Think of Holland and we bet you’re conjuring up pictures of flat, open landscapes, canals, windmills, clogs and cheese. Oh, and flowers – millions of them. Well, yes, Holland has all that and visits to the coastal strip of North and South Holland between Leiden and Haarlem will provide you with these colourful scenes while a trip to Kinderdijk will tick ‘windmills’ off your list of things to see when you visit the Netherlands. The group of 19 windmills there are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. No less, a visit to picturesque Alkmaar in North Holland will tick boxes for Dutch cheeses, canals and windmills.

But what of vineyards, Megalithic tombs, ice-skating and, dare one say it, hills? The Netherlands has all these too. You’ll find Dutch wine produced from the Maastricht vineyards. The River Maas – or Meuse/Moselle as you may well know it better when it flows through Germany and France – travels right through Holland and is surrounded by idyllic countryside. There are also 52 megaliths along the Megalithic Route in Drenthe, one of the least known or visited regions of Holland. If we get a cold winter, head for Holland and join in the hysteria among ice-skaters when the canals freeze over in Friesland for the marathon Elfstedentocht race. And finally, it’s true, Holland really does have hills. 

While almost a quarter of the country is at or below sea level, you’ll find hills created by shifting sand in the Hoge Veluwe National Park (in Gelderland Province) and, amid the chalk hills of Zuid Limburg, the Vaalserberg, the country’s highest point on the border with Germany and Belgium.

Though hillsides may be scarce, culture abounds, from the paintings of the Dutch masters hanging in fabulous art galleries, to magnificent and iconic pottery in Delft. There are also fairytale castles punctuated with turrets and towers to see, as well as buildings that are the legacy of a maritime heritage of seafarers and Colonial trade. 

Only after seeing all that, can you consider buying a pair of souvenir clogs for your feet!