Your super-value Volendam, Marken, Windmills & Keukenhof Combo Tour showcases classic Dutch countryside of windmills, polders and fishing villages as well as introducing you to one of the world’s most famous gardens.
You will travel to the Ijsselmeer to see the pretty villages fringing the shore. Before the huge Afsluitdijk (Enclosing Dyke) was built in the 1930s these villages had access to the open sea and fishing was the main source of income. The old traditions of dress and customs lingered longer in these villages than elsewhere in Holland. Now, fishing has become uneconomic but the villages are preserved as historic treasures with attractive timbered houses on stilts and people dressed in traditional costumes.
You’ll first visit the village of Volendam, then take a 20-minute boat trip (summer only) to the peninsula of Marken, where you will find charming green-painted houses and people in period dress.
Re-boarding the coach, you will drive through classic Dutch countryside of polders and narrow dykes on the way to Zaanse Schans with its many windmills.
Holland and windmills go together like the proverbial “horse and carriage”. Long ago, thousands of windmills were scattered across The Netherlands.Using eco-friendly wind-power they were used to drain lakes and reclaim land from the sea and they also processed wood for shipbuilding and prepared materials for the production of flour, dye, oil, paper and spices.
As well as seeing the windmills you will have the chance to visit a traditional wooden clog maker. The Dutch have been wearing wooden shoes, or clogs, or "Klompen" since the Middle Ages. Originally, they were made with a wooden sole and a leather top or strap attached to the wood. Later, the shoes began to be made entirely from wood to protect the whole foot.
Another item people always associate with Holland is cheese. On this tour you will be able to see for yourself how Dutch cheese is made in the traditional way.
Next you will visit the glorious gardens of Keukenhof, (the name means “Kitchen Garden” in Dutch because the area was once a source of herbs for a grand castle). Keukenhof is also known as “The Garden of Europe” and the 32-hectare park is the world’s largest flower garden.
Keukenhof is famous for its spring flowers – approximately 7 million bulbs are planted annually. Wander along winding paths past sparkling streams, blossom-filled trees, pretty ponds and a spectacular array of flowers.
You will have nearly 8 hours to explore the delights of Keukenhof before boarding your coach for the return journey to Amsterdam.