Drentsche Aa bij Oudemolen
© Cornelie van Vliet

The Drentsche Aa

The Drentsche Aa is the last stream of the Netherlands that has, for centuries, freely meandered through the landscape. Follow the Drentsche Aa and you will pass through a valley landscape full of woods, heathlands, sand dunes and hayfields. In this region, you will also encounter various cultural and historical monuments including dolmens, prehistoric burial mounds and ancient Saxon farms.

Toegangspoort 'Homanshof', Lunsenhof 20
9467PD Anloo
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National Park and Landscape

The Drentsche Aa valley has long been used for agriculture, and between the nature and the fields there are sixteen villages and hamlets to be discovered. Because of this, it was impossible to declare the Drentsche Aa a National Park for a long time. Finally, the solution was found in the form of a special National Park, the National Stream and Esvillages Landscape of the Drentsche Aa. An esvillage (esdorp in Dutch) is a village that is built around or next to an es, which is a naturally higher lying field that was communaly cultivated by the villagers. Within these ten thousand hectares, about one third is a protected nature reserve. In 2007, the Drentsche Aa was additionally declared a National Landscape.

Archaeological reserve

Bike or hike through the meadows and along the streams in the valleys of the Drentsche Aa and you will be amazed at the beautiful vistas and how harmoniously these blend with modern agriculture. Would you like to visit archaeological finds, such as ancient burial mounds and Celtic fields? Be sure to make a detour past the first archeological reserve in the Netherlands, the Strubben-Kniphorstbosch.

Category: Destination


Visit extraordinary Drenthe with its prehistoric hunebeds, the biggest single wet heathland area called Dwingelerveld, and pleasant cities like Emmen and Coevorden.

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Nature reserves in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has no fewer than 40 nature reserves, 21 of which are National Parks and 20 National Landscapes.

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