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VVV Alkmaar

Waagplein 2
Tel. 072 511 4284

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The Realm of a Thousand Islands

This area was once a morass. For centuries, people lived on Langedijk - a historical ribbon village beside a dike - which consisted primarily of ditches and canals. The area was known for its ‘Realm of a Thousand Islands’: the inhabitants developed the morass into a fertile realm of islands by digging canals. The farmers used the sludge to raise the level of areas of land in the fields and tilled, sowed and harvested it with their bare hands. Each market gardener farmed 7 islands, which could only be reached using a barge pole!

Near Museum Broeker Veiling, the oldest sail-through vegetable auction in the world, you can hire a boat in nearby Broek op Langedijk and sail through to the last remaining part of the Realm of a Thousand Islands. Cycling is also easy from Oudkarspel: from intersection 97 take the cycle path to Geestmerambacht nature and recreation area. Here you will find cycle and hiking paths, a swimming lake with beaches and reed banks and a restaurant. Every year, the Indian Summer Festival, featuring big names like Anouk, Ilse de Lange and Kane, is organised beside this recreation area.

Tip! Hire a boat or canoe at Hotel de Buizerd and sail onto the wonderful waters of 't Waardje. Perfect for a romantic day for two.