The Most Picturesque Holland Villages
These amazing Holland villages are a sight to see. It is impossible not to fall in love with this tiny little green country. The depth of the green was one of the first things I noticed moving here all those years ago. There is a reason for all that green; we call it rain. Holland is lowlands and wetlands, as flat as a pancake and wet as a warthogs backside! No matter which part of this diverse little country you visit, there is always something beautiful to see. These ten picturesque Holland villages have it all, from windmills to canals to castles! Get your camera ready and let’s go!
The Venice of the North, or so it is lovingly dubbed, Giethoorn is found in the Dutch province of Overijssel. This fascinating little Holland village is famous for its lack of roads. Primarily a pedestrian zone, the only way to get around this small village is by boat or by bike! An interesting fact, Giethoorn has more than 180 bridges, and the population is a meager 2620 people! Giethoorn plays host to more than 150.000 Chinese tourists each year!
Quietly resting on the Berkel River and the Twente Canal is this beautiful Holland village. As a general rule, the Netherlands is a flat country. However, here in the east, there are a couple of hilly nature reserves. The Lochemse Berg is an example of this. People have been living in this village since as early as the year 900 BC. In the countryside surrounding this beautiful Renaissance style town, you can still find several 17th-century style homes and castles. Lochem is well worth your visit!
Folktales and Visiting Mothers
It was almost 15 years ago when I moved to this tiny little country on the edge of nowhere. Sometime about eight years ago, my mother made a trip to visit me here. Being that it was her first trip to the Netherlands, we made an effort to show her everything! In the process, we took her to Volendam. I’ll never forget how she couldn’t pronounce this Holland village name, so she kept calling it “Falling Down“. Ironically, on our way there she did just that. Poor thing slipped on ice at a gas station and fell down.
Volendam is a traditional Dutch fishing village. Even today some of the villagers wear the traditional style clothing. The beautiful town harbor overlooks the IJ Bay. If you are looking for a place to visit with a distinct style of music, food, and culture, this is the place for you! Be prepared to eat paling and dance the night away to BZN.
If you have never seen a real star fort get to Naarden, the entire town is surrounded by fortress walls and a moat! When you do make it here, make sure to take an areal tour of the area. It would be a shame to miss the beautiful star shape of this medieval fortress town. During WWII Naarden became a meeting point for Allied Bombers returning to England after raiding Germany. The unique shape of this Holland village made it easy to locate from the sky.
I think that most people have heard of Delft Blue Pottery, or at least seen it on Antiques Roadshow. The pottery gets its name from this town in South Holland. Delft is a beautiful Holland village full of canals and history. In 1572 Willem van Oranje of the House of Orange took up residence here. Since that year, Delft has had strong ties to the Dutch Royals. In 1654 a gunpowder store exploded and destroyed the entire town. Even after being rebuilt Delft maintains its beautiful old style Dutch charm.
Historical records can place Ommen on this site as far back as the 12th century. It was in 1248 that it became an official city. It is funny, with a population of less than 20,000 I would not consider this a city. Somehow, for the Dutch, this romantic Holland village has the same rights as any large city does. Notably, semi-nomadic hunter gather tribes inhabited this area around 9,000 BCE.
Interestingly about 6km north of Ommen, is the Ommerschans. A fortress built in 1628, in the 19th century, it became a labour camp for beggars, prostitutes, and alcoholics from Amsterdam. It was intended to teach these immoral people morals so that they could reintegrate into society. Currently, the grounds are still being maintained by enforced labour.
The Wadden Islands of the province Friesland are a must see on any trip to the Netherlands. Most of this island is a nature preserve today. The clean water is home to many sorts of fish and even seals! If you are looking to photograph pure and raw wild nature, any of the Wadden Islands will do. Terschelling, with its population of less than 5,000 will give you the feeling of complete isolation and connection with mother earth.
Urk used to be an island. The Dutch have this extraordinary skill of taking the land back from the sea. They did exactly that with Urk. Through a series of dykes, they pushed the water back connecting Urk with the mainland. In the 20th century, through reclaiming the seabed the area became the Noordoostpolder.
The Dunkirk- One Direction Connection
One of the loveliest of the Holland villages, this fishing village was most recently in the news as the location for director Christopher Noland’s war thriller film Dunkirk. Teenage girls from around Europe flocked to Urk in the hopes of getting a real life glimpse at boyband heartthrob Harry Styles from One Direction.
Another of the tiniest Holland villages, Edam has a population of less than 7,500. Most famous for Edammer cheese, the old city center is a protected site. Preservation of traditional Dutch culture is very important to the Dutch. The oldest brick house in the village is home to a museum today. So if you want to know more about this beautiful village and its wonderful cheese market, The Edam Museum is the place to go! Only 23km north of Amsterdam, a day trip to Edam should be on every visitors to do list!
The Ijsselmeer is one of the great lakes of Holland. Monnikendam rests quietly on the coast in the Dutch province of North Holland. As you may have guessed by the name of the town, the original founders were indeed Monks. This small fishing village boasts a 17th century weigh house, used for weighing goods for tax purposes.
Weigh Houses and Witch Tests
Between 1550 and 1690 people accused of witchcraft would be brought to a weigh house to be subject to a witch test. A person could pay for a witch test that would prove them innocent of witchcraft. A person would be weighed against a set weight, should the individual be found to weigh less than the set weight, they would be charged guilty of witchcraft.
Whatever Holland Villages You Visit
The Netherlands is a beautiful country with a rich and vibrant history. There is enough beauty here to fuel and eternity of fairy tales. So get your camera, and get over here! We can’t wait to show you the most picturesque Holland villages around!