How is it possible I have never written anything about Drenthe, the place I live!

During Corona I started to explore more in Drenthe and started to realize there are actually very nice places in this northern province. That is the reason this article will be about 7 of the nicest spots in Drenthe! 

What to expect in this article:

1. Het Blauwe Meer (the Blue Lake)

I have been to Het Blauwe Meer or the Blue Lake twice in 1 year, that’s how much I love it.
I don’t feel like I am walking in the Netherlands when I am roaming this place, because the trees make it seem like you are somewhere in Scandinavia. Besides that, the water is very blue/green, which is rare in Drenthe and the Netherlands. 
Additionally there is also a swing for the ones that love that. 

It is actually a sand extraction site of the brick factory. After sand dredgers did their work for many years, without interruption, the Blue Lake was created. Glauconite, a mineral with a dark green color, occurs in the sand and this creates the blue-green color of the lake.

If you walk away from the lake, there is another lake which is even more blue. Although you will notice directly this is a chemical kind of blue, you can also see the extraction site. 

It takes you around 45 minutes to 1 hour to walk around the lake. 

From Assen (the capital city of Drenthe), it will take you 25 minutes by car to reach this place. 

Het Blauwe Meer - 10 places I want to visit in the Netherlands (2)
Het Blauwe Meer - 10 places I want to visit in the Netherlands (2)
Het Blauwe Meer - 10 places I want to visit in the Netherlands (2)

Read more about the Netherlands

2. Wittelte: Alpaca farm

If you are looking for something nice, unique and fun to do, you have to go to the alpaca farm from Emy and Patrick! 
They are owning a small business and farm with all kinds of animals, like rabbits, ducks, 6 donkeys and also 5 alpacas that are too curious and cute. 
They were first living in bubbly The Hague, but moved to the quiet and nice province of Drenthe a few years ago. 

You can go for multiple donkey walks, meet the alpacas or have a picnic with the alpacas like we did! Read here about our experience at the alpaca farm. 

Even when it is a bit too cold, you don’t have to worry as you can sit in a glass greenhouse and still enjoy everything you’ll be seeing outside while having a delicious meal. 
Next to that, there’s even enough choice for vegan and vegetarian people when you tell this beforehand. 
I highly recommend you to do this in Drenthe with friends. 

Wittelterweg 30
7986PK Wittelte
The Netherlands

It is a 30 minutes car trip from Assen (the capital city of Drenthe).

Alpaca farm

3. Assen

Assen is the capital of Drenthe, so there must be things to do there. Luckily there are a few!
First of all, you can go to the Drents Museum, which is basically a museum about Drenthe and its history (1750-1950).

Sometimes there are big exhibitions, when I was little I went to an exhibition of the Terracotta Army (China), which was pretty awesome. 

Next, every Wednesday and Saturday there is a market, on Saturday it is bigger than on Wednesday. For this reason, I recommend you to visit Assen on a Saturday. 

Bartje: a very famous statue in Assen


Another fun thing to do in Assen is visiting the deers.
Only 5 minutes from the Joseph church there is a big ground with deers. If you are lucky you can find them all together outside. This is not something common to see in Drenthe and the Netherlands, but I do want to ask you not to feed them. 

Find them by walking towards the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Maria Tenhemelopneming church from the Josef Church. If you walk 1 or 2 minutes more in this direction, you will eventually see them.  

There are around 20 deers here

Forest of Assen

Lastly, you can go to a big farm in the Assen forest. It’s a very peaceful place to walk, and there are many bird species, donkeys, goats and sheep. There were even 2 calfs last time I visited this farm, that are super cute!
Once you have visited the farm, you can also wander around the forest.
If you like animals, you can easily spend here 2 hours and there is free parking. 
Address: Bosrand 1, 9401 SL Assen

Prettiest places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Assen 2
Prettiest places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Assen 2

4. Deurzerdiep

Place number 4 is Deurzerdiep. This place is located in National Park Drentsche Aa and it is a very nice area, located near Assen. The river Drentsche Aa has been winding its way through the landscape of Drenthe for centuries.

