Sailing in Holland
Sailing in Holland: In the spring? In autumn, or maybe in the summer months? Klaus and Tina Pitter report on their visit to the charter partner base Lelystad in the Netherlands.
Klaus and Tina Pitter travel to Holland
Holland ist immer eine Reise wert! Das war auch das Motto als wir uns am 21. Mai dieses Jahres auf den Weg zu unserem niederländischen Charter-Partner Ulrich Mittler nach Lelystad machten. Lelystad ist nur unweit von Amsterdam entfernt und daher einfach mit dem Flugzeug zu erreichen, fast jede Stunde geht direkt vom Flughafen ein Zug nach Lelystad. Eine unkomplizierte Anreise für einen Chartertörn, auch wenn wir uns für einen Mietwagen entschieden haben, da wir leider nicht zum Segeln gekommen sind. Der Grund unseres längst fälligen Besuchs war das 30jährige Jubiläum unseres Charter-Partners. Ein Firmenjubiläum dem Ehre gebührt, 30 Jahre Flottenbetreiber zeigt von Qualität und guter Serviceleistung. Herzlichen Glückwunsch hiermit nochmals lieber Uli, wir freuen uns, deine Yachten an der Basis Lelystad am wunderschönen IJsselmeer in unserem Charterprogramm anbieten zu können.
Holland is always worth a trip! That was also the motto when we made our way to our Dutch charter partner Ulrich Mittler in Lelystad on May 21st of this year. Lelystad is not far from Amsterdam and therefore easy to reach by plane, there is a train to Lelystad directly from the airport almost every hour. An uncomplicated arrival for a charter trip, even if we decided to rent a car because unfortunately we didn't get to go sailing. The reason for our long overdue visit was the 30th anniversary of our charter partner. A company anniversary that deserves honor, 30 years of fleet operators shows quality and good service. Congratulations once again dear Uli, we are pleased to be able to offer your yachts in our charter program at the Lelystad base on the beautiful IJsselmeer.
We had three wonderful days and were able to explore the popular sailing area of the Markermeer and IJsselmeer with their lovely little harbor towns, unfortunately not by ship. Family, friends and business partners came to the celebration on Saturday. In the informal manner that is typical of the Netherlands, there was a nice party at the pier with a barbecue. Even if the weather was unstable and sunshine and small showers alternated again and again, that didn't bother anyone here.
The charm of Holland
Holland slows you down, takes away your everyday stress, everything here seems harmonious and you quickly realize that Holland is different. It's the positive attitude and the friendly nature of the people that make the country so charming, even if the weather doesn't always play along. Someone who wants a pure beach holiday with family, as they are used to from Croatia, might not see it that way, because of course the weather here cannot keep up with the sun-drenched south and the consistently high temperatures. But there is also bathing weather! The Marker and IJsselmeer is a very popular sailing area, a family area with a good infrastructure at small ports and many activities on land and on water.
Convince yourself, we were amazed by the beauty of the small harbor towns and the wide range of tourist destinations they offer. Beautiful old houses characterize the townscape, stroll leisurely through the streets, enjoy an ice cream or a waffle or eat fish & chips comfortably on the terrace of the countless restaurants. Life happens out here. The possibilities for things to do are great, even if everything seems much smaller here, Holland is a great area.
A nice charter crew who has just returned from their trip and docked, describes it with the words: "It was wonderful, even if the weather was very changeable, everything was cozy and lovely, so much smaller than usual, the small towns with their ports, the whole thing All around, you felt like you were in Smurftown.” Yes, we felt our short trip was like being in the small, ideal world of the Smurfs.
Sailing in the Netherlands is a trip into tranquillity. Water, charming harbor towns, blue skies and a mild wind - an ideal area, even for beginners.
Windmills and lighthouses, dunes, countless interesting museums and leisurely strolls and much more, all this is just as much a part of a yacht charter in the Netherlands as sailing and swimming. We can only recommend a sailing holiday from our base in Lelystad to all those who enjoy sailing and are interested in the country and its people and want to enjoy a beautiful landscape. All areas are beautiful, but this one is special.
Beautiful places that we've visited in Holland
When we hear the name Edam, we immediately think of the popular cheese. We actually only ended up here because we got lost. The place has grown together quite a bit with the former fishing village of Volendam. Edam is very beautiful, the streets are extremely narrow, even with a small car you have to turn back again and again, as the passage width is only 1.80 m. The visit, especially the drive through the town - an experience. A beautiful little place characterized by cheese.
Like most small villages here, Volendam is criss-crossed by countless small waterways. Many houses have small front gardens or seating areas facing the water canals, which characterize the townscape with their lush flowers. Small souvenir shops and restaurants with a wonderful view of the harbor are lined up along the promenade. When it starts to drizzle, we sit down in a restaurant and have a little something to eat. From the terrace we watch the hustle and bustle on the street, despite the rain life goes on here and the children are still playing on the pier. We stroll through the cozy streets, if we had more time we could take one of the many excursion boats to Marken, where a beautiful lighthouse still reminds of the importance of a reliable landmark for the orientation of the returning fishermen and traders of the oceans.
Even the journey makes the sailor's heart beat faster. All around we see a variety of different, large and small yachts at their berths. The entrance to the city is lined with yachts. A narrow path leads from the historic station building out to the lighthouse. We walk along the canal towards the city center. Beautiful historic houses characterize the cityscape. The facades and gable splendor of Enkhuizen is worth seeing and originates from the former prosperity from the lively trade of Dutch merchants with their overseas colonies. It is particularly impressive to watch the big yachts return from their sailing trip on the IJsselmeer to the harbor in the middle of the small town. Watching the city locks open and the large yachts entering through the small waterways is an experience.
Medemblik is one of the oldest coastal towns on the IJsselmeer. In the marina you will find many historic ships. Medemblik has a beautiful cityscape with many churches. If you stroll from the marina across the lovely little town you will come to the old historic train station, from here you can take short and longer tours in the surrounding area in a renovated museum train. There is also a beautiful, well-preserved windmill. It is home to a museum and a small café for refreshments.
Before the dam to the North Sea was built, Urk was an island in the Zuiderzee. The former island of fishermen has now become a modern holiday place with large, wide sandy beaches. The large lighthouse still bears witness to the fact that Urk was once an island. Today it is a beautiful photo motif, in front of which it is wonderful to sit in the café. Unfortunately, it was being renovated and scaffolded when we visited. From the lighthouse you have a beautiful view of the two beaches in town and the port. Children were already in the water at the end of May and played boccia. In the background the old fishing boats against the backdrop of the beautifully renovated harbor houses, a wonderful sight.
These nice little harbor towns are good reasons why a sailing trip in the Netherlands on the beautiful IJsselmeer should definitely be on a sailor's bucket list. We intend to come back soon to explore this beautiful sailing area from the water.
- Klaus and Tina Pitter