Visit Holland - The Netherlands
The Duin- en Bollenstreek (Dutch for "Dune and Bulb Region") is a region in South Holland, The Netherlands, that features coastal dunes and the cultivation of flower bulbs.
Situated at the heart of historical Holland around the city of Katwijk, being by far the largest town in this area, and boundered by The Hague and Haarlem, the combination of beaches, flower fields, lakes and history makes this area attractive to tourists.
The region is characterised by wide sandy ridges of flat land (cleared from dunes from 1650 to 1955 for agricultural use and human habitation), sandy soil between the dunes and polders (geestgrond), bulb fields and pasture land (weiland), all of which is protected from the North Sea by an extensive dune area.
The climate and soil of the region are excellent for bulb cultivation. Proximity to the sea results in a substantial amount of rain.The mild autumn and winter, the cool but sunny spring and the drier summer ensures a growing season lasting from the early spring to the late autumn.
When the bulb fields are in bloom, this region is one of the most colourful (and the most visited) in the world. Keukenhof in particular attracts 850,000 to 1000.000 visitors every year. The combination of flowers, windmills, quaint villages and Dutch charm is irresistible. The people in this area are in the flower business and make no apologies for it.
There are a few "flower parades" (bloemencorso) in this area. One of them is the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek in April, during which floral floats, magnificently decorated cars and marching bands parade slowly from Noordwijk aan Zee through Sassenheim, Lisse, Hillegom, Heemstede to Haarlem. In August there is another flower parade from Leiden through Rijnsburg to Katwijk aan Zee.
Other attractions in the region include:
* the clean, wide beaches extending along the entire coast
* the beach resorts, especially at Noordwijk aan Zee
* extensive coastal dune area (walking, cycling)
* the Kaag lakes just to the east of the area (boating, Dutch landscape, windmills)
* two castles (Huys Dever and Slot Teylingen) and various grand manor houses
* museums (De Zwarte Tulp, Panorama Tulipland, Museum Oud-Noordwijk, Katwijk Museum, the Space Expo at ESTEC and others)
* the attractive and historic village centres
* proximity to Leiden and Haarlem and, a little further afield, Amsterdam, The Hague and Delft