Giethoorn – a small village in the Dutch province of Overijssel is a quiet place to live in with beautiful sights of well taken care of gardens and lots of trees. Just like any village, except for one thing that makes the village of Giethoorn a unique tourist spot in the Netherlands – it has no roads. Yes, the old parts of the village do not provide any motorable roads, instead there are 7.5km of waterways that run through the village with an average depth of one meter. Most of the houses are built on islands and are only reachable over the wooden bridges that connect the islands over the waterways.
If you ever hear “Venice of the North” or “Venice of The Netherlands” don’t look surprised because we’ve just told you which place is the actual Venice of the North.
A little bit of history and how it came to be. Around AD 1230, a group of fugitives from the Mediterranean region inhabited the area and founded the village but it didn’t become famous until 1958 when the Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra created his famous comedy “Fanfare” there.
Even though in the old part of the village the only road that exists is a bicycle path, in the newer parts there are some exceptions made to enable vehicles to drive in and out of the village.
But with over 180 bridges, it won’t even be possible to connect all of the homes with a road. And perhaps they shouldn’t even think about it because the village of Giethoorn has become a very popular attraction among Chinese tourists as well as tourists from other countries.
With only 2620 inhabitants, this village sees between 150,000 and 200,000 tourists every year only from China.