For expats seeking to explore the hidden treasures of the Netherlands, The Kaag is a gem waiting to be discovered. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes and dotted with charming villages, this island in the Kaag Lakes offers a unique blend of tranquility, outdoor activities, and Dutch culture. In this article, we’ll guide you through the wonders of The Kaag, providing insights into its history, attractions, and why it should be on every expat’s must-visit list.
The Kaag: An Overview The Kaag, also known as Kaageiland, is an island situated in the Kaag Lakes, just a stone’s throw away from major cities like Amsterdam, The Hague, and Leiden. Its serene surroundings and relatively untouched nature make it a perfect escape for expats looking to unwind and experience the authentic charm of the Dutch countryside.
Historical Significance: The island has a rich history dating back to the 17th century when it served as a trading post for the Dutch East India Company. Today, remnants of its maritime past can be seen in the form of quaint harbors, historic buildings, and the traditional Dutch architecture that dots the landscape.
Activities and Attractions:
- Sailing and Water Sports: The Kaag is renowned for its water-centric activities. Expats can rent a sailboat or join a sailing school to explore the lakes. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a beginner, the calm waters of The Kaag provide an ideal environment for water sports enthusiasts.
- Cycling Tours: The island’s compact size and well-maintained cycling paths make it an excellent destination for cycling enthusiasts. Rent a bike and explore the charming villages, picturesque windmills, and lush greenery that characterize The Kaag.
- Culinary Delights: Indulge your taste buds in the local cuisine at one of The Kaag’s waterfront restaurants. Freshly caught seafood and traditional Dutch dishes are sure to satisfy your gastronomic cravings. Don’t miss the chance to pair your meal with a glass of locally produced Dutch wine.
- Museums and Galleries: Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the small museums and art galleries scattered across the island. Learn about the region’s history, art, and maritime heritage while gaining insights into Dutch life.
Practical Tips for Expats:
- Transportation: The Kaag is easily accessible by car, but for a more scenic journey, consider taking a ferry from Warmond. Once on the island, cycling or walking is the preferred mode of transportation.
- Accommodation: While The Kaag is not known for large hotels, there are cozy bed and breakfasts, charming cottages, and guesthouses that offer a more intimate experience. Booking in advance, especially during peak seasons, is recommended.
- Local Etiquette: Embrace the local customs and etiquette. The people of The Kaag are known for their friendliness, and a simple “hallo” or “goedemorgen” (good morning) goes a long way in establishing a connection with the locals.
Conclusion: The Kaag, with its blend of natural beauty, rich history, and outdoor activities, is a hidden paradise that expats in the Netherlands should not miss. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, this charming island provides a unique escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. So, pack your bags, hop on a ferry, and let The Kaag enchant you with its Dutch allure.