Thursday, February 23, 2012

Giethoorn, Netherlands

Giethoorn is a lovely place and beautifull village in the Dutch province of Overijssel. It  is found in the North West of the province Overijssel in the middle of the nature reserve De Wieden, the area is called Waterreijk.  It is located in the municipality of Steenwijkerland, about 5 km southwest of Steenwijk. Giethoorn was founded by a group of fugitives. They came around 1230 from regions bordering the Mediteranean. The story begun when the huge and big flood disaster destroy this town. After this flood, first inhabitants found masses of horns of wild goats, which had probably died in 1170 during the flood. They called their settlement Geytenhorn (geit = goat), ulimately becoming Giethoorn (dialect goat = geit = giet).
Giethoorn, Netherlands
Adventure in Giethoorn
Giethoorn's history goes back to around 1200 when Franciscan monks settled in the area. Giethoorn was founded by fugitives from the Mediterranean region in around AD 1230. Giethoorn was a separate municipality until 1973, when it became part of Brederwiede.
In the marsh lands peat was formed and when the settlers started to use the peat, canals were dug for transport. Big areas became lakes, many of them not deeper than three, four feet.
Giethoorn is located at the edge of a national park (Weerribben-Wieden), a beautiful area. The village Giethoorn is home to less than 3000 people, most of them live on their private islands. The around 180 bridges are the only way to reach many houses, other than by boat that is.
In winter Giethoorn is a very popular destination for ice skaters. During my last years in Holland I lived close to Giethoorn and in cold enough winters I was among the thousands who would go to Giethoorn to ice skate on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Giethoorn, Netherlands
Beautifull Canal.
Giethoorn, Netherlands
Travel all over the canal with boat
 The village owes it characteristic appearance to peatdigging. The peatdiggers dug up the peat-soil at the places that most suited them, mixed it in a trough and spread it out on the land to dry. The result could be cut as peat. This peatdigging led to the formation of large and small lakes. To transport the peat ditches and canals were excavated. Many houses are as it were built on little islands, reached through a high bridge. All this imparts to Giethoorn a beauty unequalled anywhere else.Giethoorn used to be a carfree town known in the Netherlands as "Venice of the North". Some people called Giethoorn as the Venice of Holland. The village Giethoorn is special in the Netherlands because of it's caracteristic wooden arch bridges, the little  reed covered farm houses and beautiful gardens and also canals, in the center is not a road but a canal where you have to travel by boat. The canals, the uncountable caracteristic wooden arch bridges and have given Giethoorn the nickname the Venice of Holland.. It became famous, especially after 1958, when the Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra made his famous comedy "Fanfare" there. Therefore, Giethoorn is an internationally well-known tourist attraction in the Netherlands. In the old part of the village, there were no roads (nowadays there is a cycling path), and all transport was done by water over one of the many canals. The lakes in Giethoorn were formed by peat unearthing. So can you imagine the blue sky up in this town, can you inhale fresh air in your nose without any contamine or pollution. This town is very clean and very fresh. What is more enthuastic and can reflect the real heaven besides the green town.
Giethoorn, Netherlands
Bycycle in this town is allowed
 Discover Giethoorn by joining a guided canal tour with the big boat or rent a boat yourself for more flexibility, go canoeing in the rustic village or find the peace and silence in the natural environment De Wieden. Sailing, walking, biking : for everyone, young and old there is a way to discover the lovely village Giethoorn. Take your time to explore Giethoorn with more than 150 bridges and enjoy the beautiful and peaceful atmosphere.

How To Get To Giethoorn.
When you already in Amsterdam International Schipoll which is the main international airport in Netherlands located in Amsterdam. You can travel to Giethoorn by train, bus or car. Giethoorn lies central in the Netherlands. The distance by car for example from Amsterdam 95 km ± 1 hour and 15 minutes drive.
When you want to get there by train you should stop at station Steenwijk, further by bus (17 minutes) or taxi (expensive €25,-/€30,-). If you want to go there by bus: Connexxion line nr. 70, busstop Hylkemaweg (centre). Here you can find the timetable bus or scan the qr code for the link to the buscompany timetable online, look for the busstop DS HYLKEMAWEG for getting to the center of Giethoorn. For all kinds of public transport in the Netherlands and also in the buses in our area (buscompany Connexxion) the provence Overijssel you need the 'ov chipkaart'. ov-chipkaart is NOT possible to get in the bus!! An anonymous chipcard can be bought for example at the ticket boxes in the railwaystation. A new, but more expensive, single ticket can be bought (cash only) in the bus 70 of Connexxion by the driver, the 'gemakskaartje', from Steenwijk to Giethoorn 3 zones costs €4,-- per ticket.
Giethoorn, Netherlands
Amsterdam International Schiphol
 If you want travel with car from Amsterdam then follow Almere - Lelystad - Emmeloord. Just after the exit Emmeloord head towards direction Zwolle, exit direction Steenwijk - Giethoorn. Do not take exit Giethoorn Noord but drive further ± 2 km on the N334 (Beulakerweg) ± 100 m. after the gaztation Avia, left the entrance of the (private) parking (free for guests) of Company the little swan (near the busstop). If you driving bay car from north, the route is Groningen / Leeuwarden direction to: Drachten - Heerenveen - Zwolle - Steenwijk - Giethoorn. Do not take exit Giethoorn Noord but drive further ± 2 km on the N334 (Beulakerweg) ± 100 m. after the gaztation Avia, left the entrance of the (private) parking (free for guests) of Company the little swan (near the busstop).


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