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Kop van Noord-Holland

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Kop van Noord-Holland

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Kop van Noord-Holland [2] is a region within North-Holland in the West of the Netherlands.

Cities[edit]

  • Alkmaar — popular for its cheese market and historic centre
  • Bergen — artist village at the beach, with the Schoorlse Duinen nearby
  • Broek op Langedijk — the Museum Broeker Veiling is notably interesting
  • Castricum — has a nice beach, the lake of Alkmaar-Uitgeest and the dunes
  • Den Helder — home to the country's main naval base and the ferry to Texel
  • Enkhuizen — historic town with the Zuiderzeemuseum, a large open-air museum of the Netherlands in the period 1850-1950
  • Heerhugowaard — modern suburb, but has some historic elements
  • Heiloo — built around a white church, this town expanded rapidly due to an influx of inhabitants from Amsterdam
  • Hoorn — stunning historic centre with a cozy atmosphere
  • Medemblik — small village that has a rich history with many old buildings, castles and monuments
  • Schagen — historic town centre and the Schager Wiel nature area
  • Waarland

Other destinations[edit]

Understand[edit]

The eastern part of Kop van Noord-Holland is known as West Friesland or West Frisia, an area that retains a number of distinctive characteristics. As its name betrays, it has historical links with the province of Friesland on the eastern shore of the IJsselmeer. Its dialect is also closely related to the Frisian language. The region is geographically defined by its enclosure dike, the Westfriese Omringdijk, and covers an area of approximately 780km². It is a predominantly agricultural region, with characteristic bell-shaped farmhouses and typical linear villages. Apart from Hoorn, there are two more towns in the region, Enkhuizen and Medemblik - the latter has remained very small. West-Friesland is one of the areas in the predominantly protestant north of the Netherlands where the Roman Catholic faith remained the most popular religion.

The area around and to the south of Alkmaar was historically part of Kennemerland.

The largest city in the area is Alkmaar, with some 108,000 inhabitants. Other larger towns are Hoorn (approx. 72,000) and Den Helder (approx. 56,000).

Talk[edit]

In the area north of Alkmaar and Hoorn the West-Frisian dialect is still spoken by approximately 50,000 people. It retains clear influences of the Frisian language that was once spoken here and can be hard to understand for native Dutch speakers. Like many other dialects in the Netherlands it is developing into a more standardized 'regiolect' that is more distinctive for its pronunciation than for its vocabulary.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Two motorways serve the area, the A9 and A7. The A9 connects Alkmaar to Amsterdam, and the A7 leads from Amsterdam to Leeuwarden.

By train[edit]

There are direct Intercity train connections from Amsterdam to Alkmaar, Hoorn and Den Helder. The area is also easily reached by train from Haarlem.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

The area is easy to drive around, with the A7 as the major thoroughfare. Traffic is usually not very dense, but the route from Alkmaar to Den Helder can be a bit slow in the weekends, with the tourists coming to and from Texel having to use a two-lane road.

By public transport[edit]

There are two major trainlines in the area, connecting Amsterdam to Den Helder via Alkmaar, and to Enkhuizen via Hoorn. You will have to rely on buses to further explore the area. These are not as frequent as in more densely populated areas in the Netherlands.

See[edit][add listing]

Flower days
  • Flower days, Anna Paulowna, Breezand and Wieringerwaard, [1]. May 3-7, yearly event. During the Flower Days, you can admire many mosaics, that are made up of the individual little flowers of a hyacinth. The makers exhibit them in their own gardens, so you can just drive by and admire them for free.  edit

Itineraries[edit]

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