Things to do in Medemblik, The Netherlands
Last September I was invited with some fellow outdoor bloggers to explore Medemblik. This is a small city north of Amsterdam and even though I had heard the name before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I went and was pleasantly surprised about things to see and do in Medemblik and decided to write this full Medemblik travel guide for you. Enjoy!
Medemblik is the oldest city in West-Friesland, a region in the Noord-Holland province, north of Amsterdam. The city has less than 10.000 inhabitants and is located on the shores of the IJsselmeer. Tourists generally visit for the numerous water activities and the beautiful old buildings in the heart of the city. The Medemblik municipality also includes Noorder-Koggenland, Wognum, Andijk and Wervershoof. In this blog I’ll tell you why visiting Medemblik is a great idea if you want to get to know more about Holland, from the best historic places to places to sleep and the best hikes to do.
Hiking in and around Medemblik, The Netherlands
There are numerous walking trails in and around Medemblik. Upon arrival in the region I notice how flat it is here, compared to where I am from. Where I live it’s a little hilly (not too much though, compared to the rest of the world) and so I love the endless views into the distance. I’m also happy to see the IJsselmeer again as I don’t really live nearby any water and I always lover taking a stroll across the coastline.
Walk Vooroever and Groote Vliet
I start my weekend in Medemblik with an 8.5 km walk near Vooroever and Groote Vliet, located in Onderdijk (‘Under dike’). This is a small community between Medemblik and Wervershoof. I park my car near the Onderdijk church and hit the trail from here. I access the Zeedijk (Sea dike) and can see the dark clouds in the distance. The views on Vooroever are incredible yet I’m wondering how long it will take before the storm to reach me. The Vooroever (‘front shore’) views are great from here, I can immediately see a natural area that looks like a Dutch mangrove forest. The Vooroever reaches between Andijk and Medemblik and it’s also a great place for bird watchers. Cormorants and spoonbills can be found here.
I walk a few kilometers along the water and eventually end at the Dutch Steam Engine Museum, where I’ll be paying a visit to later that day. From here I start my walk back in the direction of Onderwijk along the main road. Before I get back to my car, I visit the next natural area: Groote Vliet. This area belongs to the Dutch State Forest Management and is an old inner lake of the Vliet, the leftovers of a former peat river. Here you will find a maze of small waterways, wetlands and woods.
A bit further on the trail I walk through the Kaagbos (Kaag forest) among the red dexters, small cows from Ireland. They are all on the trail but it doesn’t matter as they are quite tame. Passing a tiny aquaduct I eventuall get back to my car after walking for some two hours.
Interested in hiking this tour? A PDF in Dutch can be found here.
Walking arund Wognum and Museum Huis van Oud
As it’s Dutch Open Monument Day, I make a walk near Wognum and the Museum Huis van Oud (‘House of Old’) on the second day of my visit. Het Huis van Oud is located in a well-kept farm from 1978 and you can see tradition Dutch life in the old days here. My uncle still lives in a house like this too and I recognize many of its features.
Huis van Oud is a small local museum and open every Sunday between April and September from 14.00 – 17.00 hrs. Outside of these hours, groups are more than welcome on request. More information in Dutch can be found on the Museum Huis van Oud website.
The walk takes me across the polders around Wognum. As I previously mentioned I’m from the east of The Netherlands where we have quite a bit of hills and so I’m loving the endless views into the distance, seeing the windmills and walking across the dikes.
The walk round Wognum is about 10 kilometers as I start from Saalhof, yet you can also start from the center of Wognum. The route is not marked, but if you follow this route you will be just fine: Wognum Church -> Oude Gouw -> walk- and biking path Lekerveen -> Lekermeer (road) -> walk- and biking path Rijndijk -> Pankoek -> Grote Zomerdijk -> Museum Huis van Oud -> Wognum.
More walks in and around Medemblik
Some fellow outdoorbloggers also have done some hikes in and around Medemblik. As their blogs are in Dutch only I will not link them but will give you some suggestions for other walks:
– City Walk Medemblik – this one takes you along all the historical buildings in the city
– Koopmanspolder – a polder made in vortex pattern
– Twisk – a small ribbonsized village
Water activities in Medemblik, The Netherlands
Besides the plenty of walks we did over the past weekend, I also got to try out some water sports. From the Regatta Center Medemblik there are plenty of national and international sailing events each year. We hired a dinghy and drove it all throughout the ancient canals of Medemblik and around. We also sailed through Groote Vliet, where I had hiked earlier that day. It was a great way to enjoy some fun on the water and see the area in an entirely different way.
