The Netherlands, or Holland as its better known in UK is a country partly reclaimed from the waters of the North Sea, and around half of it lies at or below sea level.
The Netherlands is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest population density in Europe, its sixteen million or so inhabitants concentrated into an area about the size of southern England.
It is easy to imagine this country as just Amsterdam, but the Netherlands is far more than just its capital. There are a string of impressive cities including Arnhem, The Hague and Rotterdam and out in the countryside, any sense of monotony you may have is soon broken by stunning medieval towns like Utrecht and Delft.
It should come as no surprise that the Netherlands is one of Europe's most liberal nations; it is after all the country that unleashed the reality TV show Big Brother on an unsuspecting world.