When the sun shines, the temperature rises pleasantly and the wind calms down, the time has finally come.
The roof can be removed from your convertible, after which you can start on some wonderful tours.
Touring with a convertible is very different from driving a normal car. It's not about speed, it's mainly about driving a relaxed route, where you see many beautiful things. So many shortcuts, with as little traffic as possible on the road.
Of course you would prefer not to drive all day long; then you are so through your route…. Every now and then it is nice to step out and enjoy a beautiful sight or a delicious lunch on a beautiful terrace.
Convertible routes ANWB
The ANWB has had a list available for years with no fewer than 47 recreational car routes that you can drive. For people who have been driving recreational convertible routes for years, that is undoubtedly a piece of cake, but if you are not yet such an experienced touring driver, it is undoubtedly nice to reduce that number a bit.
Moreover, the ANWB does not explain why that one route is so beautiful. I will do that in this overview of the 7 most beautiful convertible routes in the Netherlands.
7. Wad en Maren route – Groningen
For the majority of the Dutch it is undoubtedly quite a long drive to reach this route. It is therefore best not to drive this tour in one day and combine it with 1 or 2 overnight stays in the area. But precisely because of the extremely remote nature of the route, it is worth it.
The Wad en Maren area in North-East Groningen is a beautiful part of the Netherlands that hardly anyone knows or has seen. Over time, the area has been conquered from the water. This did not go smoothly, however, and the dikes regularly broke during high water. In order not to lose their houses and livestock, the farmers decided to build mounds. Hills on which they built their farms and where they could possibly bring their livestock during high water.
The route passes many villages, some of which are even built on mounds. A good example of this is Winsum-Obergum. Two villages that have grown together, each built on a mound. Winsum is also very historic, including a beautiful historic market square, where you can sit at various restaurants or cafes.
The most famous attraction on the route is undoubtedly the seal sanctuary in Pieterburen. For many years wounded or orphaned seals have been taken care of here. After a while they are released back into the Wadden area. You can also take a look for yourself here. From Pieterburen it is then only a few hundred meters to the sea. Ideal if you want to stretch your legs for a nice walk as a break from the route.
6. Salland route – Overijssel
I mention the Salland route mainly because of the almost perfect combination of nature and culture. The route starts and ends on the N348, near Deventer. He then makes a round where you eventually end up in Deventer via Holten and Ommen. In between you will pass through the Sallands hilly area. One of the most beautiful nature reserves in the Netherlands, but just a bit too far away for most people from the Randstad.
The area around and behind the IJssel used to be a very rich area. Merchants from Deventer, Zuthpen, Kampen and Zwolle, among others, traded mainly with the Scandinavian countries. The hinterland also benefited from this. Along the way you will see a beautiful combination of old mills, castles, country houses and very old farms.
The most interesting place, where you should definitely stop, is Holten. Close by you will also find the Holterberg. If you like walking, it is definitely worth putting on your walking shoes and walking a bit up the Sallandse Heuvelrug. You can also choose to grab a bite to eat at the many restaurants in the area.
5. The Bulb Region Route – South Holland
This is a route that you should drive especially in the spring. The area is mainly known for the many flower bulb fields that you will see criss-crossing each other. In addition, the growers find it important to show every year how beautiful their flowers are. That happens during the flower parades. Of course there is also the Keukenhof, but it is (express?) not on the road.
The convertible tour starts in Oegstgeest, which is located just above Leiden. then you drive to the north and you will pass among others Lisse and Hillegom. These are excellent places where you can see many flower bulb fields. If you drive a little further, you will cross the Leidsche Trekvaart at Vogelenzang. This was formerly used as the main transport route for the Bollenstreek. It was the reason why the growers started planting flower bulbs in this area in the first place.
As a nice change you will eventually end up in Noordwijk. This is close to the sea and provides a transition to the dunes area and of course the beach. If you want, you can park your car here and take a nice walk on the beach.
Finally you will return to Leiden. This is an ideal place to end your tour. You can enjoy delicious food in the many restaurants and cafes of the city. Don't forget to stop by the Burcht. This is where the castle that guarded the city used to be.
