The most famous province of the Netherlands is Noord- Holland, known as North Holland in English. It is the most visited province and includes Amsterdam, the capital of the country, along with many traditional Dutch villages. The capital of Noord- Holland is Haarlem, and the region is mostly known for its beaches and tulip fields, along with the Wadden Island of Texel and the medieval cities of Alkmaar, Enkhuizen and Hoorn, alongside the lovely dunes of Schoorl to pretty villages like Zunderdorp. The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries of the world and Noord- Holland is a very densely inhabited province. There is much to see and do here for visitors of all ages, and one of the best ways to see the region is by renting a bicycle and cycling your way through the center of Amsterdam. Hilversum is a good starting point for cycling from side to side past prosperous villages, forests and nature of the Gooi en Vechtstreek. The beaches are lots of fun during the summer, and you will find family-friendly beaches at Kennemerland, where Zandvoort is the busiest, while Egmond, Bloemendaal and Bergen offer more solitude. For a more active vacation, you can go for water sports at any of the lakes.
Things to do, things to see
Haarlem is the province’s capital city, with abundant museums and a historic city center home to many charming shops and cafes. The city was once a chief North Sea trading port with a defensive wall and at present maintains its medieval character with picturesque cobblestone streets and gabled homes. It is famous for its outlying tulip fields and art museums. If you are in Haarlem, you should certainly visit Zandvoort, a seaside town that is only a fifteen minute bicycle ride away from Haarlem with gorgeous beaches and dunes. If you are a fan of motor sports, Circuitpark Zandvoort is positioned in the dunes and is known for its tight, fast corners.
Bergen is a quiet beach resort town known for its large dunes and is well-known for its beautiful landscape that offers plenty of cycling opportunities. Bergen aan Zee has the highest and broadest dunes in Holland, called the ‘Schoorlse Duinen’ that are crammed with fine-looking flowers, plants and animals. The seaside attracts thousands of tourists every year, and like any visitor, you can take advantage of the beaches, cycle to your hearts content and take in the lovely landscape. Since the early nineteen hundreds, Bergen has been an artist village and in the summer you can still stop by many art and craft fairs. It is recommended to try the ‘poffertjes’ (traditional pancake-type dish) at Duinvermaak.
Food lovers unite, for the city of Alkmaar is famous for its cheese market! The remarkable city is also home to a number of preserved historical buildings, many museums, and two large cinemas. It has a lovely old center with many monuments, and the history contrasts with the great shopping districts and fine terraces, cafes and restaurants for any kind of budget. Alkmaar also has an assortment of interesting museums, such as the Beer Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Beatles Museum and obviously, the Cheese Museum. If you want a break from the museums and history, no worries – the beach and dunes are only fifteen minutes away!
For a relaxing time with history besides enjoying the town and waterfront, the two big sights here are Muiderslot Castle, a 13th century castle with a museum that is kid-friendly and taking theferry out to Fort Pampus, a sea fort from the 19th century. Medieval ruins can also be found in the area, which make this a great destination for history buffs. You can even reach Muiden through the local walking and cycling routes that pass it. Do visit the Café Ome Ko, which is the oldest pub in town founded in 1810. It is a nice place to sit and watch the boats by while sipping on a coffee or beer.
Naarden is famed for its fortifications from the 17th century, and these are known to be some of the best preserved in the entirety of Europe. Naarden is a prime example of a Spanish star fort, complete with defensive walls and a classic moat. You can stop by the Fortress Museum, where everyone who wants to see the underground casemates is welcomed, and visitors can learn more about the garrison town. As you pass through Naarden, you will find more historical monuments and buildings including the St. Vitus Church, which is a large gothic basilica constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries.
An island set in the northern region of the province, Texel is also a well-known tourist destination. Its varied landscape is made up of striking beaches beside the coast, hills in the center of the island, and flatlands in the east. You can find wetlands further inland, and these feature beautiful walking trails that you can stroll through and admire nature. It is recommended to visit Texel during the pleasant summer months when the island’s beaches can be enjoyed, although it might get busier then! If you like birdwatching, you will want to visit the bird-rich dunes of Texel National Park, with grass-topped dunes, forest trails, and its sandy beaches. In the park, there is also a nature museum called Ecomare, along with an aquarium and a sanctuary for wildlife such as seals and birds. Finally you can head towards the island's northern tip, where the 19th-century Texel Lighthouse has panoramic views of the North Sea and Wadden Sea.
Vacation rentals at North Holland, Netherlands
The province of North Holland province has something for every wanderer with atmospheres ranging from the bustle of nightlife in cities to tranquil seaside resorts. With CuddlyNest, you can find the best properties for renting during your vacation. Offering a selection of apartments, houses and bungalows, CuddlyNest simplifies all your accommodation problems and makes sure you feel at home wherever you go!