Venice of The North
In the northwest of the Overijissel province, Netherlands lies the small town of Giethoorn. The village was founded around 1230 AD, with a population today hovering near 3,000. What makes the old section of town so enticingly rustic (besides the thatched-roof farmhouses from the 1700's) is the the fact that there are no roads, only canals.
As cars have to remain outside the village, transportation within Giethoorn is limited to water travel along the 4 miles (6.4km) of waterways, or taking the footpaths to one of the over 180 bridges leading to homes.
The canals were formed when settlers started to harvest peat from nearby marshlands, digging out shallow channels & ponds for transport. The idyllic town gained international fame in 1958 after Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra filmed the comedy Fanfare on location, and enjoys a reputation today as a tourist destination, both for canal tours and winter skating.