in the village of Giethoorn looks like something out of a fairytale. It’s
not Netherlands , but it is idyllic and uniquely enchanting in
its own way. In Giethoorn there are no roads – only canals. There are footpaths
along the canals, and beautiful wooden footbridges to cross, but all cars must
be left outside the village. Venice
There are four miles of canals total, lined with beautiful old cottages with thatched roofs dating from the 1700’s. (For anyone who doesn’t know: a thatched roof is a roof made of straw.) Giethoorn has about 3000 residents and most live in cottages on private islands which serve as yards. On foot, many houses can only be accessed by a wooden footbridge.
What to do? Cycling, boating, guided canal tours – or just explore by yourself and take in the idyllic charm of this little village. You can get around using punts, canoes, kayaks, or “whisperboats,” which run on electrical motors. The canoes are quite shallow, so punting is especially easy (you push your boat along using a long stick). Shops and restaurants line the canals and each has its own dock, so it’s easy to get out and explore wherever you want.
Giethoorn is not a long train ride from
, so you could do a daytrip to Giethoorn as part of a larger trip. There
are also some excellent B&B’s you can stay in, and the owners are apparently
very welcoming and friendly. The B&B’s will often rent bikes and boats so
that you so that you can explore the village on your own. Amsterdam
In the winter, Giethoorn is a popular destination for ice skating. I think it would be absolutely magical to skate along the canals on a winter evening.
What to eat? Most of the B&B’s have their own restaurant or dinner service, and will serve you delicious home-cooked food. You can also eat at De Lindenhof, which is pricey but apparently a fantastic experience. De Lindenhof serves five course meals (that’s my kind of dinner!) and the food is creative, delicious and well presented. De Lindenhof is inside a traditional farmhouse and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. De Molenmeester is another restaurant, inside a restored mill, which serves regional organic dishes.
The canals can get quite busy as the day wears on, so it’s best to get out and about in the morning or wait until the evening, but no matter when you go Giethoorn will be a charming experience.