Aa en Hunze is a municipality in the north of the province of Drenthe, in the Netherlands. The name of the municipality refers to two small rivers, Drentsche Aa and Hunze. There are 35 villages in the municipality, which has a total population of about 25,000. The largest villages include Gieten, Annen, and Rolde.
The landscape of the region is characterised by the Hondsrug sand ridge in the western part, and peatlands in the eastern half. The western part of the municipality has a long history, with many old so-called brinkdorpen (villages centred around a village green) and a landscape similar to neighbouring Tynaarlo as well as Noordenveld. The settlement history of the eastern part of the municipality is much more recent. Starting in the 16th and 17th centuries, the peatlands of eastern Groningen and northern Drenthe were exploited. The landscape and history in this area is therefore similar to that of the Peat District of Groningen.
- 1 Tourist Information Point Rolde (Onder de Molen), Grote Brink 22a, Rolde, ☎ . Mon-Fri 10:00-16:00, Sat 10:00-15:00.
There are two expressways traversing Aa en Hunze, which cross at the Gieten junction in the centre of the municipality. The N33 expressway runs from the provincial capital Assen (connection to A28 motorway) via Aa en Hunze to Veendam and the A7 motorway at Zuidbroek. The N34 expressway (Hunebed Highway) runs from De Punt (connection to A28 motorway) near the city of Groningen and Groningen Airport Eelde via Aa en Hunze to Emmen and the A37 motorway. Aa en Hunze can be reached from Groningen city in about 15 minutes, while the drive from Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport takes about 1h 45m.
- Bus route 5 (up to 6x/hour) from Groningen via Haren and Zuidlaren to Aa en Hunze (Annen).
- Bus route 21 (1x/hour) from Assen via Aa en Hunze (Rolde, Grolloo, Schoonloo), Schoonoord and Sleen to Emmen.
- Bus route 24 (1x/hour) from Assen via Aa en Hunze (Rolde, Papenvoort), Borger and Nieuw-Buinen to Stadskanaal.
- Bus route 28 (1x/hour) from Stadskanaal to Aa en Hunze (Gasselternijveen, Gasselte, Gieten).
- Bus route 59 (1x/hour) from Emmen via Odoorn, Exloo and Borger to Aa en Hunze (Gasselte, Gieten).
- Bus route 110 (1x/hour) from Assen via Aa en Hunze (Rolde, Gieten, Bareveld), Veendam, Nieuwe Pekela and Oude Pekela to Winschoten.
In addition, bus routes 300 and 305 are fast buses (Qliner) from Groningen to Emmen that traverse Aa en Hunze, but only call at the bus station at Gieten junction (where the N33 and N34 expressways meet).
The easiest and fastest way to get around in the municipality of Aa en Hunze is by car. However, for shorter distances using a bicycle is recommended. Good cycling infrastructure is available, and all villages are clearly signposted with dedicated signposts for cyclists.
Some of the bus routes as mentioned above can also be used to get around within the Aa en Hunze region. The N33/N34 junction at Gieten is a public transport hub for the region.
There are 12 dolmen sites (megalithic tombs) in the municipality of Aa en Hunze.
Two villages in Aa en Hunze are starting point of a stage of the Pieterpad, the most famous long distance walking route of the Netherlands. The route's fourth stage ends in Rolde. The fifth stage runs almost entirely within Aa en Hunze, from Rolde to Schoonloo, and the sixth stage starts in Schoonloo.
- 1 Restaurant 't Moatie, Kerkstraat 2C, Gasselte, ☎ . Wed-Sun 10:30-20:00. Traditional Dutch pancakes.
- 2 De Liefde van de Drentsche Aa, Ruiterweg 2, Schipborg, ☎ . Tue-Thu 10:00-21:00, Fri-Sun 10:00-22:00.
- 1 Hotel ’t Zwanemeer, Oude Groningerweg 1, Gieten, ☎ . Double rooms from €65 per night.
- 2 Boutique Hotel Erkelens closed since 2018, Grolloërstraat 1, Rolde, ☎ . Double rooms from €82.50 per night.
- 3 Hotel Buxus, Dorpsstraat 35, Gasselte, ☎ . Double rooms from €50 per night.
- 4 Hotel de Loohoeve, Hoofdstraat 20, Schoonloo, ☎ . Double rooms from €49 per night.
- 5 Hotel De Koningsherberg, Brinkstraat 2, Anloo, ☎ . Double rooms from €71 per night.
- 6 Hof van Saksen, Veldweg 22-24, Nooitgedacht, ☎ . Holiday park with a range of accommodation types (bungalows, villas, group accommodations). There are various facilities such as a swimming pool, spa, and five restaurants.
- Westerbork — nearby village mostly known for the large World War II transport camp, now a war memorial centre
- Veenkoloniën — the 'peat district' just across the provincial border in Groningen
- Noordenveld and Tynaarlo — two other municipalities in northern Drenthe, known for their old villages
|Routes through Aa en Hunze|
|Zwolle ← Assen ←||S N||→ Veenkoloniën → Appingedam|
|Emmen ← Borger-Odoorn ←||S N||→ Tynaarlo → Groningen|
|Pieterburen ← Zuidlaren ←||N S||→ Sleen → Sint-Pietersberg|