Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide / driver in the hotel lobby, from where you are taken for a 30-minute drive by luxurious private vehicle to Zaandam for a guided tour of the Zaanse Schans.
With its traditional characteristic green wooden houses, charming stylized gardens, small hump-backed bridges, tradesmen’s workshops, historic windmills and engaging little shops the Zaanse Schans gives the feeling of stepping back into the 17th and 18thcentury, however this is not an open-air museum but a colorful living and working neighborhood on the banks of the river Zaan.
There are many windmills at the Zaanse Schans. Windmills were used, for example, for sawing wood, drying land, hulling and threshing grains, and the production of nut oil, paint and mustard. Your guide will take you to several mills like the wood cut mill The Young Sheep and spice mill De Huisman. Learn how the mills work traditionally, climb the steep stairs and have a spectacular view over the river Zaan. www.zaanseschans.nl
We continue the tour with a 60-minute drive to medieval Delft, where you will be taken for a guided walking tour of the historical city center. Upon arrival, there is leisure time for lunch. On the main square you will find many restaurants for a delicious lunch.
Stroll along the canals and discover the most beautiful spots of Delft. The city is also known as miniature Amsterdam, because of its canals and the grand monumental merchants’ mansions in the old city center. The city center of Delft is one of the best-preserved examples of a medieval Dutch town. It is a city with rich historic and cultural heritage. Delft is also the city of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Think of his masterpiece “Gezicht op Delft” (View on Delft) and the Girl with the Pearl Earring. On Thursday and Saturday there is also a local famers market!
Delft is the burial ground of members of the Royal family. Their crypt is located in the New Church. Besides the Royal family, several other famous people have also been buried in Delft. In the Old Church, the graves are located of the famous painter Johannes Vermeer and great ocean commanders such as Piet Hein and Maarten Tromp. Here, you will also find some spectacular stained-glass windows by the famous artist Joep Nicolas. Your guide will take you to both churches. www.nieuwekerk-delft.nl
3.15pm Before we return to Amsterdam, we make a stop at the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century, Royal Delft.
Visit Royal Delft and experience authentic Dutch history and craftmanship. Paintbrushes carefully touch the white earthenware, whilst elsewhere clay is poured into handmade moulds. At the Royal Delft factory, Dutch craftsmen have been creating iconic Delft Blue for almost 400 years. Royal Delft, established in 1653, is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century. Come see our surprising exhibit and learn why Dutch ceramics became famous worldwide. After that, visit the factory where you will learn the craftsman’s secrets to a century’s old production process.
The world renowned Royal Delft blue is still produced according to centuries-old traditions. Discover all about the history, craftsmanship and innovation of this royal company during your visit. www.royaldelft.nl
4.45pm From here, you will be taken back to your hotel in Amsterdam, where you have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. You will arrive back around 5.45pm.