Dutch Bike Tours Cycling holiday Lake IJssel and V.O.C.Tour
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Lake IJssel and V.O.C.Tour
Lake IJssel and V.O.C.Tour
Type :
Level :
Duration :
7 days
Cycling days :
Comfort :
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
IJsselmeer History Amsterdam Culture Nature
price from € 610
Lake IJssel and V.O.C.Tour
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Lake IJssel and V.O.C.Tour


Bike Tour: Lake IJssel and V.O.C.Tour - 7 days

Lake IJssel used to be a saltwater inlet of the North Sea called Zuiderzee. After yet another big flood in 1916 it was finally decided to build a dike across the mouth of the Zuiderzee, cutting it off from the North Sea. The Closure Dike was completed in 1932. Fresh water from the River IJssel replaced the salt water creating a lake. By 1968, the Dutch had transformed part of the lake into squares of usable land called polders. But most of the lake remained water, used mainly for recreational purposes.

Day 1: Arrival in Utrecht
Day 2: Utrecht - Amsterdam
Day 3: Amsterdam - Alkmaar
Day 4: Alkmaar - Enkhuizen
Day 5: Enkhuizen - Harderwijk
Day 6: Harderwijk - Utrecht
Day 7: Return Home

Day 1:    Arrival in Utrecht

Arrival in Utrecht

Day 2:    Utrecht - Amsterdam
62 km

In the morning, the lively centre of the big city of Utrecht will draw you to its attractive canals and unique wharves, of which Oude Gracht is a prime example. Explore the pretty Museum Quarter or go (window) shopping on one of the quieter shopping streets. Then plunge into peaceful countryside. On the banks of the River Vecht, beautiful stately homes and garden pavilions built by rich Amsterdam merchants in the 17th and 18th Centuries are reminders of the Golden Age. Follow the River Amstel into Amsterdam. Why not crown your day by roaming the prized canal district? In the evening, the bright white lights coming from the many windows of the tall narrow canal houses make for an enchanting scene.

Day 3:    Amsterdam - Alkmaar
62 km

Just north of Amsterdam, the Zaan is a region of great interest. On the banks of the River Zaan, you will discover the rich industrial heritage of many centuries. If you are into industrial architecture, you’re in luck! Seventeenth century Amsterdam was global leader in shipping and trade. The tiny Zaan region provided the industry to make it all possible - fuelled by wind power! Around six hundred industrial mills, sawmills for example, drove the economic growth. Millers, blacksmiths, weavers, carpenters, ship builders and countless other craftsmen helped produce paint, cloth, sailcloth, paper, tobacco, candles, barrels, whale oil, etc. Find out more at Zaans Museum. Next door is Zaanse Schans, a collection of 17th and 18th century local architecture: adorable green wooden buildings, bridges and windmills. Tourists watch clog-, cheese- and tin-making demonstrations. Treat yourself to a pancake before you hop back onto your bike and head for Heiloo and the final destination Alkmaar. 

Day 4:    Alkmaar - Enkhuizen
60 km

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 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 – 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.

Day 5:    Enkhuizen - Harderwijk
61 km

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!  

Day 6:    Harderwijk - Utrecht
61 km

Set off along the shore of Randmeren lakes. In the afternoon the forest takes centre stage and harbours all kinds of surprises: a famous pancake inn, castles, a royal palace and – for the adventurous among you – a forest rope-climbing experience. 

Day 7:    Return Home

After breakfast in your hotel, you will return home.

Starting dates:

Daily from April 1 till September 24

Prices €
Per person in a double room
6 nights’ accommodation, breakfast included
A supplement will be required for:
Single room (€ 30 x 6) 180,00
Dinner (€ 27,50 x 6) 180,00
Bike rental (€ 12 x 6) 72,00
E-Bike (€ 25 x 6) 150,00
Emergency Call Out Service/Bike breakdown pass (€ 2,75 x 6) 16,50
GPS rental 10,00
Surcharge staying overnight in Amsterdam on Saturday in a double room  17,50
Surcharge staying overnight in Amsterdam on Saturday in a single room 35,00
Surcharge staying overnight in Amsterdam during the periods
13 - 15 April 2019
20 - 21 May 2019
12 - 15 June 2019
12 - 16 September 2019
14 - 18 September 2018
staying overnight in a double room 
staying overnight in a single room 

Extra night 70,00

Price pp
Double room, breakfast 610.00
Single room, breakfast 790.00
Dinner 180.00
Extra night (breakfast only) 70.00
Season surcharges
2020-07-01 - 2020-08-31 10.00
Surcharges per person
Stay in Amsterdam on saturday 20.00
Stay in Amsterdam from:
2020-08-01 - 2020-08-01
2021-04-02 - 2021-04-05
2021-04-16 - 2021-04-17
2021-05-13 - 2021-05-15
2021-05-22 - 2021-05-24
2021-10-15 - 2021-10-17
Rental bike
Child bike 60.00
Hybrid 72.00
Premium bike 120.00
Ebike 150.00
Extra services
Bike Breakdown pass € 2.75 x 6 16.50
Child seat € 5.00 x 6 30.00
Bike theft insurance € 3.00 x 6 18.00
E-bike theft insurance € 6.00 x 6 36.00
Extra luggage € 5.00 x 6 30.00
Add on bike € 6.00 x 6 36.00
Child trailer € 17.50 x 6 105.00
Bike helmet per piece 10.00
GPS per piece 20.00

Starting point:
Utrecht or Amsterdam


Below are the accommodations that we book as standard for this trip. They are carefully selected by us for cyclists. All rooms have a shower or bath and toilet. If one of the hotels is fully booked, we will reserve a comparable alternative.

Hotel Mitland **** (Utrecht)
Westcord Art Hotel ***/**** (Amsterdam)
Grand Hotel Alkmaar **** (Alkmaar)
Hotel de Koepoort **** (Enkhuizen)
Best Western Hotel Baars **** (Harderwijk)

If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. Our touring bikes are 24-speed gear. You can find all the information regarding our rental bikes below.

You will find your rental bikes waiting for you at your first hotel. The hotel reception staff will give you the keys for your bikes and direct you to the bicycle shed. All bikes are provided with chain locks. 

Why the Dutch don't wear helmets! 

Instruction video hybrid bike and e-bike



practical info

6 Nights included

3/4 Star Hotels

Tourist tax included

Breakfast included, Halfboard optional

Detailed roadbooks with maps and tourist information

The possibility of renting our bikes

7-days a week service-hotline

Luggage transport to your next hotel

CS Utrecht

Parking possibilities at the hotel

GPS-tracks availible

Any ferry crossings are not included

Arrival info

Nearest Airport is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

The train from Schiphol to Utrecht leaves 4 times per hour. The journey time is approximately 30 minutes. A single ticket costs around € 10 per person (without bike).


For timetables and tickets, go to For more information on buses, how to reach the hotel, see:



...We loved the bike tour.  The quality of the bikes, the baggage delivery and so on was excellent.  We had a fantastic time and we will do it again.  It is a wonderful way to visit your beautiful country...


...we really enjoyed the trip. It was well organised with interesting sights to see each day. The hotels were good also. Casa in Amsterdam offered us towels at reception when we arrived as it was a bit wet that day. I also liked it that there was indoor storage for the bikes at all the hotels...


....Everything was fine....



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