The Gelderse Poort area is where the river Rhine branches into the rivers Waal, Nederrijn and IJssel. Water is the central theme in the Gelderse Poort and is also the reason why they call the municipality of Rijnwaarden ‘The Gelderland Island’ (Gelders Eiland). The region is fantastic for cycling and walking, and more and more cycling and walking routes are being created all the time, meaning that more and more of the area can be explored.
Walking in the Gelderse PoortIt almost goes without saying that this region offers a wide choice of walks for young and old. Get your walking boots on and set out on a brisk ramble. Rambling in the Gelderse PoortAlthough the countryside is centuries old, the idea of rambling through it is quite new. It has become an exciting, adventurous, primeval way of enjoying nature which tourists appear to appreciate greatly. The countryside in the Gelderse Poort is constantly changing and everyone is free to ramble their way through it! Of course, you have to respect the surroundings and its residents. Sometimes you find yourself in the wake of the Galloway cattle and Konik horses which were introduced to the area in 1992 and which roam free here all year round. The Gelderse Poort is located at the Limes, which is the northern border of the Roman Empire. Cycling in the Gelderse PoortThe Gelderse Poort has plenty to offer cyclists. A cycling route network, based on a system of nodes, guides cyclists through the region and even beyond its borders. The nodes are designed to link together. Each node on the network has a number. You can design your own route based on these nodes. You can shorten or extend the route at each node. It is a fantastic way to discover this area of outstanding natural beauty by bicycle. You can also visit the Natuurmuseum Nijmegen & Bezoekerscentrum Gelderse Poort!
The famous cross-border cycle tour known as Via Romana is also thoroughly recommended. This allows you to follow in the footsteps of the Romans along the 2000 year-old road between Nijmegen and Xanten. The Via Romana takes you through unique countryside and past the most important features of the Lower Rhine region. You will journey from Roman times, via the Middle Ages to the world of today.
GeeseThe area, which covers no fewer than 20,000 hectares, is a magnificent river landscape created by ancient glaciers and features reed swamps, river dunes, riparian forests and grasslands. Ornithologists will feel very at home here due to the many species of bird that inhabit this region. Geese from the High North of Europe use the floodplains as a place to spend the winter.
GrazersIn order to control the growth of plants and trees on the nutrient-rich soil, you of course need large grazing animals. Consequently, as you wander around the area you may very well come face-to-face with Konik horses from Poland or Galloway cattle from Scotland. These animals eat the vegetation, fertilise the land and create paths, helping to form a varied and natural river landscape which is extremely accessible and which is perfect for exploring and getting lost in during a wonderful day out in countryside.
CastlesThis area not only offers magnificent countryside, but also a number of other attractions which really should not be missed. Doornenburg Castle [Kasteel Doornenburg] is famous as the film location of the TV series ‘Floris’ and is one of the largest and best preserved castles in the Netherlands. There is also a magnificent castle in Bemmel, called the Kinkelenburg.
Nijmegen Nature Museum & the Gelderse Poort Visitors' Centre De Gelderse Poort is a fantastic area of outstanding natural beauty with hills and water, located close to Nijmegen. The Gelderse Poort also includes the southeast side of Nijmegen which is rich in woodland and features a stunning transition from the flat floodplains to the higher areas formed by glaciers many centuries ago. This part links up with the forests of Groesbeek. It is an ideal area for an afternoon out or a day trip, for holidays and for children and school pupils. A Knowledge and Information Centre has been set up in the Nature Museum especially for visitors to the Gelderse Poort. Here you will find all kinds of information about the region and activities offered there.
Special locations and eventsBesides magnificent countryside and castles, the region also has plenty of enticing restaurants offering high-quality food and drink. There are also a number of special locations which are fun to visit, such as the fantastically exotic Millinger Tea Garden [Millinger Theetuin] and the wonderful historic house known as 'Huis Aerdt'. The region also hosts fun events such as the Flower Market [Bloemenmarkt] in Huissen (May), the Cherry Festival [Kersenfeesten] in Gendt (June) and the Pony Market [Ponymarkt] in Bemmel (August).
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Flora and Fauna in the Gelderse PoortThe Gelderse Poort is a unique example of how rich in flora and fauna an almost continuous area of nature, covering many thousands of hectares, can be. It goes without saying that it is an ideal area for cyclists and walkers. More and more cycling and walking routes are being created in the region. Tourists, whether on foot or on bike, can expect a warm welcome in this region. However, all visitors are required to respect the countryside and its residents. Among the latter are the tens of thousands of white-fronted geese and bean geese that spend the winter in this water-rich area. Of course, at that time of the year, the presence of these geese makes the floodplains look especially attractive. It is certainly worthwhile studying these winter visitors more closely as they move constantly from their sleeping and drinking locations to their feeding grounds and back again. They use the larger ponds as sleeping locations. You will find these geese along the Kaliwaal near Kekerdom and the Gendtsewaard. These winter visitors will have departed again by the end of February. Incidentally, there are more than enough unique birds to spot for the true ornithologists among us.
The Gelderse Poort is rich in regional produce. You can buy products, get more information, go on tours or participate in all kinds of activities, whether by appointment or otherwise, at various companies in the region.
Regional Gala The Regional Gala is organised at the end of June every year. During this event, all kinds of products from the land can be tasted to enhance people's awareness of the important role of the countryside. After all, the beautiful landscape exists primarily because of the way in which farmers have used the land over the many centuries to grow their crops, such as asparagus, watercress, apples, pears and cherries. You should therefore take time to enjoy the local countryside, the landscape and the cultural history and taste what the countryside has to offer.
Discover the Gelderse Poort by camper!You can spend the night in a camper at one of the special camping sites in the municipality of Rijnwaarden. This is where the Rhine enters the Netherlands. At various locations, including at the Europe Quay [Europakade] in Tolkamer (which is right on the banks of the river) you can enjoy all the beauty the Gelderse Poort has to offer. Whether you are on your way to Germany or beyond, or if you simply want to enjoy the fantastic countryside of ‘Het Gelders Eiland’, the camping sites are extremely suitable for any length of stay in the ‘most camper-friendly municipality in the Netherlands’.
At the Europakade, which is located at the water's edge and which offers a fantastic view of the busiest river in the Netherlands, you will find 15 camping plots. The volunteers at the Tourist Information Centre manage this campsite and can provide visitors with practical tips and interesting tourist information! If you carry on slightly further downstream, you will come across a similarly unique campsite at Restaurant de Swaenebloem. Here there are plots for 10 campers, as well as various facilities, and you can even arrange a delicious breakfast every morning! Further inland, Camping de Aerdtse Wacht 4 offers stunning camping plots. It is located in fantastic rural surroundings in the idyllic village of Aerdt and is equipped with all the facilities you could imagine. There is even a swimming pool for those of you who enjoy a refreshing dip.