The highlights of this cycling holiday are Weerribben-Wieden National Park and the colourful tulip fields of Flevoland. For some cultural history we have also included popular Giethoorn, the village with no roads.
A large part of the route traverses the Noordoostpolder. The polder was drained in 1942 and lies six meters below sea level. The lay-out of the polder was designed in the 1940s and 1950s with Emmeloord as the regional center and ten smaller villages within cycling distance. The vast agricultural region was given straight roads and canals. The 20,000-hectare bulb flower fields of the Noordoostpolder specialize in tulips.
Your cycling holiday starts in Lelystad, the capital of Flevoland. Lelystad is named after Cornelis Lely, the engineer of the Zuiderzee Works. The town is located in East Flevoland, a polder that was reclaimed in 1957. In 1967 the first inhabitants came to Lelystad - pioneers, we called them, their houses standing in the mud of the former seabed. In Batavialand Museum, you can find out more about the ZuiderZee Works. Furthermore, you can visit Batavia Shipyard where replicas of historical sailing ships are constructed. Take a guided tour of a replica of a carrier from the 17th century.
Lelystad is also known for Bataviastad, a fashion outlet center. The welcoming center was designed with a West Indian colonial settlement in mind: traditional Dutch style buildings with a splash of Caribbean colour. It houses 150 factory fashion outlets with well-known brands.
South of town is a nature reserve called Oostvaardersplassen (closed to the public). After South Flevoland polder was drained, this corner of the polder was not taken into development. Soon nature took hold on the former seabed, birds arrived, and species-rich grassland habitats developed. Later, wild Konik horses, heck cattle and red deer were brought in to graze the area and keep it wide open. In 2009, it was designated a Natura 2000 area: The many bird species, including the rare white-tailed eagle, are now protected by European Law.
After a hearty breakfast, mount your bikes and set off! Fields of potatoes, beets, onions, wheat and other agricultural products are interspersed with fields of tulips and other spring flowers. Near the village of Swifterbant, enter an area that lies five meters below sea level. Next cross Ketelbrug into the Noordoostpolder, drained in 1942. Your first stop is the picturesque town of Urk, formerly an island in the Zuiderzee. The Urkers, being islanders, were a traditionally isolated and introspective community. Even today, they are close-knit and the most devoutly Protestant municipality in the Netherlands. The men of Urk work hard as fishermen or in the fish processing industry so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy delicious fresh fish at a restaurant by the harbour. As the only historical town in the Noordoostpolder, it boasts narrow cobbled streets and cute little houses. After Urk, get back on your bikes to cycle along the shore of glistening IJsselmeer, the former Zuiderzee. Then proceed through the beautiful heart of flower bulb cultivation in the Noordoostpolder, around Espel, Creil and Rutten. End the day in Friesland province. In touristic Lemmer, one of the most famous northern water sports resorts, enjoy a well-earned rest.
Short-cut: From Urk it is also possible to take an 8 km shorter route directly to Espel.
Today you will again cycle past beautiful tulip fields. After the woods of Kuinderbos you can opt for a detour to Orchideeënhoeve Zoo in Luttelgeest: The various exotic animals, butterflies, flowers and tropical gardens are well-worth a visit. The route continues past many bulb flower fields along the border with Overijssel province. Both the villages of Blokzijl and Vollenhove used to stand on the shore of the Zuiderzee. Today, instead of sea they have the Noordoostpolder on their doorstep. But you can still visit Blokzijl harbour with its lovely old houses and warehouses. On the way to Vollenhove, stop off at A. A. F. Stroïnk, a steam-powered pumping station that drained the polder in the age of steam.
Day 3 Option B: Lemmer – Vollenhove, through the National Park
Alternative route for nature lovers: Instead of touring the tulip fields in the Noordoostpolder, cycle to Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Have you booked a 5-day trip skipping day 4? This alternative route will still allow you to visit the famous village of Giethoorn.
After soaking up the atmosphere in historical Vollenhove, set off for Giethoorn, known – tongue in cheek – as Venice of the North. If you are in for some fun, join the tourists cruising down the main canal in electric boats. Not all tourists are experienced navigators so comical collisions do occur! Alternatively, take the footpath. What is there to see in this village? Old farmhouses with thatched roofs and well-maintained gardens; painted wooden footbridges; local history museum ‘t Olde Maat Uus; and boatyards where punters are made.
Furthermore, on today’s unforgettable route, you will explore the southern part of the National Park, i.e. De Wieden. Lakes include Beukelakerwijde and Belterwijde. All stages of ecological succession can be seen in De Wieden, from open water to reed beds, to dry (grass)land, to woods. Talking of succession, in De Wieden you can come across places where you can jump up and down on a springy floating mat of bog vegetation: quaking bog! Another unique and wonderful experience is cycling past hay lands full of wildflowers. Finally, villages on today’s route include Dwarsgracht, Belt-Schutsloot and Zwartsluis with its historical harbour.
