1. From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans Windmills Half-Day Tour
Meet your guide and driver at a central meeting point just across from Central Station Amsterdam. A comfortable, air-conditioned single deck bus will take you to today’s destination in just 20 minutes. The windmill village Zaanse Schans is an open air museum that houses a collection of working windmills, wooden houses, barns and shops dating back to the 18th and 19th Century. All these buildings were brought here from 1961 onwards bringing back to life this most prosperous period of the Zaan region. In its golden age the Zaan Region developed into an industrial area on a scale never seen before, with 600 active windmills: wooden factories powered by wind. In these small factories many tasks were being executed with the aid of wind energy: wood sawn by machine, grounding spices, oil for food and paint, flower, cocoa powder and many other things. The prosperity in the 18th and 19th century can be seen in the Zaanse Schans windmill village in several ways. Alongside windmills, barns and other buildings, you will see beautiful houses that were originally built as home to rich windmill owners and merchants. These houses have attractive facades and have been painted in traditional colors such as green, beige and light blue. At arrival in the village, your guide will take you on an orientation tour of the village. You will visit the clog museum annex wooden shoemaker shop and in the cheese farm you will get to taste Dutch farmer cheese. Then it is time to further explore the village on your own. Before you set off to discover the Zaanse Schans on your own, your guide will give you further information on the Zaanse Schans and its unique character, teach you local history and culture, and give you insider’s tips about what to do and where to go.