Drouwenerzand - hotspots

Wind-blown sand on the Drouwener Sand

There was a time when the Drouwenerzand drove travellers mad. It was a large barren area of sand where the wind  raged without mercy and the sand beat into your face. Walking in the Drouwenerzand today you have  nothing to fear. At most you’ll be amazed at so much magnificent natural scenery.The Drouwenerzand has the status of a ‘Geological Monument’, the first in Drenthe.

Sand and heath on the Drouwenerzand

Made by humans

In fact most of the sand-drifts in Drenthe are not the work of nature but of man. Because in those days men asked  too much of nature. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the farmers allowed too many sheep to graze on  the heather. They dug up too much peat. Too many wagons drove over the land. The result was that the topmost  layer of the heathland died and the wind blew away the white sand beneath. The wind blew the sand up into high dunes. The farmers lived in fear of the sandstorms which could destroy their harvest in a few hours. At the beginning of the twentieth century men conquered the unbounded nature of the Drouwenerzand by  planting it with thousands of fir trees. In the last few years Het Drentse Landschap has chopped down many of the  trees in order to give a new lease of life to the drifted sand.


There is plenty of opportunity to walk over or around the dune area of the Drouwener sands.

Location data

Camping Alinghoek

Coordinates: 52°57’24.1″N 6°47’52.4″E