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Can you believe it’s already August? This summer has passed by so quickly! Summer is all about enjoying the hot weather, soaking up the sun, and enjoying the outdoors. The Netherlands has had some spectacular weather this warm season. If you live here, you know what’s coming next. Personally, I love the cold weather as I’m from Wisconsin, USA. But I know not everyone shares this feeling with me. So what should you do in this last month of summer? Go boating in the Biesbosch national park!
What is the Biesbosch National Park?
This national park is full of wetlands, rivers, and other bodies of water. Some areas of the park are fiercely protected, but in others, you can go swimming and boating. Besides for all of the water, there are also different species of birds and animals that live in the park’s green areas such as where all the trees are. This park spans across two provinces: Noord Brabant and Zuid Holland.
If you live in the Netherlands, you are well aware of how fiercely this type of land is protected. The Netherlands is densely populated with people and agricultural lands. So there are not a lot of protected nature areas left. The Biesbosch is really pretty and hopefully will continue to be protected in the future. I love that you can boat on some of the waterways and see the park from that point of view.
Where to Rent a Boat?
The first time I ever went boating in the Biesbosch was in Drimmelen, Noord Brabant. The name of the boat rental place is called Diepstraten Botenverhuur. My Dutch partner Kevin, my sister (who lives in Brussels), and I rented a motorized boat. It was actually very affordable. We cruised through the waterways, and my sister even jumped into the water for a swim.
Diepstraten Botenverhuur had several different kinds of boats to rent for good prices. Just make sure to book in advance because they often have nothing available last minute. The staff were super friendly and helpful. There’s also a café type place on the property if you want to grab a cold drink.
Where to Rent a Canoe or Kayak?
If you want to be more sporty, try renting a canoe or kayak from Vissershang in Hank, Noord Brabant. Kevin, I, and our friends rented a canoe and kayak this year and had a really nice time. The route took about 3 hours roundtrip including trekking through some very shallow water.
Overall, we had a fantastic time. There’s also a restaurant in the same place where you rent the canoes and kayaks. The food was pretty good. But we found it pretty strange that lunch began at 12:00. That meant we couldn’t even look at the menu beforehand. We’ve never experienced this before, but it wasn’t an issue for us at all.
Some Things You Should Know
Some things your should know about the Biesbosch and boating/rowing/kayaking through it: the water can be quite shallow in some places, so really pay attention to that, and the water isn’t transparent, so be careful if you’re swimming. If you have to cross a river, be careful because there are massive boats next to unpowered water crafts. The big boats cause a lot of waves and water will most likely get into your kayak/canoe. In a lot of places, the very narrow waterways will also be shared with bigish boats and canoes/kayaks.
In addition, make sure to dress properly. You will probably get wet. So bring a towel and extra pair of clothing. Also, bring a swimsuit if you want to swim. The ground in the park is very muddy so bring shoes that are suitable for that, and probably for water as well. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen to protect your skin, a hat, lots of water, and snacks if you’re into that.
Just Have Fun!
Most importantly, make sure to have fun! Bring your favorite human or humans and enjoy a day out in the sun on the water. Soak up the last of the sun’s rays before it gets cold and gloomy out. Perhaps bring a waterproof container to put your stuff into in case you can’t rent one. And don’t forget to book in advance because the boat/canoe/kayak rentals sell out quickly.
What is your favorite way to enjoy the water?