Alkmaar! “The Dutch Cheese City” is in the provence called ‘Noord Holland’.
It is also where we have decided to base ourselves for our last few days in the Schengen Zone of Europe.
And why? because not only is it close to Amsterdam, but it is also one of the most beautiful areas of Holland.
Known for ‘Beach, Cheese and Windmills!’
With a stunning coastline and fabulous beaches, Amsterdam also has a direct ferry service to mainland UK, and is perfect for us as we have to return to Newcastle with our vehicle.
With the world famous Cheese Market every Friday morning, from early April to early September, we had a great time here on our first day out.
We saw the traditional Cheese Market in full swing, along with a fabulous time of tasting so many incredibly delicious cheeses from the local area.
Our friend who came with us even bought a pair of modern day clogs for herself, so it felt like a very authentic Dutch day.
The old historical centre can be reached in a 5 min drive from where we were staying at our AirBnB.
As we wandered through the streets of Alkmaar with its impressive monuments, we were amazed at the beauty of the old town.
Although we never had time, visitors can see a totally different side to the city on a canal cruise.
Just around the corner from where we are staying at our AirBnB you can find several typical Dutch windmills.
Within a few steps you walk into the Dutch Polder, and within 15 min drive you will be at the beautiful beach and the dunes.
A beautiful place to hear the waves, relax and take a walk with your toes in the soft sand, or collect a few sea shells.
It is a real drawcard for the area, and many of the locals will ride their bikes there, and enjoy the social life and restaurants.
Where we are staying at our AirBnB it is 0.3 metres below sea level, is a a combination of Dutch culture & nature.
We found this place online quite by chance, and at the last minute, and it has been just perfect for us.
Because we have been travelling at such a rapid rate, I had no time to connect investigate booking a hotel in Amsterdam. So we decided to make our own AirBnB booking, and just have a few of our last days free to catch up, and to explore the area.
And we are so glad we did!
Not only has this proved to be a more affordable option than a standard hotel, we have also loved the modern decor, and become friends with our lovely host.
And because she is so lovely, I offered to share our experience here with you all.
This is in no way a sponsored article, but it is just something we want to do, because we have really appreciated having this lovely experience, and enjoyed her Dutch hospitality.
The house is lovely and has offered us all of our basic needs.
The beautiful garden and the cozy kitchen make us feel so at home, and gave us a chance to shop locally and make ourselves healthy home cooked meals. I rarely get the chance to cook these days, and so this was a real bonus for us.
Our AirBnB room was lovely, with a large window overlooking the garden where the birds were singing, and the morning light filled the room giving it an airy feeling.
It was lovely and clean and nice to have enough of own private space.
We even had a car park out the front. This was a real bonus for me, because when I was looking online most of the central hotels did not include parking, but was an extra charge. So we were able to save on this too.
Another thing I really loved was that our host has been very helpful and gave us good tips.
She has helped us to plan our itinerary for the few days we are here sightseeing, and also gave us tips on how to find places we wanted to visit like Keukenhof, and visiting Amsterdam.
It really was a nice base that has all the Dutch aspects, and is also near Volendam, Haarlem and the Zaanse Schans.
We are so glad we chose to stay here.
If you are planning a visit to Amsterdam, or the surrounding area, I can really recommend you check this out as a lovely and affordable option, and a genuine Dutch experience.
AirBnB: Beach, cheese and windmills! https://www.airbnb.nl/rooms/5412908