The hamlet of Dwarsgracht is a real alternative for the famous, but very touristy, town of Giethoorn. Although just 3 km's away it is a complete different world.
The same canal(s), small bridges, boats and thatched roof houses. But in Dwarsgracht you will hardly see any tourist.
There is just one café restaurant ('De Otterskooi') and this is an ideal starting point for either a boat trip with a so called 'whispering boat' or for a bike tour along the canals and lakes. At 'De Otterskooi' you can rent them both.
Or just walk along the main canal through the village and enjoy the views over the water, the houses, the flowers, the birds and further away waving reed.
Dwarsgracht is signposted from Giethoorn and you have to follow a narrow, sometimes winding road.
The Netherlands is famous for its tulips and other bulbs. Everybody knows the Keukenhof and the so called 'Bloembollenstreek' (Bulb Region) in the western part of my country between Haarlem and Leiden.
But there is a complete other way to see these wonderful flowers. In one of our polders, the 'Noordoostpolder' is the biggest area with tulips in the Netherlands. Late April/early May there are lots of activities around the blooming time of the tulips. Everywhere along the road you can buy some fresh tulips for a couple of euro's.
We made the signposted car tour along the 'Bollenroute' (or 'Tulpenroute'); this is 100 km long route through the Noordoostpolder, which shows a lot of tulip fields. Besides it is more or less amazing if you realise the fact that you are driving on the bottom of a former sea.
Along the route are a lot of interesting sites to make a stop, among them:
- an information centre and show garden with hundreds of tulip species;
- a huge orchid garden;
- a garden where you can pick your own tulips (http://www.tulpenpluktuin.nl/).
For directions, activities and a map see the website.
The Dutch province of Drenthe has 52 of the 54 remaining Dutch dolmens, or better megalithic tombs. These huge stone graves were built by farmers belonging to the ‘Funnel Beaker Culture’. They started building these tombs more than 5.000 year ago. They used the boulders, scattered around in this area, which were transported to Drenthe during the last ice period.
Borger, a small village in Drenthe, is more or less the capital of the Dutch Dolmens. In and around the village are 16 of these ‘hunebedden’ (Dutch for megalithic tomb) and just outside Borger is the ‘Hunebedcentrum’ (a museum and megalithic tombs information centre). Here you may find more information about the people, who made these tombs, their way of living and much more.
The best way to see the dolmens in the landscape is to walk or bike. In the museum or Tourist Information Centre in Borger are several brochures available with cycling and walking routes.
We did the ‘Flintenroute’ (flint = boulder): a bike tour along the major tombs and through the typical landscape of Drenthe. That means forest, heathland, sheep and small quiet villages. The route is 35 km’s long and it will take 2 ½ hours biking.
Renting a bike is no problem in Borger.
See for a hotel in Borger ‘hotels & accommodation’ tips.
National Park ‘De Meinweg’ is one of the most unknown national parks in the Netherlands. It is situated in the province of Limburg between Roermond and Vlodrop.
The landscape is not as flat as in the rest of the country and not as hilly as in parts of South Limburg. All together an ideal area for a bike tour and to enjoy the very varied landscape. With vast forests, heathland and small pools. It is said there should be vipers in the park, but to be honest we didn’t see them.
Best place to start your bike tour is the information centre along the road from Roermond to Vlodrop. Here you can also get a free brochure of the bike tour. The tour through the park is 15 km’s long, but you may extend it through the neighbourhood with some rural villages, an old castle (hotel/restaurant) and a water mill.
For rental bikes:
Elfenmeer Herkenbosch (0475 – 531689)
Boshotel Vlodrop (0475 – 534959)
Rijwielhuis Piet Daemen (0475 – 401727)
Or ask the information centre.
See also 'accommodation tip': Vlodrop.
If you don’t like biking, you can start for sign posted walks from the information centre to the most beautiful parts of the park, including some of the pools.
This area on the river Zaan has typical Zaan houses, windmills and buidlings. In some of the windmills you can still buy their products - I really like the mustard mill. All the houses are built from wood and coated in tar. Stone houses would have sunk into the peat earth. Here is also the very first "Albert Heijn" shop which dates from 1887 - nowadays there is an AH in almost every village in the country. There is also a cheese making factory and a great pancake restuarant- My favourite pancake is always apple and bacon and then topped with syrup. While wandering around you are often breathin in the heavy sweet smell of cocoa from the chocolate factories along the Zaan.
This part of the Veluwe has an unique scenery with the biggest shifting-sand area of Europe. Surrounded by forests and just close to the very small village of Kootwijk, it is one of the most remote parts of the Netherlands. Therefore it is such a pity that tourist facilities, like camping sites and holiday parks are coming closer and closer to this unique spot.
The only way to explore “Kootwijkerzand” is to walk. Personally we prefer to stroll around without using paths. It is such an amazing landscape, sometimes the sand is almost white, other parts are covered by moss or small pines. And always the sand is drifting in the wind and the landscape is constantly changing. Sometimes it seems to be a little Sahara, specially when temperatures in the sun reach 50 degrees Celsius !!
If you don’t like to walk, just find a nice spot on one of the hills (they are called a ‘fort’) and just sit down and look around, see the living skies and enjoy this beautiful scenery.
