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Because Marken used to be inundated on a regular basis in the past, its inhabitants built their homes on poles and knolls. The characteristic houses can be found nowhere else in the world.

  • Go for a stroll to the lighthouse called “Het Paard van Marken” (the Marken Horse).
  • See the authentic wooden houses on their stilts.
  • Enjoy the ambiance on this photogenic Peninsula.


Marken was separated from the mainland by a storm in the thirteenth century. This was followed by centuries of isolation for its population, who made a living as fishermen. It was not until 1957 that Marken was reconnected with the mainland and became a peninsula when a dike was built. Even so, Marken’s authentic nature has been preserved and the inhabitants kept many traditions alive.


If you visit Marken, you cannot miss the little wooden houses. People built their houses on “werven”, artificial knolls, until the seventeenth century. It helped to avoid wet feet. After that they built their houses on poles. Since the Afsluitdijk was built, the island is no longer inundated but the typical houses still remain. We also highly recommend the old clog-making workshop and the Marker Museum with its exhibition of traditional clothing.


Because Marken is just a small island, you can easily round it on foot. If you circle the entire island on the dike, the distance is about 9 kilometers. Don’t forget to take a look at the “Paard van Marken”. This lighthouse from 1839 is still being used today.

Accommodation tip

Stay the night and enjoy Marken after the day tourists have left. The nostalgic rooms of Hotel Hof van Marken offer a view of the harbor and IJsselmeer lake.

Editors’ tip: Discover Marken on a cycling holiday through the quintessentially Dutch landscape. The cycling holiday Dutch Highlights takes you to beautiful cities like Amsterdam, Volendam and Haarlem.