The Outdoor North
The provinces Drenthe, Groningen and Friesland represent the outdoor north. These flatlands in the north are home to some of the most stunning natural sceneries. The lakes and canals in Friesland form the largest contiguous wetland in Europe, while Groningen and Drenthe still have rural country sides. From cycling and hiking to sailing and surfing, the outdoor north offers everything to make your stay an active one.
Groningen is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen, in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea. The capital of the province has the identical name Groningen. This university city is a bustling city ideal for shopping, culture and an exciting nightlife.
Friesland is mainly an agricultural province. The famous black and white Frisian cattle and the well known black Friesian horse originated here. Tourism, mainly on the lakes in the south west of the province, and on the islands in the Wadden Sea in the north, is an important source of income, too. Every year thousands of water sport enthusiast visit Friesland to explore it’s fantastic waterways. The province is also famous for its ice skaters, with mass participation in cross-country skating when weather conditions permit.
Drenthe, unlike many other parts of the Netherlands, has always been a sparsely populated rural area. Other parts of the Netherlands didn't really see this territory as a part that belonged to the rest of the Netherlands but more like wasteland. This wasteland, however, has been populated by people since prehistory, albeit by just a handful. Most tangible evidence of this are the dolmens (hunebedden) built around 3000 BC. Besides the rural landscape, the hunebedden of Drenthe are well worth a visit.