Arrival in Alkmaar
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 out of the polder into a discharge canal. Just outside the village stand some 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 beautiful town of Hoorn.
Today’s highlight is the lovely town of Enkhuizen. Like Hoorn, it has a history in whaling, shipbuilding, fishery and of course shipping, both having had East India Company headquarters. Excellent Zuiderzee Museum explains all about the heyday of the harbour towns of former Zuiderzee. In the 17th century, ships from these towns sailed the seven seas trading in spices and bulbs. Furthermore you can enjoy a collection of adorable architecture in a re-created Zuiderzee village of old. Continue up the coast of IJsselmeer, atop the old sea dike, enjoying views of farmland, orchards and cute old farmhouses.
Medemblik has a steam-driven pumping-station that was used to drain a polder in 1869. It’s now a steam engine museum. The route continues through Wieringermeer, a polder drained and desalinated between 1927 and 1934 to create new arable land of which there was a great shortage. The area just south of Den Helder has developed into one of the largest flower bulb growing areas in the world. Most of the bulbs are for export. In spring, when tulips, hyacinths and daffodils come into bloom, the place is a sea of colour.
The ferry crossing from Den Helder to Texel takes about twenty minutes. Texel is the largest of our five Wadden Islands, places of outstanding natural beauty. You’ll have a great time touring this island by bike, enjoying villages, countryside, dunes, beaches etc. There are many bike routes to choose from on Texel. Be sure to also visit De Slufter, a beautiful nature reserve and one of the few areas in the Netherlands where the sea has always been able to penetrate unhindered. Lilac sea lavender comes into bloom here in July and August.
Hit the tracks and head down the North Sea coast, through dunes and woodland. You will pass pretty seaside resorts and Zwanenwater dune reserve. All along our North Sea coast, dunes protect the hinterland from being flooded by the sea - except near the town of Petten. Here the dunes have been washed away and a sea wall has been built called Hondsbossche Zeewering. An interesting exhibition “Dijk te Kijk” explains all about the past, present and future of this sea wall and about the trials and tribulations of the people of Petten over the course of many centuries.
Alternative route through the bulb fields: Savour the colours as the tulip fields take center stage, situated snugly behind the dunes, a natural protective barrier against stormy seas. At the village of Petten, however, a sea wall had to be built where the dunes had been washed away – find out more at the Information Center. Later on, enter the dunes of Schoorl for a wonderful bike ride past high dune tops, dense woods and fields of heather. In recent years, pioneering dune management in De Kerf has welcomed sea water into the dune valleys. This has led to a rapid increase in biodiversity. Eventually, you will arrive at the beach. Relax, sit in the sand and take in the sea view. Further along the coast, you will come to Bergen aan Zee. At this seaside resort, treat yourself to a bite to eat and a well-earned drink. The Zee Aquarium can be visited to see 300 types of North Sea fish up close. When you arrive back at your hotel in Alkmaar, put your feet up and look back on a colourful holiday. Short cut: Skip Bergen aan Zee (58 km).
After breakfast in your hotel, you will return home.
|Daily from April 1 till September 24.|
|Single room, breakfast||780.00|
|Double room, breakfast||600.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|van der Valk hotel Hoorn, Hoorn||20.00|
|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|
|Theft insurance premium bike||€ 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|
Alkmaar - Golden Tulip Hotel Alkmaar****
Hoorn - Hotel de Keizerskroon***
Medemblik - Hotel Medemblik***
Den Helder - Hotel Lands End ***
6 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
...We were quite satisfied with this tour. Bikes were in good order and hotels OK and well located. Holland is a beutiful country to bike in. It would have been good to have a bikeroute map of the knp's....
....I shall definitely return to visit another area of your wonderful country using Dutch Bike Tours. Your hotel choices were excellent and the hospitality and foods provided were exceptional.
The daily distances you had planned suited me fine as I was then able to explore my destinations after an early afternoon arrival and before the evening meal.
I finally understood your cycle route markings after you provided me with the little numbered sheets in my welcoming pack that I received in the envelope at my first hotel.
Thanks for providing me with a wonderful holiday with so many wonderful memories and photographs....
....We had a lovely holiday, thank you.
The hotels were all great - especially nice were the Grand Hotel Alkmaar, and the Hotel Medemblik. We liked that the hotels were all in the centre of town, and it was easy to get out for a walk and see the sights once we had dropped off the bikes. Our baggage was always delivered to the hotel on time for our arrival, and some of the hotels were even kind enough to have placed our bags up in the room ready for us. The bikes were great quality, and we had no trouble navigating once we had worked out the junction system on the first day. The handlebar-mounted junction list was brilliant, and between this and the map, and we rarely bothered to use the detailed written instructions. We especially liked the rides on Days 1 (Alkmaar to Hoorn), 2 (Hoorn to Medemblik) and 4 (Den Helder to Alkmaar). Highlights were the ride along the sea wall between Enzhuizen and Medemblik, and the ride down the coast through the Dunes and Tulip fields from Den Helder to Alkmaar.
Alkmaar, Hoorn and Medemblik were great stop-overs.
For us, this was the first cycle trip we had done, and was well suited to us given the mostly flat terrain, quality bike paths followed on the route, and a manageable distance each day. Due to a great experience we will definitely be looking into more cycle tours with your company in the future....
....Thank you very much for your kind email and for the perfect organization.
We visited Netherlands many times and have been planning a bike trip for ten years or more AND IT WAS MAGNIFICIENT.
Perfect organization, perfect selection of hotels and courses, perfect luggage transfer, good bikes and no hidden costs.
We could not organize a similar trip on our selves for the same money.
We would like to add these comments to the trip advisor or anywhere you like....