Giethoorn oozes charm and it’s fun to visit. The tiny village has waterways instead of roads; and transportation always used to take place by punt. Today, mainly tourists cruise the quaint village canal in slow and silent electric boats, admiring the (farm)houses and well-kept gardens. As many of the tourists don’t know how to handle a boat, comical pile-ups are part of the package.
The village lies on the edge of Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Picture a paradise for first-time kayakers! The many channels are a bit of a maze, but so tranquil…it makes you feel like you are kayaking inside a painting.
Make your own way to Giethoorn, also known as “Venice of Holland” or “Venice of the North”. After checking into your hotel, what better way to view the village than from the water? So rent a boat (punt, whisper boat, canoe) or - if you don’t trust yourself at the helm – go on a guided tour on one of the covered big boats manned by a skipper. The shorter route is through the village; the long route takes you onto the lake and into Weerribben-Wieden National Park.
The best thing about staying the night in Giethoorn is getting up bright and early the next morning to go for a walk with your camera at the ready and the village canal at its most idyllic – before the other tourists arrive!
Set off for the friendly town of Steenwijk, a fine place to stop for a cup of coffee. By the looks of the earthen ramparts and moat that used to protect this town from enemies, Steenwijk has known less peaceful times! Then continue through the countryside past Steenwijkerwold and Oldemarkt to Ossenzijl.Ossenzijl is the northern gateway into Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Here you have two options:
Option 1, the short route: take the LF22 route right through Weerribben-Wieden and then continue to Kalenberg and finally to your hotel in Muggenbeet, a hamlet next to the village of Blokzijl.
Option 2, the long route: First take a detour past Slijkenburg and Kuinre back to Ossenzijl; and only then enter the National Park and continue as in Option 1.
In the morning you will visit Blokzijl and Vollenhove. You need to switch on your imagination to understand that these two villages were once seaside towns where fishermen brought in their catch and then sat down to repair their nets! The land to the west of these villages is new land (polder) created in ±1942. Next, follow a stretch of the peaceful Zuiderzee Route (a cycle route that goes all the way around the former sea known as Zuiderzee), and pass through the pleasant villages of Zwartsluis and Genemuiden, hubs for water sports. The highlight of today is the Hansa town of Kampen. Cross the bridge and enjoy the old town centre of this beautiful place. On the banks of the River IJssel, cycle to the city of Zwolle, where you will spend the night.
Leave the bustle of the city behind you and follow the River Vecht and subsequently het Zwarte Water to the lovely town of Hasselt. Take your time to explore: it is worth it. Your route then takes you back to Zwartsluis and then right through the wetland of Weerribben – Wieden National Park all the way back to Giethoorn.
After breakfast, this holiday comes to an end. Make your own way home.
|Daily from April 1 till September 26.|
|Per person in a double room
4 nights’ accommodation, breakfast included
|A supplement will be required for:|
|Emergency Call Out Service/Bike breakdown pass (€ 2,75 x 4)||11,00|
Giethoorn - Hotel de Harmonie ****
Blokzijl - Hotel Geertien ***
Zwolle - Mercure Hotel Zwolle ****
4 Nights included
3/4 star hotels
Breakfast included, Halfboard optional
Tourist information on all the places of interest
The possibility of renting our bikes
7-days a week service-hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Nearest trainstation is Steenwijk. From here you can take a taxi to Giethoorn. If you come by train you could also start in Zwolle.
Free parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included