A rural village in the northwest corner of the province of Overijssel, Giethoorn is a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours. There are no roads within the old village; all transport was done by boats trough the canals. Known in the Netherlands as "Venice of the North" Giethoorn has become a tourist attraction. Take a trip on a sightseeing boat or rent a "whisper boat", powered by an electric engine.

Giethoorn's history goes back to around 1200 when Franciscan monks settled in the area. 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. view photo

[Click on an image to view a larger version]