Cycle route from Oostzaan to Westzaan
Westzaan, Oostzaan, Wormer
You will come across many ribbon villages in North Holland: villages shaped like an elongated strip. Oostzaan and Westzaan are the oldest villages in the Zaan region and were also originally ribbon villages. The villages developed from the 11th century onwards when the area along the Zaan was impoldered. Over the years, Zaandam came into being between these two villages.
Oostzaan became increasingly important to the VOC and WIC shipping companies. In the village, many ships were built for the merchant navy and whaling, but Oostzaan also has a true pirate. Claes Compaen, born and raised in Oostzaan, was one of the most notorious pirates around 1625. He conquered ships from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean and called himself the 'Conick of the Sea'. After a few years, he became homesick for the family he had left behind in Oostzaan. After having to apologise to the States General, he was allowed to return. Until his death in 1660, he lived in poverty in his native village.
Another notorious Oostzaner is Albert Heijn. In 1860 the Heijn family started a grocery shop, which was transferred by father Heijn to his son Albert in 1887. Entrepreneurship was in his blood, just like many other inhabitants of Oostzan, because eight years later he opened a second branch. He started producing his own products and roasted his own coffee in the back of the shop in Oostzaan. Now it is one of the largest supermarket chains in the country. There is a replica of the old grocery shop on the Zaanse Schans.
Westzaan is a protected village sight. There used to be more than 150 windmills here, of which five are still standing. Molen De Schoolmeester is the only windmill in the world. The inhabitants of both villages have their own nickname. Westzaners are also called Kroosduikers, Oostzaners are also called Doppehokkers. The inhabitants have one thing in common: they are proud of their bustling villages and are always ready to help their neighbours. You can feel the warmth as you cycle through the two 'Zanen'.
On the way, you will see vast polders with hundreds of ditches and canals as far as the eye can see. The Dutch feeling is enhanced by the many windmills. On the Zaanse Schans, old crafts are still being practised and you will see the typical Zaanse wooden houses with beautiful gables. This is the Zaan region at its best!
Tip: Start at one of the TOPs, here you will find ample parking space and you are directly on the node route.
Here you can expand your route with pitstops
No pitstops added yet