Giethoorn and the surrounding area have a special place in my heart as I used to live in the nearby city of Steenwijk. During the summer time we would go on our bikes to Giethoorn, rent a boat and hang out on the lake. One of my classmates lived in Giethoorn and I still have many friends in that area. So to me it will always be a part of my childhood. Naturally I wanted our kids to get to know Steenwijk and Giethoorn but until now we hadn’t gotten a chance because of the covid restrictions. So finally this year, in February of 2022, we drove off to my old childhood area.
Driving from Delft it’s about 2 hours and 15 minutes, if you coming from Amsterdam it is only 1,5 hour.
We met up with some friends in Steenwijk and had a lovely time catching up. After that we drove to Giethoorn (just about 9 minutes from Steenwijk) to be on time for our tour boat. In Giethoorn you have to park your car outside the center because it’s mostly car free and then you walk to the city. The inner city is for pedestrians only.
Let me share some background information about Giethoorn before I continue with our day. Hundreds of years ago the digging of peat was very important as they used it for fuel.
The peat diggers would dig it out, mix it with something else and throw it on the land to let it dry. This then led to the existence of puddles and lakes. The people had to transport it so they then dug canals and ditches to transport the peat. A lot of the houses in Giethoorn are completely surrounded by water and can only be reached by bridges. So it’s pretty interesting, Giethoorn is a living history reminding people of a time long ago when they still dug for peat.
Lunch at Rietstulp
We decided to have a quick lunch at the Rietstulp as we still had about half an hour before the tour started. One of my friends used to work there when she was younger and, as it turned out later, I also know the owner. The kids had huge Dutch pancakes which they devoured in minutes and after that we got on the boat to have our tour.
First I wanted us to rent a boat but since it was February and still chilly (even though it was a really nice sunny day) we decided to take the tour as it was heated and covered up. For me this was new too as I had never before done a tour in Giethoorn but always rented a boat.
Well, we had the best time with the captain. I learned so many things from Giethoorn that I never knew (and I lived so close all those years). The captain passed through the city canals and then we crossed the lake.
He was having a good time and it wasn’t crowded so he decided to show us a part of the nature tour. That whole part was covered with reeds. Very early in the morning you might see deer there, and you see men cutting the reeds.
When going back to cross the lake our two girls got a chance to steer the boat. Needless to say, this was their highlight of the tour!
They had so much fun and the captain was a real joker (who also happened to be from Steenwijk). When booking the tour you can choose between a normal tour and a nature tour. The last one is 7 euros extra per person. If I were to book again I would definitely book the nature tour, it was so relaxing to be there.
Giethoorn is a wonderful village and I would definitely recommend visiting it. It does get very crowded in the summertime so go very early or visit in Spring or at the end of Summer. We had to drive back to Delft so that’s all we did for this day.
I recommend spending at least 2 days in this area because you will not be disappointed. For staying overnight, the prices in Giethoorn are very expensive so I recommend staying in the surrounding villages (unless you can afford it of course) like Steenwijk, Meppel, or other little villages nearby. Take a boat tour to learn about this village and just sit and relax while you see the village. Maybe the next day rent a boat yourself and spend time on the lake. There are some amazing restaurants in the area and you will have a wonderful time. My all time favorite is Geertien in Muggenbeet. You have to visit it if you come to this area.
Leave a message in the comments if you found this article helpful and if you have any questions let me know. Until next time!