Going on a boat trip is undoubtedly the best thing to do in Giethoorn. Wildeboer boatyard offers a range of boating experiences to suit everyone. Join a group tour, book a private boat tour, or hire a private boat and sail the canals and waterways at your own pace without a skipper or guide. Whichever you choose, sit back and enjoy the beauty of this idyllic village, the charming thatched farmhouses and the cute wooden bridges.
Read on for a general description, or make your reservation right away using the button below.
Giethoorn, known as the Dutch Venice, is an historic water-village in the Weerribben-Wieden National Park. The park, located at the tip of Overijssel province in the municipality of Steenwijkerland, is the biggest continuous ancient peat-bog remaining in North Western Europe. Around 2800 people make their permanent home in this fairytale village.
The Weerribben-Wieden National Park is the largest continuous peat bog in northwestern Europe.
Our ‘village with no roads’ is famous for its criss-crossing canals, graceful footbridges, beautiful gardens and extensive lakes. Of course, there are also lovely shops and boutiques such as the Wapen van Giethoorn, Venice, Het Rode Pleintje and “In Den Coop’ren Duikhelm”. You can snack or dine at our many restaurants, ice cream parlours and cafes and even spend the night at the many hospitable hotels and bed and breakfast places.
At the Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Moat Uus, you can experience how life used to be in Giethoorn. Stories told by our residents reveal all kinds of special customs and the traditional ways of peat extraction.
Don’t miss the chance to see inside an authentic Gieter farm. The fisherman’s cottage and the boathouse provide a unique impression of the simple existence in this water-rich village. There is a film, a museum shop with coffee corner and there is plenty to discover for children. An audio tour in several languages is avaiable free of charge.
Discover the beauty of Mother Nature at the Museum De Oude Aarde (The Old Earth). The museum houses a unique collection of beautiful gemstones, minerals and fossils donated by explorer René Boissevain (the founder of the museum). Discover the amazing shapes and brilliant colours of rare stones you never dreamed existed. Here you will find the largest fossil egg in the world, an outstanding Amethyst geode from Brazil and a petrified tree trunk from pre-historic America.
And there is more:
There are lots of ways of getting around on the water. You can join a group tour, book a private boat tour, or hire a private boat and sail the canals and waterways at your own pace without a skipper or guide. You also have a wide choice in vessel type. Perhaps you would prefer a sloop, a whisper boat a Dutch punt, or a canoe or kayak. You can even go paddle boarding, windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Wildeboer Punterwerf is a full-service wooden boat yard specialising in the construction, care and rental of authentic Gieterse boats such as the Punter and the Vlot. Our boats are all equipped with spacious seating boxes and cushions, and on nippy days, we’ll give you a nice warm fleece blanket to keep you snug and comfortable.
You will find the full range of our boats on the Giethoorn.com website. Of course, you are free to contact any of the other boat rental companies in the village.
Our traditional punters are hand-made from seasoned oak and have a capacity for up to 8 passengers. We designed them with slightly higher sides to protect small children, making them an ideal family boat. Their shallow draft and flat bottoms provide a very stable platform for even the most nervous land-lubbers. Children are fitted with a life jacket for free and we have a few in adult sizes for those who want them.
To preserve the peace of the nature reserve around us, all boats in Giethoorn are fitted with whisper-quiet electric outboard motors. That’s why we call them ‘whisper boats’.
Our beautiful, stable and safe boats for up to 8 people cost only €30 an hour, up to a maximum of € 150 in any one day. Rentings are for a minimum of 2 hours in the morning and a minimum of 3 hours in the afternoon and are available from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
You can rent a simple and narrow boat made from steel/aluminium elsewhere in the village for around €20 per hour. Renting a larger boat/sloop in the village costs between €30 and €50 per hour.
Whisper boats made of polyester, aluminium and steel are offered elsewhere in the village, but our authentic ‘Punters’ are traditionally made in seasoned oak. Each is equipped with spacious seating boxes where you can store your belongings and sit comfortably together, just like with a sloop. Power is delivered by a 1000 watt electric motor, ready to sail all day (7.5 hours) at a gentle 6km per hour, Geithorn’s maximum speed. For outboard protection against other boats and hard moorings every boat is fitted with rubber bumpers.
We follow the guidelines of the Dutch health authorities (RIVM) and the government. If you have any questions, feel free to call us or send us an email or a WhatsApp message.
We are located in the quiet northern part of Giethoorn. If you want to sail a route through the tourist part of the village, we’d advise you to allow at least 3 hours. If you plan to moor up for a while or stop at a terrace, then you should add an extra hour. For routes through the nature reserve add a further 2 hours.
Because we are at the quieter end of the village, you can use our private parking for free. (By bus, the stop is only 150 meters away from our yard.) Starting your cruise away from the bustle of the tourist part of the village gives you a chance to get to know your boat before you meet any traffic. You can also head directly into the nature reserves and away from the crowd. We will give you a detailed map of the routes, instructions on handling the engine and a navigation card. And, if you do get lost, we will gladly come out to help you get back on track. You can also head into the nature reserves right away and avoid any traffic.
Directly from our boat yard, you can explore everything this beautiful area has to offer. Take an idyllic route towards the Weerribben, through the village of Dwarsgracht. Or, float down to picturesque Giethoorn North and the nature reserve.
If you prefer a livelier trip, you can join the crowd in the southern part of Giethoorn. The whole village is very photogenic with its fairytale paths, waterways and bridges and beautifully landscaped gardens. Here you can moor up to visit
Giethoorn is very popular with tourists. The busy season runs from April through October. Outside the main season, there are still some boats in service. During the summer holidays, we have an absolute peak from mid-July to the end of August. The same is true for the public holidays in May (Pentecost and Ascension Day). It can be very busy on sunny days. Of course, you can always book one hour more in order to plan your trip.
Giethoorn has had 177 bridges since 2017.
The Giethoorn canals are about 70 cm deep and around one meter out on the lakes, though in some spots it’s a little deeper. Shallow or deep, water can always be dangerous and we take safety very seriously. We provide a life jacket for all children and any adult on request.
Of course, dogs are allowed on our boats. All our cushions are made of wipeable PU leather and after every trip the boats are thoroughly cleaned before the next guest boards.
We can’t control the weather in Giethoorn, so we offer to switch rentals to another day up to 24 hours in advance. If this is not possible, please discuss this with us before booking, and we will look for a suitable option should it be too rainy or windy on the day of booking.
Giethoorn has a tourist area which can be busy in summer with souvenir shops, boutiques, galleries and cafes. A supermarket and tourist information can also be found there.
No, there is no station in Giethoorn. Take the intercity Leeuwarden or Zwolle and get off at Steenwijk (intercity station) to continue by ‘bus 70’. Or rent a bicycle at the station for the last 4-5 kilometres. If you prefer to take a taxi, we recommend to book it in advance.
At Steenwijk station, you can take the ‘bus 70’ which will bring you to Giethoorn. To reach us, get off at the stop called “Lindenhof” which is only 150 meters away from our boat yard.