forested hilly area with multiple kinds of terrain, including wetland and heathland

The Veluwe is a region of Gelderland, the Netherlands, consisting of a forested hill ridge of the same name that formed during the last ice age.


Map of Veluwe

  • 1 Apeldoorn — Historically renowned for its paper industry, nowadays better known for the Het Loo palace as well as Apenheul zoo.
  • 2 Barneveld — Home to the Oud Veluwse Markt (Old Veluwe Market) during the summer.
  • 3 Ede — Home to the Heideweek (Heath Week) in the last week of August, which is one of the biggest events of Gelderland.
  • 4 Elburg — Hanseatic city on the former Zuiderzee, with a historic centre that was completely rebuilt in a grid pattern as early as 1392.
  • 5 Epe — Quiet town in the north of the region.
  • 6 Gelders Arcadië — Region in the south best known for the many country estates and castles that dot the landscape.
  • 7 Harderwijk — Historical city with a protected city centre, once home to a renowned university that saw the likes of Swedish botanist and taxonomist Carl Linnaeus take lectures here.
  • 8 Wageningen — University city known for said university, as well as the signing of German capitulation to the Netherlands, ending World War II in the Netherlands.

Other destinations



De Planken Wambuis, a forest and nature reserve near Ede.

The landscape of the Veluwe formed in the Saalian (350.000 to 130.000 years ago), when a thick ice sheet covered most of Northern Europe. This glacier pushed along the existing landmasses to form hill ridges at its edges. This makes it to where the Veluwe until 1867 (when Limburg (Netherlands) was incorporated) was the highest part of the Netherlands, some 110 metres (360 ft) above median sea level. These glacial origins are still visible in the modern-day landscape, with large Scandinavian rocks being dotted throughout the sandy landscape, deposited here by the glacier.

Once the climate became warmer, the Veluwe got covered with forests, though mankind deforested a lot of these lands during the Mediaeval period to facilitate an iron industry which demanded large amounts of charcoal. These turned the forests into a mostly barren sand landscape, which in turn got turned into sand dunes by the wind. These problems caused the region to depopulate, and removed virtually all ancient forests. The modern-day tree coverage is managed for wood production. Mostly the edges of the Veluwe, around the rivers and former sea, as well as around Apeldoorn, have been repopulated since the nineteenth century.

Human activity on the Veluwe is known to have existed since the Bronze age, the evidence of which can still be seen in Celtic Fields and hundreds of burial mounts found through out the region.

The Veluwe is mostly known for its nature, which features many sand drifts, moor- and heathlands, fens, forests and streams. This last category was largely expanded upon by humans, as springs could easily be constructed on the Veluwe. During the Dutch Revolution and subsequent Eighty Years' War (1568 - 1648), it became financially viable to construct more streams which supplied clean water to water-powered mills, mostly used to produce paper as to compensate for broken supply lines from Northern France. Many of these water mills, however, have since disappeared, becoming either large-scale industry, laundries, or simply being abandoned or demolished.

The Veluwe is traditionally protestant in belief, with the Dutch Bible Belt spanning across the former Zuiderzee coast from Nijkerk to Hattem.

Get in


By car


The Veluwe has four main highways that connect the region;

  • The A1 connects from Amsterdam to the German border near Oldenzaal, entering the Veluwe from Amersfoort, via Apeldoorn, and continuing onward to Deventer and Twente.
  • The A12 connects from The Hague via Utrecht, comes past Ede, and continues onward to Arnhem and Oberhausen.
  • The A28 originates in Utrecht, connects to Amersfoort, from where it runs though the Bible Belt in the northwest of the Veluwe, only to connect to Zwolle, Drenthe and Groningen.
  • The A50 originates in Eindhoven, meets the A12 near Arnhem and connects to Apeldoorn from there, meeting the A28 outside Zwolle, and continuing to Kampen and Flevoland as the N50.

By public transit

If you time your travelling right, you might be able to incorporate a heritage rail ride in your travel. Shown is the interchange between national rail (left) and the VSM heritage service (right) at Dieren.
See also: Rail travel in the Netherlands

The main railways on the Veluwe have their interchange hubs outside of the region for the most part:

  • Arnhem Centraal sees intercity services in the directions of Utrecht and Nijmegen (every 10 to 15 minutes) and Zwolle (every 30 minutes). Additionally, a stopping train service (Sprinter) connects to Zutphen, and another to Ede-Wageningen, both departing every half hour. It also sees long-distance bus connections operated by FlixBus, connecting to Düsseldorf and Paris, among others.
  • Amersfoort Centraal has two intercity services crossing the Veluwe, one towards Zwolle via Harderwijk, and another towards Deventer via Apeldoorn, departing every 30 minutes. Sprinter services on these routes also depart every 30 minutes.
  • Zwolle sees the aforementioned intercity services in the directions of Arnhem and Amersfoort.

Local trains crossing the Veluwe are:

  • RE 30: Apeldoorn — Zutphen (— Winterswijk). Departs every half hour. In the evenings and weekends, some of these trains run an express variant which doesn't stop at the three stations between Apeldoorn and Zutphen, and instead continue towards Winterswijk.
  • RS 34 (Valleilijn): Amersfoort Centraal — Barneveld Zuid (— Ede-Wageningen). Four trains an hour between Amersfoort and Barneveld Zuid, of these, two continue towards Ede-Wageningen.

Other transport is operated by bus. These services interconnect most of the region and operate fairly regularly. Some smaller destinations might however only be accessible by bus upon request.

Get around

Even if you don't own a car or don't wish to use buses, the Veluwe is navigable on foot or by bike, though distances between towns are considerably larger than elsewhere in the Netherlands. Depicted is a historical ANWB interchange marker on the Posbank.

