Photo: © Staatsbosbeheer

The New Dutch Waterline

45 fortresses, 6 fortifications, hundreds of bunkers and military waterworks, and two castles. It comes as no surprise that the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 2021 as an expansion of the Stelling van Amsterdam. They are now jointly listed as the Hollandse Waterlinies. Beautifully hidden in the landscape it is easy to miss, but it is there, nonetheless. Once an important defense line, today it is a fantastic recreational area. Grab a bicycle, put on your hiking shoes, or board a boat and discover sights you will not see anywhere else in the world. There is plenty to discover in the stunning defense line landscape!

The most beautiful routes along the New Dutch Waterline

Walking or cycling? There are beautiful routes along the New Dutch Waterline, both shorter and longer ones for seasoned cycling and hiking fanatics as well as beginners. And would you rather explore the area on your own or book an all-inclusive package? These are our favorites.

There are stunning hiking routes along the New Dutch Waterline. Discover our favorites.

The biggest national monument in the Netherlands is prime cycling country. Discover the military heritage, beautiful landscapes, and the best restaurants, museums and fortified cities along the way. Join an organized tour or explore the area on your own – the New Dutch Waterline has something to offer for everyone. These are the absolute must-see routes.

What is the New Dutch Waterline?

The New Dutch Waterline or New Hollandic Water Line runs from Muiden up to the Biesbosch. From 1815 to 1940, this defense line protected the western Netherlands against intruders. When danger loomed, part of the land was flooded so the army could not advance. Fortresses were built along the line to provide further protection. Fortunately, we no longer need a defense line to defend the Netherlands and the New Dutch Waterline has become a fantastic recreational area. A large number of fortresses were preserved and converted. Where soldiers used to sleep, there are now cool museums, cultural hotspots, and even a beer brewery. The New Dutch Waterline is the largest national monument in the Netherlands.

Our tip

There are plenty of great activities along the New Dutch Waterline, from great museums to a beer brewery in a fortress.

The New Dutch Waterline is unique in the world, which is why it deserves a spot on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Visit the World Heritage Sites in Holland. This overview shows the eight World Heritage Sites in Holland appointed by UNESCO.