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Countryside Bus Tour
Amsterdam's countryside seems to be taken out of a page of a Thomas Hardy novel. Or rather vice versa. Of gleaming grass, striking polders encircled by dikes, rustic windmills and surreal, the Dutch country is a sight that would render most people speechless.
One of the tour operators that can arrange such visits is Tour & Tickets, which offers the Countryside Tour. The Countryside tour is a five hour bus adventure that takes you across villages of Zaanse Schans and Volendam, along with the Marken island. The activities covered within the space of these five hours are numerous, diverse and fodder for some unforgettable memories.
On the Itinerary...
The Countryside Tour is all about idyllic landscapes, untouched by the rigidity of development, wooden houses, beautiful windmills, traditional Dutch crafts workshops, seafood and the stunning waterways of the Netherlands where you're likely to click photographs every minute owing to the surreal sights that pass you by.
One of the places you'll visit is Zaanse Schans, a pastoral windmill village, complete with warehouses and idyllic green-timbered houses, the kinds you probably heard in Enid Blyton storybooks.
Also on the Itinerary is the rambunctious fishing village of Volendam. This will be around lunch time (lunch is not included) but you could opt here for a hearty meal in a lovely fish restaurant. The village is known for its windmills and houses so make sure you make time to wander around too. It is also known for its cheese factory where you will see cheese being made in the traditional Dutch manner and of course taste some of their fine product too.
From Volendam you will take a boat trip to the former island of Marken with it's wooden houses and locals that still wear traditional Dutch costumes. Here you can learn from a local clog maker how a rudimentary piece of wood is converted into a wooden shoe in the matter of minutes. There's a ferry leaving from Volendam to Marken every 45 minutes.
Timings, Bookings, Location
The Countryside tour bus has two departure times in a day. These are 09:15 and 12.15 from from the Tours & Tickets office at Damrak 26. The tours are both 5 hours long and include some time for lunch (price not included). Please ensure you check in at least 30 minutes before departure. You can either book tickets on the Tours & Tickets website or by visiting the ticket office between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm.