In between all these travelposts about our holiday to England, I want to show you the most picturesque village of Holland… Giethoorn!
I have been wanting to visit Giethoorn ever since I was a very young girl… I guess I must have been about 10! And the reason for that is that I read this lovely children’s book about a Dutch family who had a boat and had all these ‘adventures’ on the Dutch canals and lakes. In one of these books, the family took their boat to Giethoorn. I cannot remember the story, but I do know that ever since that book I knew what Giethoorn was and I knew that I wanted to visit it one day!!!
And that one day came about 35 years later… My husband and I had booked a weekend break to Groningen in the far north of Holland (travelposts about Groningen are still coming!) and on the way back home I really wanted to stop in Giethoorn as it was just a slight detour.
In today’s post I will share with you just a few things to do/think about when visiting Giethoorn.
What to do
- Giethoorn is the perfect place to play ‘which house do you think is the most beautiful’ 🙂
- You can rent a boat to sail on the canals and lakes around Giethoorn. We didn’t do that… but we laughed our heads off seeing so many tourists struggle in their little boat!! There were many ‘traffic jams’ caused by unexperienced ‘sailors’ 😀 If you still want to try out for yourself, on this website (Dutch) there’s a list of boat rental businesses…
- Giethoorn lies in National Park ‘Weerribben-Wieden’. If you are lucky enough to spend a couple of days in the region, you can explore this national park of which you can find out more on this website (Dutch).
- There are several museums in Giethoorn:
- ‘De oude aarde‘: a museum with a stunning collection of minerals and fossils.
- MTN: a museum about jewellery, silver, gems, minerals,…
- ‘Gloria Maris‘: a museum about the life under water, shells, corals, jewelery,…
- ‘ ‘t Olde Maat Uus‘: this museum shows you an authentic farm, fisherman’s cottage and boathouse and tells you more about the old Giethoorn.
- You can rent a bike and follow several bike-trails in and around Giethoorn.
- As there is so much water in and around Giethoorn, a lot of watersports are on offer, including windsurfing and kitesurfing.
- Sit on an outdoor terrace and enjoy the hustle and bustle of this lovely little town whilst sipping a glass of shiraz and eating some tapas (that’s what yours truly did 😀 ).
Where to eat
Giethoorn offers several places where you can have a drink or enjoy lunch or diner. The restaurants/tearooms we saw where all beautifully decorated. Here are some options:
- Ristorante Fratelli
- Café/Restaurant ‘t Vonder
- Smit’s Paviljoen
- Café/Restaurant Giethoorn
- Restaurant Grachthof
After strolling around Giethoorn it was time for some wine & tapas. My husband and I shared a Tapas platter at restaurant Grachthof and it was really good. Restaurant Grachthof is very beautiful inside, but as it was such fabulous weather, we enjoyed the outdoor terrace.
As you can see in all these pictures, Giethoorn is just too good to be true. Concerning the level of picturesque-ness (just made up that word!) Giethoorn definitely scores an A+ but as with all things wonderful, it has become a victim of it’s own succes I’m afraid. It really was very crowded and extremely touristy. We hardly heard Dutch… it was all English, German, French, Italian, Russian, Japanese,… And no matter how beautiful all the houses were, we just wouldn’t want to live here!!
Anyway, we tried not to be bothered too much by the hustle and bustle in this little town. Giethoorn doesn’t disappoint at all if you look past all the tourists. What a beautiful village… and that is still what it is despite what some might think… a VILLAGE and not a themepark!!! Honestly, when we were walking in this village, a woman asked me the ‘way out’… I really think she thought she was visiting some sort of open air museum! Anyway, I hope she did find her car in the end, because she couldn’t remember which car park she had used…
Visiting Giethoorn made me tick off one of the gazillion places on my ‘to visit’ list. Many more to go 🙂
Have you already visited Giethoorn?