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Beautiful fishing villages: Volendam and Marken

Posted on Oct 28, 2011 by

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It was a warm, sunny autumn day when I decided that I must revisit the little villages that charmed me and made me fall in love with this country on my first trip to the Netherlands: Volendam and Marken. I have a weakness especially for Marken, with its green wooden houses and lovely quiet streets. Both of them are fishing villages, well known in the touristic circuit and, unfortunately, much too crowded on a sunny day. The real experience can be had in a day outside the tourist season, but it’s worth it even when crowded to take a day trip outside Amsterdam and admire the Dutch beauty. There are many organised tours in the area, with guides and all details covered, most of them on the circuit Edam – Volendam – Marken. It’s more fun though and quite easy to go there on your own, by bicycle or by bus; a one day bus ticket for the Waterland is 9 euros and it’s all that’s needed (except for the ferry transfer). If you’re planning more trips around Amsterda, the best choice would be to buy a Dutch Countryside Card that gives you free ride on trains and other public transport in the area.

The Beauty

Volendam impresses with its coquettish wooden houses and charming streets, the windmills, and the main attraction — it’s harbour with a lot of eye-catching boats.

In Volendam one can see people still wearing the traditional Dutch costume (which, by the way, is the one that can be seen on most of the Dutch postcards — the black one, with a high, pointed bonnet — and although for many people representing the Dutch costume, not the only one). There are even some photo shops where people can take a picture dressed in traditional clothes. There’s also a museum where one can learn more about the history and culture of this village and the neighbouring area. A nice place where I like to go is the street which leads from the harbour along the seaside: it is dotted with benches, ideal to sit and relax watching the water, the boats and the seagulls.

Time for the ferry ride

After half a day spent in Volendam, the best thing to do is take a ferry and cross the water to Marken.

The ferry ride is really nice! Wind in your hair, you can see Volendam, with its houses neatly arranged in a row, being left behind, while on the other side, the green houses of Marken are coming into view. Marken was initially an island but now it is connected to the mainland by a causeway. It’s a very picturesque village, where every house is surrounded by a lovely garden decorated with all kinds of flowers and garden decorations, as if it was taking part in a contest between the neighbours. Many of the wooden houses are listed as National Heritage Sites. The atmosphere is a peaceful one, only childrens’ voices can be heard, and right outside the village the countryside landscape commences, complete with sheep and cows and green grass. A big attraction in Marken is the lighthouse (Paard van Marken), and also the clog factory, where the traditional sculpting of wooden clogs can be seen live.

A good day spent in the Waterland can turn into a great one if it ends with a pannenkoek and a drink at a harbour terrace, watching one of the most beautiful sunsets that can be seen.

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  1. Beautiful place like most places about Holland, the times I was in Holland I have time to visit this site, but hope to return and will be my first stop, which is the best time to visit Volendam? that if there is no rain and sunny days and beautiful as the photos. thanks for sharing the beauty of his country.

    • Well, you know that the weather in The Netherlands is difficult to predict, but I think you should try in April or May, when is more likely to have sunny days. On the other hand, these photos were taken at the beginning of October, so, it depends veeery much on your luck ­čÖé


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