Holland to some, the Netherlands others: whatever the designation, the land of the Dutch is an essential and exciting stop on any European itinerary. To clear the air, however, the country as a whole holds the title of the Netherlands, while its two most influential provinces constitute the western region known as Holland. It is here where the majority of the Netherland’s most iconic imagery resides: landscapes dotted with windmills, picturesque canal towns, clog makers still perfecting their craft, colorful fields of tulips in full bloom, and bicycles ruling the road. Add to this the lingering Dutch master reputation of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Vermeer, and it’s no surprise as to why the Netherlands is consistently listed as one of the coolest and happiest places in the world.

Once a great naval power, this small yet accessible nation boasts a wealth of cultural heritage alongside a thoroughly modern and famously liberal mindset. And as a founding member of the European Union and NATO and host to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands also stands at the heart of international cooperation. The European part of the Netherlands is bordered by Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea, where the port of Rotterdam still acts as Europe’s largest port, while numerous islands in Caribbean still stand under the country’s kingdom umbrella.

With over 16 million people in Europe alone, the Netherlands also stands as one of the most densely populated countries in the world, topping all of countries in the European Union. Indeed, in the Netherlands, one is never far from civilization, or from water for that matter. The Dutch landscape is absolutely dominated by water, with three major European rivers crossing the country on their way to the ocean and submerging over a quarter of the country below sea level. It is this low and flat geography that not only gives the Netherlands its “Lower Countries” name but also contributes to its proliferate bicycling culture, clean energy mindset, and all around awesome atmosphere.

With its accessibly small size, welcoming Dutch people, and unique cultural treasures in Amsterdam and beyond, the Netherlands is an ideal addition to any European journey. Contact Ker & Downey today to start planning your luxury European vacation to the Netherlands today.