Dutch Bike Tours Cycling holiday IJsselmeer Grand Tour
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IJsselmeer Grand Tour
IJsselmeer Grand Tour
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Duration :
10 days
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Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
IJsselmeer History Amsterdam Nature
price from € 840
IJsselmeer Grand Tour
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IJsselmeer Grand Tour


Bike Tour: IJsselmeer Grand Tour - 10 days

Now here’s a challenge for you: Cycle 439 km all the way around Lake IJsselmeer! On the way, take in the beautiful scenery and learn a big lesson in Dutch history. This is a route along the loveliest and quietest roads and bike tracks a cyclist could possibly hope for. The historical landscape around the former Zuiderzee, the many old fishing and trading towns on its shores all have a story to tell. This tour is marked by diverse and attractive scenery. As on all our carefree cycle tours, we provide luggage transfer and excellent accommodation.
In collaboration with:

Day 1: Arrival in Huizen
Day 2: Huizen - Amsterdam
Day 3: Amsterdam - Hoorn
Day 4: Hoorn - Medemblik
Day 5: Medemblik - Makkum
Day 6: Makkum - Oudemirdum/Rijs
Day 7: Rijs/Oudemirdum - Zwartsluis
Day 8: Zwartsluis - Harderwijk
Day 9: Harderwijk - Huizen
Day 10: Return Home

Day 1:    Arrival in Huizen

Arrival in Huizen

Day 2:    Huizen - Amsterdam
37 km

Get an early start so you will have plenty of time to visit Amsterdam.
Your first stop today is at the fortified medieval town of Naarden, built in a star shape fort to enable better use of cannons, the moat and walls have been very well preserved. Further down the route you will arrive at the town of Muiden, situated at the mouth of the River Vecht. Home to the most visited castle in the Netherlands, Muiden Castle was built on a moat in 1280 by Count Floris V of Holland to collect a toll from passing ships on the River Vecht. With the interior restored to how it looked in the 17th century it is certainly worth a visit. Then Amsterdam awaits you.

Day 3:    Amsterdam - Hoorn
61 km

There’s so much to see and do in Amsterdam! Make sure you have an early start. Have you been to see the Gallery of Honour at the Rijksmuseum since the make-over? Why not pop in for a quick visit before you hop back on your bike and plunge into peaceful countryside. Waterland awaits, with wet meadows, wooden bridges and windswept reeds and rushes. Waterlandsmuseum “De Speelklok” in the pretty village of Monnickendam explains the history of this extraordinary cultural landscape. Then cycle up the shore of Lake Markermeer to friendly Volendam. The quaint stone houses in the distinctive heart of the catholic fishing village seem to have been drawn up without an organized street plan. "De Dijk”, overlooking the harbour, is lined with souvenir shops, pavement cafes and restaurants. Just around the corner is the pretty village of Edam. For centuries, small, round, salty cheeses produced by dairy farmers in neighbouring polders were shipped out of Edam and exported all over Europe. For six weeks in summer a traditional Wednesday-morning cheese-market is put on for tourists by local volunteers (10.30 -12.30 hrs). At the end of the day, you’ll reach the lovely, historical town of Hoorn. Like Enkhuizen (see day 4), it has a history in whaling, shipbuilding, fishery and - most importantly – shipping and trade. Both towns housed branches (“chambers”) of the Dutch East India Company.

Alternative route: if you want to explore Marken, follow the route to the isle of Marken. From there you can take the ferry to Volendam (price around € 11 p.p.).

Day 4:    Hoorn - Medemblik
49 km

Continue up the shore of Lake IJsselmeer, atop the old sea dike, along the beautiful town of Enkhuizen. Don’t miss Zuiderzee Museum which tells the story of the days when ships from the Zuiderzee sailed the seven seas trading in bulbs and spices; the days when Holland dominated world trade and the Dutch East India Company was the first-ever multinational. This period is known as the Golden Age and roughly spans the 17th century. The museum has also combined a collection of historical architecture with demonstrations of traditional trades. On the second stretch of today’s lake-side route, you’ll see more cropfields, orchards and windmills before you reach Medemblik. It’s an old town, with a marina, a bakery museum and a steam engine museum. 

