" All that beauty is man-made! "
We don't know any better: without dykes and our everlasting struggle against the water, we would not keep our feet dry. Our forefathers have worked hard for us. Dykes were laid, windmills pumped everything dry and so we turned our Holland above Amsterdam into a beautiful region which we are all still able to enjoy.
This video gives a beautiful impression of the Netherlands as 'waterland'.
A giant of a dyke! This dyke still keeps the water at bay. Would you like to experience for yourself what it's like to stand on the dyke with the higher level of water on one side and the lower lying land on the other side?Read more
The Westfriese Omringdijk (West-Frisian Circular Dyke) is one of the giant dykes. This 126 kilometre long giant of a dyke has for centuries been winding its way through the countryside. There is no better place to go cycling than on the back of this monument. Another ‘Netherlands Waterland icon’ is the Afsluitdijk, which turned the salty water of the Zuiderzee into the fresh water of the current IJsselmeer and Markermeer, which are lovely water sports venues. The old VOC ports situated on this Golden Age line are all the better for it: they welcome all these ships in their cosy well-equipped harbours, usually right in the centre of the town or city.
You can watch them go on a sunny day; the lucky ones: cycling over the dykes or chugging with their boat over the waterways of the green heart of the real Holland. Enjoying the view, along reed beds, polder windmills and the friendliest of villages. The spanking new nautical routes network, called ‘sloepennetwerk’ (boating network), helps with navigation.
And as if the sky is the limit, our beautiful piece of Holland, the Wadden Sea, extends out further from the northern shore. In Den Oever you can join a tidal marsh (Wad) trip or step aboard a fishing boat for a day's fishing on the Wad or for spotting seals.
Of course, the nautical history goes hand in hand with all that water. Come and take a look in our maritime port of Den Helder, where The National Lifeboat Museum and the former dockyard of the Royal Netherlands Navy Willemsoord can tell you all about our rich maritime history. Because Holland above Amsterdam is not just land, but a beautiful combination of water, land and dykes.