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Discover Dutch delights this December

12th December 2010 Print
Winterland Maastricht

The big day may only be two weeks away, but there’s still time to head for one of Europe’s top Christmas markets. Not only is this a great way to get into the festive mood, you can also stock up on last minute presents while enjoying a short break into the bargain. 

Our video highlights two of Holland’s best Christmas markets, ‘Fluweelengrot’ (Velvet Cave Christmas Market) at Valkenburg and ‘Winterland Maastricht’.

The most highly anticipated Christmas event in Holland, Fluweelengrot takes place between 19 November and 23 December. The market has a fairy-tale theme with a wonderfully mystical atmosphere, harking back to the ancient legends of Valkenburg’s rich history. 

Beneath the castle ruins, the illuminated Christmas Cave and an impressive 18th century chapel are just two of the delights to be found during a walking tour of the town’s underground labyrinth. 

A magical Christmas parade with beautiful floats, dancing and music also passes through the centre of Valkenburg every Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. and every Saturday evening at 7.30 p.m. during the festive period – a spectacle not to be missed!

Now in its 13th year, Winterland Maastricht is a lively festival that sees the Vrijthof transformed into a winter square with ice-rink, carousel, big wheel and Christmas train. 

The Winterland Maastricht market is a real treat and products on offer include handcrafted toys and local sweets. With around 85 stalls to choose from, you can shop to your heart’s content!

Live music, mulled wine and pancakes complete the festive family experience.

Getting there....
A good way to make the trip is by ferry - this way you can fill your car with all your Christmas goodies without worrying about exceeding the baggage allowance like when travelling by plane. 

Stena Line offers daytime and overnight crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland aboard two new Superferries, Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica. Fares start from just £49 one-way for a driver and car, plus £12 per additional adult. Cabins for overnight crossings start from £24 per person one-way, based on two sharing.

For more information, visit:

A self-catered holiday rental is a great budget option for travellers this Christmas. has a huge choice of holiday cottages in Holland, with rental prices from just €293 for a weekend stay this December. 

For more information, visit:

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Winterland Maastricht