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penichette and windmill in Holland
21 April 2016

Southern Holland versus Northern Holland

Huge fields of tulips, cheese, swing bridges, windmills, green open spaces and picturesque tourist sites... if that’s your idea of a dream holiday, head to Holland for an unusual break that gives you a real flavour of the place!

Southern Holland

Southern Holland, also known as timeless Holland, has a wealth of medieval heritage. Between the swing bridges and polders, you can enjoy the extraordinary light of dawn as the sun rises in a blaze of colour.

Southern Holland has two of the Netherlands’ three largest cities: Rotterdam and The Hague. You’ll also find towns such as Leyden, Gouda and Delft. This is a region that takes life at an unhurried pace. People take time to enjoy the good things in life between the hillsides of Limburg, the forests and moorlands, and the pleasant picturesque towns.

The Hague has lots of cultural and historic sites and activities for all the family: shops, restaurants, parks and beaches. This city is the seat of government and the home of the royal family. You can admire Johannes Vermeer’s celebrated ‘Girl with a pearl earring’ at the Royal Cabinet of Paintings, known as the Mauritshuis.

The local gastronomy is full of variety. In the town of Gouda, famous for its cheese, there’s a traditional cheese market every Thursday, where you can take home a piece for your friends and family -- a good way to show them how much you enjoyed your gourmet holiday!


Northern Holland

The main part of Northern Holland consists of a peninsula that stretches out to sea from the cities of Amsterdam and Haarlem. As well as these two superb cities, the region has a wealth of historic heritage, filled with castles and windmills.

Head to Muiden to see Muider Castle. This medieval fortress is listed as a national monument and has a fairy tale beauty. Its square shape, with round towers at each corner of the building, make it an unmissable sight for anyone who loves historic architecture. It has been restored and turned into a museum where you can admire the collection of weapons and armour.  

Windmills are part of the landscape and history of Holland. At one time there were as many as 10,000 of them. Nowadays, Holland has preserved 1000 historic, vertical windmills - more than any other country in the world. Head for Zaanse Schans to discover the collection of historic houses and windmills. This tourist site the most popular in the northern region, will give you a real taste of Holland as it was a few centuries ago.

Holland is a surprising and authentic country, filled with stories and cultural sites to visit. Whether you’re visiting as a couple, a family or a group of friends, Holland by barge will be a wonderful adventure that you’ll never forget!

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