This is the place.
This is the place where you can not believe that you are just a 20 minute train ride from Antwerp.
Partly in Belgium partly in the Netherlands the nature reserve covers an area of about 3750 hectars. The heath is conserved through several methods, one of them being the grazing of sheep and big black Galloway cattle. The bogs are buzzing with dragonflies, birds and toads.
It is easy to spend a whole day walking around the reserve. The information centre has plenty of walking, cycling and horse riding guides for the area and there is a wide selection of paths to follow which are clearly marked around the heath. If you fancy a local brew try the Turf Bier, Gebrande Turf (flesje donker streekbier): €1,60, that’s sold alongside honey, biscuits and other local products, but watch out it’s pretty tasty stuff.
It’s a place to visit any time of the year. Wrap up warm against the winds in winter and don’t forget to bring plenty of water in the summer, the sand dunes under the sun can really get you longing for a drink.
For more infrmation about Kalmthoutse Heide and what you can do in the area visit here.
How to get there: You can check for the train times via Belgian Rail, choosing Antwerpen Centrale to Kalmthout. Weekend tickets should cost € 4,40 for a return. Once you arrive in Kalmthout head towards the Botanical Garden (which are also worth visiting, or so I’ve been told, next time!) then follow the road and you will eventually reach the visitor centre and the heath. On the way back (just for a change) you can take the train from Heide, there are a couple of nice places for a beer and a frituur just next to the station.
Any questions, feel free to comment below.