Embarking on a Bike and Boat Holiday in Amsterdam in the Netherlands is a journey through a landscape shaped by water, wind, and the strong Dutch spirit of innovation. As you pedal through picturesque polders and sail along serene canals, you’ll encounter two essential elements of the Dutch landscape: dikes and dunes.
Dikes: Guardians of the Lowlands
Dikes, or “dijken” in Dutch, are the heroes of the Netherlands. These impressive structures, some dating back to medieval times, are designed to keep the ever-threatening waters at distance. The Dutch have been mastering the art of dike-building for centuries, creating a network of embankments that protect the low-lying lands. Nowadays dikes also provide unique cycling routes with panoramic views of expansive meadows and charming villages.
Fun Fact: The Afsluitdijk, completed in 1932, is a marvel of engineering. This 32-kilometer-long dike transformed the sea ‘Zuiderzee’ into the freshwater lake ‘IJsselmeer’, opening up new agricultural opportunities and showcasing the Dutch ability to conquer the sea.
Dunes: Nature’s Coastal Shield
As your boat navigates coastal waters, you’ll encounter another essential feature of the Dutch landscape: dunes. Stretching along the North Sea coast, these sandy barriers act as a natural defense against the sea’s relentless forces. Beyond their protective role, the dunes offer a haven for unique flora and fauna, creating a magical landscape that blends seamlessly with the coastal bike lanes.
Fun fact: many lovey dovey couples in the Netherlands love to kiss eachother in a ‘duinpan’, a small valley between the dunes. In these hollows there’s a lot of sun, enough intimacy and hardly any wind.
Summarizing: As you pedal through the Netherlands on your Bike and Boat Adventure, take a moment to appreciate the engineering marvels of dikes and the natural beauty of dunes. Above all these elements showcase the Dutch commitment to living harmoniously with water. However it also provides a backdrop for an unforgettable holiday, filled with scenic landscapes, cultural discoveries, and the joy of exploring this water-woven wonderland.