We study the deterministic diffusion coefficient of the two-dimensional periodic Lorentz gas as a function of the density of scatterers. Based on computer simulations, and by applying straightforward analytical arguments, we systematically improve the Machta–Zwanzig random walk approximation [Phys. Rev. Lett.50:1959 (1983)] by including microscopic correlations. We furthermore, show that, on a fine scale, the diffusion coefficient is a non-trivial function of the density. On a coarse scale and for lower densities, the diffusion coefficient exhibits a Boltzmann-like behavior, whereas for very high densities it crosses over to a regime which can be understood qualitatively by the Machta–Zwanzig approximation.