The 5 finest cities
People from all over the world come to Alkmaar to visit the famous cheese market. It’s been held on the Waagplein for centuries, and it remains a unique spectacle.
There are any number of cheese and beer museums, but, for a taste of life during the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th Century, don’t miss a visit to The Stedelijk Museum.
Did you know that the Spanish suffered their first defeat of the Eighty Years’ War in Alkmaar? The siege of Alkmaar in 1573 was the turning point on the road to freedom, and the anniversary of the liberation of the city is celebrated every year on 8th October.
You can still see signs of the siege today; look out for “Het Huis met de Kogel”. It’s a house close to the cheese market with a cannonball lodged in its walls. Whether it’s true or just a story, it’s definitely worth having a look and there are plenty more historical gems to discover on a walk through this most beautiful of cities.
The old town is full of interesting little shops. Four streets; de Hekelstraat, het Appelsteeg, de Mient and het Fnidsen, make up the old craft centre of Alkmaar.
On foot, on a canal boat, or even on a SUP board, there are many ways to enjoy the delights of Alkmaar. Whichever way you choose, set aside a whole day for it. Alkmaar is worth it.
Historic Haarlem is approximately an hour’s drive from Callantsoog. The city is renowned for its beautiful architecture that recalls the Golden Age. Meander through the courtyards, the picturesque streets and along the canals.
Hoorn is a town with an important history. You can see and feel the history of the town everywhere you look. The town was an important trading centre for the East India Company in the 17th Century. Visit the Oostereiland, a peninsula in the town which is the location of The Museum of the 20th Century. Old warehouses and a former prison have been transformed into a cinema with a cosy brasserie.
Enkhuizen is a quaint port town with a rich history. You can see the history everywhere you look, with the many mansions, canals, churches, old city walls and harbours. Together with Hoorn, Enkhuizen was one of the most important trading centres in the Golden Age. Spend a day strolling around this beautiful and interesting town.
Just under 45 minutes by bike from Callantsoog, you’ll find the market town of Schagen. With its two marinas and the Castle of Schagen, this bustling town is ideal to discover on foot. Chat with the friendly locals, explore the narrow shopping streets, or enjoy a drink or a meal on one of the many terraces around the market square. Why not visit the market which is held every Thursday morning where you can buy all sorts of local West Frisian products?