Welcome to Hooked on Cycling holidays and our cycling holidays in Holland. This particular biking vacation in Holland is available as a level 1-2 self-guided cycle tour. You shall come across picturesque fishing villages and trading ports as you cycle around part of the Ijsselmeer. This region was made famous a wealthy in the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century when shipping was in abundance. It is probably impossible to book a tour that is more Dutch than this. Traditional Dutch polder-landscape, dykes, mills, cheese, all you can experience it in this wonderful cycle-tour. You shall see a pretty diverse landscape and several major attractions such as a star-shaped fortified town, a UNESCO heritage site and the city of Amsterdam.
Huizen – Fletcher Hotel Nautisch Kwartier
Amsterdam – Westcord Art Hotel
Hoorn – Hotel de Keizerskroon
Oudemirdum – Hotel Jans
Zwartsluis – Hotel Zwartewater
Harderwijk – Best Western Hotel Baars
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Arrival during the day to Huizen. Huizen is Dutch for houses and it is believed the town was given this name as it was probably the first place in the region to have stone houses built.
Today you set off on your bike adventure, you shall cycle around your circular loop of Lake Ijssel in a clockwise direction. Your first place of interest today is the town of Naarden. Naarden forms part of the impressive defence fortifications of Amsterdam, it’s a star-shaped fortification, very well preserved, complete with walls and a moat that from the sky looks like a snowflake. It is also one of the best-preserved fortified towns in Europe and well worth a visit, looking at the historic buildings and churches. After your visit, you will continue on your bike to Muiden which is on the mouth of the Vecht River. Muiden is a pretty village but the main attraction is Muiden castle built around 1280 and is a wonderfully preserved medieval castle surrounded by a moat. After your visit, then continue onto Amsterdam and your overnight where you could go for a leisurely stroll through the romantic canal district before dinner.
Your chance this morning to further explore Amsterdam but if you have time after your weeks’ cycle tour we would suggest stopping in the city before travelling home with extra nights. You shall soon be leaving the city and into the peaceful countryside where Waterland awaits, with wet meadows, wooden bridges and of course Holland being Holland, windswept reeds and rushes. In the lovely village of Monnickendam, you can find the Museum of Waterland’s where you will find a good explanation of the history and culture of the region. Now you continue by bike along the shore of Lake Markermeer to the village Volendam. In this predominantly Catholic fishing village, there are distinctive stone houses and the harbour is lined with souvenir shops, pavement cafes and restaurants. So an ideal place to take a rest. A short distance after Volendam you reach the village of Edam. Yes, Edam is the home of Edam cheese, where for centuries, small, round, salty cheeses produced by dairy farmers were shipped out of Edam and exported all over Europe. If you cycle through here on a Wednesday morning in the summer weeks a cheese market is put on for tourists. Now just a short distance to your overnight town of Hoorn, a historical town evolved by the whaling and shipbuilding.
On the old sea Dyke you now continue your cycle tour north on the shore of Lake Ijsselmeer to the beautiful town of Enkhuizen where you can visit the Zuiderzee Museum which informs us all about when ships from this region sailed the seven seas trading in spices and bulbs during the was known as the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century. Now it is time to catch the ferry across Lake IJsselmeer from Enkhuizen to Stavoren which will take around 1 hour. This lake was actually created in 1932 when a closure dyke cut off the Zuiderzee from the North Sea. This was necessary to stop the sea from flooding towns on the Zuiderzee. Once the dyke was in place, the sea had become a lake. The within around 8 years freshwater had replaced the seawater. Except for the eel, none of the Zuiderzee fish survived as the were replaced by freshwater species, Now you will find yourself in the Friesland province. 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, it sounds like English and not like the Dutch “boter, brood en groene kaas”.
This morning you shall cycle through a woody undulating region call Gaasterland to a picturesque town called Lemmer. Next stop on the route is actually a World Heritage Site, Since 1920, Wouda a steam-driven pumping station was used to drain a lake. For centuries, windmills in Holland took care of water management and not what you may expect grinding grain. Nowadays most of the 1600 or so pumping stations are electrically powered. Then it is onto Weerribben-Wieden a National Park and one of the most valuable marshlands of north-western Europe.
Today you shall set off by bike on top of the Kamperzeedijken (Kampen sea dykes) to the marvellous town of Kampen. Kampen has a well-preserved town centre. The town gates on the River IJssel side of town are a must to see. 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. In the afternoon, jump back on your cycle and follow the fringes of Veluwe Forest down to Harderwijk. Harderwijk is pretty much the geographical centre of Holland.
Now the last day of your bike tour as you cycle along the shores of the Randmeren lakes. Arkemheen-Eemland is wide open, empty and a National Heritage Landscape. This area was surrounded by dykes in the year 1360 to stop crops from being flooded by the sea. Some plant species still recall the influence of saltwater. Part of the polder is being preserved as a bird habitat. 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 to 1983.
Departure after breakfast, if you have time take an extra night or two in Amsterdam.
By Plane to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport then by train from the airport to Bussum (40 minutes), then a bus or taxi to Huizen 15 minutes).
Getting there by ferry:
1) IJmuiden (Newcastle). By car: IJmuiden – Huizen: 60 km, 55 minutes
2) Rotterdam (Hull). By car: Rotterdam – Huizen: 95 km, 1hour 15 minutes
3) Hoek van Holland (Harwich). By car: Hoek van Holland – Schagen: 105 km, 1.5 hours
2024 Prices – For a complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|DGAge (7 Nights)||from £824||Book Now|
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