Mill Tour

The mill tour is a 21-km long primal Dutch route of about 180 minutes that goes through the beautiful inner city of Haarlem and passes several mills. The route has a length of about 21 km, is well-signposted and oriented clockwise. There are several entry and exit options. In harsh winters, the windmill tour is also great fun on skates. The mills that can be visited have a landing stage (except mill de Eenhoorn). If the mill is flying a blue pennant, the miller is present and you are welcome.

Route description

The starting point is in Haarlem at the jetty in the Spaarne near the ex-tug Zeehond ( and you sail left. You will pass under the Catharijne bridge and on your right is windmill "de Adriaan". This original tower mill,built to grind grain, burned down in 1931 and was rebuilt in 1999. Follow the Spaarne and follow the bend to the right. You first go under the Spoorbrug and then under the Prinsenbrug. On your right you will see the old Droste factory, in the facade is still the beautiful tile tableau of the Droste vrouvvtje.

After the Waarderbrug, the Spaarne widens and you will see a twentieth-century variation on the old windmill in the form of wind turbines on the Schoteroog to your right. These four wind turbines produce enough energy to power 2,500 households when there is enough wind. Deviating from the signposts, you can continue along the Spaarne to the picturesque village of Spaarndam.

Just before the village, there is a jetty on the left under a bridge with access to Fort Spaarndam. There is also entry and exit in the village at the Kolk and on the grassy side. The tour continues right around the head of Schoteroog up the Mooie Nel and heads south towards Penningssveer. On the left, you can still see Poldermolen ʻthe Siokopʻ which now serves as a residential house. The mill is not open to the public. In Penningssveer, before the bridge is the entrance to polder mill on the right. The original mill dates from the early 18th century. In the year 1998, the mill burned down and was rebuilt in 2000. The mill has the typical octagonal base of a polder mill. The cap of the mill is movable and by setting the wheel straight to the wind, the mill can develop its maximum power.

After the bridge, you will enter the Binnen Liede and on the left bank you will see a fort, which, like the Spaarndam fort, is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. De stelling van Amsterdam is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. You continue past the village of Haarlemmerliede and just before four bridges (the Liebruggen) there is another fort on the left. Na de bruggen komt u op de Buiten Liede met rechts een camping. Here you need to turn RIGHT onto the Ringvaart of the Haarlemmermeer.

To continue the trip, you will pass under two bridges of the Oude Schipholweg and the A205. In the middle of the Ringvaart, not far from windmill de Vijfhuis, you will see the remains of an old lock complex, once part of an inundation system that was also part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. After the bridge near the village of Vijfhuizen, you come to an open lake, the Molenplas with polder mill de Hommel on the opposite side on the right bank. The keeper operates the mill regularly and when the sails are turning, you are welcome. To the right of the mill is a landing stage for visitors. On the right bank of the lake there is a restaurant with a good boarding and disembarkation point.

After windmill de Hommel you pass under a cycle bridge and further on you will see the Cruquius steam pumping station and a small cafe on your left past two new residential towers. You will sail right up the Spaarne and pass the Schouwbroekerbrug, on your right you will see mill "de Eenhoorn" dating from 1770. Windmill "de Eenhoorn" is one of the last paltrokmills in the Netherlands while there were hundreds of this type in the Netherlands in the 18th century. These types of mills were sawmills for light sawing work. Paltrokmills were named after the coats that were widely worn in the German Palatinate in the 18th century. The mill is regularly open to the public.

You head towards the old town. Just before the Buitenrust bridge, you will see the Vlietsorg house on the left bank. This beautiful house was built in the French era, when Louis Napoleon's maltresse lived there. At the next bridge, the Langebrug but better known among Haarlemmers as the Paint Roller, go straight ahead. In front of you, you will see the Grote of st. Bavokerk. The church that is so characteristic of Haarlem's protected city silhouette as you will often see during the rest of the tour. Along the banks of this part of the Spaarne are many beautiful monuments with lovely facades. After the next bridge, the Melkbrug, you will see the Teylers Museum, the oldest museum of art and science in the Netherlands, on your left. Immediately after the Gravenstenenbrug, you will see the stepped gables of former beer brewery de Olifant on your right. Continuing on, you will arrive back at your starting point.