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International Hanseatic Cities Route
International Hanseatic Cities Route
Hybrid :
E-Bike :
Duration :
11 days
Cycling days :
Comfort :
May Jun Jul Aug Sep
History Culture Nature Cities
price from € 1.280
International Hanseatic Cities Route
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International Hanseatic Cities Route


Bike Tour: International Hanseatic Cities Route - 11 days

"The Hanseatic cities - then and now" is the credo of this 455-kilometer cross-border route. A fascinating bike tour which follows the footsteps of old German and Dutch merchants, full of history and modernity. Downstream along well-known rivers from the German city of Neuss to the Dutch city of Harderwijk through beautiful nature and varied landscapes. Experience the golden age of no less than sixteen historic trading cities in a row. Cycle through medieval streets and old quays, past the remains of the city wall... you will find out that time has never stopped.

Day 1: Arrival in Neuss (Düsseldorf) (D)
Day 2: Neuss (D) - Homberg (D)
Day 3: Homberg (D) - Xanten (D)
Day 4: Xanten (D) - Emmerich (D)
Day 5: Emmerich (D) - Nijmegen (NL)
Day 6: Nijmegen (NL) - Doesburg (NL)
Day 7: Doesburg (NL) - Deventer (NL)
Day 8: Deventer (NL) - Zwolle (NL)
Day 9: Zwolle (NL) - Kampen (NL)
Day 10: Kampen (NL) - Harderwijk (NL)
Day 11: Return home

Day 1:    Arrival in Neuss (Düsseldorf) (D)

Arrival in Neuss. The hotel is located in a quiet spot a few kilometres outside the city centre on the banks of the Rhine. Tomorrow's cycle tour will take you through the heart of the Hanseatic city of Neuss anyway. If you are early, you can still explore Düsseldorf's old city centre and it's famous Königsallee from the hotel today.

Day 2:    Neuss (D) - Homberg (D)
50 km

You soon reach the centre of Neuss is a lively, former Hanseatic city on the Rhine with old warehouses, a sizeable inner harbour and historical sights. Especially worth a visit is the imposing Quirinus-Münster, which was awarded the honorary title of 'basilica minor' by Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of its 800th anniversary. Next to this beautiful church is the market square with several cafés and restaurants.

Just past the centre of Neuss, the Hanseatic Towns Cycle Route shows its best side: for here it runs along the North Canal. Tall trees line the cycle path, cool air rises from the canal and dozens of birds chirp in the branches.

The diversions via Meerbusch is very entertaining, as it takes you through Millionärsland. Meerbusch has the highest density of ultra-rich. Futuristic, all-glass villas and delightfully old-fashioned-looking cottages - it is hard to decide which one you would prefer to live in. The route briefly deviates from the Rhine to visit the centre of Uerdingen. This little town received city rights back in 1255.Then continue past Atrop to Homberg, a bit of Duisburg on the left bank of the Rhine.

Day 3:    Homberg (D) - Xanten (D)
56 km

From the hotel it is only a stone's throw to the Friedrich Ebert Bridge - the Hansa Cycle Route continues over it to Wesel. Behind Duisburg, everything is a bit bigger: mighty container ships sail on the Rhine and the Hansa Cycle Route temporarily becomes a cycling motorway. On flat gravel and with a slight tailwind, the cycle kilometres flow along far faster than the Rhine.

But as always, the landscape soon changes again and it becomes idyllic: free-range sheep populate the dikes, bleating and watching the cyclists. Shortly before Wesel, the renaturalised mouth of the Lippe awaits the cyclists. From the mouth of the Lippe, the Hanser cycle path leads directly into the city centre. Wesel suffered a very similar fate to Neuss during the Second World War. Architectural beauty fell victim to the bombs and what was hastily raised in the post-war years was primarily functional. But still: some particularly beautiful buildings have survived the test of time and others have been faithfully rebuilt.

After Wesel, you cross the Rhine again over a bridge to the left side of the Rhine. There you cycle through the nature reserve 'Bislicher Insel' Cross a small bridge over the Altrhein to reach Xanten with its historic town centre and richly decorated St. Victor's Cathedral. Be sure to visit Germany's largest open-air archaeological museum, on the site where the city of Colonia Ulpia Traiana stood in Roman times.

Day 4:    Xanten (D) - Emmerich (D)
48 km

On the way down, you cycle through the historic centre of Xanten once again. And if you didn't manage to visit the archaeological park with the excavations of the ancient Roman town yesterday, you will now get another opportunity. The route continues past 2 lakes that invite you to swim and go boating. Follow the Rhine downstream through the Reeser Schanz nature reserve and take the passenger ferry 'Rääße Pöntje' to historic Rees, the oldest town on the Lower Rhine.

Most of the medieval town walls have been preserved to this day, along with the round tower, the mill and customs tower and several watchtowers. Here you will also find one of the most beautiful German Rhine promenades, an excellent place for a well-deserved coffee break. Over the bridge at Rees you cross the Rhine again and pass inviting bathing lakes on the way to Kalkar & Grieth. In Kalkar, enjoy the medieval architecture, the houses with stepped gables around the market square, the beautiful town hall and the old court lime tree.

