You will find the beautiful village of Giethoorn in the Dutch province of Overijssel bordering Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Here you will not find loads of tarred roads and traffic lights or busy streets. Instead you will have the opportunity to make your way in a boat on a canal between beautiful homes and often accompanied by cute ducks.
Most of the charm of visiting Giethoorn is the boat rides. This is why you come to Giethoorn. While you gently follow the flow of the waterways, you dream of having a beautiful home here on the banks of a canal. You enjoy the beauty and the tranquility of the surroundings on quiet days and you drink in the friendly people and atmosphere on those busy days.
How did Giethoorn get its name:
According to National Geographic – ‘The story goes that its original farmer-settlers discovered a collection of horns belonging to wild goats thought to have died in the Flood of 1170.
“Goat horn,” or “Geytenhoren,” was shortened to Giethoorn, and the name stuck. Centuries post-flood, water continues to define the village’s living history and landscape.’
Most of the homes in Giethoorn in situated on small private islands that are only connected by the wooden bridges that you’ll see everywhere: Well over 150 wooden bridges connects these islands with each other.
In summer time the beautiful thatched-roof farm houses with their stunning hydrangea displays makes for an awesome experience.
Only a 10 minute drive away from Giethoorn is Dwarsgracht, which is very similar in looks and maybe not that touristy. Keep this in mind for days when Giethoorn is too crowded.
Although the main attraction, or rather one of the main attractions, is to go on a boat ride around the waterways, this is not your only option to explore. You can also sign in for a walking tour through the picturesque Giethoorn.
Having booked with a tour operator, you can sit back and enjoy. No worries about getting out of the village before peak time. You don’t have to worry how you are going to cope if suddenly there are huge crowds. You just relax and your tour operator will handle everything.
A bonus is that they normally have a wealth of knowledge they are eager to share with you.
High Season is April to October – which means lots of tourists, but also the most beautiful time of the year.
School and Public Holidays as well as Sundays are not the best options as the village can get very crowded during these times. June (just before school holiday) is a pretty time of the year to go as the flowers starts to bloom.
Weekdays are your best option. If possible arrange that you go from Monday to Thursdays.
You can take a direct train from Amsterdam Zuid to Zwolle. Then from Zwolle you have to take a bus to Giethoorn.
Coming from Amsterdam you can rent a car for the approximate 120 km drive. Your car will have a GPS system so you don’t have to worry and can enjoy the scenic drive.
The nearest international airport is Amsterdam International (AMS).
Museum: Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus – A Farm museum illustrating the region’s history.
Boat builder Schreur – See how the boats are made.
Blessed with beautiful views, this restaurant / café offers everything from Picnic Baskets, Lunch Buffets, Barbecues, High Teas to just a cup of coffee when you need it. Definitely worth a visit. (If you click on their name above, it will take you directly to their website with directions and all the information you need to get there.)
Stop for coffee or tea, have a drink on the terrace by the water or in the garden room. They serve dinners, lunches and high teas.
“Restaurant Hollands Venetië, de naam voor het rustieke dorp Giethoorn en ook de naam van ons sfeervolle restaurant.”
(Translated as: Restaurant Hollands Venice, the name for the rustic village of Giethoorn and also the name of our atmospheric restaurant.)
Check out their website for the following fun events:
and much more..
Lastly but definitely not the least.
These residents are social, friendly and very tolerant people. Don’t misuse their hospitality. Always be courteous and respect their privacy and boundaries – keeping in mind this is their permanent residence.