Most Googled: What is the highest point in the Netherlands?
As the Netherlands' name literally translates to “low lands”, and considering the country’s reputation for flatness, you would be forgiven for thinking there were no summits or peaks in the Netherlands. You would, however, be wrong. No, there is no snow-capped mountain range tucked away in Limburg, but there are a couple of small hills to be discovered.
But where is the highest point in the Netherlands? And how high is it, exactly? Read on to find out!
The official highest point in the Netherlands isn’t in the Netherlands
Technically, if you take a look at the Kingdom of the Netherlands in its entirety, that also includes three countries in the Caribbean - Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten - as well as three bijzondere gemeenten (special municipalities) - Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius - which together make up the Dutch Caribbean.
With this in mind, you likely won’t be surprised to hear that the point officially registered as the highest point in the kingdom isn’t in the Netherlands, but can instead be found on the island of Saba. Measuring 887 metres high, Mount Scenery is far and away the highest point in the Netherlands.
So, what is the highest point in the Netherlands?
Is that cheating? Maybe a little. So, if you’re just looking at the Netherlands, with its 12 provinces and 345 municipalities, then what is the highest point? Within the European borders of the Netherlands, the highest point is Vaalserberg, which can be found in Limburg, just a stone's throw away from the Belgian border.
Limburg does have a slightly different landscape than the rest of the Netherlands, known for its rolling hills and beautiful countryside. The Vaalserberg is 322,5 metres above Normaal Amsterdams Peil (NAP), or the normal level in the city of Amsterdam, which is the standard used by Dutch authorities to measure heights and altitudes in the Netherlands. A NAP height of 0 metres is approximately equal to the average sea level of the North Sea.
Visit Vaalserberg: The Dutch mountain (kind of)
If you’re keen to experience the elusive Dutch hill, then it’s sure to guarantee a great day out! There are some beautiful hikes that you can go on in the local area, allowing you to explore the valley from which the Vaalserberg got its name and walk through kilometres of charming woodlands before reaching the top.
If 322,5 metres just isn’t high enough for you, once you’re there you can head up to the top of the Boudewijntoren, a viewing tower at the top of the hill which offers beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Furthermore, near the top of the hill, you’ll find the Drielandenpunt, or the three countries' point, which is the precise place where the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany meet. So cool!
What about the highest dune in the Netherlands?
If hills and woodlands aren’t really you’re kind of thing, then maybe you’d rather visit the Netherlands’ highest dune. The Dutch landscape is generally more known for its sand and dunes than its hills, after all.
The Netherlands’ highest dune isn’t anywhere near as tall as the Vaalserberg, but it is a rather impressive 55,4 metres high (and trust us, you definitely feel every single one of those metres when you try to climb it).
The dune is located in the town of Schoorl, not too far from Alkmaar, and is part of a stunning landscape flush with a diverse variety of flora and fauna. There are plenty of ways to explore the local area, so have a go at your very own adventure by following one of the many cycling or walking paths.
Not too fussed about all the physical activity? You’ll be happy to hear there’s a restaurant and a bar located right at the bottom of the 51-metre Klimduin (“climbing dune”) which not only offers a pretty decent view to enjoy while you’re sipping on your beer and eating those biterballen, but is also guaranteed to keep the little ones occupied.
The highest point in each of the Dutch provinces
Want to visit more of the Netherlands’ highest summits? Here’s a list of the highest points each province in the Netherlands has to offer:
- The Vaalserberg, Limburg (322 metres)
- Rozendaalse veld, Gelderland (110 metres)
- Tankenberg, Overijssel (85 metres)
- Amerongse berg, Utrecht (69 metres)
- Catrijper Nok, North Holland (55 metres)
- Groot-Valkenisse, Zeeland (52 metres)
- Vamberg, Drenthe (48 metres)
- Vuurboetsduin, Friesland (45 metres)
- Hueveltop bij Luyksgestel, North Brabant (44 metres)
- Vlaggenduin bij Katwijk, South Holland (37 metres)
- Kardingebult, Groningen (32 metres)
- De bult van Urk, Flevoland (8,3 metres)
Want to explore more of the Dutch nature and landscape? Check out our list of the most magnificent hikes in the Netherlands.
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