Laag Holland National Landscape is a region with several highlights, such as UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Beemster and the Defense Line of Amsterdam. Other highlights include land reclamations, peat meadow areas, panoramas of UNESCO protected villages and fishing villages.
Laag Holland is right above Amsterdam and some famous villages of this region are De Rijp, Volendam, Edam, Akersloot, Middenbeemster, Broek in Waterland, Westzaan, Oosthuizen, Monnickendam and the former island of Marken. Together they form the stereotypical Dutch landscape that you know from postcards and guidebooks.
The landscape of Laag Holland
People are fully responsible for creating the landscape of Laag Holland. In the 17th century, large lakes such as the Purmer, Schermer and Beemster, were drained and transformed into flat, extensive agricultural land. With the help of pumping stations large tracts of land were reclaimed, and wealthy merchants made great profits by creating new land. The money gained was spent on country mansions, which can still be admired in the Beemster polder to this day.
These country mansions are in sharp contrast with the small houses and picturesque villages in Laag Holland. They represent the Netherlands that many tourists expect to see: traditional houses surrounded by windmills, canals and meadows with cows. The grassland is used for agriculture or for keeping livestock. In some places the ground is swampy, and thereby provides a great habitat for swamp birds. Other bird species you may encounter are mainly grassland birds.
Cycling through Laag Holland
Cycling through Laag Holland is the best way to discover the classical Holland. There is an extensive network of bike paths connecting you with all the Dutch highlights of the region. You can enjoy the Dutch scenery and visit the forts of the Defense Line of Amsterdam, the Golden Age mansions in the Beemster, the famous cheese market in Edam and the former island of Marken. Don't forget to taste the traditional herring in Volendam and take a picture wearing traditional dress. In short, Laag Holland has everything for an exciting cycling vacation.