Day 5:    Medemblik - Makkum
59 km

Today is the day you cross the Afsluitdijk! Cycle through Wieringermeer Polder (created 1927 -1934) to the starting point of the dam at Den Oever. The closure dam is 34 km long and was completed in 1932. It cut off the Zuiderzee from the North Sea. This was necessary to stop the sea from flooding towns on the Zuiderzee. Once the dike was in place, the sea had become a lake. By 1940 the saltwater had been replaced by fresh water from the River IJssel. Except for the eel, none of the Zuiderzee fish survived. A new fresh-water fish population replaced them. On the other side of the closure dam, you will find yourself in Friesland province in the town of Makkum. 

From April 2019 until April 2022 the cycle path on the Afsluitdijk will be closed for construction works. During the closure cyclists can make use of a free bus which will transport them to the other side. Bikes can also be transported on this bus. The bus goes once every hour. 

Day 6:    Makkum - Oudemirdum/Rijs
47 km

The people of Friesland have their own language (a proper language, not a dialect) closely related to English. When they say butter, bread and green cheese in Frisian, it sounds like English and not like Dutch "boter, brood en groene kaas”. You will find bi-lingual road signs and local Frisian specialties such as “Fryske Dumkes” (hazelnut biscuits). Drift south along a string of interesting old villages of which Hindeloopen is a favourite. It is famous for its colourful traditional costumes and painted furniture. At the village of Workum, stop to consider for a minute that for 250 years, up until the Second World War, fishermen from this town caught eel only to sell it... in England. They even had their own mooring places on the Thames. Today, like Makkum, the place is better known for its pottery. 

Day 7:    Rijs/Oudemirdum - Zwartsluis
65 km

In the morning, you will cycle through Gaasterland, undulating and woody, to your first port of call, the picturesque town of Lemmer, a favourite with boaters in summer. Next, it’s full steam ahead to a World Heritage Site: Wouda steam-driven pumping station has been operational since 1920 and was used to drain a lake. For centuries, windmills took care of water management in the Netherlands before steam engines took over. Nowadays most of our 1600 pumping stations are electrically powered.  In the afternoon, nature lovers will bask in the beauty of Weerribben-Wieden National Park where water, reeds and rushes dominate the landscape. It is said to be the most valuable marshland of north-western Europe. 

Day 8:    Zwartsluis - Harderwijk
62 km

After exploring Zwartsluis, popular with boaters and other water sports enthusiasts, you will set off atop the old Kamperzeedijken (Kampen sea dikes) to the marvellous town of Kampen. It has one of the best-preserved town centres in the country. Check out the town gates on the River IJssel side of town. Kampen was a member of the Hanseatic League, a northern European alliance of trading guilds in the 13th-17th centuries. Their main aim was to ensure safe passage for travelling merchants. They also helped each other with information, knowledge, contacts and privileges. This network generated income, allowing merchants to invest in culture and architecture. Perhaps this explains why Hansa towns, centuries on, are so attractive to tourists. The River IJssel, which emptied into Zuiderzee sea, counted several Hansa communities on its banks. In the afternoon, pick up the route again and follow the fringes of Veluwe Forest down to Harderwijk. Just think, this was once a bustling fishing town on the Zuiderzee and now it stands on a lake overlooking a polder…

Day 9:    Harderwijk - Huizen
49 km

Set those wheels in motion and pedal along the shores of Randmeren lakes.  Arkemheen-Eemland is wide open, empty and a National Heritage Landscape. The area was surrounded by dikes in the year 1360 to stop cropfields from being flooded by the sea. Arkemheen polder is special because the original lots are still intact. The lots are divided by curvy creeks, remnants of Zuiderzee tidal streams. Some plant species still recall the influence of salt water. Part of the polder is being preserved as a bird habitat for “Natura 2000”. The visitors’ centre has more information. Should you have an abiding interest in the Age of Steam, you may like to visit steam-driven pumping station Hertog Reijnout. It controlled water levels in the low-lying polder from 1883, taking over from a windmill with the same name.

Day 10:    Return Home

After breakfast, it’s time to go home.