You can spot many animals, like cows, storks, and frogs.
There are 3 walking trails from 1,5, 5,5 en 8 km, so you have enough choice.   
It is not the prettiest spot in Drenthe, but if you have some time and want to walk around, you should go here. 

From Assen (the capital city of Drenthe) it only takes you 10 minutes to reach this place. 

Prettiest places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Deurzediep

5. Het Nije Hemelriek

The Nije Hemelriek is a beautiful clear lake. You can swim here and it’s surrounded by pine trees.
Next to the Blue Lake, is this one of my favorite places in Drenthe and I had to show my boyfriend this place when he visited the Netherlands. 
It is a very tranquil place, where everyone is enjoying the nature and water. Fortunately, it is free to visit.

The sand is pretty nice and great if you want to sunbathe or have a picnic. There is also a restaurant if you want to have some snacks. 

Prettiest places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Nije Hemelriek

I had the chance to visit this unique place two times. There were many people in May, but in February it was less crowded. Some of them were even swimming in May, while it was still pretty cold. 

Just like the Blue Lake, it feels like you are somewhere in Scandinavia when you are here. That’s all because of the huge pine trees, which is very uncommon for the Netherlands, and that is why it is such a unique spot. 
Plus, do you see how beautifully blue the water looks in the video below? 

From Assen (the capital city of Drenthe) it is only a 20 minutes car drive. 

6. Dwingelderveld

Dwingelderveld is located next to the Blue Lake, and very close to the Alpaca farm. 
This place is also in my top 3 of places to visit in Drenthe. 

It is an immense national park, which I have visited 3 times in 2 years.
You can go to The Dwingeloo Radio Telescope. This used to be the first and largest rotatable radio telescope in the world for professional astronomy, while now it is the largest radio telescope in the world for amateurs!

Close to the telescope you can also find a big sheepfold and a large amount of sheep walking freely. 

If you follow the white route, you get to see all different types of landscapes in just one park. You can also walk over ‘het Plankenpad‘, which is a path made of wood and fun for children and adults. The white route is 4km long and the Plankenpad starts at either the last 3km or the first 1km, depending on which route you take. 

From Assen (the capital city of Drenthe) it is a 30 minutes drive by car.

Prettiest places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Dwingelderveld (2)
Prettiest places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Dwingelderveld (2)

Restaurant Bospub

If there is a restaurant you should try in Drenthe, de Bospub should be on your list! It’s amazing to be eating in nature, even when it is cold you can go sit inside and still feel like you are remote.

It’s a cosy place, with some parking places and delicious food, like my shakshuka. 

Address: Bosrand 18, 7991 PA Dwingeloo

Prettiest places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Dwingelderveld
Prettiest places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Bospub

7. Balloo

Then place number 7, also the last place on this list: Balloo.
Balloo is a tiny town in Drenthe, that has some of the most important objects in Drenthe: Hunebedden. 

A small explanation about hunebedden:
”About 200,000 years ago, during an ice-period, most of northern Europe including our country was covered by a thick layer of ice. The big boulders of which the hunebedden are made of have been transported to The Netherlands by slow-moving ice-glaciers. Some 3000 years BC, members of the Funnel Beaker Culture built these gigantic structures to bury their dead.

So the theory goes that they are basically huge tombstones and in Balloo you can find the biggest one in the Netherlands. Next to that, you can also visit the museum to discover more about the history of Drenthe. You don’t have to pay to see the Hunebed, but you do for the museum. 

Balloo is only 10 minutes from Assen (the capital city of Drenthe).

8 nice places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Balloo 1
The Hunebedden
8 nice places in Drenthe (North of the Netherlands) Balloo 1
The museum

Which place are you planning to visit first in Drenthe? Let me know!

Would you like to read more? I would be the happiest!

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