Air Museum.