Short-cut: skip Belt-Schutsloot and Zwartsluis (44 km)
The highlight of the day is Schokland, a strip of land 4 km long and 400 meters wide with an eventful history. It was inhabited for 10,000 years. Initially, it was part of the mainland. Around 1450 it became an island in the Zuiderzee. By 1795, it is known that 650 people lived there, in poor housing. Over time, bit by bit, the island crumbled into the encroaching sea forcing the islanders to retreat to the highest three dwelling mounds. Being islanders, they lived in great isolation. Nonetheless, the inhabitants of the northern half of the island, Catholics, did not mingle with the Protestants on the southern half. They even spoke different dialects! Life on Schokland ended abruptly in 1859 when the last inhabitants were forcibly evacuated because their drinking water had become saline and their homes unfit to live in. After the creation of the Noordoostpolder, Schokland was incorporated into the surrounding polderland. Because of its bizarre history, Schokland has come to symbolize the Netherlands’ battle against the water. In Schokland Museum, geological, archaeological and historical objects paint a picture of Schokland and its inhabitants going back to prehistoric times.
After days of cycling in the fresh air, you will undoubtedly sleep well. After a delicious breakfast, your cycling holiday will come to an end. Return home feeling fulfilled.
|Double room, breakfast||510.00|
|Single room, breakfast||660.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 3.00 x 5||15.00|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 5||25.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 5||15.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Theft insurance premium bike||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Extra luggage||€ 5.00 x 5||25.00|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 5||87.50|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
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.
All our rental bikes come with a bell.
All our adult bikes come with hand brakes.
For children up to 30 months old (max. 15 KG) it is possible to rent a front child seat. This is not possible with e-bikes, due to the display.
For children older than 30 months (max. 22KG) it is possible to rent a rear child seat. This is also possible with e-bikes.
Both front- and rear child seats are €5,- per day.
It is possible to rent a GPS device when you start your tour in Amsterdam, Bruges, Utrecht, Huizen or Bunnik for €20,-.
Helmets are not mandatory in the Netherlands, but can be rented for €10,- per piece.
Available sizes: Adult: 54-61 cm, Child: 50-55 cm.
All our bikes come with both front- and rear lights. You need to push the button on the lamp and it will flash three times. This means that the lights will automatically start working when it gets dark.
When you push again, the lamp will flash one time and the lights will be turned off.
Our bikes come with a defender lock with plug in chain (cable lock that is attached to the regular lock, see picture).
You need to turn the key a bit, take out the pin from the cable lock and attach it to a pole/other bike/fence etc.
When you push the pin back into the regular lock, you need to lock the regular lock as you always do, and both locks will be secured.
1 pannier is included at the 'standard' bikes and the e-bikes.
Height: 42 cm
Depth front to the side: 17 cm
Wide top: 32 cm
Wide down: 23 cm
Volume: 20 liters
It has an easy click-on/click-off system. The panniers are water resistant, so everything will stay dry.
The rental bikes come with regular pedals, so no click-in/SPD pedals.
All our bikes come with a quick release system, which makes it very easy to adjust the height of the saddle and the handle bars.
There is one small puncture kit included, which can be found in the pannier. In case a rental bike has another problem, we always advise you to go to a bike repair shop or call the bike breakdown emergency number which is provided in the travel documents when you book this extra service.
Saddles can be adjusted in height without using any tools, see ‘Quick Release’.
Our saddles don’t come with a gel cover.
Dutch Biketours does not provide water bottles. We can also not guarantee that there are bottle holders on the bikes. You will always receive 1x pannier, so you can always store your water bottle in your pannier.
A Racing bike is € 20,00 a day.
Two of our mostly used race bikes are Montreal 74 Eddy Merckx and Blockhaus 67 Eddy Merckx, both unisex.
The bikes are made from aluminium.
A Tag-along bike is €6,00 a day.
A tag-along bike is a good option for children between approx. 100 cm and 125 cm, as they can pedal themselves and on their own pace but don’t have to worry about other traffic.
A Tandem bike is € 20,00 a day.
We have a limited amount of tandem bikes available on request.
Tandem bikes are suitable for two adults only.
The tandem bikes have a frame size of 48 cm.
We mostly use the Victoria Spezial 8.7.
This tandem bike comes with 24-derailleur gears or nuvinci gears.
The height of the handle bars on a tandem bike cannot be adjusted.
A child’s bike is € 10,00 a day.
For children who are at least 125 cm, we can also arrange bikes (these are 24”or 26” for children that are bigger than 140 cm).
The child bikes come with at least 7-gears and hand brakes.
The maximum body height for a child’s bike is 155 cm.
24" child bike:
26" child bike:
A child trailer is €17,50 a day.
Child trailers can be rented for a maximum of two children who are up to 100 cm (max. 35 KG in total).
We mostly use the XLC Duo 2 child trailer.
Child trailers are not possible in combination with e-bikes.
An electric bike is €25,00 a day.
The e-bikes have a small electric engine and battery, which can be charged at the hotels. You still have to pedal: it just makes pedaling much easier. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes because of the electric engine.The weight of the e-bike is ca. 27 KG.
A family tandem is €20,00 a day.
We have limited family tandem bikes available on request.
The family tandems have 7-gears and can be used for one adult and one child with a minimum body height of 125 cm.
