, which is but a small part of the Netherlands, is one of the most picturesque yachting destinations in the world with its backdrop of green countryside, windmills and tulip fields. The main area for yachting is Noord-Holland, a peninsula that is encircled by the North Sea and the Ijsselmcer, which is a man-made shallow lake created by a dam. In addition, one quarter of the area of Noord-Holland is made up of waterways and lakes that form a network throughout the entire Province, suitable for yachting. This also provides endless water sports opportunities such as surfing, canoeing, fishing and sailing, with many onshore activities available as well. Holland is known for their international Catamaran Race around Texel, and sailing enthusiasts look forward to the world championship competitions at Andijk and Medemblik. Many of the yachting harbors in Holland were once old-time fishing ports or commercial harbors, where today tourists delight in exploring the quaint towns and the colorful Dutch bulb fields. Two such yachting harbors are located in the towns of Volendam and Muiden. Holland also has many yacht leasing companies with everything from luxury sailboats and motor yachts to rowing boats. The yachting season in Holland generally runs from the beginning of March to mid-November, with autumn having especially lovely weather.