village without roads
Jade Small
Jade Small
January 3, 2024 ·  3 min read

This Village Without Roads Is Straight Out Of A Fairytale Book

We all have ideas of living in a fairytale world. Well, if you live in this adorable village without roads, chances are you’re in a fairytale already! if you’re lucky enough to visit this stunning little Dutch water town, at least you get to play pretend!

Often dubbed the “Venice of the Netherlands” the quaint and picturesque village Giethoorn was founded around 1230. It’s literally like living in a dream world.

The beautiful thatch cottages and houses are all on little islands covered in green manicured lawns, surrounded by tree’s and beautiful gardens, nestled between the canals and connected by over 176 bridges scattered throughout the town.

Tourists Enjoying an Idyllic boat ride through one of Giethoorns many canals.
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Village Without Roads

The village with no roads literally has no roads or form of modern transportation, the only way to get around is by canal or walking bridge – and it has 176 of those!

Anyone visiting the quaint little village with no roads has to park their car outside the town and walk by foot or catch a boat ride in a whisper boat. These boats have no engines so it’s always idyllically peaceful in village Giethoorn with no noise pollution from any sort of vehicle. The only time it gets noisy here is when it’s bustling with tourists.[1]

The village Giethoorn has no roads.
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Traveling the Canals of the Village With No Roads

Taking a slow boat ride down the canals, you are able to enjoy the post-card-like views of the gorgeous little thatched houses.

If you want to take a different sort of boat, tourists in the town are able to choose from a handful of options. For 30-50 Euro, you can rent a dinghy, canoe, or punt boat to get around town for the day. If boating on your own isn’t something you are comfortable with, it’s possible to join a guided day tour for under 10 Euros.

Giethoorn is beautiful during the fall
Image credits: Magda Djm

Read: IKEA Is Now Selling Tiny Eco-Friendly Homes

Other Things To Do in Giethoorn

And what sort of Dutch town would it be if it did not cater to bike rides?

While you can walk one of the many bridges in the village you’re also able to rent a bicycle instead. Feel free to join a tour or go exploring on your own.

If you’d rather stick to walking, the beautiful little village offers a 15km trail called “Giethoorn Walking Route” which will take you to another water village close by called Dwarsgracht.

Whatever mode of transport you decide on, this little village is insanely beautiful to explore. As long as you enjoy being outdoors! During winter the canals freeze up and people enjoy ice-skating instead of their usual boating.

The Village is stunning in winter, too. Here tourists skate on the frozen canals.
Image credits: NLHank

Of course, Giethoorn is home to some museums, including “ ‘t Olde Maat Uus,” where you can view how the town grew and developed over the past 100 years. Make sure to visit “The old Earth” stone and minerals museum as well as “The Histomobil” if old vintage cars and motorcycles are your thing.

No village would be complete without delicious local food of which Giethoorn has plenty to offer in one of its many restaurants.

Some Interesting Facts About Giethoorn

The word Githoorn is dutch for “goat horn”. When the first people arrived here they found thousands of goat horns. The goats had died in a flood.

Fanfare, a popular comedy movie from 1958 made Giehoorn it’s set. You can watch the black and white movie if you enjoy vintage cinema.

The homes you will see in Giethoorn all look like something from a fairytale.
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The land islands are all connected by over 176 bridges.
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Whisper boats have no engines to ensure the town is free from noise pollution.
Image credits: unknown

If you’re considering a trip to Europe sometime soon, don’t forget to add Giethoorn to your list of stops![3]

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  1. This Village Without Roads Is Straight Out Of A Fairytale Book.” Bored Panda
  2. Giethoorn Tourism