North-Holland  "blue heart of the Netherlands"

North Holland is a beautiful province. Nowhere else in the Netherlands there are so many variations of scenic woodlands, heaths, dunes, beaches, meadows and polders. Authentic Dutch cities, quiet villages, folklore and unique and high quality cultural activities form an opposition against Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Haarlem.

More than one fourth of the total land area of ​​North Holland consists of lakes,  waterways, canals and locks. Between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer, the province of North Holland is known as the blue heart of the Netherlands.  Discover this unique holiday destination! Our holiday apartments in Egmond aan Zee are an ideal base for day trips to the region.

Until today in the villages and towns of the province of North Holland traces of the rich and varied history. Even today blasting the centers of fishing villages like Volendam, Muiden and Medemblik, who once were in the rough sea  levels, an  atmosphere of the time that the IJselmeer was named "Zuiderzee" (Southern Sea).

These towns and villages were known by the name of "The Golden Circle". The towns of Hoorn and Enkhuizen, are evidence of the United East India Company (VOC). The numerous buildings and statues, which can be seen here are reminiscent of the 17th century, when the VOC had its high times. But historical cities, such as Naarden, Alkmaar and Haarlem are also very well worth a visit. Each of these cities breathe, because of its historical roots and its own special flair.

Alkmaar Cheese market

Alkmaar cheese market is a must for every visitor of North Holland.  Since 1622  this market is official. Although 1622 is officially considered the founding year of the Alkmaar cheese market, we know that the city was already in 1365 in possession of a cheese daring. Until the First World War the cheese was a necessary commercial event. In 1916 an average of 300 tonnes of cheese per market day  moves. At that time the market was opened until 1 am. Since 1939, Alkmaar is the only city in the Netherlands, where the cheese market has remained a tradition.

The Alkmaar cheese market is known worldwide. From mid-April to mid September,  every Friday from 10.00 to 12.00 watch the clock oft he cheese makers work. The cheese carriers are members of one of the few remaining Dutch cheese carriers' guild. The cheese museum is housed in a building of the 14th Century named   "the Waagh". Here the cheese and butter production from earlier centuries are documented

Alkmaar Cheese Museum

At Waagplein, in the old town of Alkmaar, is the historical Waaggebouw from the year 1390. Originally built as a "Holy Ghost Hospital." In 1576 the building became for the first time the function of "Waag. And now still, in a part of the house the cheese is weighted. From April to September on Friday morning the  traditional  cheese market is on. Then the cheese carriers are in action in a separate area not open to the public. On the ground floor now is the office of the tourist information. The cheese museum is wheelchair accessible.

The cheese museum shows in the manufacture of dairy products, changes in  production and trade and the life of the farming population of North  Holland. There are numerous historical artefacts such as utensils, film and video material  as well as paintings (24 portraits of Dutch women from the 16th century). For  children, the museum is perfect. More than 850.000 visitors have already  been!

Opening: March 1 to November 1: Monday/Thursday from 9-16 Friday/Saturday 10-16 Sundays closed. Each visitor gets a piece of cheese!  Entrance:  Juniors / Adults over 12 years: € 3 a person, children 4-12 years: € 1.50  children under 4: free.  More information is available at:www.kaasmuseum.nl

Museums in Alkmaar

For culture lovers Alkmaar has some very interesting museums to visit. The Stedelijk Museum has an important collection of paintings by Dutch masters from the 16th and 17th centuries.  Info:www.stedelijkmuseumalkmaar.nl . The beer Museum is housed in a 17th Century brewery.  Info: www.biermuseum.nl. . All about the Beatles, music and pictures Info: www.beatlesmuseum.nl. All about stoves and heaters you can find in the “kachel” Museum Info:  www.kachelmuseum.nl

And of course Alkmaar offers you much more than cheese. The old town with its drawbridges, stately mansions and lively shopping streets are the right ingredients for a walk. The massive St. Lawrence Church was built in 1470-1516 by members of the famous family of architects Keldermans from Mechelen and is a fine example of the many beautiful buildings, which are so rich in  Alkmaar. Thanks to its geographical location, Alkmaar is also an ideal starting point for a bike ride through the woods, dunes and polders in the coastal area.

