Brigadoon, Silvertown, Stepford, Middlemarch, Pleasantville…all mythical towns of fantasy from literature and film that make our hearts yearn for perfect locales that just don’t exist in the real world. That is, until now.
Nestled deep in northern Holland is the small town of Giethoorn. When you first see photos of this tiny town it looks like it was cut straight from a child’s dream; or the abandoned location of northern Holland Disneyland. Either way, this neighborhood of magic, with its network of quiet canals intertwined throughout, is no fairy tale.
When you see the canal streets and wooden bridges that beckon you to come visit the beautiful village straight out of Beauty and the Beast, you might think you’ll have to pass beyond the gumdrop forest and through moors of the dwarven kingdom. In reality it’s just a short car ride from Amsterdam with an array of bed and breakfasts for you to stay in while you visit.
Life in the little Venice-esque village of 2600 is quiet. The website even touts that the most commotion you’d hear is the “quacking of a duck, or noise made by other birds.” That or the postman using a punt to deliver the mail. (Punt as in “a flat-bottomed boat” not punt as in he’s kicking packages across the water because he can’t be bothered with getting in and out of a boat.)
Next time you’re in Europe and you want to truly get away from it all, stop by Giethoorn before it possibly disappears into the mists for a thousand years.