The Green Heart of Holland

Discover the Green Heart of Holland, a typical Dutch nature area with windmills, cows, cheese, farms and traditional crafts. Visit its picturesque villages, enjoy its vast nature reserves and its leisure lakes, which are ideal for water sports.


Do you feel like sailing, going on a sloop, power boating, wakeboarding, speed boating, skating, ice-sailing or do you want to enjoy the pleasure of swimming, then the Dutch Leisure Lakes area is the place to be! A wonderful and vast water area with seven sub-areas located between the cities Katwijk, Amsterdam and Utrecht in the Green Heart of Holland.

Vinkeveense Plassen

The Vinkeveense Plassen are close to Amsterdam, Utrecht, Amersfoort and Schiphol. Here you find some wonderful cycle routes through the Veenweidegebied (peat meadow area) and some walking routes along the lake. There are several diving locations in the lake, but it is also used for sunbathing.


Vlietland is a recreation area in Leidschendam Voorburg. It is close to Leiden, The Hague, Schiphol and Delft. The area distinguishes itself from the other Dutch lakes due to its connection to the coast, the presence of Roman history, the ‘living room experience’ it has to offer for the immediate surrounding areas and it can be easily reached by means of public transport.


The Kagerplassen form a varied water area with short passages, large pools and channels. The Kagerplassen are actually a small version of the Dutch Leisure Lakes area, with an intimate character, but ‘directed outwards’ at the same time. There are ample opportunities for wonderful cycling trips and there are lots of catering establishments on Kaageiland.

Westeinder Plassen

The Westeinder Plassen are a part of a vast area of over 10 km2 (3.9 square miles). The lakes are connected to each other through a network of little channels. Here you can enjoy swimming, sailing, windsurfing, rowing and power boating. There are about 50 yacht-basins along the bank of the Westeinderplassen. There are recreation areas as well in which small beaches have been constructed. The Westeinderplassen are rich in flora and fauna: fish, birds and (rare) plants. There are lots of small islands in the lake, which are mostly used for recreation. They can only be reached by boat. In addition to the private islands, there are also a few islands which are opened for public recreation. You can, for example, have a lovely barbecue on these islands.

Loosdrechtse Plassen

The Loosdrechtse Plassen are located near Amsterdam, Schiphol, Utrecht and Amersfoort. You can still find the cultural history from the Golden Age. It remains an attractive area throughout the year, either for regular or water recreation. Cyclists can enjoy wonderful routes along the river Vecht and walkers can take a walk in the forests or through the heathlands. The ‘Strook’ offers opportunities for family fun and recreation. The Strook is a widened strip of land along the south side of the Loosdrechtse Plassen. Loosdrecht is the lake area with the largest bodies of water. Nevertheless, the boater will never get lost and there are no scary surges or strong currents.


The lakes of Nieuwkoop and Reeuwijk are close to Gouda, The Hague and Rotterdam. The surrounding areas of Nieuwkoop and Reeuwijk are Nature 2000 areas and this has consequences for water recreation and recreation in general. You are not allowed to sail faster than 6 km/h (3.7 mph) in Nieuwkoop. As a result, the lake is more interesting for anglers, birdwatchers and art admirers. In addition, Nieuwkoop calls itself the heart of the Green Heart. This is reflected in the highly developed cycling and walking facilities and the strong link with regional products in the recreational opportunities.


The Braassemermeer, in short ‘de Braassem’, is a lake with a surface area of over 425 hectares (1.6 square miles). There are beautiful polders situated around the lake along which you can walk or cycle. It is close to Leiden en Schiphol.