In the north of the Netherlands there is a small town which with its particularity is known as 'Venice of the North', or 'Green Venice': the latter name is perhaps the most appropriate as Giethoorn, as the country is called, can be described as an immense expanse of green grass, furrowed by dozens of channels that cross in a dense web.
In the eyes of visitors it appears as an idyllic place, also thanks to the fact that no cars, motorcycles or any other motor vehicle circulate inside. The only way to get around is to use a boat, and let yourself be rocked in all its most heavenly corners.
It is a country of 2600 inhabitants, located in the Dutch territory of the Netherlands.
It was founded in 1230 by the sect of the Flagellants, a Catholic movement of the Middle Ages: escaped from persecutions, they looked for a place to hide, so they built a country without roads to access it.
On the spot the fugitives found a large number of goat horns, which died following a flood. In fact, Giethoorn literally means 'goat horns'.
The typical boats of this town have a flat bottom and are pushed onto the surface of the water by a long pole.
Around Giethoorn there are many other cities that deserve to be visited: Amsterdam is 120 km away.
The hustle and bustle of the cities surprisingly remains outside of Giethoorn. There is only one cycle path to use as an alternative to gondolas.
All around, nice houses with thatched roofs line the banks of the canals.
Nature reigns supreme in this Dutch oasis. The whole country is a continuous turf; trees and flowers are reflected in the water of the canals.
To pass from one bank of the canals to the other, wooden bridges are used, more than 50 throughout the territory.
Numerous museums have been opened in the center to get to know the history of this jewel in depth.
Initially, the channels were dug to extract peat, a soil containing plant deposits impregnated with water, used as fuel.
Walking through the historic center you get the feeling of having been transported into an unreal world.
Every year the Gondelvaart Festival takes place in the town, an evocative competition between gondolas. For the occasion, the inhabitants decorate the boats with plumes and lanterns.