Groningen is one of the most important (university) cities in the northern part of the Netherlands. Do you like peace, space and nature but also the vibe of a city? Then Groningen is a wonderful destination. Discover the beautiful coasts and impressive flora and fauna in the oldest cultural landscape of the Netherlands: ‘Middag-Humsterland’. Birders can also indulge in the National Park Lauwersmeer with its unprecedented bird richness.
With this trip you will visit the northern part of the Netherlands close to the province Friesland. This part of the Netherlands is ‘far away’ from the busy Randstad. From Amsterdam it’s about 200 km travelling. If you wish you can pass Giethoorn (also known as little Venice) as well.
The City Groningen is a versatile bustling city in the north of the Netherlands. It is full of culture with the Groninger Museum, various events such as Noorderzon and Eurosonic Noorderslag, a wide range of great shops and nice restaurants. The absolute eyecatcher of Groningen is of course the Martinitoren on the Grote Markt. From this tower you have a beautiful view over the city. There are beautiful historical buildings to visit as well as small streets that bring you back to the 17th century. These streets offers also a lot of trendy design shops. This in combination with the historical harbour in the city gives the full experience of Groningen.
Combine your citytrip to Groningen with a visit to one of our Islands or country sides.
Take part in the daily life of the middle century
A unique (most people from the Netherlands do not even know) place to discover the past is Bourtange. Bourtange is a perfect restored small fortified town, located east of the city of Groningen. Nature, culture and history come together here. Go back in time and see medieval architecture, canals and dikes. The city has four museums, a number of restaurants, historic shops and a hotel in the former soldier barracks. Make sure that you do not miss the re-enactment of the battles from the Eighty Years’ War against Spain!
Discover the beautiful country houses
Borgen of the junkers from previous centuries. They usually originate from a ‘stone house’, a simple defensive work from the 14th or 15th century with thick walls in which wealthy farmers could flee in times of danger. The most famous one is Mankamaborg (17th century), but the oldest ones are Fraeylemaborg (13th century) and Landgoed Nienoord (15th century). This estate offers also a swimming pool and amusement park)
The coast near Groningen
This part of the Wadden Sea World Heritage offers peace and space and cannot be found any-where else in the Netherlands. You will discover beautiful beaches with views beyond the sandbanks and dunes of Rottum (small island). Walk and cycle through sea clay areas with endless empties and beautiful villages. From here it is also easy to continue to one of the ‘bounty’ island of the Netherlands Schiermonnikoog. On your way from Groningen a visit to the Seal Center is also an option. Here you can learn all about the problems that seals face and what the center does to help them. You are even able to join the rescue ship for a day. Some days left? Why don’t you make a cruise (i.e. 4 days) to visit the different Islands in the Wadden Sea?
Experience a special wilderness
A rugged history has transformed the Lauwersmeer National Park into a unique nature reserve. Full of peace, space and eccentric animal species. Discover it for yourself. You can combine this with a visit to the village of Lauwersoog with an open air museum full of monumental ships. A little further you cycle past the real port of Lauwersoog. This is a fishing port where many fishing boats often lie. The harbour offers a beautiful view of the Wadden Sea and with good weather Schiermonnikoog.
Example Itinerary 4 days
(From 195 euro including public transport)
Day 1. Arriving in Groningen City (by private transport or public transport) and check in at your hotel*. In the evening take a walk to enjoy the restaurants or bars.
Day 2. Free day in Groningen city to discover the beauty of the city with help of our local guide book. Also possible with private guide tour and visit Martini tower (only in summer in English).
Day 3. In the morning transport (private or public) to the beautiful nature of Lauwersmeer (50km or 1:45 hrs by public transport). Here you can do activities like biking and hiking. Additional for example a visit to seal centre or a visit one of the famous country houses. At the end of the day you go by ferry (45 minutes) to Schiermonnikoog and stay there overnight in a nice hotel*.
Day 4. Relax on the beach of Schiermonnikoog or get in action with an adventure as ‘wadlopen’ (walk, considering the tides, over the mudflats) or take a bike tour around the island. At the end of the day you return by ferry to travel to your next destination. (E.g. enjoy Island hopping to Ameland including a night at a historic sail ship).
*Choose a hotel with suits you best:
Stay Basic: simple hotel or campsite
Stay Luxury: nice >*** hotel with private bathroom
Stay Special: stay overnight in a B&B on a boat, monumental warehouse or holiday farm.