Green Escapes: Giethoorn, Netherlands

Giethoorn, often cited as the Venice of the North, is an idyllic, magical village in the Netherlands where life is centred around the water.

Located 120km from Amsterdam, Giethoorn offers a unique experience as no cars are allowed in the small village at the centre of the National Park Weerribben-Wieden, for there are no roads.

The waterways or canals are the roads as it were. To get around the serene village’s four-mile stretch of canals and thatched-roof houses, one must either walk, cycle or ride a boat.

Around 2,600 people live in Giethoorn in thatched-roof cottages, dating back to the 18th century. Many of these homes are hidden between the trees and wooden bridges. The inhabitants of these homes are connected by small rivers, a bike path and 176 wooden arch bridges.

The only way to navigate most of the town is by boat. In fact, the postman still delivers mail to local residents by boat to this day.

The pretty, picturesque village in the eastern part of the Netherlands is a dream escape for green holiday makers, encouraging people to walk, unwind and simply be as you journey along the canal taking in the whimsical vistas, quaint cottages and natural landscapes.

Given its moniker as the “Dutch Venice”, tourists now flock to this beautiful tiny village. Giethoorn ensures that visitors are respectful of the land and that the harmony that exists between nature and its inhabitants is protected.

If you choose to get around Giethoorn by boat, there are environmentally friendly whisper boats that can be hired. Whisper boats are open punter boats equipped with silent electric motors that make it an ideal option for families.

To get around the greater area of Weerribben-Wieden National Park, of which Giethoorn sits in the middle of, visitors can take a ride on the Ecowaterliner, a sustainable watercab.

During the summer months Giethoorn host musical festivals, including blues, rock and traditional Dutch music. And during the winter, Giethoorn and the wider national reserve offers ice-skating as another option of getting around the quaint village and surrounding area.

Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable life & style, music, entertainments and wellbeing. Rosalind also works as a spiritual life coach and intuitive advisor helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com

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