This Dutch village rivals Venice for its stunning canals

We've said it before and we'll say it again; forget Venice. It may be magical, it may have gondola-filled canals but it's far from the only place in the world where you can experience life on the water.

Cue the village of Giethoorn in the Netherlands which, like Venice, is built entirely on a system of canals and bridges. Leave your cars at home...


Also known as the Venice of the Netherlands...


Tucked away in the Dutch province of Overijssel, the village of Giethoorn is home to a truly magical system of canals. The only way to access its houses and public buildings is by canal boat or a series of 176 foot bridges leading to each property.


Like its Italian counterpart, Giethoorn has no roads or cars. Its 2,600 inhabitants, along with visitors, use whisper boats - with noiseless engines - or canoes to access the centre of the village.


The canals, which are roughly a metre deep, were later dug by monks who used them to transport peat around the village.


Its beautifully thatched houses date back to the 18th century, though the settlement itself was founded by a group of fugitives in around 1230.


Visitors are able to rent a boat (or even an inflatable ball) and explore the canals for themselves. The village also offers bike rentals, for those who prefer to spend their time on land


Luckily for any visitors, the village is also home to a whole host of hotels and restaurants. But rest assured, it retains its peaceful atmosphere all year round.


In winter the canals ice over, leaving the locals to make their commute on skates.


For more photo's click the link.


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