Wijdemeren is a rural area in the Gooi and Vecht regions of North Holland.
The municipality Wijdemeren is formed in 2002 as a merger between 's-Graveland, Loosdrecht and Nederhorst den Berg. Other cores in the area include Ankeveen and Kortenhoef. The name Wijdemeren has only been in existence since that merger and literally means "wide lakes", referring to the artificial fresh-water lakes in the area. Many rich traders from Amsterdam built magnificent estates and gardens here during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), which can best be explored by bicycle.
's-Graveland can be reached by motorways A2 and A27. From Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport, Leiden and Utrecht get on motorway A2 and take exit 4 at Vinkeveen. From there, drive east on N201 and follow the signs. Take a left at the traffic lights and drive onwards to the town center. From Almere, Amersfoort and Breda, take motorway A27 and leave at exit 33. At the traffic lights, take a left and follow the signs for 's-Graveland. Drive onwards for around 3 km at the Diependaalselaan, the outer ring of Hilversum. Go straight on at the first two roundabounts and take a left at the last roundabout. Now continue your way along the N201 and take a right at the traffic lights. Then follow the road onwards to the center of 's-Graveland.
By public transit
Buses are infrequent and unreliable, and it's hard to reach certain places, but if you don't have a car, you don't have a choice. Because of the central location of it's main railway station, you first have to travel by train with the Netherlands Railways  service to Hilversum. Trains run roughly every 15 minutes between 5AM and 1AM to and from the directions Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport, Utrecht, Amersfoort and Almere. Do not disembark at the smaller railway stations Hilversum Noord and Hilversum Sportpark, as the central bus station of Hilversum is at its main railway station.
From there, take either bus 105 or 106. Bus 105 has Bussum Station as its last stop and leaves every 30 minutes from 7AM till around midnight. It takes around 10 minutes to reach bus stop Smidsbrug at the center of 's-Graveland. Bus 106 ends at Weesp Station, but it only leaves once per hour. After 10 minutes, get out at bus stop Kerklaan, also in the center of 's-Graveland.
Getting around by public transport buses is possible, but complicated. The easiest way to get around is by car or by bike.
Most visitors come to 's-Graveland for it's magnificent 17th-century estates (Dutch: buitenplaats or landerij). 's-Graveland became a popular village among rich traders from Amsterdam in the Dutch Golden Age, who constructed, bought or inherited large estates at the eastern side of the 's-Gravelandse Vaart, which used to be an important canal that connected Amsterdam with Hilversum. As the road wasn't hardened on most places, boat transportation was popular at that time. Now most of the property is owned by Natuurmonumenten, an organization that buys, protects and manages nature reserves in the Netherlands. It's not a co-incidence that the organization has it's headquarters in 's-Graveland.
Some estates of notable interest:
- Land en Bosch.
- Schaep en Burgh.
- Schaep en Burgh (Swaenenburgh).
A good way to spend a day is by making a bicycle tour through the area, passing many estates, polders and lakes.
A popular activity with the locals in the summer is to rent a boat and hit the lakes.
Or go swimming at De Strook or Vuntus.
There is nothing of particular interest for sale in Wijdemeren. The few stores in the area only offer daily necessities for the local population. As the locals do, you might want to head over to Hilversum for a better shopping experience.
There's no nightlife to speak of in the area, the locals cycle to Hilversum for a night out. Many travelers cycle around the area at daytime though, so there are plenty of restaurants for a daytime snack or a beverage. Some of the quality restaurants congregated around Ankeveen, known by locals as "the village with 0 shops but 4 restaurants". 's-Graveland also has some posh up-scale restaurants. The eateries in Kortenhoef and Nederhorst den Berg offer cheap daily snacks, mainly aimed at the local population.
- De Molen, Loodijk 30, Ankeveen, ☎ +31 35 6 561 459 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . This restaurant, nicely located next to a windmill, is a nice place to just sip a cup of coffee. Full meals are also served, they have the usual Mediterranean fish and meat dishes, as well as Dutch pancakes. The staff can help you pick a fitting wine. €25.
- Osaka, Loodijk 27, Ankeveen (From Ankeveen, follow the Hollands End north till the intersection with Loodijk), ☎ +31 35 6 563 322, . Daily 5PM-11PM. You wouldn't expect it in this rural area, a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant. It's a self-service walking buffet, but don't order any extras if you're on budget. The only exception is the sushi, which is excellent, and for a small fee you can have as much as you want of them. €30-40.
- Pan & Koek, Stichts End 9, Ankeveen (From Ankeveen, follow the Hollands End north, then take a left the Loodijk), ☎ +31 35 6 563 555 (email@example.com), . W-F 4PM-8:30PM, Sa-Su noon-8:30PM, M-Tu closed. Dutch pancake restaurant mostly aiming at families with children. They serve the usual pancakes, but also some original ones, such as pancakes with shawarma or Parmesan cheese. €10-15.
- Veensche Plas, Stichts End 50, Ankeveen, ☎ +31 35 6 566 655, . It's feature is its beautiful outside terrace, next to the water with a view over the rural landscape and the lakes. Their lunch consists of several bread dishes, while most dinner dishes are meat and fish in Mediterranean style. €25.
