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.
Arrival in Utrecht
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
After breakfast in your hotel, you will return home.
Daily from April 1 till September 24
|Double room, breakfast||645.00|
|Single room, breakfast||825.00|
|Extra night, breakfast only||70.00|
|Extra night, breakfast only Amsterdam||75.00|
|Surcharge per person||€|
|Stay in Amsterdam on Saturday||20.00|
|Stay in Amsterdam from:
15 Apr 2022 - 17 Apr 2022
23 Apr 2022 - 24 Apr 2022
26 May 2022 - 28 May 2022
03 Jun 2022 - 05 Jun 2022
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 3.50 x 6||21.00|
|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|
|Tag-along bike||€ 6.00 x 6||36.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 6||105.00|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
Utrecht or Amsterdam
The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. A list of the hotels we work with appears below. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will try to request a comparable alternative if possible.
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.
A standard hybrid bike is €12,00 a day.
Our hybrid bikes have 24-gears with hand brakes.
The hybrid bikes are circa 16,5 KG.
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. 25 KG.
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:
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 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 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 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 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.
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 €3,- per day per bike and can only be booked for every participant in a booking.
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.
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
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included
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 www.ns.nl/en. For more information on buses, how to reach the hotel, see: www.9292.nl/en.
...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....
...GENERALLY THE HOLIDAY WAS MOST ENJOYABLE AND MOST THINGS WORKED OUT FAIRLY WELL. THE STANDARD OF THE HOTELS AND BREAKFASTS WERE VERY GOOD, THE RESTUARANTS WE FOUND WE GREAT AND THE LUGGAGE TRANSFER WORKED VERY SMOOTHLY...