Keukenhof in summer Activiteiten Bollenstreek Verita's Visit

Summer tulips: dahlias. Photoblog of a flower show garden

Some dahlias flower in summer, others bloom  in between summer & autumn

The end of the tulip season is never a happy one. The sight of the sea of colours brings so much joy and happiness. Once the tulips are gone, what is there to look forward to? Well, dahlias! You could call them the summer tulips. Just like tulips they're bulb flowers, they're amazingly colourful, with lots of varieties and there are fields full of them. Here's an photo impression of the dahlia show garden near Keukenhof. Read more


fietstocht Delft blauw

Family Bike Tour Delft Countryside

It was a warm and sunny Friday afternoon. I was waiting for my participants at Delft station. We would do a family bike tour Delft and surroundings. I looked at the big digital clock on the busplatform. They were late.

From Europe trip to daytrip Delft

The family of four was on a Europe trip and was staying in Amsterdam for five days. Dad wanted to make a daytrip to Delft, where he had studied when he was young.  Back then he mostly stayed in Delft so he thought it would be a nice idea to explore the surroundings of Delft a bit. Besides, they had already been in the city for some time so a day outdoors would be nice. Mum and dad were quite looking forward to doing something which was relaxing and active at the same time. Their girls were excited, it was one big adventure for them.

"Sorry we're late, I was just amazed by the interior of Delft station. So much has changed here in Delft!"

The family bike tour Delft went downhill

"Sorry we're late, I was just amazed by the interior of Delft station. So much has changed here in Delft!" Dad said with a broad smile on his face. While he was still taking in all the changes, we walked over to the bikes. It took a while to get started; the girls felt a bit uncomfortable on bikes which were not their own. As soon as they were used to them and got a good cycling speed we were flying! Especially downhill.  We get to that later ;)

hand operated bridge tour Delft Verita's Visit ophaalbrug
Family watching hand operated bridge

 

Holland bridges & windmills

We reached Schipluiden right in time to see the draw bridge being opened. Manually. The whole family was impressed and even I have to say I was quite surprised that this bridge is still drawn manually. Mum quickly slipped into a shop selling only local products. Her interest inspired me to show the big greenhouse behind restaurant Indigo.  Everything produced here is used in their dishes.

We went through the Schipluiden village. Through the 'ohs' and the 'ahs' I could make out the family bike tour Delft & surroundings was a success. Mum was clearly enjoying the houses, the water and the girls happily pointed out all the flowers and young  birds. When we reached the river Gaag I told them the story of the flour mill De Korpershoek. The train bridge once used for transporting fruit & vegetable is now part of the cycle route. The 10-year old threw her legs in the air when she went downhill. This train bridge is a big hit!

 

Family time bike tour Delft playground stop Verita's Visit familie uitje

 

I promised the girls a farmers' ice-cream which they rapidly finished. When mum saw the special swing on the playground she gets the whole family together. That swing is quite an attraction every time I have a family on tour in Delft.

DIY bike ferry Delft Verita's Visit

The famous Delft bike ferry

We continued out family bike tour Delft area with polders on one side, the water on the other.  When we reached my favourite bike ferry the girls look a tad bit scared. "Do we have to cross with that, mum?", they ask.  Dad took the lead, giving the wheel with the chain a good swing. We jumped onto the ferry and mum, dad and the girls had a good exercise bringing us across. - I always take the pictures of the whole activity which in itself needs a lot of concentration :P -

After drinks & bites on the terrace boats with view on the wetlands & sailing boats at restaurant Vlietzicht it was time to head back and end our family bike tour Delft.


What the family said:

We had such a nice time with you. Thank you for a fun day!


Related posts:

Cycle Tour Delft Countryside

Tandem Bike tour Delft Countryside


August Events in the Netherlands

Summer in Holland is fantastic. Long, colourful days with nice temperatures and a good amount of sunshine ( most of the time at least).   Whether you like music, food or flowers, t here's always something to do. Most of the time you can even combine all of your interests, passions and hobbies by going to one place or even one festival.  Now, to make sure you won't miss out on some typical Dutch activities during your Holland holiday I wanted to highlight some August events in the Netherlands that Verita's Visit organises themed food & flowers.

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team event boat race Gouda Holland Verita's Visit

Team building event in Gouda area

The 7th of June was going to be the day.  The team building event in Gouda area. I was going to meet a group of 17 people from an international company at their office in Bodegraven for a bike- & boat tour with game elements. And then it started to rain. Windspeed 6. The long predicted storm happened on the day I was most looking forward to. Emma, who managed the event from client's side, emailed me the day before and suggested to move  this team building event to the 20th of June. For this event we quickly made other arrangements.

team event boat race Gouda Holland Verita's VisitBrewing a company outing

It was great to organise two team building events in Gouda area for the same international company. I was in close contact with Emma and kept communicating with the other organisations. The bike- and boat tour was a dream event and even when everything had to be changed lastminute for the event on the 7th my heart was beating faster.  I have so many ideas and at the moment I have the change to use my creativity and get a green light I just let myself go. Emma suggested a brewery tour for the 7th, which I had in mind as well. After that she thought a city walk through Gouda would be nice as the rain would clear in the late afternoon/ early evening. So, very lastminute I made the arrangements and they had a fun and informative company outing.

