To the windmills of Zaanse Schans - by e-bike, of course

To the windmills of Zaanse Schans - by e-bike, of course

Located in the Dutch municipality of Zaanstad, the Zaanse Schans is a small, tranquil place with a multitude of beautifully restored houses as an open-air museum that was established with the intention of showing the historical heritage of this oldest "milling industrial area" in the Netherlands.

Approximately 1,900,000 visitors visit this museum every year, in which many of the houses in the district are even inhabited, so that you not only meet numerous tourists in the area, who are brought in by buses, which was already too much for us. But one by one.

Bike tour through Amsterdam to the Zaanse Schans

zaanse schans 5As part of our exploration of the cycle path systems around and in Amsterdam, we decided today to travel to Zaanse Schans, whereby the name Schans alone is reminiscent of the ski jump of the same name, which was built in 1574 by Diederik Sonoy, a governor under Willem I, Prince of Orange the Spanish attackers had been built.

Our starting point was camping site "De Sport Camping" at Tom Schreursweg 14, in 1067 Amsterdam, which was set up on a meadow next to various leisure facilities such as a sports field and tennis courts and is an excellent starting point for cycling tours in and around Amsterdam.

We will soon publish a separate article about the square.

zaanse schans 2With the google navigation, the route was relatively easy, so you can even choose between the different approaches, which is sometimes a bit confusing when exploring for the first time, because you don't necessarily immediately recognize the meaning of a large detour. On the tour to Zaanse Schans, for example, harbor basins and industrial plants had to be bypassed, here in particular huge coal deposits, which of course is not immediately apparent.

So we came across the North Sea Canal, which on our chosen route could only be crossed by ferry. Free of charge, of course, as is so often the case with Dutch public transport.
Until we reached our destination, we went along the Zaans, always on wide bike paths that are simply a pleasure.

zaanse schans 4As early as 1928, the first mill museum (Zaans Molenmuseum) was set up - initially in a residential building - which turned out to be a magnet for visitors.

Between 1961 and 1974 many old buildings from the Zaanstreek were transported to the Zaanse Schans, where they were rebuilt and restored to their original condition and even partly revived, so that a museum village slowly came into being.

The windmills that already existed on site were restored, and others from the Zaanstreek were added. In the later years, old buildings were found again and again, which were also erected there.

Old Dutch houses in a colourful splendor of flowers

zaanse schans 6Visitors to the open-air museum can see various old houses, including a replica of Albert Heijn's first shop, which became a Dutch supermarket chain.

In addition to the souvenir shops, you can visit a cheese dairy, a cooper's workshop, a clog workshop, a bakery museum, the Zaanse Clock Museum and the world's only paint mill, De Kat. All other "industrial windmills" can also be visited.

Adjacent to the outdoor area is the Zaans Museum, which provides an insight into the development of the Zaanstreek as an industrial area. Products that are made on the premises, such as mustard, cheese, pastries and much more can be tasted there and of course also bought.

Mills on the Zaanse Schans

Colour mill De Kat
Spice mill De Huisman
Paltrok sawmill De Gekroonde Poelenburg
Color mill De Kat
Sawmill Het Jonge Schaap
Oil mill De Os
Oil mill De Zoeker
Sawmill Het Klaverblad
Oil mill De Bonte Hen
zaanse schans 8These mills are all on the east bank of the Zaan. Other mills, mostly pasture mills, are set up on the site. On the other side of the road is the oil mill De Ooijevaar (in English: The Stork) and on the other bank of the Zaan the flour mill De (Bleeke) Dood.
Admission to the site is free, but you have to pay an entrance fee to visit the mills, the existing historic houses or the clog museum. In addition to the Zaans Museum, there is also a clog museum in Zaanse Schans.
Despite the numerous tourists, who, as already mentioned, are simply too numerous, we can recommend the region as extremely worth visiting, especially since the neighboring town is also absolutely worth visiting, as we will report later.
Once the route had been driven, the way back was also relaxed and so at the end of the day it was only 38 kilometers that we had covered.

Please read as well:

Discover Vienna by bicycle - from Camping Neue Donau

Riding E-bike to the Sösetalsperre near Osterode


Life | Outdoors