Starting from Amsterdam, you will be surprised at how suddenly the city becomes countryside. Don’t worry about cycling too many kilometers through unattractive suburbs, enjoy a delightful ferry boat ride then linger enjoyably in an increasingly trendy Amsterdam North. After just half an hour you can already see the vast horizons of Waterland looming.
Travel clockwise from the junction 36, and be immediately awestruck by the natural wonders of the Ilperveld. Hundreds of islands, ditches, lakes, reed beds and fields of grazing cows and sheep give you the feeling you have travelled not only in distance but also back in time. Because the Ilperveld looks the same now as it did a century ago.
Travel anticlockwise, through Broek in Waterland and explore the banks of the Gouwzee and enjoy the view of Marken. For a long time, the inhabitants of this former island had to defend themselves against a whimsical Zuiderzee. Yards were raised and houses built on stilts. With the coming of the Afsluitdijk things became much calmer here. Luckily, the characteristic dwellings and traditional costumes have remained. Monnickendam town centre has not changed much since the eighteenth century. The beautiful historical town has numerous monuments with elaborate plaques that are a direct reference to the booming trade that once brought prosperity to the city. Look up and check out the tower of the Waterlands museum De Speeltoren. This former town hall tower is home to the world’s oldest working Carillon.