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
Jun 17, 2024

6 Reasons to Put Rotterdam, Netherlands, 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 Rotterdam, Netherlands, with us.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

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

June 2024
Jun 14, 2024

Loyalty Programs Revamp to Meet Changing Customer Preferences

Airlines and hotels consistently tweak loyalty programs to draw brand engagement based on shifting consumer habits, and the demands of younger generations make an impact. According to Chris Galloway, executive vice president, Strategy & Design, for brand loyalty experts Brandmovers, millennials are more active and engaged in loyalty programs than any other generation to date, and as Gen Z gains in buying/spending power, they also accelerate in their desire for loyalty and rewards programs.

Jun 13, 2024

Fly to These Summer Destinations with JSX

JSX, known for its 5-star, hop-on jet service, is set to relaunch its seasonal summer route to Taos (TSM) June 28 with flights from Dallas (DAL) and Denver/Boulder (BJC).

Paradisus by Meliá Redefines the All-Inclusive Experience

Paradisus by Meliá, a leading luxury all-inclusive resort brand, is taking the hospitality world by storm with its latest developments. With a slew of exciting developments, including a fresh property in Punta Cana, an adults-only resort in Los Cabos, an enticing chef partnership, revamped suites and much more, the brand is setting new standards for all-inclusive excellence. Each property maintains the essence of all-inclusive luxury while immersing guests in the rich tapestry of its destination, offering bespoke experiences that celebrate local culture and heritage. Paradisus is on a mission to redefine the all-inclusive paradigm, moving beyond conventional expectations to deliver personalized, lavish experiences tailored to every guest.

eFlyer Deals
Jun 12, 2024

Make it Olympic! at Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa

Located just 45 minutes from Paris by train, Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa gears up for the 2024 Summer Olympics with the all-new Make it Olympic! offer.

Welcome to Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro

Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro, operated by Aimbridge LATAM, opened its doors, welcoming guests to one of the most iconic and traditional properties in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Boasting 229 rooms and suites, the hotel, part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, is ready for discerning travelers. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the largest hotel franchise company in the world with approximately 9,100 hotels in more than 95 countries.