This Route of 50 kilometers leads you through a wetland area beneath sea- level and protected by dikes. It takes you to old fishing villages, along winding dike roads, endless grasslands, ponds and brooks with charming little bridges. Grazing cows and dairy farms dominate the scenery.
Behind the dikes you’ll find little fens due to a breach of dikes caused by the rough Southern Sea. Meadows with peat soil, already low but due to peat extraction even lower. Harsh winds. Amazing cloudscapes.
There are also many birds in this unique landscape. You’ll see woodland birds, breeding birds and migratory birds. In fact it is a beautiful area to discover by car, bike or boat. You can rent them.
It was founded by monks in 1230. It’s an old fishing town with many eel smokehouses. The so called Monnickerdammer fishing days are still celebrated. Basket makers, net menders, wooden shoe makers and traditional fish smokers are quite willing to show their craftsmanship. In this town you’ll find the oldest carillon of Europe.
Volendam is an old fishing village. In the harbor you find old Dutch vessels and on the dike there are wooden houses. It used to be a closed community with its own traditional costume. From the dike you have a nice view on the Marker Lake. You’ll see many souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes here.
Edam is famous for its cheese. And as tiny and round these cheese are likewise is the little port town that produces them. It received its city rights in 1357. An old sea lock connects it to the Marker Lake. During high season you can visit the cheese markets and discover the surrounding by a whisper boat.
In the 12th century a dam was constructed in the river Ilp and a small settlement appeared. The village has rural a character and was able to benefit from the wealth of Amsterdam. Especially when King Willem I had the North Holland Canal dug between 1819 and 1824 from Amsterdam to the sea. It passes Ilpendam and created a vivid local distribution market.
The village is a favourite stop for cyclists. They have a drink here with a nice view on the old church. Each year a pop festival called Parckpop is organised here.