FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Kinderdijk, Netherlands: Historic Windmills and Their Millers Face the Future

by Aoife O’Riordan

Aug 19, 2022

© Claire Droppert


Situated in South Holland, Netherlands, just a 1.5-hour drive from Rotterdam, the village of Kinderdijk features a skyline of 18th-century windmills. This network of windmills displays the ingenuity of the people of the region over the centuries, from the manmade creation of dikes to the preservation of pumping stations and embankments. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997, protecting and appreciating the individual elements making up the village allows one to understand the sheer exceptionalism of Kinderdijk, its windmills and the millers who make the village possible.


The windmills were originally created to keep the low-lying land of the Alblasserwaard dry. With 19 windmills in total, the rows of windmills face one another to form that iconic image of Dutch windmills against a backdrop of water and green fields. It’s because of windmills like the ones found in Kinderdijk that the Netherlands has been able to survive for so long below sea level.


© Hollandse Hoogte / ANP Foto


Most of the 19 windmills are inhabited, with some of the families boasting a long line of Kinderdijk-based millers. The Hoek family reside in Nederwaard’s mill No. 5. Daughter Arie is the 10th generation of her family to inhabit the mill, and her brother lives just next door in mill No. 4. Living in the mill doesn’t come without its hardships and responsibilities, however. At least one person living in the mill must possess a miller’s degree, authorizing them to use machines for actual milling. That being said, making ends meet can sometimes be difficult, with many millers working additional jobs, being bank employees, carpenters and teachers.


Arie managed to find written record of a Hoek family member taking up residence and work in the mill as far back as 1746, and as she continues to live in her ancestral home, she often thinks about how different Kinderdijk has become over the years.

ice skating

© Sjoerd Bracke & Cuno de Bruin


The beauty and UNESCO status of the village has meant a rising number of tourists visit the region to take in the great windmills and the different systems, dikes and embankments created centuries ago. Those living in the mills, however, find the gradual increase of visitors puts a strain on their private lives. Millers like Arie enjoy time to themselves, listening to the birds and watching the sun set.


That being said, the awe-inspiring mills shouldn’t go unnoticed. Those wanting to visit Kinderdijk in person to see and learn more about the mills can visit the area’s three Museum Mills and watch the multiscreen film De Fabriek Auxiliary Pumping Station, which tells the story of the mill complex and the village’s history.


© Gunold | Dreamstime.com


To see the mills from a different angle, take to the water and sail by boat before stopping by the mill workshop to receive an in-depth presentation on the operation and maintenance of the mills. Coming to Kinderdijk also entails learning about just how far back the operation of water control goes. The Dutch have used waterways, dikes and locks for more than 1,000 years, and the endurance of such innovation survives today in the great windmills of Kinderdijk.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions


Insta Feed
eFlyer Reviews
Nov 29, 2023

Review: Hilton Head Health

As a peripatetic traveler, I am always trying to balance the pleasures of dining well with a life-long challenge to control my weight. It’s not always easy, because I consider tasting typical, authentic regional dishes among the highlights of most journeys, and those foods are rarely known for “healthful” rankings! So, I started staying at spas way back in the 1980s — before they were ubiquitous — because meals were assured to be pure, clean and wholesome.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

eFlyer News
Nov 29, 2023

Airlines Announce New Direct Flights to Turks & Caicos

Flying to the paradise of Turks & Caicos has never been easier thanks to many new, non-stop flights across three airlines to the destination. Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways all announced new flights, allowing travelers to visit this dreamy destination.

eFlyer News
Nov 29, 2023

Bordeaux, France, Welcomes Mondrian Bordeaux Les Carmes

The Mondrian Bordeaux Les Carmes recently opened in Bordeaux’s elegant Chartrons district, bringing 97 upscale rooms to France’s southwestern city. Occupying a 19th-century house that once held the wine cellars of Maison Calvet, the hotel marks Mondrian’s first European property for celebrated Japanese chef Masaharu Morimoto, who helms the menu and concept for the hotel’s restaurant, Morimoto Bordeaux.

Greece: A Life-Changing Experience

Experience the life-changing destination of Greece by exploring its island gems in the Ionian Sea. Scattered off the western coastline of Central Greece, to the south of Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands are an island group comprising large and small islands.

eFlyer News
Nov 29, 2023

The Chelsea Townhouse, London’s Newest Boutique Hotel, Opens

London welcomes its newest boutique hotel just in time for the holiday season. The Chelsea Townhouse, located on Chelsea’s exclusive Cadogan Gardens, sits within proximity to its sister hotel, 11 Cadogan Gardens, and joins the Iconic Luxury Hotels portfolio.

Destinations / Africa
Nov 27, 2023

6 Reasons to Put Nairobi, Kenya, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Nairobi, Kenya, with us.

The Argosaronic Islands Are Calling

The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips. From Piraeus port, you can access Hydra, Spetses, Aegina and Poros directly. Come explore these stunning islands with us and find the inspiration to plan your next trip to these islands. Hydra Hydra town curves around a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf like an amphitheater and is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Most unique to the island is its lack of vehicles. People on the island get around on mules and donkeys as well as water taxis, making for a peaceful and laid-back day. Hydra lies a two-hour ferry ride from Piraeus port in Athens.

November 2023
Nov 24, 2023

History and Hospitality: Blend Business Events with Cultural Immersion in Johannesburg

While Cape Town remains one of Africa’s leading MICE cities, Johannesburg emerges as an equally compelling business travel destination. In recent years it has come into its own thanks to its recognition as an economic powerhouse, home to the largest stock market in Africa and numerous attractions powerfully reflecting social and economic changes in South Africa and their impact on the rest of the world.