Arrival in Alkmaar
Alkmaar is known worldwide for its traditional cheese market, which is still held as a tourist attraction on Friday mornings from early April to early 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.
You cycle between Medemblik and Keins, the northern part of the Westfriese Omringdijk is your guide. This 126 km long, 800-year-old dike connects the cities of Alkmaar, Hoorn, Enkhuizen, Medeblik and Schagen. Spot birds in the nature reserves of Twisk and Oostermare, and be amazed in the coastal garden “Dutch Kremlin” near Winkel. Just like elsewhere in this region, you will come across many farmhouses: square buildings with both the living and working areas under the same, characteristic high pyramid-shaped roof. The village of Barsingerhorn provides a pleasant foretaste of picturesque Kolhorn. Until 1844, this former harbor and fishing village was located on the Zuiderzee. There are still old barns on the West Frisian dyke, which house two museums. Further along this dike is the village of Keins with the Lady Chapel on the Keins. After Keins you leave the West Friesland and arrive at the next former port city: Oudesluis. The VOC ships were once anchored here. The last part of this route to Den Helder goes through the largest flower bulb area in the world. In the spring it is one big sea of colors of tulips and other flowers. Den Helder started out as a whaling village. The city center was destroyed in the second world war and therefore the city has a relatively modern appearance. Den Helder has a strong maritime slant: shipping, rescue, offshore and the navy.
You can shorten the route by 7 km by continuing to follow the dike between Winkel and Kolhorn.
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.
|Double room, breakfast||665.00|
|Single room, breakfast||845.00|
|Extra night double room, breakfast only||70.00|
|Grand Hotel Beatrix, Huisduinen||10.00|
|Hotel Heavens, Hoorn||10.00|
|van der Valk hotel Hoorn, Hoorn||20.00|
|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|
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.
Why the Dutch don't wear helmets!
A standard hybrid bike is €13,00 a day.
Our hybrid bikes have 24-gears with hand brakes.
The hybrid bikes are circa 16,5 KG.
An electric bike is €27,00 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. We recommend a minimum height of 160 cm for the e-bike.
A child’s bike is € 11,00 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.
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
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 Alkmaar departs 2 times per hour. Travel time is about 50 minutes. A single ticket costs approx €10- per person excl. bicycle.
For timetables and tickets, go to www.ns.nl/en. For bus details, how to reach the hotel, check: www.9292.nl/en.
Another great trip with Duke Bike Tours. Everything went smoothly, the bikes were of a high standard as was the accommodation. We are already planning our next trip!
...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....