This roadless town looks like something out of a fairy tale

Nicknamed the “Venice of the Netherlands,” this small city is dotted with hundreds of canals and centuries-old houses. The only difference between Venice and this picturesque community is that you won’t find a single gasoline engine here. In Giethoorn there are no roads, no need for noisy and disruptive vehicles. It’s just a community that’s comfortable walking and, when necessary, leisurely lounging down the canal. This Danish city seems to come straight out of a fairy tale.

It’s very quiet here in Giethoorn, the loudest noise you hear is usually ducks quacking or birds rustling.

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The meditative silence may be due to the fact that the canals’ waters are diesel-free.

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All boats here run on electricity.

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You can wander down a side street or just down a smaller canal to observe a resident casually strolling through the neighborhood.

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You’ll float beneath several elaborate wooden bridges as you gaze upon the intricate thatched roofs of the old farmhouses that make up the community.

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In the past, tiled roofs were a sign of wealth because thatched roofs were cheaper. Today, the exact opposite is true.

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It’s a lush and quiet town in Giethoorn. You won’t find crowded hallways or disruptive commercialism here.

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Due to the lack of roads, most houses were inaccessible by car, so postmen had to deliver mail by boat.

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When the canals freeze over in winter, people travel in luxury by ice skating instead of boats.

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Today, only about 3,000 people call this community home.

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This fairy-tale city is located in the province of Overijssel, in the eastern Netherlands.

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There are over 60 miles of canals to explore, making it the number one tourist attraction in Giethoorn boating.

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The name Giethoorn means “goat horn”. The first inhabitants discovered hundreds of goat horns on the land where this community now lives.

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The city was founded in 1230 by people escaping from the Mediterranean, who then stumbled upon large amounts of peat in the ground.

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Peat mining creates lakes and ponds with islands in the middle.

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It was on these islands that settlers built houses, and ponds and lakes over time became canals.

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Therefore, it was only accessible by bridge or pateros, a narrow boat propelled by a punteraar (long mast).

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Giethoorn became locally famous in the 1960s when Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra directed the popular comedy Fanfare there.

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Since then, the town has become a popular tourist destination for boating, cycling and has many cafes and restaurants.

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If you’ve ever wanted to live in a real-life fairy tale, you might consider moving to the village of Giethoorn. It seems like this is where I live.

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