By public transit


As stated, train services on the Veluwe are rather limited. Buses provide most of the public transit between towns. Operations of these buses are mostly in the hands of Keolis under the RRReis formula. For long distances, the ComfortRRReis services are in operation. These are a collection of three high-quality and high-frequency bus routes:

  • C1: Nunspeet — Zwolle — Dedemsvaart
  • C2: Apeldoorn — Arnhem
  • C3: Ede — Wageningen

A full overview of RRReis-operated lines can be found on their website. It's also possible that some edges of the Veluwe have several lines operated by Arriva (Achterhoek and Rivierenland), Breng (Arnhem), Twents (Twente), IJsselmond (Flevoland) or Syntus (Utrecht).

The gardens belonging to the Het Loo Palace rivalled those of Versailles, with the fountains at Het Loo being specifically built to rise higher than those in France.
  • Along the IJssel and former Zuiderzee coast, there are many Hanseatic cities. Most of those along the river IJssel are located in Overijssel and the Achterhoek and may make for a good day trip, but those on the Veluwe are Hattem, Harderwijk and Elburg.
  • Castles and estates number plenty. At the top of the list is (expectedly) the Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, which was built by King-Stadtholder William III to rival Versailles. Other notable castles include Kasteel Doorwerth, Cannenburch (Vaassen), Middachten (De Steeg), De Essenburgh (Hierden) and Staverden.
  • Museums are generally quite small, though by no means uninteresting. Many of them focus on (a part of) the local history, but some might be more region-oriented.
    • The Museonder in Otterlo focusses on the rich nature and history that are located underground.
    • The Kröller-Müller Museum, also in Otterlo, is a notable museum for the modern and contemporary art within it. The museum houses the second-largest Van Gogh collection, as well as many works by Monet, Seurat, Picasso and Mondrian, and furthermore features a statue park with some 160 sculptures on display.
    • The Nederlands Pluimveemuseum (Dutch Poultry Museum) in Barneveld focusses on the history of the poultry industry of the Netherlands, which is concentrated most densely in the Gelderse Vallei, in which Barneveld lies.
    • Though not a museum per se, the Veluwse Stoomtrein Maatschappij (Veluwe Steam Train Society) runs heritage steam trains across the Veluwe between Apeldoorn and Dieren.
  • The Veluwe has once known a rather profitable industry around water mills, mostly producing paper. Though the trade has gone pretty much extinct nowadays, some of these water mills are kept alive and running in the region, with several around Apeldoorn still being operated by volunteers and being open to visitors.
  • Naturally, nature is a large part of what the Veluwe has to offer, featuring the oldest national park of the Netherlands, Nationaal Park de Hoge Veluwe. The region therefore lends itself well to activities such as hiking or cycling.
    • The nature lends itself to more adventurous activities as well: climbing forests are found in Apeldoorn, Ermelo, Garderen and Harderwijk, for example.
  • Water-based activities in the Veluwe are predominantly found in the north-west, alongside the former Zuiderzee coast. The lakes that lie there lend themselves well to sports like windsurfing. Inland, you'll find recreational lakes, the biggest of which is Bussloo, which has eight different beaches and since 2006 has been accompanied with the Thermen Bussloo, a sauna and wellness centre.
  • Festivals offer a large range of variety, from hardcore music festival Ground Zero to popfestival Gelderpop.
In general, wild animals are able to live their lives quite comfortably in nature. It's only to control the wild populations that some may be shot.
  • Regional products consist of all sorts of honey, wine, beers, bread and cheese. An overview of the larger companies that offer these products, can be found on Visit Veluwe's Dutch website.
  • The local cuisine is dominated by game meat and forgeables, though the former Zuiderzee Coast tends to be more oriented on fishing. One of the best-known restaurants that specialises in this kind of cuisine is Planken Wambuis, between Ede and Arnhem. Another well-known restaurant is De Echoput near Het Loo, which has had an on-and-off relationship with Michelin stars.


  • Throughout the Veluwe, you will find many a Brasserie, which mostly cater towards beverages, but act mostly like a smaller kind of restaurant.
  • The region is quite sparse when it comes to Vinyards (Wijngaard), but some of them exist. You'll find a lot more breweries (brouwerij) though. These are mostly found within the city and town centres, for example Apeldoorn and Wageningen.
  • With the region containing a hill range, there are a good amount of pure spring water sources to be found.

Stay safe

Though beautiful, don't interact with wild young animals. Where there's a young, there's also a protective parent nearby that won't hesitate to defend their young. Admire wildlife from an appropriate distance instead and bring binoculars if you want to see them up close.
  • Wild animals aren't uncommon in this nature-rich province. Never approach wild animals or attempt to interact with them. Wolves, foxes, deer and boars are wild animals and potentially aggressive and should not be treated like pets.
  • During summers, the Veluwe tends to become rather dry and arid. Pack enough water when going about to not dry yourself out, and be careful with burning or smouldering objects like open fires and cigarettes. As to avoid forest fires, these may or may not be banned in certain parts of the region for some part of the year.

Go next

  • Being a part of the same geological feature, the Utrecht Hill Ridge is a fairly comparable region found in next-door province Utrecht (province), though the namesake provincial capital lends itself better to the more outgoing types.
  • One of the Netherlands' most historical eastern cities, Deventer is a stone's throw away from the eastern half of the Veluwe and features a rich identity.
  • Located across the randmeren to the northwest, Flevoland is the Netherlands' newest province, being promoted to province in 1986. Less than fifty years before that, the province was hardly more than a few small islands and a lot of sea floor.
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