7 natural campsites in the Netherlands to enjoy this spring and summer

Concrete roads, car parks, traffic jams, train rides, another day in the office, just like yesterday. Yet, the next vacation seems to be light-years away — just as physically instant travel seems to be unreasonable.

However, if you can’t get jet off this summer, there are loads of choices when it comes to natural beauty in the Netherlands. Here are our top seven natural campsites in the Netherlands.

Natural campsites in the Netherlands

Having grown up in Brazil, I was surrounded by nature in all forms: beaches, Atlantic forests, animals, and insects (all kinds 😅). When I moved to the Netherlands I felt I would need to adapt and adjust not only to a new culture but also to the landscapes.

Natural campsites are places where you won’t end up in a campsite full of caravans with television aerials or amongst a teenage party weekend getaway. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with arranged entertainment, shops, crowds, and bars on the outside. These are sites where you get to meet fellow campers looking for peaceful, quality time away from the hustle and bustle of normal life.

But I’ve never been camping before … what should I do?

To be quite frank, you don’t need to invest in a whole collection of gear or learn esoteric survival skills to go camping in the Netherlands. Besides, it’s a budget getaway trip outdoors and (sadly) that’s quite relevant when taking into consideration the high rents and general cost of living in the Netherlands. No matter what, keep it simple.

Generally, spring is the best time to go camping. The campsites are not as crowded as in the summer, and if you are lucky you might even enjoy a long day of sunshine in a territory where sunshine is never guaranteed.

READ MORE | 15 things to do in spring in the Netherlands

Give us that idyllic camping life, stat! Image: Freepik

Where are the natural campsites in the Netherlands?

There are 147 accredited natural campsites in the Netherlands with other options a bit further in neighbouring Belgium and France. The Groene Koepel Organisation determines if campsites are considered a “Natuurkampeerterreinen“.

All nature campsites are available once you invest in the Green Guide ‘Het Groene Boeke’ (the Green Book). The guide comes with a pass that gives you access to a variety of campsites in all Dutch provinces. Once you have it, you’re an accredited nature camper!

Different types of natural campsites in the Netherlands

Some of the accredited natural campsites are on the Staatsbosbeheer which means you are able to stay in the forest itself. These are labelled as puur natuur campsites and truly are peaceful places to lay your head.

There’s generally no reception at the locations, so we recommend reserving online or perhaps just dropping by the site itself and trying to reach the forest keeper or booswachter. They’ll guide you to the empty section where you can put up your tent and experience Dutch nature on another level. The campsites are also family-friendly and have areas for group camping.

By the way, if you want to fully explore nature but are looking for campsites with better facilities, the Green Book also offers options that are labelled as “Natuur plus” or “Natuur comfort“. In all cases, you’re guaranteed to get the true nature experience.

There are many great options in the Green Book. The recommendations below are a few of our favourites:

1. Het Verse Gat, Zeeland

Gorgeous, isn’t it? Image: DutchReview

This is by far our favourite spot for camping in the Netherlands. It’s located along the waters of the Veerse Bos in Zeeland. To access it, you follow a short, narrow, sand road where you’re able to park your car and walk to the entrance. Usually, you can’t park your car next to a tent on these natural campsites.

What makes this location especially nice is the great walking spots! It’s close to a large forest and the seaside which is easily accessible by bike. The old cities of Veere and Middelburg are also close by for those interested in cycling around these old towns.

READ MORE | Hiking in the Netherlands: 4 myths, busted

2. Klein Frankrijk, Noord Brabant

Silence and hammock at Klein Frankrijk Noord Brabant. Image: DutchReview

This spot is ideal for a weekend away or a longer stay and the friendly keepers maintain it to a very high standard. It’s a great spot for swimming or walking in the forest — both being only five minutes away.

3. Distelheide, Gelderland

Between high trees in Doetinchem Netherlands. Image: DutchReview

This campsite is on the way to the German border and offers a perfect place to enjoy the night by the fire. This particular region of the Netherlands is known for its diversity of landscape, fields, and open nature. You may even spot wild animals at night (not kidding!) but also enjoy silence.

4. De Cokse Heide, Noord Limburg, Gelderland

Maasduinen National Park. Image: DutchReview

This campsite is located in the middle of the Maasduinen National Park. It’s a forest located on a sand ridge between Maas and the German border. The camping site itself offers a variety of spots — whether it’s on the hills or in a cosy corner by the trees and bushes. Also, it’s quite nice for long bike rides or a walk along the Maasduinen which somehow has a taste of a tropical environment.

5. Dasselaar, Flevoland

At least many of the signs are in English, so you don’t get AS lost. Image: Bauhuis/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

This campsite is also part of the Staatsbosbeheer and is located in Flevoland, the youngest province in the Netherlands. This spot is great for hikers, cyclists, and mountain bikers. The campsite is cosy and offers spots in the shade of apple and nut trees.

Within a short distance, you can easily reach the Horsterworld forest which has a great variety of trees and plants. If you enjoy walking, this place is known for its great hiking routes around the forest.

6. West Terschelling, Friesland

Even on a cloudy day, you can get the most out of nature. Image: Rob Koster/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

Located on the island of Terschelling, this is a small campsite with great open fields and a short distance from the harbour. This particular region is great for cycling, as it has almost 70 kilometres of bicycle paths. Plus, the beaches are known for their vast space.

READ MORE | Islands of the Netherlands: a guide to the Wadden Islands

Be aware that Terschelling is quite a popular holiday destination. This makes the Green Book even more useful if you plan to escape from the crowd or party campings on the island.

7. Landgoed Mariahoeve, Drenthe

And a great place to stop off when you need a break from all that nature. Image: Brian Byrne/Paul Laimböck/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

This campsite is located in the heart of De Hondsrug UNESCO Global Geopark and it offers attractive private spaces for a quiet time away from all.

READ MORE | 12 World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands: the country’s best monuments

For those not familiar with camping or not equipped yet (not that you need much), this campsite offers the possibility to locate a pipowagen (caravan) or sleep on a fully furnished safari tent. The Hondsrug, together with the surrounding area, forms the only geopark in the Netherlands.

There we are, our top seven natural campsites in the Netherlands. Hopefully, it’ll inspire you for your next outdoor adventure!

Have you ever been to a natural campsite in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2019, and was fully updated in June 2022 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Laila Lopes
Laila Lopes
I'm a journalist. Often, self- instructed to be curious. For most of the time, my brain is quite an imaginative engine. Inspiration and ideas often arise after 8 hours of sleep.

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  1. Hello, just curious if this article is sponsored by The Groene Koepel Organisation or if through them is really the only way to nature camp in the Netherlands?

  2. Hello, I’m new in the Netherlands.
    I have only one question. Is it possible or forbidden to make fires in natural campsites?


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