As Holland’s famous and best-known fishing village, delightful Volendam is an excellent one-day jaunt from Amsterdam and a hidden gem.
Sadly, after losing my photos of Volendam, I can only share these four images with you. Not great, I know, and nothing like the plethora of images that I usually share with you in my posts, but apologies in advance.
A little on Volendam
Fronting the 3 to 5-metre-deep and expansive Markermeer lake in north Holland and speckled with quintessential Dutch windmills…
…Volendam’s stunning waterfront is enriched with traditional and colourful pretty houses that almost kiss the water.
Used as a freshwater reservoir and a buffer against floodwaters and droughts, the Markermeer’s lovely picturesque feature instantly draws you when in Volendam.
But what else can you do when in Volendam?
Feast on the traditional Dutch herring enjoyed with chopped onions and pickles. Or, savour a little eel on the side. The Dutch go crazy for this snack. If this doesn’t sound appetising, then you’re wrong. This local and authentic Volendam dish (Hollandse Nieuwe or Dutch herring) enjoyed along the waterfront is truly delicious – if you’re a lover of fish.
The herring is first frozen, then spends its time in salt for a couple days, which ripens the fish (soused herring). For a fishing village, herring was nutritious, inexpensive, and also has a reasonable shelf life. The fish was kept in barrels of salt for longevity, which could then be eaten during the long cold winter months.
Anything else to do in Volendam?
So, apart from eating, what else can you enjoy on your one-day soiree in Volendam?
Learn about Volendam’s history, as this small village-like town holds three museums and also the local culture with a visit to the Volendam Museum.
For cheese lovers, indulge in a little authentic cheese-tasting and cheese-making demonstrations at the Cheese Factory, which is also a museum. But, for those who love to dress up in a country, then don traditional Dutch clothes and have your souvenir photo taken. Or, take a peaceful sail across the protected and calm lake.
Why Volendam in a day?
Back in 2012, I was invited by the Global Art Agency to be part of a fantastic one-day group art exhibition with 100 other artists from around the world.
Read about this wonderful opportunity and experience in this post. So, taking a couple of weeks’ leave from my job and preparing everything for the exhibition, we travelled from Australia to Amsterdam for the event.
How do you see as much as possible in Amsterdam in two weeks?
Only take easy day trips and don’t try and cram too much in your itinerary, as you won’t enjoy your time in the Netherlands. Volendam is a perfect and easy one-day escape from hectic Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam adventure included a catch-up with a Dutch friend we first met in Chile last year. And then bumped into along the way several times more in South America. Long-term travelling is like that as life becomes excitingly nomadic.
But, I digress again. So, from the busy epicentre of Amsterdam, Markt Square, Marga arrives in her car and stops long enough in the square to sweep us away for the journey to Volendam.
If you find yourself in Amsterdam’s Markt Square, it’s an easy and comfortable 20-minute journey by car to the seaside town of Volendam.
It’s always a pleasure to visit a place with a local, and extremely lucky to have this opportunity in Amsterdam.
But, such a shame that we only had one day in Volendam, as definitely would have liked to have stayed a little longer to explore the town.