Holiday in the heart of nature at a Landal GreenParks resort for a break that really brings a family together in the great outdoors. I took my family off to Landal De Vers in the Netherlands this year and we had such a fabulous time that we are looking to book our next great 'green' getaway!
This was a holiday to remember for us as a family. My husband, Tom, and our two boys, Dylan and Ryan aged nine and seven, and myself have never had a holiday where we burned off so much energy and yet felt so relaxed. We are very much an outdoor and active family - our boys absolutely love being out exploring. On this holiday at Landal De Vers, which borders Limburg and North Brabant in the Netherlands, we felt like we were having great adventures every day.
Cycling is our big thing and the Netherlands is the place to do it! This country caters to cyclists in every way and we felt very safe on our bicycle rides, even outside our resort. Which was just as well, as we cycled lots - as far as 20 miles a day on our trips out. We get our sun and sand fix with our regular holidays to Dubai, but for the rest of the time, it has to be fresh air, endless forests, hills and villages to explore together as a family.
Landal De Vers is close to the really pretty village of Overloon, which is an idyllic location just a couple of miles from the River Meuse and not very far from some amazing attractions. One of the highlights of our rides of discovery here was visiting Lake 't Schaartven in Holtheserdijk. It is a recreational lake where we got off our bikes and enjoyed a paddle in its clear waters. Just a 20-minute bike ride away, we found ZooParc Overloon. It was a brilliant set up, having a bus which took us in closer to the animals - we saw giraffes, lions and many exotic creatures. The whole area was staged with safari jeeps, old planes and all sorts to set the scene. Then we got even closer to our furry friends at the petting zoo - meeting the goats and smaller critters here of course! We had such a fantastic time that we visited the zoo three days running.
We chose to fly into the Netherlands, and to hire a car to get around, hiring our bikes on resort. We flew from Manchester to Eindhoven Airport in North Brabant, which was a scenic 45-minute drive from our resort. The flight prices were more than reasonable - unbelievably cheap actually - so that was a holiday bonus.
It was useful having the car option, as we were able to get further in a day than on our bikes. A 40-minute drive from the resort, we found the Irrland farm-adventure theme park, said to be the biggest of its kind in Europe. Again, it was pure magic for Dylan and Ryan, who had fun playing on the biggest bouncy castle I have ever seen that looked like an inflated temple; they also played airports on real airplanes that had slides fitted to their doors. It was a fun day trip for an energetic and curious family such as ours!
Last, but by no means least, the resort itself was perfect. We stayed in a two-bedroom lodge with a full kitchen, TV, heating and an outdoor area that was like our own private garden. Having never tried this type of holiday before I was impressed; it was much more comfortable than I expected. Dylan and Ryan were spoilt for choice when it came to on-resort entertainment. There were go-karts, play areas, a fabulous pool where Ryan did his first ever forward somersault into the water, restaurants and, of course cycle tracks. It was a beautiful woodland retreat and we felt as if we were out in the wild, and yet we were able to cycle into the tiny neighbouring village of Overloon every morning to do our breakfast shop, while our boys made straight for the lovely ice cream shop.
It was one of the best holidays we've had and we are all agreed that we'd return in a heartbeat.
There are 80 Landal GreenParks resorts across eight countries throughout Europe, and the lodge accommodation sleeps between 2 to 12 people.
It is such an easy journey from the UK. There are three ferry routes operating between England and Holland giving you 28 sailings each week. Stena Line's Harwich to Hook of Holland ferry sailing takes seven hours. Eurostar runs three trains a day from London's St Pancras International and Amsterdam, taking just three hours and 52 minutes. Taking to the air, the flight times between London's Heathrow and Amsterdam-Schiphol airports is one hour and five minutes.
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