Planning out a vacation this summer along the waterside and canals? And, it’s not Venice! Welcome to Giethoorn…
Giethoorn often termed as “Dutch Venice” located in northern Holland is a perfect destination with small canals and thatched roof farmhouses. It has its own charm with quiet and serene surroundings that feels like stepping into a fairy tale.
It takes about 2.5 hours to reach Giethoorn from Amsterdam by changing multiple trains with two stopovers in Zwolle and Steenwijk. There are multiple options to reach your hotel from the station on weekdays except for Sunday when there is no public transport. We had booked a homestay Duvenvoorde in the suburbs of Giethoorn so as to explore the Werribben landscape.
We had rented bikes to reach our guest house, for 2 days of our stay. It was a great bike tour along safe bike trails and small scenic towns. Cycling through the water rich landscape is a pleasant counterpart to the country-side you have never seen before.
The B&B was quite pleasant and cozy. Parking space for our bikes was taken care. The host was quite friendly and they served great breakfast as well, the next day. All in all, a refreshing place surrounded by lush green corn fields, water trickling down the canal streams, stable animals grazing around and ducks quacking in the lakes nearby, making your stay just perfect!
Early in the evening, we set our bikes to Center of Giethoorn, yet again experiencing the serenity of suburbs.
Giethoorn is an idyllic village in Overijssel where countless thatched farms have been built on small peat islands, connected by numerous small wooden bridges. Adding to this picturesque environment, this village offers also unique concerts on canoe. One can only admire the panorama from the wooden bridges while listening to the great tunes of Blues.
As we stroll the paths connecting small islands, crossing over several bridges, we came across a place to just sit and enjoy the view of this bright orange sun just about to hit the horizon, surrounded by silver lining clouds, leaving us only to admire the beauty of nature. Later in the evening, we had our dinner at De Sloothak, with great food and finest live Jazz Music.
The next day, we set a sail to Giethoorn center yet again for the very famous boat riding all by ourselves. A lot of vendors are available to rent their boats. We had rented a whisper boat which is basically an open punter boat equipped with silent electric motor that is powered – hence the nick name ‘whisper’.
The initial five minutes of helming the boat was scary, to be honest – for someone who has never helmed one. Bumping into other boats, turning the wrong way etc. But, once you get a hang of it, it’s amazing!!! Enjoy the boat ride for about an hour without the stench and noise of engines and explore the rustic surroundings. Make sure to follow the map in order, not to get lost.
With this quite an amazing boat trip, we had finally ended our trip to Giethoorn – A place that whispers all your life to visit again and again!
Trip Cost - 450 Euros for 3 persons.
Pic Courtesy - Rajiv Singh