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Gasstation for water en road
Department- and drugstore
Rental bikes

At the northern tip of the Province of Overijssel, in the middle of the national park Wieden and De Weerribben, lies the village of Giethoorn. The characteristics features of this village are its many canals, typical high bridges and thatched farmhouses. This picturesque entourage and the natural beauty of the surroundings account for the nickname, ‘the Green Venice’. Giethoorn has something to offer young and old alike.


Abundant peace and quiet in a natural setting. But all forms of water sports are also available to be enjoyed here. And there are still many unique spots waiting to be discovered by boat, bicycle or on foot. So it’s a first-rate idea to spend a day in Giethoorn, or better yet, an entire holiday. See Giethoorn for an unforgettable voyage of discovery and enjoyment


In the past, the landscape consisted primarily of woods and high moor peat. The first inhabitants of this region were refugees from the Mediterranean area. They settled here around 1200 and began to cultivate the virgin land. In doing so they unearthed large quantities of the horns of wild goats, which were drowned in the St. Elisabeth’s Flood of 1170. They called their settlement ‘Geytenhoren’ or ‘goat horns’ which was eventually corrupted to ‘Geythorn’ and ‘Giethoorn’.


The elongated village of Giethoorn is located in the midst of the National Park Wieden and Weerribben; the largest continuous peat moor area in Northwestern Europe. De Wieden lies between two lateral moraines which were created two ice ages ago. The region came to lie lower than its surroundings so the land became boggy and remained wet.

Ree in het riet

In this way reed land with sedge and peat moss was created. After these plants died they became the basis of the peat formation. People dug out the peat, spread it on the surface to dry and later cut it up into blocks. To extract the maximum amount of peat, however, the diggers sometimes left (excessively) narrow strips of land. Two great floods (in 1776 and 1825) washed away these vulnerable strip fields, creating the stretches of water and lakes which surround Giethoorn today. For the transport of the peat people dug the ditches and canals which contribute so much to the typical image of Giethoorn.

Vaarboer Dwarsgracht

This magnificent wildlife area is characterized by a wide range of plant and animal species. Such rare birds as the black tern land bittern still brood here. You also find the cormorant, great warbler, sedge warbler, Savi’s warbler, bearded tit and harrier. On the meadow lands you encounter such lovely plants as the trembling poplar, campion, lousewort, and wild orchids. De Wieden is a gorgeous area with endless vistas. In short, it is a fascinating and precious piece of Holland.



In the past, boats were used to transport peat. Although peat is no longer extracted, the boat is still a common form of transport in this region, especially for reed. But they also carry cattle to and from the meadow and bring in hey for the winter.

The characteristic vessel in the village is the Giethoom (sailing) punt. In the canals the punt pole is used to push the open boat along. On the lakes and stretches of water the mast and sails can be fitted for sailing the punt. Giethoom has two boat yards where the original Giethoorn punts and other flat-bottomed vessels are still built. These yards are open to the public on weekdays.


And it is not only the punts that make boating in Giethoorn a unique experience. There is also the ‘whisper’ boat, an open boat driven by an easily operated, environmentally friendly, silent electric motor. Giethoorn is furthermore an excellent starting point for canoe tours through the environs. Along fringes of rustling reed and past idyllic villages you paddle through a stunning natural landscape.


You can easily rent punts, canoes and electric boats in Giethoorn, and pedal boats, open sailing boats and other vessels are also available. Or, if you prefer, you can take a guided tour in a (covered) touring boat. Whether you want to partake actively or enjoy yourself in complete relaxation, it’s all possible in Giethoorn. Or take a bike!


Giethoorn has inspired many poets and painters. The canals of the village are lined with 18th and 19th century thatched farms and peat diggers cottages, nestling between lovely gardens and high wooden bridges, a paradise for the amateur photographer.


Even at peak season peace and quiet can still be found in Giethoorn on its many canals and lakes or along their banks. But the village is also a bustling, cheerful place with a number of unusual museums that are certainly worth a visit. There is the museum De Speelman (The Minstrel) where the poor street musician lives on. At De Oude Aarde (Old Earth) you can admire beautiful crystals, semi-precious stones and an open terrarium. At pottery Rhoda handsome pottery is still made in such styles as ‘Giethoorn Blue’. At the museum known as In den coop’ren Duikhelm (In the Copper Diver’s Helmet) you will find diving equipment and objects which have been found underwater. Vita Nova has a variegated collection of eggs on exhibit, while the shell gallery Gloria Maris displays seashells, coral, sea aquariums and decorative, hand-made gifts. The Histo Mobil collection contains, apart from a varied set of vehicles which includes agricultural equipment, a complete ice skate museum. You can even walk through an authentically furnished Giethoorn farm of about 1800: ‘t Olde Maat Uus.

Giethoorn, Dutch Venice

And if you’re curious about the varying selection of artists on view, you are welcome to the Gieterse Galerie.


Whether it comes to a campground, group accommodation, summer house, apartment, hotel or lodgings with breakfast, Giethoorn has available a wealth of options. So it is easy to combine a stay in Giethoorn with visits to the surroundings. Interesting, attractive locations are the old Zuyder Zee towns of Vollenhove and Blokzijl, the villages Belt-Schutsloot and Wanneperveen and the shopping towns Steenwijk and Meppel. The beauty of the Wieden and De Weerribben is unforgettable. Giethoorn is the starting point of cruising, walking and bicycling tours in the varying surroundings. At the hamlet of Jonen walkers and cyclists can make a crossing on one of the smallest ferries in Holland.

Blauwe Hand

During the summer you can arrange your stay to coincide with our special events (see “agenda”). In July and August nationally-known musicfestivals held on and near local lakes and canals have something for everyone: rock & roll, jazz and blues. And during the first and last Saturday of August the canals of Dwarsgracht and Giethoorn are literally transformed into a fairy tale.

Gondelvaart Giethoorn 2013

It is then that you can enjoy the famous lighted gondola processions: enchanting parades of water-bome floats that you won’t soon forget. But even outside the summer season, the area offers countless possibilities. In the winter (ice and weather permitting) West-Overijssel is one of Holland’s loveliest skating regions where skaters can see unique spots that are otherwise inaccessible. So you see, there’s plenty of reason to stay a day or longer in Giethoorn.

Giethoorn has a nice country-side scenery too! Giethoorn is a good place to start exploring more of the so calles “head of the province Overijssel” From Giethoorn it’s close to nature area in Havelte or Steenwijk. or easy to visit characteristic villages as Staphorst or Blokzijl. But who wants that when Giethoorn itselve has so much to offer. . . . . ?!

Anke en Dukky

Riding a bike you can enjoy all this action, or as easily find an oasis of peace and quit. Enjoy the nature, the scenery, the charm of the villages and . . . . . there’s always a place for a stop to drink some.  Watersporters have fun on the windsurf-board, the waterskies or in a canoo, and all of this in a great scenery.

We, from Prinsen, are proud of our beautifull Giethoorn and its fantastic scenery. We still like to explore it ourselve.

That’s why we are a very good adress to help the visitors of Giethoorn who like to rent a bike, need fuel in their car or boat, want to take a taxi or like to shop. We like to welcome you at our company! At the entrance of Giethoorn – centre. Gasstation, Rental bikes, shop.