Video made by participant

Building a team in the Dutch Wetlands

Then the 20th of June came. Together with Lisette, the event planner and jack-of-all-trade at Watersnip, I had planned out the team building activity on the water. The 33 participants of the international company would be doing a rowing competition and if they had some sailing experience do some sailing game as well. The teams had all be given colourful shirts by my client and soon showed their practical, social and/ or leadership skills. As images speak a thousand words, here is a selection of the pictures I took of the team building event in Gouda area.

Dear participants, dear Lisette, Emma & Kellie, thank you all for this colourful day!


Top places to see heather in the Netherlands

 Sometimes I get so excited, I’m near to obsessed. The last weeks I’ve been checking different websites, social media almost every hour to see the updates. Updates of what, you might ask. Well, you know how in winter some Dutch are glued to the weather forecast hoping for the Eleven Cities Tour to happen? And you also know how in spring some Dutch and many tourists check sites like bloemenradar to see if and where the tulips in Holland are blooming? Well, then you should also know about the spectacular sight Dutch nature offers in August.

National phenomenon in August in the Dutch national park near Amsterdam
National phenomenon in August in the Dutch national park near Amsterdam

When is the best time to see heather in bloom?

These days I can just check on sites like Staatsbosbeheer or Natuurmonumenten if and where the heather is blooming. People living in the different Dutch regions where the heather flowers can be enjoyed now compete with each other to get the best pictures of the purple fields. A few years ago I still had to go and search the best places for heather myself. There even were years in which I went to one particular spot to find out the heather beetle had already eaten all the beautiful flowers, a day later I would go to another place to discover the heather was already gone. This year, seeing the pictures on the websites mentioned above it is an exceptional good year for the heather. One piece of advice: if you want to see the heather fields, go now. They only bloom a couple of weeks.

heather dunes Schoorle duinen national park Holland-veritasvisit
Schoorlse duinen one of my top places to see heather in the Netherlands

Top places to see heather in the netherlands

Three of my top places to see heather in the Netherlands this year are:

De Posbank, Gelderland. A beautiful hilly area with fantastic view points over the purple heather fields. I’ve cycled this area in Veluwezoom so many times, I can almost dream it. You can even spot deers and of course many sheep J It’s amazing!

Schoorlse Duinen, Noord-Holland. This is where I went to this year. With the whiteness of the dunes, the fantastic blue skies and the purple fields it is truly breathtaking. In Schoorl itself is a beautiful dune right in the middle of the town, which you really should visit. Around it there are several bars and restaurants and just around the corner is a Pinoccio where you can get a delicious ice-cream.

Dwingelerveld, Drenthe. This Dutch province is known for its dolmens, the prehistoric burial chambers. The cycle route through this area is diverse and quite surprising. You find different types of landscapes and these dolmens are scattered through the beautiful scenery of purple heather flowers.

Cycling through the Dutch dune landcape filled with heather
Cycling through the Dutch dune landcape filled with heather

Cycle routes and walking trails through nature parks the Netherlands

In this blog I have, as a true cycle fan, said I cycled these areas. There are of course also many walking trails through these nature parks in the Netherlands.  The most beautiful walking trails are explained on https://www.natuurmonumenten.nl/routes/de-mooiste-routes-over-de-heide

Walking trail through dunes & heather fields
Walking trail through dunes & heather fields

I do wish you a marvellous time in the midst of nature and heather. Please share your pictures of the purple field of heather in the comments or on facebook . In case you need any help in finding the best route, where to rent a bike or accommodation, you know where to find me.

Enjoy!

Got distracted by a branch of acorns
Got distracted by a branch of acorns

 

 


The Hague Horse Drawn Carriage Ride in a Day Tour

The kids were exhausted. On the way back to their hotel in The Hague they just fell asleep. It didn't seem to matter that they were doing something unusual. The The Hague horse drawn carriage ride, the cherry on the cake of the whole tour, passed unnoticed. Did we do too much on this one day tour The Hague area?

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The Village Feeling of a Dutch City

Village feeling in Dutch city Woerden, Utrecht region. Copyright: Woerden Marketing
Village feeling in Dutch city Woerden, Utrecht region. Copyright: Woerden Marketing

If you are still looking for a great summer destination I have a tip for you. Make a city trip in the Netherlands! Now, I know that many of you will be surprised that I give this suggestion given the fact that I absolutely adore the Dutch countryside, nature and . Well, I have to tell you a secret.