A standard hybrid bike is €12,00 a day.
Our hybrid bikes have 21-gears with hand brakes.
The hybrid bikes are circa 16,5 KG.
Do you wish to insure your bike against theft? The cost is € 3,- per day per standard hybrid bicycle.
For an electric bicycle, premium bike or racing bike: € 6,00 per day per bicycle.
Please see the General Terms and Conditions for Bicycle Hire and Insurance.
If a rental bike gets stolen or damaged, we will hold the client responsible.
If your insurance does not cover this event, you will have to pay the costs yourself.
Mile after wonderful mile of untroubled cycling is what we would wish our clients. However there is a minimal chance of breakdown along the way. If this thought is a nagging worry to you, a Bicycle Breakdown Assistance insurance policy may ease your mind. If you buy this insurance from our partner FietsNED in advance, their service is as follows. If your bike breaks down by the roadside a FietsNED bicycle repair man will drive to you in his repair van and fix your bike so you can continue your tour.You won’t have to pay him repair costs. If you are cycling on your own bicycle you will be charged for any new spare parts your bike may require. If you are renting a bicycle through Dutch Bike Tours any new parts are at our expense. If it turns out the bicycle cannot be repaired on the spot, or if you don’t wish to continue cycling, the repairman can drop you off somewhere in his van. One companion plus bikes may join you in the van.
The Bike Breakdown Pass is €2,75 per day per bike and can only be booked for every participant in a booking.
Article 1 Bike Rental Price
The bike rental price is determined by the rates mentioned on the Dutch Bike Tours website at the time of the booking; or as subsequently agreed.
Article 2 Payment
a. The rental price and any other due sums regarding the rental agreement must be paid before the bike is handed over to you.
b. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make use of the bike(s) you have rented, Dutch Bike Tours will not be held responsible for any resulting expenses or damage.
c. In the case of the article 2b, the client remains obliged to pay the full rental price and any other amounts mentioned in the invoice, in accordance with our General Terms and Conditions of Booking, unless the client can prove that his not being able to use the bike was the consequence of a defect that was already present at the beginning of the rental period.
Article 3 Rental Period
a. The rental period runs from the morning of the first cycling day (day 2) to the end of the holiday (the departure day), as stated in the booking confirmation.
b. Extension of the rental period is possible only after approval by us and according to the (extension) rates as mentioned in article 1.
c. No refunds are possible after the rental period begins. If you return the bike(s) to us before the end of your holiday, the rental agreement will automatically be terminated and you will not get any of your money back.
d. At the end of the last cycling day of your holiday, the bike(s) must be returned to the hotel from where it was/they were issued, no later than the time stated in the booking confirmation.
If you book a one way tour tour you can leave the bike at the last hotel of the trip.
e. If the bike(s) is /are not returned by the return time stated in the booking confirmation, we will continue to charge you rent until such time as the bike(s) is/are returned to us or is/are received by us. In the event of late return, the rates as mentioned in article 1 will continue to apply, plus a fine of €25 per day. We also reserve the right to demand payment for any costs and/or damages suffered by us due to late return of our rental bike(s).
f. Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, in the event of late return of our rental bikes, we reserve the right to dissolve the rental agreement without judicial intervention and immediately claim back our bicycles where ever they may be and from whomever has them. Dutch Bike Tours also holds this right in the event that the client does not comply with any of the other conditions stated in this rental agreement.
Article 4 Improper Use
a. The bicycle(s) may only be used for its/their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the rental agreement.
b. The bike(s) must be returned to us in the same (clean!) state in which you received it/them.
c. You must take excellent care of the bicycle(s), as if it/they were your own. You must take every precaution against damage, loss or theft.
d. The bicycle may not be used on the beach; or on sandy paths in the dunes unless a paved path is unavailable.
Article 5 Damage, Loss and Theft
The renter will be held responsible for damages to or loss of the bicycle(s) or parts of it, as well as bicycle keys and chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. You must understand that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.
Article 6 Theft Insurance
It is possible to purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance. Covered are: damages arising out of the theft of the bicycle; and damages to the bicycle as a consequence of the theft. Not covered are: theft of bicycle parts; and damages arising out of attempted theft.
Article 7 Theft Insurance Premium
a. The premium for Bicycle Theft Insurance is € 3,00 per day per standard hybrid bicycle. For an electric bicycle € 6,00 per day as well for a Premium bike and racing bike.
The number of insurance days is the same as the number of cycling days as stated in our booking confirmation.
Article 8 Liability in the Event of Theft
a. If you did not purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us before the start of the holiday, you will be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.
b. If you did purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us, but you failed to lock the wheel lock and failed to produce the original wheel lock key and failed to produce an official theft report drawn up by the police, you will still be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.
Article 9 Costs During the Rental Period
Any charges and taxes regarding the rental bicycle(s), such as fines and ferry tickets, are to be paid by you. You will also be required to pay all costs ensuing from the use of the bicycle(s) such as parking fees, maintenance and repairs.
5 Nights included
3/4 Star Hotels
Tourist tax included
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
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included