When thinking of traveling by water throughout a city, Venice is usually the first city that springs to mind. What if waterways were the only way to get around town? Such is the case for Giethoorn, Netherlands, a small town of about 2,600.
Known as the “Venice of the North,” Giethoorn was planned & constructed as a waterway town in AD 1230. No roads were constructed, and the only way to navigate the town was by boat (today, locals call them “punters” or “whisper-boats”).
About 7.5km of waterways run through the old part of Giethoorn, each averaging about one meter deep. Today, a bicycle path is the only road through the old town. There are many small islands throughout Giethoorn, accessible by wooden bridges. On each of these islands resides a house or group of homes. Many of the homes are original several-century old constructions, still with thatch roofs.
Giethoorn is a quiet, peaceful town located in the Northwest of the Overijssel province. They appreciate visitors and tourism is a major industry. Feel free to pay them a visit next time you’re in the area.