4. South Veluwe Route – Gelderland
Of all the convertible tours, this is a true classic that you can drive endlessly. The route leads from Ede to Arnhem and then returns to Ede via Park de Hoge Veluwe. The largest part of the trail runs along the edge of the Veluwe, which ensures that you do not drive in the forest all day. Along the way there are plenty of opportunities to get out and do something else.
For example, you can visit the Open Air Museum in Arnhem. That too is of course a classic, but one that fits nicely into the atmosphere of the route. Near Arnhem you will find the Veluwezoom. An area where the afforestation is slightly less dense and there is more room for open grassy plains. A little further north, this is completely different. The route leads right past the entrance of the Hoge Veluwe. Unfortunately you are not allowed in there by car. You can, however, stop and transfer to one of the many white bicycles in the park.
Where you can get by car is Sint-Hubertus. This hunting fortress is also officially part of the park, but can be viewed separately. It is definitely worth it and also offers the opportunity to eat or drink something.
3. Friese merenroute - Friesland
If there is one thing you would like to do, it is to take a leisurely tour of the panoramic views in your convertible. This is very difficult in many areas in the Netherlands. Our country is very built-up. An exception to this is the Frisian Lake District. Relatively few people live here and there is a lot of nature. On top of that, it is also quite a touristic area, which means that the facilities are completely in order.
The route officially starts in Sneek, but if you come from the south, you can also start at Rohel at the Tjeukemeer. From there, the route heads north and leads via Joure to Terherne. This is the site of the Chameleon Village, which you can actually visit. It is also one of the most beautiful parts of the route. Feel free to drive a little slower and really enjoy the beautiful view here.
Via Grou you will eventually arrive in Sneek. This is a real water sports place, where you can safely stop for lunch. The city itself is also worth a visit. When you're ready, get back into the convertible and arrive at the next highlight of the tour. That is the Oudega-Gaastmeer-Heeg circle, where you see a lot of water. And with good weather also a lot of boats. Finally, you drive around the Slotermeer, after which you arrive at the starting point again.
2. Leak and Lingeroute
The area of this tour is close to the Randstad, but is still quite unknown. It is an area of polders, canals, mills and many farms. A lot of flat land, therefore, where it is wonderful to cruise in good weather: panoramic views that can be seen even better from the many dikes on the route.
The route starts at Arkel aan de Linge, a village just above Gorinchem. From there you drive down the dike along the Linge. This is not a big river, but it is a very long one. The route follows the Linge as far as Asperen and then turns north to find the Lek. If you wish, you can of course follow the Linge further. At Beesd you will find the Mariënwaarde estate, which is partly open to cars. A hotspot for convertible drivers.
Via many polders you will eventually reach Everdingen. From there follow the Lek all the way to Streefkerk. From there the route leads via the Albasserwaard, again with many polders and mills, back to Arkel.
1. Mergelland route (Limburg)
This route can of course not be missed in this top 7. In my opinion, this route is the most beautiful convertible route in the Netherlands. The reason for that is that he is so non-Dutch. Here you will find hills, limestone quarries, Burgundian castles and a completely different culture. Driving this route is like secretly going abroad, while you are actually still in the Netherlands.
The route also takes you past a large number of beautiful places. For example, you will pass Vaals, where you will find the three-country point. Just before that you drive on the Epenerbaan through a beautiful hilly and wooded area.
Then you drive parallel to the border to the north. Via Gulpen you will eventually arrive in Valkenburg. This small city is one of the biggest attractions of Limburg. Not only is the city itself very beautiful to walk through, but the surroundings are also definitely worth a visit. For example, you can visit the caves, but also climb the Caubergh. If you walk or drive a bit further, you will arrive at Schaloen Castle, where you can also spend the night.
The tour continues through Maastricht. So not around the city, but straight through the historic center. You follow the Maas, as it were, back to the south and you will automatically arrive at the Sint-Pietersberg. Unfortunately you can't drive over it, but you can park at the base for a walk.