When you think of The Netherlands you most likely envision a flat landscape with perfectly lined rows of tulips or the canals of Amsterdam, but the southern province of Limburg is rolling hills with quaint villages dotting it's countryside.
I encourage you to get outside of Amsterdam on your visit to The Netherlands, as there's so much more to explore in this beautiful country! With it's compact size - it's never more than a couple hour drive to discover new areas (join me for a Travel by Kris video in The Netherlands).
American Military Cemetery near Maastricht
It's an emotional visit to this memorial, but so worth paying respect to the 8301 American soldiers buried here. Most of these young men lost their lives in battles in this southern area of The Netherlands. Walking through these 65.5 areas, you are actually on American soil, as this land was a gift to the United States from The Netherlands. With it's reflecting pool (the names of the 1722 missing are engraved on the walls surrounding it), a detailed stone map of the battles to end WWII, and meticulously manicured grounds it's a gorgeous tribute to all the lives lost. During my time at this cemetery I couldn't help but reflect on how lucky I was to have my Grandfather survive this war!
With it's small villages, local farms and numerous shades of green - Limburg is the perfect area for hiking! I fell in love with this area during my first visit in the summer of 2012 and you know it's special when I've returned twice since then! There are numerous hikes to choose from and you can pick up maps at the local grocery stores. Many of the small hotels also have suggestions and routes printed for their guests. You'll be walking on gravel roads, sharing the fields with the Dutch cows and meandering into nearby villages!
Christmas Market in Maastricht
Have you been to a European Christmas market (read here Five Things to Experience at Your First Christmas Market)? My first was in Maastricht over my birthday (yes I'm one of those lucky ones with a December birthday 😉 ). If you're in The Netherlands during the holidays, get into the spirit in Maastricht at their Christmas market! It takes over Vfijthof Square from late November until New Years. My blurry photo doesn't do it justice - but ride the ferris wheel for a spectacular view of the city and lights from above. To work off the oliebollen (a fried Dutch treat!) you just devoured, be like the Dutch and take to the skates and ice rink.
I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse of the southern province of Limburg in The Netherlands! Please feel free to share your favorite area of The Netherlands or your experiences in Limburg. 🙂
Until the next adventure - bon voyage!