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Die ehemalige Insel Urk am Ijselmeer, Bild: fokke baarssen / shutterstock

North Holland – Orange’s Waterloo on a beautiful coast

More than 220 years ago, a fleet of around 35,000 British and Russian soldiers appeared off the coast near Callansoog. They invaded the country with the intention of ending the Batavian Republic and restoring the previously expelled ruling house of the Oranges. In the end, the occupiers had to vacate the field only three months later. Even then, it would have been a far better idea to simply take a holiday in and around Callantsoog instead of an invasion, perhaps in a holiday home with a dog on the North Sea. This is exactly what North Holland is made for.

North Holland is, simply put, everything north of Amsterdam. The Dutch metropolis is practically the gateway for the enchanting landscape of a peninsula behind it, which is bordered to the east by the Markermeer and IJsselmeer and to the west and north by the North Sea. North of the peninsula are the Waddeneilanden, the islands of Texel, Vlieeland, Terschelling, Kooiplats and Schiermonnikoog .

Where the sea is a lake and the lake is a sea

Callantsoog, Netherlands
Enjoy the North Sea in Callantsoog, Image: Wut_Moppie / shutterstock

The first glance may not suggest it, but the IJsselmeer as well as the Markermeer are freshwater lakes. In Holland, “sea” means lake or inland lake, and what we call the sea is called “Zee” in the Netherlands. However, North Holland is a landscape shaped by water. From the vastness of the sea with its fresh breeze as well as from the shallow waters of the IJsselmer, which is only about 2 to 5 m deep and is the paradise par excellence for sailors and kitesurfers.

Another tourist focus is Callantsoog, located on the North Sea coast, which, as already mentioned, is not very suitable for invaders, but is suitable for guests who want to rent a holiday home in Callansoog . If you want to see the term “endless sandy beach” turned into reality, Callantsoog is the right place for you. None of the pretty holiday homes, which are mainly occupied by guests from the Netherlands and Germany, are far away from a beach that really deserves the name. Very wide and almost endless in its extension in both a southerly and northerly direction. Comparable to the beach of Malibu in California and that’s no exaggeration.

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North Holland, no room for gloomy thoughts

Admittedly, North Holland is difficult to compete with the temperatures on the southern US Pacific coast, but the landscape around Callantsoog offers an ambience of peace and freedom from the constraints of everyday life. By the way, also from other constraints. In 1973, the first Dutch nudist beach was created in Callantsoog, which still exists today and is 2.5 kilometres long. Other pleasures are also provided. The town with its 2440 inhabitants offers its guests a fairly large selection of different restaurants. From Brazilian to Chinese, almost all continents are represented, at least culinarily.

The Netherlands is a cycling country, and that also applies to North Holland. If you don’t bring your own bike, you can rent one on site. Physical exertion by pedaling can be, but does not have to be, because there are no significant inclines. Die-hard city dwellers may be frightened by so much idyll and endless expanses, but don’t worry, Amsterdam is just 70 kilometers away from Callantsoog, which can be covered in just under an hour thanks to excellently developed roads. North Holland is a holiday with a feeling of freedom from everything that disturbs you.