- Berestein, Zuidereinde 206, 's-Graveland, ☎ +31 35 6 561 030 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Tu-Su noon-10PM, M closed. Housed in two cute typical Dutch houses, which are over 250 years old, this French-European restaurant is well-known as even Queen Beatrix is known to have visited this place. The outside terrace is really romantic with a view over the small canal. It's one of the better restaurants of the area, but the atmosphere is actually quite informal. €35.
- Restaurant 't Swaentje, Noordereinde 353, 's-Graveland, ☎ +31 35 6 562 016 (fax: +31 35 685 2183), . Tu-Su 5PM-10PM, M closed. Probably the best of the area, this French restaurant serves strange meals such as pumpkin soup. It's in a small 17th-century house, and it's old-Dutch style interior fits properly. It's terrace outside offers nice views over the rural landscape. The staff is neat, yet personal and caring. Some people never leave, but spend the night at one of it's rooms. €35.
- Dynasty, Meenthof 8, Kortenhoef, ☎ +31 35 6 561 156 (email@example.com), . Typical to-go Chinese/Indonesian restaurant as every Dutch town offers. Don't expect a fancy restaurant, just good food for not too much. This place does offer spicy dishes from China's Sichuan province which is quite uncommon in the Netherlands.
- De Sloep, Moleneind 5, Kortenhoef (From Kortenhoef, follow the Kortenhoefse Dijk southward, then cross the Vreelandseweg onto Moleneind), ☎ +31 35 5 250 087 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Tu-Su 5:30PM-9:30PM, M closed. It's generally a good restaurant, but even though they seem to want to be a top-class restaurant, it really doesn't qualify for that. It has a nice location at the water, but the service is a bit informal and feels a bit like a simple lunch cafe. €25.
- Osaka, Loodijk 27, Ankeveen (From Ankeveen, follow the Hollands End north till the intersection with Loodijk), ☎ +31 35 6 563 322. Daily 5PM-11PM. You wouldn't expect it in this rural area, a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant. It's a self-service walking buffet, but don't order any extras if you're on budget. The only exception is the sushi, which is excellent, and for a small fee you can have as much as you want of them. €30-40.
- Pronto, Dodaarslaan 6, Kortenhoef (Bus: Parklaan), ☎ +31 35 6 561 677. Italian pizzas, spare-ribs and shawarma. Not much to say about this one, it's a simple budget place for a quick snack.
- Solo, Kerklaan 6-8, Kortenhoef (Bus: Kerklaan), ☎ +31 35 6 563 066 (email@example.com), . Indonesian restaurant with cuisine from Central Java. The atmosphere is relaxed, but looks a bit old-fashioned (funnily it adds something to the experience). Try the "Rijsttafel", it's the best dish they offer. Don't worry to order some extra rice, it's free. €35.
- Restaurant Het Drechthuis, Bloklaan 22A, Loosdrecht (inside the Mijnden camping compound), ☎ +31 294 234 993, . noon-10PM. Restaurant for lunch and dinner near the Loosdrechtse Plassen with terrace view over the water. Do not expect luxury cuisine here, but the menu is extensive and is known for many fish and grill dishes. €25.
Nederhorst den Berg
Don't expect any rough nightlife here — the locals step up their bike and cycle to Hilversum. But you might want to grab a cup of coffee at one of the restaurants.
There's only one B&B and one small appartment in 's-Graveland, so it's fair to say that accommodation is limited. Most visitors spend the night in Hilversum, Loosdrecht, Bussum, Naarden or other nearby towns.
- Appartement 't Swaentje, Noordereinde 353, 's-Graveland, ☎ +31 35 6 562 016 (fax: +31 35 685 2183), . Awesome view over the rural landscape. A maximum of three people can spend the night here, which feels like a B&B, but isn't really one as breakfast is not served. They can fill up the fridge with food for €10 extra, then you can make breakfast yourself the following morning. Also has a shower, toilet, kitchen, microwave, fridge, microwave, washing machine and internet connection. €62.50.
- B&B 't Zuidereinde, Zuidereinde 30, ☎ +31 35 656 4340 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Freestanding guesthouse at the river with shower, toilet, small kitchen and fridge. They only have place for two guests in total, so be sure to book early. Includes breakfast, lunch can be arranged for €5 extra. €50.
The international telephone country code for the Netherlands is 31, the area code for 's-Graveland is 035 (just like Hilversum).
There is no post office in the area, but Kortenhoef and Nederhorst den Berg have a small TNT Post branch inside the local supermarket:
- TNT Post Kortenhoef, Curtevenneweg 2 (Inside Super de Boer supermarket), ☎ 0900 767 85 26 (Dutch phones only). M-F 9AM-12:30PM, 1:30PM-5:30PM, Sa 9AM-1PM, Su closed.
- TNT Post Nederhorst den Berg, Voorstraat 10 (Inside Albert Heijn supermarket), ☎ 0900 767 85 26 (Dutch phones only). M-Th 8AM-8PM, F 8AM-9PM, Sa 8AM-6PM, Su closed.
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