The Dutch Steam Machine Museum
Along the way we stop at the Dutch Steam Machine Museum, the one place to see what fire and water can make. We are given a warm welcome by its volunteers that guide around the visitors and show experiments as well. I would have loved to have a longer look around however we only had little time. More information and opening hours can be found on the website of the Steam Machine Museum.
Hiring a dinghy in Medemblik
Would you like to rent a dinghy while in Medemblik? It can be done easily and you don’t need a license for it. At the harbour office in Pekelharinghaven you can rent one via Stadshavens Medemblik. The luxurious dinghy you rent will go no faster than 7 kms an hour. Before you are leaving, you will get an extended instruction on how it works and where you can go.
Kitesurfing in Medemblik, The Netherlands
Another fun thing to do in Medemblik is kite surfing. Fellow blogger Mirre did this while we were on the boat and came back super enthusiastic from this exhilarating activity. You can read her Dutch blog here.
Eating in and finding a Medemblik hotel
The Medemblik harbours have a large variety of cosy restaurants and terraces to enjoy a bite and a drink. We were offered a three course meal at Hotel & Restaurant Wapen van Medemblik, a central located restaurant between Pekelkaringhaven, Oosterhaven and Westerhaven. It’s a favorite spot for sailers to relax and enjoy a good meal. When looking for a Medemblik hotel this is an excellent choice as well.
When you are looking for a more rural location to stay, then Bed & Breakfast ZusenZomer is truly recommended. This B&B is located just outside of Medemblik (you will need a car though) in the small village of Oostwoud. It’s run by two sisters who turned this old farm into a cozy B&B. We were given an amazing breakfast with view on the countryside!
If you would like to camp in Medemblik you can do so at Camping Veerhof, which is also located in Oostwoud. Here you will find plenty of rural camping spots that guarantee a silent and spacious stay in Holland’s nature. This is where I stayed and enjoyed a truly awesome sunrise.
A complete overview of accommodations in Medemblik can be found here.
Wine tasting at Saalhof
We end our active weekend in Medemblik with a lunch in Saalhof Winery in Wognum. This former farm changed into a fruit nursery back in 1900 and the grapes became of more and more importance over the following years. At Saalhof we are guided around by the owner and receive a tasty lunch. The winery is known for its excellent wines, the Johanniter and Sauvignon Gris to name a few. You can also enjoy a nice meal and overnight as well. All information can be found informatie vind je op de on the Saalhof website.
What to do in Medemblik when it rains
In case you have rain when visiting Medemblik, there still is plenty to see and do. Besides the before mentioned museums Huis van Oud and Steam Machine Museum, there are plenty of other museums to visit as well, such as the Old Bakery Museum and the Radboud Castle. This one was built in the 13th century by Floris V and was surrounded by what is formerly known as the Zuiderzee. The castle is now located at the shores of the IJsselmeer and from the harbors you have good views of the castle. Other places of interest in Medemblik include Meelmolen & Het Poorthuisje, the City Hall en the Weduwenhuisjes (‘Widow houses’). These houses were used by the women of sailors back in the old day and maintained by the reformed church.
Another fun thing to do in Medemblik: the Museum Steamtram
The journey from Hoorn to Medemblik by steamtram is one of the most special you can make. This route belongs to the historical Enkhuizen – Medemblik – Hoorn triangle. The Museum Steamtram Hoorn – Medemblik is a riding museum that tells the story of the steamtram in The Netherlands. You can choose from various train journeys, more information can be found on the Museum Steamtram website.
Conclusion about my visit to Medemblik
I’ve truly enjoyed my weekend in and around Medemblik. At first I didn’t know what to expect, however I loved spending a weekend on the other side of The Netherlands. I’ve gathered my experiences in a small movie as well, which you can view below:
I made this trip by invite. All given opinions of course only my own. This blog contains affiliate links. If you buy or make a booking through these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Want to read more about The Netherlands? You may also enjoy the following posts:
– Micro adventure and wildlife watching in Hoge Veluwe National Park
– Ziplining from The Euromast in Rotterdam
– Friesland in pictures