Holiday behind the scenes: senior event manager & business writer Maaike is taking you to Makkum in The Netherlands

Holiday behind the scenes: senior event manager & business writer Maaike is taking you to Makkum in The Netherlands

Now that most of us are gently giving in to summer vibes and holiday musings, our blog posts must follow suit. Cultures, languages and interaction are at the core of what we do, so it will not surprise you that Presence team members are fond of traveling.

In this holiday-themed behind-the-scenes series of blog posts, your Presence contacts will tell you about their holiday destinations. If you are not traveling yourself, this will give you an opportunity to join them wherever they are and to get to know them in a different setting.

In this week’s post, Maaike, senior event manager and business writer, is taking you to Makkum in The Netherlands.

wapen van Makkum

Having immigrated to The Netherlands, I like to spend my summer holidays in my host country, exploring Dutch culture and heritage. Even in a country as small and densely populated as this one (33.700 sqm of land/17.34 million inhabitants), the differences between the various regions do not cease to amaze me.

This year’s holiday destination was Makkum, a village on the banks of the IJsselmeer in the Dutch Friesland province. If you are into water sports or have an interest in the history of sea fishing on the former Zuiderzee, Makkum should definitely be on your radar. Even if the weather during our stay was not extremely summery, the local windsurfing schools were thriving! The wind drove beginning surfers back and forth across the water, throwing them off their boards at regular intervals. My two children were as enthralled by that as they are when they watch Disney channel, which meant that I was able to drink my coffee while it was hot. Mothers-of-toddlers, holler if you feel me.


I for one am not into water sports, so what drew me to the region are the nature reserves and the birdlife and flora they harbour. Moreover, Makkum is very close to Friesland’s capital, Leeuwarden, which is a lovely city to visit. Not only does it boast many national heritage sites, it also has a museum that is really appealing to younger children: the natural history museum. This former orphanage now houses a giant whale skeleton and has child-friendly, interactive exhibits. You will see everything from insects that make your skin crawl, treasures collected by a mysterious captain, to a display of poop from various animals. This will not particularly spark your appetite but your children will love it.

Leeuwarden is also the starting and finishing point for the Elfstedentocht, a speed skating competition over the waterways of the province. This race only happens during wintertime, when the temperature drops enough to turn water into solid ice. In August however, the waterways are reserved for tourists and locals with boats, who spend their time leisurely exploring the region and saluting the lock keepers they meet on their travels.

While in Friesland, one should of course also eat like the Frisians. Since I do not really have a sweet tooth -much unlike my children- the Frisian sugar bread and anise cookies did not do much for me. The opposite is true for the air-dried Frisian sausage. I combined it with a Belgian Tripel and some mustard from Ghent. With this combination on the palate, this newly discovered province almost felt like home.

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Photo credits:
Header photo by Andre Furtado @ Pexels
Other photos by Maaike