Starting dates:
Daily from April 1 till September 21.
Prices €
Per person in a double room
9 nights’ accommodation, breakfast included
A supplement will be required for:
Single room (€ 30 x 9) 270,00
Dinner (€ 30 x 9) 270,00
Bike rental (€ 12 x 9) 108,00
E-Bike (€ 25 x 9) 225,00
Emergency Call Out Service/Bike breakdown pass (€ 2,75 x 9) 24,75
GPS rental 10,00
Surcharge staying overnight in Amsterdam on Saturday in a double room 17,50
Surcharge staying overnight in Amsterdam on Saturday in a single room 35,00
Surcharge staying overnight in Amsterdam during the periods
13 - 15 April 2019
20 - 21 May 2019
12 - 15 June 2019
12 - 16 September 2019
staying overnight in a double room 
staying overnight in a single room 

Extra night 70,00


Price pp
Double room, breakfast 840.00
Single room, breakfast 1,110.00
Dinner 270.00
Extra night (breakfast only) 70.00
Season surcharges
2019-09-16 - 2019-09-20 -5.00
Upgrades pp/night
Westcord Art Hotel, Amsterdam 10.00
van der Valk hotel Hoorn, Hoorn 20.00
Surcharges per person
Stay in Amsterdam on saturday 20.00
Stay in Amsterdam from:
2020-08-01 - 2020-08-01
2021-04-02 - 2021-04-05
2021-04-16 - 2021-04-17
2021-05-13 - 2021-05-15
2021-05-22 - 2021-05-24
2021-10-15 - 2021-10-17
Rental bike
Child bike 90.00
Hybrid 108.00
Premium bike 180.00
Ebike 225.00
Extra services
Bike Breakdown pass € 2.75 x 9 24.75
Child seat € 5.00 x 9 45.00
Bike theft insurance € 3.00 x 9 27.00
E-bike theft insurance € 6.00 x 9 54.00
Extra luggage € 5.00 x 9 45.00
Add on bike € 6.00 x 9 54.00
Child trailer € 17.50 x 9 157.50
Bike helmet per piece 10.00
GPS per piece 20.00

Starting point:
Huizen or Amsterdam


Below are the accommodations that we book as standard for this trip. They are carefully selected by us for cyclists. All rooms have a shower or bath and toilet. If one of the hotels is fully booked, we will reserve a comparable alternative.

Fletcher Hotel Nautisch Kwartier *** (Huizen)
Westcord Art Hotel ***/**** (Amsterdam)
Hotel de Keizerskroon *** (Hoorn)
Hotel Medemblik *** (Medemblik)
Beach Hotel de Vigilante **** (Makkum)
Hotel Boschlust *** (Oudemirdum)
Hotel Zwartewater **** (Zwartsluis)
Best Western Hotel Baars **** (Harderwijk)

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. 

Why the Dutch don't wear helmets! 

Instruction video hybrid bike and e-bike



practical info

9 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

GPS-tracks availible

Any ferry crossings are not included

Arrival info

Nearest Airport is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

The  train from  Schiphol to Naarden-Bussum departees 4 times per hour. Travel time is about 40 minutes. A single ticket costs approx €7,- per person excl. bicycle. 

For timetables and tickets, go to From Naarden-Bussum you should take the bus to Huizen. This is about 20 minutes and wll costs about €2,50 per person.
For timetables and tickets:



...This was my second long-distance bike trip with DBT it was as excellent as the previous. Taking the premium bike (KOGA Grand Tourer) was a great investment and made my rides very comfortable, easier with all of the available and smooth-shifting gears, and so enjoyable overall. I wish I could buy a "made in the Netherlands" KOGA bike in Canada! Everything from time of booking through to arriving at my very last stop went as offered/communicated by DBT. The Netherlands is a safe, easy and FANTASTIC place to cycle!...


...We had a great time on our tour, found your arrangements to be excellent and would not hesitate to use your company again or recommend you to others...


...Dinner in Hoorn next to the Keizerskroon Hotel was wonderful for its variety of small dishes to sample.The hotel Jans and surrounding area were unique and lovely. The route along the canal ending in Kalenburg was gorgeous. The hotel staff at all the stays was welcoming and friendly...


...Directions were excellent. The knooppunt system is an excellent system; the easiest we have used on many bike trips in Europe...


...We have thoroughly enjoyed our cycling holiday.  The landscape teeming with wildlife, the picturesque villages and towns, the historical buildings and boats - they all made for a wonderful trip.  The Zuiderzeemuseum was fantastic.  Thank you for putting the itinerary together.  Even the diversity of hotels added an element of surprise each day...


...We have thoroughly enjoyed our cycling holiday.  The landscape teeming with wildlife, the picturesque villages and towns, the historical buildings and boats - they all made for a wonderful trip.  The Zuiderzeemuseum was fantastic.  Thank you for putting the itinerary together.  Even the diversity of hotels added an element of surprise each day...

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