Would you like to see some gorgeous nature in The Netherlands? Make sure to visit De Alde Feanen National Park in Friesland!
About De Alde Feanen National Park
De Alde Feanen National Park is one of the four national parks in Friesland, the northwestermost province in The Netherlands. It is centrally located in the province, near the village of Earnewoude (Earnewâld) between Leeuwarden and Drachten. Alde Feanen is Frisian for old peatland, which makes it immediately clear what the park is. It is a peat bog with several lakes, lots of grass, forest-like areas, and swampy hiking trails. More than a hundred species of birds live in the park and if you are lucky you might even see some otters.
How do you get to De Alde Feanen National Park?
The Alde Feanen is easily accessible by car. In terms of navigation, it is best to tell your GPS to navigate to the visitor center (address: Koaidyk 8a, 9264 TP Earnewâld). From Leeuwarden or Drachten, take the N31 until you see the signs “Nationaal Park De Alde Feanen”. There is a large parking lot at the visitor center where you can park your car for free.
If you need a rental car for your vacation in The Netherlands, I would recommend renting one through either AutoEurope or Sunny Cars. When you rent a car through these companies, you can be sure that all necessary insurance is included.
You can also visit the Alde Feanen National Park by public transport. This may be slightly different than you are used to (in The Netherlands). From Drachten or Leeuwarden you can take the bus to Nijega and from here you switch to a special bus called “overstapper”. You must make a reservation for this bus at least an hour in advance and you also have to buy a separate ticket for this. Check the Arriva website for the timetable and how to book this bus.
Fees & opening hours
Entrance to the park is free of charge. The Visitor Center is normally open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM but is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
Activities in the Alde Feanen National Park
What to do in the Alde Feanen National Park?
Eplore the park by boat
As soon as you are in the park you will see them: the many boats. The region around Earnewâld is perfect to discover from the water. Please note, you cannot just sail anywhere in De Alde Feanen National Park. The website of De Alde Feanen has a beautiful sailing route that takes you past all the beautiful places.
In The Netherlands, it’s really easy to make your own cycling itinerary. All over the country, you’ll find cycling junctions (maps with a number on them), and you can just follow the numbers from one junction to the next. There are many cycling junctions in the Alde Feanen National Park, so you can easily create a beautiful cycling route with a length that suits you. Do you prefer a ready-made cycling itinerary? There are several great cycling itineraries to be found on the website of De Alde Feanen.
Fortunately, you can also find beautiful hiking trails in De Alde Feanen National Park. There are various options for a great hike (5, 11, and 20 kilometers), so make sure to inform yourself at the visitor center (it is closed, but there are some leaflets with routes) or at the tourist office of Earnewâld.
Tip Make sure to bring insect repellent, as there are many mosquitoes in De Alde Feanen National Park.
Extra tip If you go cycling or hiking in De Alde Feanen National Park, you might need to cross the water by ferry. You have to pay in cash for this, so make sure to bring some.
The 11-kilometer hike
In the summer, I went for an 11-kilometer hike in De Alde Feanen National Park with my cousin. A photo report:
If you go cycling or hiking you can always bring your own picnic basket and sit on one of the benches and enjoy the landscape. If you prefer to eat out, there are also some nice restaurants in the village of Earnewâld, such as the restaurant Puur Prince (at Hotel Princenhof) or Porto Casa.
Where to stay
Would you like to discover De Alde Feanen National Park yourself after reading this article? Stay overnight (or longer!) in the village of Earnewâld or combine a visit to De Alde Feanen with a city trip to Leeuwarden. You can book a hotel room via Booking.com.
Would you like to discover more lesser-known places in the Netherlands?
Then order one of these books full of inspiration:
Insight Guides The Netherlands
Or read one of these articles:
- Hidden gems in The Netherlands: off the beaten track
- Go cycling and hiking in Southwest Friesland (The Netherlands)
- The gorgeous national parks in The Netherlands
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