A non-touristy Dutch city in Utrecht Region

Many cities in the Netherlands are actually quite small. Take Woerden, a Dutch city in Utrecht region I recently discovered myself. It has around 52.000 inhabitants and it still has this village feeling. Visit this place on a Saturday, when the local farmers & cheese market takes place and you'll still be able to walk around without being crushed by groups of tourists. It really is a perfect example of village feeling  of a Dutch city.

polders surrounding woerden Dutch nature

Starting point of Dutch countryside adventures

Woerden is also the capital of what we call the Green Heart, a nature area in the middle of the main cities of Utrecht, Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. That means Woerden is surrounded by nature. The typical Dutch landscapes of polders with the black-and-white cows are just around the corner. Go on a bike ride or a walk and you'll be amazed by the setting of the peaceful villages located near the river Rhine with their small cottages and homey feel. Best thing is that Woerden is also a short trainride away from Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden and Gouda.  Should you miss the big city life.

 

Posts that are related:


Behind the Scenes of the Flower Parade

It was a sunny Tuesday evening. There were waves of wind rolling through the feverish red tulip fields. All the tulips seemed to point their heads in the same direction: that of the big hall at the end of the lane.

This blogpost was written in 2016 and updated in March 2022.

There were chills running down my spine of pure excitement. In less than an hour I would walk into that hall and dive behind the scenes of the flower parade only to come out again three days later. I had a hunch, an idea, of the amazing creations I would find there, but wasn't prepared for the things I would see.

 

Sightseeing in keukenhof area to find the local festivals

Last years I've been going sightseeing through the area Keukenhof by bike and each year I discovered new places, hidden treasures. I've never been in this hall or behind the scenes of the Flower Parade in the Keukenhof area. As soon as I enter the building, my jaw drops and my eyes open wide. Spread throughout the hall are enormous objects made out of the kind of foam you want to pinch your finger in to see if it is as fluffy as it looks like.

All kinds of building constructions are made around it so the volunteers are able to reach the higher parts easier. There are crates full of hyacinths, orchids, daffodils and tulips and boxes full of staples are waiting to be used.  Above all there are volunteers walking around everywhere and there is music and a place to sit and have a drink. Even though this hall is huge, all these things add up to a relaxed atmosphere and give a very homey feeling.

We have special tours behind the scenes of the flower parade from Wednesday 20 April till Friday 22 April 2022. Want to join us?   Contact  Verita's Visit Holland for more information.

Who is the flower parade winner?

But, don't let appearances fool you. There's a lot to be done. While I'm touring my English, Dutch and Spanish speaking groups around and tell them about the history and the making of this 69th edition of the 2016 Flower Parade Bollenstreek, there is a competition going on. All the floats and flower arrangements and decorations have to be done before Friday morning. The volunteers, all from different associations and clubs in the area, work day and night to finish their project. Every part of the float has to be perfect. Because besides fun, every team also hopes to win the first prize. So, the teams are definitely under pressure. It can be sensed in the air, especially Thursday evening, when the deadline comes closer.

Shower for the flowers of the parade

On Friday everything is done.  All construction is gone, everything is cleaned and the last preparations for the Flower Parade are being made. The air is literaly being cleared, as fire men spray the floats with water to freshen up the flowers. Hopefully all the flowers keep their fresh look for the next few days. That very evening the floats pass through Noordwijkerhout.  On Saturday morning they leave Noordwijk and the Flower Parade finishes in Haarlem. All the floats can be admired one last time in the city center of Haarlem on Sunday.

 

Till next year. A new edition , a new episode of behind the scenes of the flower parade.

A big thanks to all the volunteers for having given me the opportunity to enjoy and become not just a tulip maniac and a Keukenhof area fan, but also a Flower Parade (over)enthusiast.

Keukenhof kissing couple-veritasvisit
The first prize in the Flower Parade Bollenstreek 2016: Keukenhof with the Delft blue kissing couple, the clog and the tulip vase

Recommended tours

https://veritasvisit.nl/en/seasonal-holiday-tours-holland/tulip-celebrations-keukenhof-netherlands/

https://veritasvisit.nl/en/uitje/leiden-tulip-bike-tour-personal-vip/

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Keukenhof area flowers and sea

Why summer is the best time to visit Keukenhof area

Amsterdam Keukenhof Alternative Day Program

 

 


Tips for a Day Out in the Tulip Fields

A day out in the tulip fields is the best way to enjoy your visit to the Netherlands in spring. When you have friends coming over, a company outing, family visiting, head towards the Keukenhof and you soon feel your smile growing by the sight of the multicoloured tulip fields....And don't forget the scent of the hyacinth fields. It's all one dreamlike package. Here are some tips to get the most out of your daytrip Amsterdam - Keukenhof.

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What's the name of Keukenhof area?

Ask anyone where the Keukenhof & its surroundings are located and they tell you it's close to Amsterdam (35km to be precise). Some will tell you Keukenhof flower garden is situated between Leiden and Haarlem and others can even tell you the name of the town: Lisse. Only few will give you the name of Keukenhof area. That's a pity, because it's where the story of tulips and bulb flowers starts.

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