Sometimes it takes one ‘outsider’ to remind us how beautiful our country is. And that’s what we are here for today. When we think of the Netherlands, we think of a liberal and open minded country. A place where everything is chill and flowing. But, we never think of nature.
The Netherlands has a lot of nature to offer. Going on adventures and discovering new places is part of our job. This time we went a little south, to the border with Belgium. Mainly supplied by rainwater, the Maas river forms the border between the two countries. Located in the Belgian and Dutch Limburg, the RivierPark GrensMaasvallei offers a varied landscape. Besides, the place has several important historic points. This unique area is the perfect spot to enjoy culture and nature.
We can also go on a safari here! The wild Konik horses and Galloway cattle feel perfectly at home in the rugged nature of the Maas and you will see them all around the area. They are self-reliant, thanks to their strong bodies and life in a naturally organized herd.
The Konik horses are Polish horses (konik means horse in Polish) with the size of a pony. They descend from the Tarpan, an extinct European wild horse. They have a mouse gray fur and a black stripe that runs over the middle of the back. A brown, zebra-like drawing on the back of their legs still points to the relationship with the Tarpan. Such an interesting type of horse!
The Galloway bovine is a small, hardened and very old celtic cattle breed originated in Scotland. Most of them are black, but you can also find some brown ones. Through their lives in a herd, they develop a calm and confident behavior. They look gentle, fluffy and cute, but when disturbed they will respond assertively. Spoiler alert: you will want to cuddle them!
Apart from beautiful landscapes, you can marvel here at the rich history of the area. We had time to check out two beautiful castles. Our first stop was in Belgium’s Maasmechelen, in the “Kasteeldomein Vilain XIIII”. This castle’s last owner had a passion for exotic plant species and made plant several non-autochthonous species of trees that can still be admired nowadays. Our second “royal” stop was in Borgharen. This Dutch village is home to this beautiful 12th century castle surrounded by an impressive (now dry) mout.
Would you like to visit this beautiful area and other remarkably beautiful areas in the Netherlands?
Would you like to be guided by professionals and take part in a sustainable way to travel?
Text and images: Nicole Aguerre and Irene Fernandez