Travels in Holland: Volendam (May 29, 2014)

Volendam port


  • Henri Willig cheese farm
  • Wooden shoe demonstration

Volendam is a quaint fishing village located northwest of Amsterdam and bordering the Ijsselmeer, a freshwater lake. Frequented by visitors, one can visit the cheese and wooden shoe factories outside of the village prior to exploring the village proper.

Henri Willig cheese factory

Different cheese flavors at Henri Willig cheese farm

Different cheese flavors at Henri Willig cheese farm

The Henri Willig cheese farm at the Alida Hoeve was our first stop. The ladies in Dutch traditional dress showed us how the cheeses were made in the past and the machinery used to produce the round cheese balls or donuts.

Cheese apparently comes in many flavors, including garlic, fenugreek, and cumin. Worth a taste if you like cheese!

Next door was the wooden shoe demonstration. The famous Dutch clog is made of a flexible willow or poplar wood; and can be worn in summer and winter. A machine drills the hole and shapes the wood into a shoe. Then, the shoe is dried and sanded before it is painted in the bright colors and patterns favored by the Dutch.

Wooden Shoe Factory

After the delightful demonstration, our tour group took us to the village for lunch and exploration. As a coastal village, it is known for its seafood (especially eels) and traditions of wearing traditional costume during folkloric events. Apparently, Paviljoen Smit Bokkum is known for its smoked eel, which we regret not trying, and was a favored spot for some celebrities.