Nothing has shaped the Netherlands as much as water. Quite literally: piece by piece, people have taken their land for pastures, windmills and tulip fields from the sea. They drained, filled, built dams, dikes, locks, bridges and canals. The result is an extensive network of waterways, on the banks of which an infrastructure for boaters has been created that is unique in Europe. From restaurants to supermarkets - almost everything in Holland can be easily reached by boat. There are many uncomplicated mooring places and many places and facilities have special offers for boaters. An ideal boating destination.
Large lakes - so-called "seas" in Dutch - large but shallow ponds - called "Plassen" - and countless connecting canals are characteristic of Holland's waterfront. Hundreds of movable bridges that open as soon as a boat approaches. Lovingly preserved windmills, historic gabled houses and generous pastures characterise the landscape. We would like to introduce you to the most beautiful areas: the almost lock-free region of lakes and waterway Friesland, the area around Amsterdam and the Northwest Overijssel.
Beyond Zwartsluis, the cruise leads into the land of the "Wijden" (lakes with large reed beds) and the moor-brown canals, which were created by peat extraction. In contrast to Friesland, there is a lot of forest here, whose silence gives the houseboat tourist peace and quiet to relax and dream.
A Paradise of Lakes and Reed
From Zwartsluis you reach Northwest Overijssel after only a few kilometres, a real paradise of lakes and reed with the Lakes Beulaker and Belter-Wijde. Don't miss a visit to the unique village of Giethorn, which is built on small islands. The old thatched houses are connected by countless high, narrow bridges and footbridges. However, the attractive location draws quite a few tourists - as a boater you can discover other, equally charming villages and settlements along the banks that are less crowded in holiday periods.
Swamps and Canals for Sportfishers
Sumpf- und Kanallandschaft für Angler Via Ossenzijl you enter a landscape of swamps and canals, Weerribben. This region takes its name from the elongated so called "Ribben": narrow islands on which peat was originally stacked to dry. The trenches created by peat cutting were soon filled with water, creating a unique landscape. When the canal widens to Beulaker Wijde, anglers should have their equipment ready because roach, pike and eels are waiting to take a bite. You can also head towards the calmer marginal seas and on to Amsterdam - however, you should plan a couple of weeks for this route to take it all in relaxedly.