Holland Windmills

By Viator, May 2014

4.5 58 Reviews | Add your review

Windmills have always played an important part in the life of Holland and its inhabitants, forming a unique element in the Dutch landscape of wide plains, far horizons, glittering canals and floating clouds. The Dutch built windmills for many centuries, to drain the land of excess water, grind corn, and saw timber, their distinctive canvas sails and wooden towers forming an integral part of the scenery and powering the Dutch economy.

Leave Amsterdam behind and discover the typical Dutch countryside outside the capital. Drive through a picture-perfect landscape crisscrossed with canals, authentic wooden houses, windmills, and fishing villages, and witness traditional crafts from days gone by. See the historic shipyards and visit a shoemaker who works with wood to watch his clog-making techniques first-hand!

Preserved since the 1960's, the industrial mills on the banks of the Zaan River vividly capture Dutch life in the 17th and 18th centuries, along with the dark-green wooden buildings housing museums and traditional workshops.

Laid out like a typical nineteenth-century village, the picturesque Zaanse Schans houses working mills with evocative names including "De Poelenburg" sawmill built in 1869, "De Kat" ("The Cat") built in 1696 to grind paint pigment, oil mills De Zoeker (the seeker) and De Bonte Hen (the speckled hen).

Travel to the world-famous fishing villages of Volendam and Marken, on the coast of the former Zuiderzee, where the old wooden houses are built on stilts and locals still wear their colorful traditional dress. The miniature town of Madurodam - Holland in a Nutshell features the canal houses of Amsterdam, Alkmaar cheese market and parts of the Delta Works all replicated in minute detail. Windmills turn, ships sail through the harbor and trains travel across the city on the world's largest miniature railway.

Visit the historic village of Alkmaar, to see fascinating insights into old Dutch market life with cheese-carriers wearing traditional costumes as they set out the cheeses on the cobblestone square. See the photogenic village of Schermerhorn with its famous old windmills, and travel back to Amsterdam via the medieval town of Edam to visit a cheese factory, where the cheese is still made in the traditional way.

Tours & Tickets

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Zaanse Schans Windmills, Marken and Volendam Half-Day Trip from Amsterdam

4.5 star rating: Recommended 1582 Reviews

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Amsterdam Super Saver: Bruges Day Trip plus Zaanse Schans Windmills, Marken and Volendam Half-Day Trip

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Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 12 hours (Day 1); 5.5 hours (Day 2)

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