Latest update: 10 May 2021
Vast polder landscapes, kilometers of forest, lots of swamps, and, above all, lots of wild animals: the Dutch province Flevoland is excellent for taking long walks. The landscape is diverse, and that makes the walking routes pleasant and varied. Let me take you on a walk!
Hiking became our new national hobby in 2020. If it had a dusty image, we’ve now wiped it off for good. So yes, I also regularly venture out in the Netherlands for a good walk – including sturdy walking shoes, camera, and thermos bottle (also available on Amazon).
All the way, baby! I have a dog since the summer of 2020, so he, of course, tags along. If you want to walk your dog in Flevoland, check this site to learn where dogs are allowed and if they can roam around freely or need to be on a lead.
I can definitely recommend the nature walks below – with and without a dog. They are all walking routes where you start at the same point as you end. Round trip. 😉
Walking in Nature Park Lelystad
Within five minutes, I stared an otter in the eye. Nature Park Lelystad immediately lives up to its promise: there are many animals to see here. As close as the otter is, so far away are the Przewalski horses. Unfortunately, I could not find them, but I was treated to moufflons, wild boars, bison, and more. A pretty good score, if you ask me.
It almost sounds like a zoo, doesn’t it? Fortunately, the habitat is much larger in Nature Park Lelystad. Cycling and hiking trails are right next to the habitats. The paths lead through different terrain types: I walk through forests, along the water, and through open fields.
There is no official walking route, you just follow the paths, and the signs indicate which way you need to go for a specific animal species. So it is up to you to determine your route and distance. I choose the outer paths, which takes me about 1.5 to 2 hours.
A visit to the park is free, but you do pay a parking fee of 3 euros. If you want, you can also rent a bike or have a drink on the terrace with a view over a lake.
Location car park Nature Park Lelystad
Walking on Schokland
Schokland is an island on dry land with UNESCO World Heritage status. It is located in the Noordoostpolder, a fifteen-minute drive from Urk. Schokland was once situated in the Zuiderzee but has been “reclaimed”. When that happened, there no more Schoklanders had lived on the island for a while. The floods and poverty got out of hand, so the government forced the Schoklanders to leave the island in 1859. In Museum Schokland, you learn more about the history, but there are also information signs along the hiking trails to give you a bit of an impression of the former island.
I walk part of the Rondje Schokland. The round consists of two routes, one of 5.5 kilometers and one of 7.6 kilometers. You can also combine them if you like. The Ruine Walk (of 7.6 km) starts at De Gesteentetuin, where you can see boulders from the Ice Age, and in the visitor center, you can get information about how the earth came into being. From there, I walk through varied areas. Forest, swamp, polder. This nature walk has it all, including several sights. The route also leads past the museum, which you can visit or stop for something to eat or drink. You’re welcome to bring your dog to the Rondje Schokland.
Walking through the Stadsbossen of Almere
The best excuse for a hike through the Stadbossen in Almere is that you can drink a beer at Stadsbrouwerij De Kemphaan. After a brisk walk, you deserve a beer, right?
The nice thing about Almere’s Stadsbossen is that it consists of several parts. You have the AAP Foundation islands (aap means monkey) where you can admire the monkeys from a distance, and you will find a city farm and Almere Jungle, and lots of forests.
There are also several shorter routes that you can do one after the other. For example, I walk the short Rondje Aap around the monkeys’ outdoor enclosures and the Vierseizoenenpad, a route that is accessible for both dogs and scoot mobiles. It’s icy cold, and gorgeous. There is a lot of variation in landscape so that the kilometers and time fly by. If you come with your dog, make sure to check on which routes your four-legged friend is welcome. Running loose is not allowed anywhere in the Stadsbossen.
Walking at the Oostvaardersplassen
The most famous nature reserve in Flevoland is without a doubt the Oostvaardersplassen. Expect endless walks to enjoy nature and grazers. View the website of Staatsbosbeheer for many different routes.
The purple route is also open to dogs, so that’s the one I’m taking. In bad weather, this path can get quite muddy. So wear proper shoes. In both autumn and winter, I don’t have to make a lot of effort to spot the horses. I also come across many hikers packed with good cameras and binoculars: smart people, as you will find many birds at the Oostvaardersplassen. Do you want to know more about the purple trail? Then check this blog.
More travel inspiration for the Netherlands
Want more travel advice? Do check all my blogs about beautiful places and fun activities in my home country. Also nice: buy the Lonely Planet of the Netherlands as it has lots of practical information. Available at Amazon and Book Depository. The latter is usually the cheapest but often has a slightly longer shipping time.