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North-Holland is soon seen as a province with busy cities, motorways and traffic jams. But beyond that you'll find vast polders and beautiful beaches and attractive dunes in Zandvoort and Bergen aan Zee, among other places. There are also several large and small waterways that cross the province.
Most people have probably already been to Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House and Madame Tussauds are popular tourist destinations, but require a lot of patience due to the long queues. So if you want to relax during your stay in a holiday home, there is so much more to see in Noord-Holland than just Amsterdam!
Flora and fauna
Two large national parks can be found in North Holland. The first is the National Park Dunes of Texel, which is spread over the entire west side of Texel. Texel is the only Wadden Island that belongs to North Holland. In this park there are many walking routes and also some cycling routes traverse the nature here. No less than 400 different animals have been sighted on Texel, in other words, an island with a rich fauna. For example, there are many species of birds here, such as the spoonbill, the red-tailed godwit and the dunlin. The most commonly observed mammals are the common seal, but also the grey seal and with a bit of luck you can even spot the white-beaked dolphin!
The second national park is National Park Zuid-Kennemerland, the wide strip of dunes from Zandvoort to IJmuiden and Velsen. There is also a visitor centre where you can find out more about the park. The staff here will be happy to help you with your questions to give you a successful day, whether you're going for a walk, a bike ride or something else. In the park there are some rare plant species to be found because of the lime present in the soil. You will also find bushes with berries that attract all kinds of songbirds. In this park are over 100 birds to observe, but also squirrels, hedgehogs and rabbits.
In addition to the large national parks, you will also find beautiful pieces of green around the major cities. Sometimes in places where you wouldn't expect it so easily. Along the western harbour area of Amsterdam, for example, you will find the Lange Bretten, a beautiful green wilderness full of special birds and plants. A walk here is a must if you are staying in a holiday home in the area. There are even Scottish Highlanders who are hauling around! The park is larger than the vondelpark, but a lot less known so you can enjoy the peace and quiet. So you see, even the busiest areas have surprising pieces of green, if you look closely.
The Zaanse ramp
Do you want to experience what life in the Netherlands was like in the 17th and 18th centuries? Then take a look at Zaanse Schans! Here you will find authentic houses, windmills, a cheese and dairy and much more. The old Zaanse style is clearly visible here. You will also find all kinds of museums, such as the bakery museum, and even a museum called 'Zaanse Tijd' where you will find a unique collection of clocks. If you're a sweet tooth, a visit to the Verkade Experience is highly recommended. This 20th century chocolate factory still has original machines that produce the tastiest chocolate every day. In the evening you can enjoy a bit of food with a cup of coffee or tea on the veranda of your holiday home.
Visit the authentic villages
In the west of the province you will find mainly wide beaches with well-known large beach bars that mainly determine the landscape of North Holland. On the other side of the province, on the east coast, you will find many historic towns and villages, such as Hoorn and Enkhuizen and of course Volendam. When you pass through the streets of these places, you will feel the authentic atmosphere. It is also made clear here why water has played such an important role in the history and current life of the inhabitants of Noord-Holland.
As mentioned before, Texel is the only Wadden Island that belongs to the province of North Holland. The island has 30 kilometers of beautiful sandy beaches, a nature reserve full of birds and seals and pleasant villages. From Den Helder it is only 20 minutes by boat to this fantastic island! Make a nice bike ride through the dunes, or a long walk at sunset. Or go mudflat walking with a guide during the low tide, the layers of mud you sometimes have to go through make it a real adventure. During tidal flats you will also get enough interesting information from the guide about the animals that can be seen, but also about the plants.
Travel back in time and discover the impressive rooms and corridors in the Muiderslot castle. Here is a rich collection of weapons from the 13th century. This castle is probably the most famous castle in the Netherlands. In addition to the impressive rooms in the castle, which have been completely restored to their former glory, the surroundings will also surprise you. The beautiful castle is surrounded by a moat and lots of green. Don't forget to take a walk through the beautiful herb garden during your stay!
A long walk on the beach
A relaxing holiday doesn't have to mean a long flight. In the Netherlands, too, you can enjoy the stretched coastline and feel as if you're abroad. At high waves you can enjoy the surfers and other water sports who do the craziest tricks. If you walk a little further into the dune area, you can suddenly come face to face with Scottish Highlanders, ponies or horses. After a walk along the beach, you can enjoy a delicious cake and coffee in peace at one of the many beach bars. After a long walk, don't forget to take off your shoes before entering your holiday home!
Go to Noord-Holland, whether for a weekend in a holiday home or longer, there is plenty of time to see something different from the big cities and to find the peace and relaxation in the beautiful nature that Noord-Holland has to offer.