The village of Giethoorn is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the Netherlands’, and it’s pretty easy to see why. The entire place is lined with canals, and the vast majority of the village has no roads whatsoever – just like the real Venice in Italy.
To help residents and visitors get to the other side of the canal that they happen to be standing on, Giethoorn has no less than 180 bridges crisscrossing its waterways.
Its history dates all the way back to the 1230s, and there was no room for horses or cars to move around in the village until the last few decades of its long history.
It’s somewhat of a picture-perfect place, thanks to the thatched-roof houses and perfectly-manicured lawns, replete with row upon row of pretty flowers.
The main mode of transport in Giethoorn is the “whisper boat”, which gets its name from its almost silent electric engine. Even the local postman uses one of these boats to do his rounds in the morning.
The place is so quiet and peaceful that quacking ducks swimming in the canals are just about the loudest audible thing in the entire village.
What’s more is that Giethoorn is still virtually undiscovered by the wider world – the village doesn’t get many visitors.
The village core itself is still only accessible by boat, and this fact probably contributes greatly to why it has remained almost untouched by outsiders.
It was catapulted into the Dutch consciousness after it was discovered by filmmaker, Bert Haanstra, and used as a film location for Fanfare, released in 1958.
There are various canal-side restaurants that you can sample Dutch cuisine in, and three museums to teach you more about the village and its surroundings.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, there are even operators that will allow you to rent your very own whisper boat.
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