The 5 best barefoot paths in the Netherlands

Perhaps you’ve heard of them? Or even did it already? Walking barefoot through the countryside. And not on the beach, but in more interesting places, like a meadow, a mud pool or a forest. It’s possible in many parts of the Netherlands. These barefoot paths are clean and safe, perfect for exploring the world barefoot. And there are plenty of paths you can discover that have a nice, small-scale campsite nearby. A fun and healthy day out for the whole family during your camping holiday. What are you waiting for?

1. Hof van Twello countryside and barefoot path (Gelderland Province)

We’ll start our list on the border between the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel. In Twello there are two paths you can walk barefoot on the Natuurpad (Nature Path), past fields and historical gardens, and the Blotevoetenpad (Barefooth path) – website only in Dutch -. The last one is very special. It’s a 2 km long route, fun for young and old – and takes you through grass, mud and water. On the way, you’ll climb over trees and slide down the slide, straight into the loam pit! We advise wearing old clothes, you’ll get good and dirty here. And once you’ve finished your tiring journey of discovery, you can have a bite to eat and a drink in the cafe nearby.

Our campsite tip: Campsite De Lathmer

Barefoot paths

2. Helderse Vallei Barefoot Path (Noord Holland Province)

There’s a barefoot path a little south of Den Helder in the north of the Netherlands where you can learn about the diverse nature of the area in a fun way. It’s like walking through a ‘miniature Den Helder’. You’ll get to know the various different terrains that lie around Den Helder – from the Waddenzee to farmland, to the marshy Mariëndal. All barefoot of course! The 250-metre route, set out around a field with sheep, is quite challenging – with tree trunks to climb over, a dune to scamper over, a piece of mudflat, a raft to pull across the water, a trench and a wobbly bridge. And as if that’s not enough, there are also eight discovery chests along the route, filled with materials to complete different tasks. What a great way to learn about nature!

Our campsite tip: Campsite Duinzoomhoeve

3. Toon Kortoomspark Barefoot Path (Noord Brabant Province)

If you think that barefoot path walking is only for the fit, you’re mistaken. There’s an accessible barefoot path in the well-known area of De Peel, on the border between Noord-Brabant Province and Limburg Province – the Toon Kortoomspark Barefooth Path (website only in Dutch). It’s a route that can be done in about an hour and a half. And even people who use wheelchairs as well as children in buggies can use it. That accessibility is due to the well-mown grass and woodland paths. Something really special here is the sound path, where you can make sounds and music as you walk. On the way, you can stop off for refreshments at the self-service restaurant – they serve soup and sandwiches amongst other things.

Our campsite tip: Campsite Bergerhof Recreatie

Barefoot paths

4. Zeebodempad (Sea Bed) Barefoot Path (Flevoland Province)

Walking barefoot isn’t just fun and educational – it can also be good for your health. That’s something that the Zeebodempad Barefooth Path (website only in Dutch) in Kraggenburg takes seriously. This healing route – about two and a half kilometres long – begins with a cold foot bath. The water in this basin is mineral water, pumped up from the depths of the former seabed. Along the route, your feel will get a natural massage. Walking barefoot is great for the muscles and tendons in your feet, and switching between warm and cold water is beneficial for your circulation. It’s also the case that walking barefoot improves your natural sense of balance and coordination.

Our campsite tip: Campsite De Stiente

5. Fontana Barefoot Path (Groningen Province)

If you want to combine a barefoot walk with luxury and spa treatments, you need to go to Groningen. There you’ll find a barefoot path that is part of a spa and wellness resort. After you’ve enjoyed all the facilities in the resort – including an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, several saunas, a massage salon and a beauty centre, you can discover the barefoot path in your dressing gown. It’s in a beautiful location in the park at the resort. You can walk on different surfaces and materials, and learn how your body keeps its balance. And if you’re getting tired, or your muscles are starting to ache, you can quickly head back to the sauna or go for a massage!

Our campsite tip: Campsite in ‘t Oldambt

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Jeroen Timmermans
  • Author: Jeroen Timmermans
  • From Calais to Cannes, and from Nantes to Nancy: Jeroen has definitely done his fair share of exploring in France. With his parents and his brother, he spent weeks at the most beautiful campsites in a trailer tent. Then, the family travelled around the rest of Europe in a motorhome. Now he loves his cultural city breaks. He particularly loves funiculars and cable cars.

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