Kootwijk is within easy reach of the highway between Amersfoort and Apeldoorn. In the village turn left on the (only) junction; follow “Kerkendelweg” and turn right into “Houtzagersweg”. At the end of the sealed road is a car park. Go through a small gate and walk for about 500 metres straight on. Suddenly you will reach this huge sandbox. Stroll around, but just take care you don’t get lost and can not find your way out !!
(on the road between Kootwijk and Harskamp is a car park with a short sign posted track, but we don’t like that part too much, because it is ‘overcrowded’).
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is located at Dam Square in the heart of the city of Amsterdam. It is a very popular tourist attraction in the city of Amsterdam. The wax museum was founded by Marie Tussaud (1761 - 1850) in 1835. The world famous wax museum consists of hundreds of life size wax figures of the rich and famous as well as political leaders from around the world. Some of the famous wax figures that are exhibited at Amsterdam Madame Tussauds are Boris Becker (tennis player), Ayrton Senna (Formula One racing driver) and pop singers David Bowie, Britney Spears and Elvis Presley (as depicted in our photograph above).
You may also e-mail to the following address for more information regarding Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam:- email@example.com
The large old windmill located inside Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse is one of the major and prominent tourist attractions at Keukenhof Gardens. Visitors can climb up the steps inside the old windmill to the viewing platform located on the first floor. The 360 degree viewing platform has a commanding and spectacular view of Keukenhof Gardens and its surrounding areas. Well-known large wooden shoes are placed on the road near the entrance to the windmill. Don't miss the old windmill when you visit Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse!
Canal cruise along the famous canal in the city of Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Amsterdam. Visitors are looking at the city of Amsterdam from a very different perspective, i.e. from the water. You will be passing numerous bridges along the canal with the view of lovely architectural buildings along the way. In our opinion the canal cruise is a "must-travel" attraction when you visit such beautiful city like Amsterdam. It is fun and shall be considered one of the highlights of your trip to Amsterdam.
The streets of downtown Amsterdam and the banks of the canals in the heart of the city of Amsterdam are dotted with many lovely architectural buildings. Amsterdam can be considered as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe! We are certainly impressed by its many beautiful architectural buildings especially along its canal. Please flip through our photographs on the right to see the numerous architectural buildings in Amsterdam!
The Scheveningen Pier (De Pier) is located on the shore of North Sea at Scheveningen Beach near The Hague in South Holland province in Western Netherlands. Scheveningen Beach is a very popular seaside resort and fishing centre. The Scheveningen Beach extends over several kilometers long. De Pier is the largest pier in the Netherlands. It was constructed in 1961.
The promenade at De Pier is a platform extending from the beach out to the sea supported by pillers. There is a tower at the end of the promenade. The platform is also known as Van Der Valk Amusement by the locals with several restaurants and amusement parks. Admission to the platform costs only a token. The top of the tower has a spectacular and breath-taking view of Scheveningen Beach and its lovely skyline as depicted on our photographs above.
Erasmus Bridge is a very impressive cable bridge located across Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse) River linking north and south Rotterdam. It is undoubtedly an engineering masterpiece. It was constructed in 1996 and was designed by Ben van Berkel. The bridge is approximately 800 meters long with a pylon which is approximately 140 meters tall. The shape of the pylon looks like a swan. Thus the bridge is also known as the Swan (De Zwaan) by the locals.
De Hef (the lift) Old Railway Bridge is located between Noordereiland and South Rotterdam. It is now no longer in use and has been preserved as a monument in lifted position. It is now one of the popular tourist attractions in Rotterdam. The bridge can be lifted where necessary to allow large ships to pass and lowered to allow trains to pass.
This beautiful little town in North Holland is a gem. It was once on Schermer Island in the Zuiderzee. Many of its buildings date back to the 17th century. It was then that the town flourished - that was mainly due to the whaling. It is the birthplace of Jan Adriaansz. Leeghwater who invented a system that used windmills to drain a lake after a "ring canal" had been built around it. This meant that is was quite easy to pump dry deeper and larger lakes and getting the first areas of reclaimed land.
"In 't Houten Huis" shows the history of Schermer island and also has an exhibition about Leeghwater.
Kinderdijk with its 19 windmills is a World heritage site and protected area. The 19 windmills were used to drain the Alblasserwaard in the past/ It is were the Noord and Lek rivers join. As the land settled new “Boezems” (drainage pools) and mills were needed to span the height difference as the land settled. It is not far from our home and we often go as there are several lovely walks through the area. It is beautiful in all seasons although you do really need warm clothing on the colder days as the wind can really howl here. I remember so well first seeing them on one of my first visits to The Netherlands - the waters were frozen and there were so many people skating – it was just like a painting from one of the “old masters”
It does get very busy in the tourist season and parking at weekends is sometimes difficult. Parking very near the mills is limited and it is nearly always busy – try to go in the week when it can be a little less crowded. At the parking area near the mills is a little cafe and gift shop. There are several restaurants along the road through the village. Be careful walking along the road through the village as it does get very busy with traffic.
My son and grandmother shared a room at the Ambassade, where we were greeted by a very friendly and...more
This Hotel is the right place for romantic people who like its "old fashioned" style, the relaxed...more
It's great to see and witness that the hotel has a heated outdoor swimming pool, which you can use...more
see all Netherlands member meetings