Amsterdam offers a lot of attractions for tourists: museums, canal cruises, the red light district but little by little the city is overcrowded. If you visit the city for 2 or 3 days, take a leap and go discover its surroundings . Hop On hop off Holland has launched a new route known as: Cheese, Windmills and Dutch Villages a few kilometers from the country’s capital. We had the great opportunity to do this wonderful tour. Here we go!
Amsterdam Lookout: Here starts our adventure, at the Amsterdam Lookout tower. To reach this tower you can cross the IJ Canal in a free boat that leaves you from Centraal Station. At the top of the tower they have a swing only recommended for those who are not afraid of heights!!
The tour has stops at:
Broek in Waterland
Henri Willig Cheese Farm
The good thing of the tour is that you have buses arriving every 30 minutes in each stop. You are not required to visit all the places on the tour but the tour is only in one direction. If you skip a stop you will not be able to go back. I am going to tell you our experience :
First of all we did not make 100% of the stops but, appart from the ones that I am going to talk about, I recommend you to stop in the Henri Willig Cheese farm to learn how the cheese is elaborated.
During the tour you will hear an audio explaining curiosities of each place and announcing the stops.
Our first stop : Volendam, the crown jewel
For me it was the best part of the tour. It is a seafaring village. The day I did the tour, it was foggy. Being in a harbour , the sight of boats , the squawking of gulls and the fog made it fantastic .I truly felt like I was in a scene from a story about sailors and seafaring. Besides, the promenade is adorned with statues of characters dressed in typical Dutch clothes.
The houses, painted in green or brown add more charm to this pintoresque village. You have to try the apple pie (very typical in the Netherlands). It is a must!!
In Volendam there is also a cheese museum where you can try very different varieties like lavender cheese or smoked cheeses ¡very tasty!
Next stop: Edam
This town seems to have been taken out of a fairy tale. You should know that the famous cheese takes its name from this place. The typical Dutch houses next to beautiful gardens full of hydrangeas, daisies and other flowers accompany you on the way. Edam is much quieter
than Volendam but wandering its streets is worth it. On the contrary I do not recommend going to the fort since it is very far from downtown and you will lose a lot of time.
Zaanse Schans : windmills
This stop is mandatory. Here you can see the old mills that are conserved and that were used to drain the water. Thanks to these mills The Netherlands exists as we know it today. Take advantage of this stop to take a photo in front of one of these windmills and to buy souvenirs since in this stop you will find many shops of typical products like ceramics or the miffy bunny!
I recommend visiting this stop only if you have time since its only attraction is a hotel “made of houses” what is this? you will think . The facade of the hotel is built simulating small green and blue houses. You can see it here
And this is the end of this marvelous tour! You will enjoy the Dutch landscapes, the cheese and the mills 100% recommended!
Try to start early because you have a lot of things to do during the tour
I would not recommend going to the Edam´s fort, it´s a bit far from the village**
Download the mobile application to know when the bus arrives
Bring an umbrella : you never know when it’s going to rain in The Netherlands
New season is about to start!!!!! From 29 March till 30 September 2018!!!
If you need more information about the tour, prices and schedules do not hesitate to visit the hop on hop off website