After Grieth, you pass Germany's longest suspension bridge, the 'Golden Gate of the Lower Rhine', on your way to Emmerich. In the old Hanseatic city you can stroll along the beautiful Rhine promenade this evening.

Day 5:    Emmerich (D) - Nijmegen (NL)
60 km

After leaving Emmerich, you will soon pass the German-Dutch border and go up and down through the hilly Montferland. In 's Heerenberg, a lively terrace village with historic alleys, you will find one of the largest medieval castles in the Netherlands, Kasteel Huis Bergh. Cycle through the green Bergherbos and then descend again after the German town of Elten to the Gelderse Poort, the special place where the Rhine has broken through the moraine. Through the watery Ossenwaard and the new, bird-rich nature of Carvium Novum you finally reach the Waal.

A bicycle ferry takes you to Millingen aan de Rijn. Continue through the rugged nature of the Millingerwaard and the beautiful, photogenic Ooyse polderland with its grassy meadows, dikes, old river arms and scours. Stop at the cosy terraces of the Thornsche mill or Oortjeshekken. In the distance, the contours of the High Dam reappear, the oldest city in the Netherlands comes into view, the Hanseatic city of Nijmegen.

Day 6:    Nijmegen (NL) - Doesburg (NL)
50 km

After a final stretch over the dike along the Waal River, you cycle through the new Lingezegen Landscape Park. 2000 years ago, the Limes, the northernmost border of the Roman Empire, was located here. The information boards along the way provide information about this. After Elst follows Driel, where you cross the slow-flowing Lower Rhine by ferry. Once in Arnhem, you can visit the Airborne at the Bridge museum on the Rijnkade overlooking the famous John Frost Bridge, which deals with the Battle of Arnhem during the Second World War. It's a great place to take a break in the spacious, green Sonsbeek Park on the outskirts of the city. After Arnhem, you swap the Nederrijn for the IJssel and cycle over dikes with views of the floodplains.

Soon the church tower of Doesburg comes into view. You cross your fourth river, the Oude IJssel, via the locks and finally end up in the monumental city of Doesburg with its many shops, galleries and museums. Visit the Mustard Museum or the Lalique Glass Museum, but first settle down at the 'Stadsbierhuys de Waag', the oldest inn in the Netherlands, in the heart of the city and try the famous mustard soup, or opt for the trendy 'Arsenaal' with its green walled terrace, housed in a beautiful medieval building that served as an armoury for about two hundred years.

Day 7:    Doesburg (NL) - Deventer (NL)
59 km

Today, you mainly follow the high dykes along the IJssel and enjoy the geese in the floodplains, the egrets in the meadow and the swallows above your head. Ships cut through the fast-flowing, glistening IJssel water. On this delightful day trip, you first reach the small, photogenic Bronkhorst, which with its cobbled streets and farmhouses proves to be an excellent coffee stop. Once again once on the road, you can already see the outline of Hanseatic city Zutphen in the distance. Stroll through the historic centre here and treat yourself to lunch, for example in the beautiful 'Oude Bornhof'.

You continue cycling past slightly higher farms, past meadows with grazing cows, stately rows of trees and dense hedges. It becomes more wooded and you pass some estates. High above the landscape is the tower of 13th-century Slot Nijenbeek. Lovers of modern art naturally take a ferry to the magnificent Museum 'More' in Gorssel. The silhouette of the imposing Lebuïnus church signals your approach to the Hanseatic city of Deventer.

You can choose between a longer (59 km) and shorter (44 km) route. The shorter version crosses the IJssel at Gorssel by ferry and then heads to the hotel in the south of Deventer. You will then not pass through the centre of Deventer (but you will the next day). The longer route continues to follow the west bank of the IJssel and crosses the IJssel along the railway bridge in Deventer. If the ferry at Gorssel does not sail (in case of too high or too low water or for other reasons), follow the longer route anyway.

Day 8:    Deventer (NL) - Zwolle (NL)
48 km

Today, you will continue north along the IJssel River. If you did not do so yesterday, take time to explore Deventer. Apart from its historic centre with its many bookshops and art galleries, this Hanseatic city is also famous for its famous Deventer cake, a local delicacy dating back to 1595. To taste it for yourself, visit the Deventer Koekwinkel (Bussink) on the beautiful Brinkplein. After Deventer, the tour takes you through the spectacular floodplains where you will see plenty of signs of modern Dutch water management. After visiting the small Hanseatic town of Hattem, you cross the river to Zwolle. Surrounded by four rivers, Zwolle has always been a busy traffic hub attracting many traders and travellers. You will find remnants of the medieval ramparts and numerous other monuments from the time Zwolle was a member of the Hanseatic League in this beautiful city.

Note: If all ferries are out of service due to high tide, follow the alternative routes. Both versions are about the same length (48 km) and both have their charm, you would actually want to cycle both.

