Things To Do In Giethoorn
The Picturesque Dutch Village With No Roads
Giethoorn is a small village with embellishing flower plantation, small green yards, thatched-roof cottages, wooden bridges, singing birds and quacking ducks and no roads, just connecting waterways. You can’t ride a motorcycle or drive a car in Giethoorn. Additionally, the residents of Giethoorn are welcoming, cooperative and very friendly. It’s so different, so peaceful and has such simple beauty that it hardly seems real which make it one of the hidden gems in the Netherlands.
Giethoorn village is located in in the Dutch province of Overijssel, Holland and is famously referred to as the Venice of Holland or the small Venice of the North'. It got its unique name from many goat horns that were found in the area by its first inhabitants. (Goat horn=giet hoorn) The horns were thought to have been left over from a huge flood in the tenth century.
The many water canals that make the village so unique, were made by peat harvesters. When they cut and removed the peat, canals, and lakes were formed. Small islands were formed, where peat harvesters then constructed their houses.
In 1958 Giethoorn Village was selected as a filming site by the Dutch film producer Bert Haanstra for his Fanfare comedy movie. The village has been in the spotlight since then and it receives a reasonable number of tourists each year.
Things To Do With Your Family In Giethoorn Village
A must do in Giethoorn village is to rent a boat. You can hire a boat with a captain or rent your own boat. This is by far the best way to explore Giethoorn. There are different types of boats and also several boat rental options. You can rent a Whisper Boat. This is an open-air boat that’s equipped with a silent electric motor. The nickname whisper comes from the low noise level of the boat.
The whisper boats have a flat bottom and are stable. The water in the lake and the canals is shallow and is only around one meter deep. As a result, a rental boat is also suitable for families with kids. For a more comfortable and enjoyable journey, you can bring some cushions.
You’ll be given very easy to understand instructions on how you can control the boat, and you’ll also be given navigation maps of the waterways.
You and your family can also rent a canoe paddling boat or a punter. It’s also possible to do an evening canal cruise or a guided trip with a large boat. For the more sporty types, Giethoorn village offers the possibility for suppen which is stand up paddleboarding.
Events and Festivals
In August the entire village including buildings, gondolas, gardens, and bridges are decorated with lights. For music lovers, between June and November, they're five different music festivals that host blues, jazz, folk, and rock musicians. There’s also a strong man competition, where contestants compete to win the title of, the Strongest man in the Netherlands.
You and your family can enjoy the sights culture and history of the picturesque village of Giethoorn by bike. There’re many different biking routes:
- ANWB cycle route (37km)
- Giethoorn Weerribben Cycle Route (46km) - This route takes you and your family through the wetlands of National Parks De Wieden and De Weerribben.
- Bicycle route Giethoorn Wanneperveen (20km)
- Giethoorn - Bossen Eese, De Woldberg (43 km)
- Rietsnijders route (35 km)
- Giethoorn route - This is certainly one of the best cycling routes for families because it's suitable for all ages and it will take you and your family through the village.
You and your family can also visit the ‘t Olde Maat Uus, which is a museum farm that enables visitors to discover the meaning of a farmer's life around 1900 and the historical development of the village during that period. Moreover, there are expositions of practising ancient handicrafts and trades such as reed covering, peat stabbing, and building "punter"-boats.
Another interesting museum is the Museum De Oude Aarde. It was founded in 1969 by Rene Boissevain. He travelled all around the world to collect specimens for the distinct collection of minerals that are now displayed in the museum. Currently, the Visser family operates the museum. They also travel to various parts of the world searching for beautiful minerals and crystals to add to the collection.
You can also visit the old time museum that houses bikes, old car’s, and skates and the Shells museum.
If you like purchasing unique keepsakes from the areas you visit, you can go to one of the many shops in Giethoorn. There’re all kinds of trinkets and souvenirs to choose from.
Relaxation and Sporting
Giethoorn is home to an all-weather swimming pool, the bowling hotel, and the cinema City theatre that all provide a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. Fishing and ice skating are some of the sporting activities which will keep you and your family thrilled during your visit to the Giethoorn village.
Have you been to a village or a city where there is almost no car?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Hanson is a motorcycle enthusiast and expert on motorcycle travel. He loves to travel and has covered a lot of countries over the past eight years. In each country, he takes the time to record his impressions.
Visit his blog to read more articles about motorcycle travelling and helpful tips!