Where is it?

On the map below you find South-Holland in the western region of the country.


At coast there are beautiful sand beaches. Immediately after the beach you find the dune area. Especially in the southern part you will recognize the river delta landscape. Near the North Sea the river landscapes gets a very industrial look, as you approach the harbours of Rotterdam. Just to the east of the harbor area at the beautiful polder area Alblasserwaard, you find the famous windmill park "Kinderdijk". (See Windmills).The western part east of the dunes is mainly an urban area. But, there is a hidden treasure, called the Green Heart. The Green Heart is an area with polders,  lakes agriculture, willow trees. It is a very quiet area and therefore valued by the Dutch. Also the south-east area is a polder area, between the towns Gouda and Utrecht. This is as beautiful as the Green Heart. You will get a nice view on both the Green Heart and this area (called Lopikerwaard) if you travel by train between Gouda and Utrecht.

Urban area

Large cities are Rotterdam and The Hague (Den Haag). For hikers smaller towns may be more interesting to visit. My recommendations:

  • Delft: an old town with a few canals and rich 16th century history.
  • Gouda: a small friendly town, nice town hall and market.
  • Schoonhoven: The silver town, with a lot of jewelers. An old town on the river Lek. Take the ferry here to visit the Alblasserwaard.
  • Haastrecht: a small but nice town It has a regional museum and a Gemaal you may visit.
  • Schiedam: Also a hidden treasure. Old but very poor town, now surrounded by the Rotterdam urban area.  Has a large numer of wind mills inside the town.
  • Maassluis: a small harbour town, nice, with characteristic old Dutch houses, village like atmosphere, harbour.


Starting just south of the Hague and all the way North, you will find a nice sand beach. Good in summer for enjoying the sun or in winter for a long walk along the coast.

Along the coast you will find a number of bathing towns. The towns are not really interesting, but the form the centers of the beach life. If you like morre quiet places, walk a away 1 or 2 km fro the center.

  • Hoek van Holland: entrance of the port of Rotterdam. If you like to watch large ships, this is the place to go.
  • Kijkduin: just at the south side of the Hage, small not very crowded.
  • Scheveningen: harbour, casino, many restaurants, crowded and a relatively small beach.
  • Wassenaar: wide beach, one of the most beatiful dune areas just behind the beach. Especiaaly Meyendel is a wonderful nature reserve.
  • Katwijk: fishing town, noting interesting
  • Noordwijk: bit larger than Katwijk, many hotels and conference centers.

You can reach all towns mentioned quite well by public transport.

See also