Arrival in Utrecht
Idyllic scenery today as you cycle to Amsterdam on the banks of the lovely River Vecht. Characteristic for this area are the many stately homes and summerhouses built by rich Amsterdam merchants in the 17th and 18th Centuries. At the end of the day, Amsterdam awaits! Everyone has their own reasons for loving this remarkable city. What will yours be?
There’s so much to see and do in Amsterdam. Have you seen the new and improved Rijksmuseum? The Maritime Museum, Van Gogh, Anne Frank…? Then take your leave of the city, set those wheels in motion and head west. As you approach elegant Haarlem, St. Bavo basilica dominates the skyline. A great city for shopping, the pedestrianized city centre is a delight. Look up at the façades of historical buildings on the wonderful main market square. Will you have enough time to pop in at Frans Hals museum of 17th-century Dutch masters? Be sure to make it to the beach in time to see the sun set into the sea! Zandvoort is a well-known seaside resort.
The sandy beaches of the North Sea are backed by dune systems that safeguard the hinterland from the sea. Today you will cycle through a Dune Reserve and a National Park that protect the many species of dune flora and fauna.
Alkmaar is world famous for the traditional Friday morning cheese market put on for tourists from the beginning of April through to the beginning of September. On today’s scenic coast-to-coast bike ride you will stop off at the picturesque village of Schermerhorn on the border of Schermer and Beemster polders. Schermerhorn was an island of whalers until, in the 17th century, private investors from Amsterdam decided to transform the lakes surrounding the village into polders and then sell off the new land. The polders were drained by windmills that scooped the water up over the dike into a discharge canal. Just outside the village stand three of the windmills that did this job – and what a pretty picture they make! Opt to visit Schermer Museum Windmill and experience the workings and rhythmic creaking of the moving parts. “The Beemster Polder, dating from the early 17th century, is an exceptional example of reclaimed land in the Netherlands. It has preserved intact its well-ordered landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements, laid out in accordance with classical and Renaissance planning principles” is how the entry on the World Heritage List reads. On the shore of Lake IJsselmeer, you will see the Dutch Golden Age reflected in the historical buildings of the pretty towns of Hoorn and Enkhuizen. For a history lesson go to Zuiderzee Museum. It boasts a recreated village of old, complete with traditional craftsmen in folk costume. You can also learn about the trading routes sailed by seafaring villagers from the shores of the Zuiderzee: For centuries, dried fish and Edam cheese were exported all over Europe; grain from Poland was shipped to Italy; wine shipped back to Amsterdam etc.
A 32-km dike will take you across the waters to the town of Lelystad in the Flevo Polder, the newest part of the Netherlands, reclaimed in 1968! Lelystad is named after the architect of the Zuiderzee Works, Cornelis Lely. The Zuiderzee Works started with the building of the great closure dam (1932) that cut off Zuiderzee sea from the North Sea. It turned a choppy sea into a harmless lake and put a stop to regular floods. Subsequently, polders were created in the lake because there was a great need for more farmland. Museum Nieuwland explains in detail why and how the Flevo Polder came to be and how it affected the people who used to live by the sea. Our bicycle route continues on the new land, through woods and cropfields, while we try to imagine how much fun spatial planners and urban planners must have had planning this whole place from scratch. At the end of the day you will reach Harderwijk. Once upon a time it was a bustling Hansa town and a thriving fishing port by the sea - but now it’s on a lake overlooking a polder!
Please note that until further notice the cycle path on the dike is partly closed due to construction works. There is a shutte bus you can take (incl. bike). You will receive more information in your travel documents. In the summer months the bike path is expected to be open again.
Along the shores of Randmeren lakes you’ll reach Hertog Reijnout steam-driven pumping station (1883-1983), used to drain Arkemheen polder. The next stop is Spakenburg, a former fishing village with a picturesque museum harbour and shipyard for “botters”, Zuiderzee fishing boats. In the afternoon, the woods hold all kinds of surprises including a royal palace, a famous pancake inn and a treetop climbing park.
After breakfast in your hotel, you will return home.
Daily from April 1 till September 23.
|Single room, breakfast||920.00|
|Double room, breakfast||710.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Westcord Art Hotel, Amsterdam||10.00|
|Surcharges per room||€|
|Stay in Amsterdam on saturday||35.00|
|Stay in Amsterdam from:
2019-09-12 - 2019-09-16
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 2.75 x 7||19.25|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 7||35.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 7||21.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 7||42.00|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 7||42.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 7||122.50|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
Utrecht or Amsterdam
Utrecht - Hotel Mitland****
Amsterdam - Westcord Art Hotel*** & ****
Zandvoort - Palace Hotel Zandvoort****
Alkmaar - Grand Hotel Alkmaar****
Enkhuizen - Hotel de Koepoort****
Harderwijk - Best Western Hotel Baars****
7 Nights included
3/4 Star Hotels
Breakfast included, Halfboard optional
Tourist information on all the places of interest
The possibility of renting our bikes
7-days a week service-hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included
...liked the route along the coast and beside the zee...
....We were on the Dunes & Canals Tour from July 14-July 21. Overall we had a grand time seeing the Netherlands by bike. The bikes were excellent, accommodations fine, and the trip was well organized. The ride on the Dike from Hoorn to Enkhuizen with the wind at our backs was bliss!! Also the ride north in the Dunes towards Alkmaar was magnificent!! We would take another trip with you; and probably stay more than one day in at least one hotel. Thank you for a wonderful adventure!!....