Day 9:    Zwolle (NL) - Kampen (NL)
50 km

You leave the hustle and bustle of Zwolle behind and follow the river Zwartewater. Cycling along the river's winding dykes is wonderful. The beautiful views over the marshy floodplains are a real treat. You are likely to see a variety of birds such as lapwings, common terns and marsh harriers along the way. Via the charming ferry 'Haersterveer' - ring the bell and the skipper will manually cross the Overijsselse Vecht, which you will follow to the Hanseatic town of Hasselt. Be sure to take time to visit this charming town with its seventy national monuments. The beautiful buildings testify to the wealth brought by the Hanseatic League. Hasselt was a transit point for goods that were shipped down the rivers and loaded onto seafaring ships that crossed the Zuiderzee to friendly Hanseatic ports on the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Subsequently, different goods made the same journey back again.

The next pearl in this route is the pretty town of Genemuiden. Over centuries, Genemuiden has risen to become the carpet and artificial turf (football pitch) town of the Netherlands. To conclude this tour of the IJssel delta, you meander through empty Zwartewaterland between the Ganzendiep and Zwartemeer, hopefully the wind works in your favour here. You will enter Kampen over the city bridge with its characteristic lift towers. Because of its ideal location on the IJssel and the Zuiderzee, Kampen was one of the richest and most powerful Hanseatic cities between the 13th and 16th centuries. Much of Kampen's thriving history can still be found in the centre of this city.

Day 10:    Kampen (NL) - Harderwijk (NL)
53 km

In the former tobacco town of Kampen, admire the remains of the 14th-century city wall before cycling towards the water. Along the Dronten and Veluwe lakes, the route leads to the centuries-old, picturesque fortified town of Elburg. After Elburg, you swap coast and polder for inland. From Nunspeet, you can enjoy the coulisse landscape at the edge of the Veluwe. If you have enough time, follow the 6 km longer route through the Harderwijker Woods and the desert-like dune area Het Beekhuizerzand. Sometimes up a little hill then leisurely down again. You might see deer or boars along the way. How beautiful the Veluwe is!

Today's end station is the lovely, cosy town of Harderwijk. It was once a bustling Hanseatic city and a thriving fishing port by the sea - but now it lies on a lake overlooking a polder!

Day 11:    Return home
Today you will end your cycling trip after breakfast.

Starting dates:

Every Saturdays and Sundays from May till September

Price pp
Double room, breakfast 1,275.00
Single room, breakfast 1,800.00
Extra night double room, breakfast only 80.00
Rental bike
Child bike 180.00
Hybrid 200.00
E-bike 350.00
Extra services
Child seat € 12.00 x 10 120.00
Bike theft insurance € 3.00 x 10 30.00
E-bike theft insurance € 6.00 x 10 60.00
Extra luggage € 5.00 x 10 50.00
Tag-along bike € 11.00 x 10 110.00
Child trailer € 24.50 x 10 245.00
Bike helmet per piece 10.00
SGR per piece 5.00

The hotels and the B&B on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. A list of the accomodation we work with appears below. If a certain accomodation is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will try to request a comparable alternative if possible. 

When selecting the accomodation, we try to take into account as much as possible a safe and closed bicycle shed. However, we cannot do this with all of them guarantee and this partly depends on the number of bicycles of other guests.

Hotel Crowne Plaza, Neuss
Hotel Crowne Plaza**** (Neuss/Düsseldorf)
Hotel Rheingarten****, Homberg
Hotel Rheingarten**** (Homberg)
Hotel Neumaier *** (Xanten)
Hotel Stadt Emmerich*** (Emmerich)
Van der Valk Hotel Nijmegen-Lent**** (Nijmegen-Lent)
Stadshotel Doesburg*** (Doesburg)
Postillion Deventer**** (Deventer)
Bilderberg Grand Hotel Wientjes**** (Zwolle)
Boetiekhotel Kampen (Kampen)
Best Western Baars**** (Harderwijk)

If you don’t bring your own bike, you can rent one 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 bike 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


Our hybrid bikes have 24-gears with hand brakes. 
The hybrid bikes are circa 16,5 KG.

Rental bike

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. 25 KG. We recommend a minimum height of 160 cm for the e-bike.


For children who are at least 120 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:
Child bike 26 inch


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.  


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 (only available for children over 5 years). 


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.

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.

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 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.


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.  

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 ANWB pechhulp in advance, their service is as follows. The costs are €4,- per bicycle per day. If your bike breaks down by the roadside an ANWB 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 can't continue cycling, the repairman can drop you off somewhere in his van. One companion plus bikes may join you in the van.

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.

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.


Practical info

10 Nights included

3/4 Star Hotels

Tourist tax included

Breakfast always included and 1 dinner included in Doesburg.

The possibility of renting our bikes

7-days a week service-hotline

Luggage transport to your next hotel

Neuss Hbf, Harderwijk

Parking possibilities at the hotel

Maps, tourist and travel information are only available with our navigation app. 
No printed maps available. 

Any ferry crossings are not included

Arrival info

The nearest airport is Düsseldorf (DUS)

Neuss and Hardewijk have their own train station. 
If you want to travel back to Neuss from Hardewijk, you take the regional train to Utrecht Central. From Utrecht Central you travel to Düsseldorf Hbf. Here you change to the regional train to Neuss Hbf.

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