Sports and swimming center in Alkmaar

In just a few minutes away Alkmaar also has the largest sports center of  North Holland, the sports and leisure pool "the Hoornse Vaart" with wave pool, spa and outdoor park. The center was expanded and modernized, and has large  water plays for children (110m2), a 50 meter pool and several whirlpools,  solarium and sauna. The large outdoor pool has a sunbathing area and plenty of play opportunities for children. The whole family will find fun, sports, wellness and relaxation. Info: www.hoornsevaart.com

Flower Shows in North Holland

Known around the world are the Dutch not only for cheese but also for flowers!  Very early in spring, the first flower shows will open. In January the onion flower show "Western Kogge Flora" in Avenhorn opens its doors. The Holland Flower Festival is scheduled for late February /early March with a colourful spectacle of  thousands of bulbs. Anyone interested in the latest tulip varieties, the garden in spring in Breezand is worth a visit. This flower show is combined with a spring fair. Between mid-April and mid May, a visit to the Hortus Bolborum is very worth  it. A museum of races from bygone times. In May Anna Paulowna and Breezand are entirely devoted to the flowers. Roads and bridges are decorated with beautiful  flowers and mosaics. Rose lovers can see the rose in the Museum Broeker Veiling. Tulips, there are dahlias, gladioli and lilies and other summer flowering bulbs can be seen. Late August in 't Zand, you can see a lily show. Mosaics and small  Dahlia  flowers are in Niewe Niedorp. This flower show is held annually on the third weekend in September.

The Flower Days

You will not believe your eyes. More than 100 mosaics, made ​​of millions of   hyacinth flowers are admired in the gardens of Limmen. Serious issues, interspersed with lively arrangements. Weeks before the people of Limmen used their skills to the test. Fields and the beautiful gardens and colorful decorated streets. All this awaits you in Limmen. Information: www.bloemendagenlimmen.nl

Amsterdam - Haarlem

Barely 30 minutes and you are in the capital of the Netherlands "Amsterdam"  or even capital of North Holland "Haarlem". Here you can enjoy many sights and  monuments. In Amsterdam you can find a few of the most famous museums in  Europe, such as the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh and Stedelijk Museum, but also the Hermitage, Nemo and the Anne Frank Museum are worth visiting. Information can be found at: www.rijksmuseum.nl, www.stedelijk.nl,www.vangoghmuseum.nl, www.hermitage.nl www.e-nemo.nl,www.annefrank.nl.
Two well-known museums in Haarlem: Frans Hals and the Teyler Museum.  Info:  www.franshalsmuseum.nl and www.teylersmuseum.nl

Other interesting museums in North Holland
North Holland has many large, small and unusual museums. Such as:

Bergen

Municipal Museum "The House Sterck" Info on: www.museumhetsterkenhuis.nl also in the village of Bergen in "Auto Union Museum" you find a very nice collection of old cars from the DKW brand as a thread. The other three brands of Auto Union, "Horch"  "Audi" and "Wanderer" get through photographs, paintings and models  their special attention. The citizens of Bergen are very proud that Audi AG, the museum (the only museum outside of Germany) has given official recognition. The museum is located in the "House of the rings", a provincial monument in the centre of Bergen near to the Ruined Church.  Info: www.autounionmuseum.nl 

Broek op Langedijk

Museum Broeker Veiling is also worth a visit. Buy your fruit and vegetables on the  auction clock to 1903. The historic building was built in 1900 on wooden stilts. Info: www.broekerveiling.nl

Edam

Destination for a day trip in any case, the "city" Edam is recommended. Known for its cheese, but also as a port with a special history. There is also a very interesting  museum in the historic town and a former merchant's house dating from 1540.  Info: www.edammuseum.nl.

Enkhuizen

In 1932 the “Afsluitdijk” compassed the Zuiderzee and became the status of  inner water with the name of IJsselmeer. The rich culture of the former Zuiderzee area  lives on in the collection of objects and buildings in the "Zuiderzee" museum. The exhibition also offers modern and contemporary art and cultural performances, which relate to the traditions of the Zuiderzee area. Info:www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl

Hoorn


The "West Friese Museum" is an interesting historical museum with a varied collection  of objects. Find much of the history of the town of Hoorn on: www.westfriesmuseum.nl

Volendam

If we are to believe the legend surrounding the arms of Volendam, It is a compliment to the beauty of the Volendam girls. It is understandable that a famous comedian, this typical Dutch fishing village with the words sang: "If Holland will show at its best, goes to Volendam" The typical houses, moats and drawbridges and the shape of the most picturesque locations offer visitors an atmosphere of romance and coziness. A visit to the Volendam Museum and "Sigar House" are definitely worth it.

IJmuiden

IJmuider Sea and Harbour Museum in "The Visserijschool" allows you to meet the marine life and socio-economic development from IJmuiden to Amsterdam. IJmuiden is the third Dutch seaport and provides access to the port of Amsterdam. For more  information about the development of waterways and canals in the 19th century, see: www.zeehavenmuseum.nl