Around the IJsselmeer
Netherlands Bike Tours
The renowned Golden Circle…
A circular tour around the IJssel-Lake called the Golden Circle by the Dutch. Of course, the adjective Golden refers to the prosperous Dutch Golden Age during the 17th century, but also to the beauty of the tour. This tour takes you alongside the IJssel-Lake or IJsselmeer, which was a sea until 1932. By constructing the ‘Afsluitdijk’, the Dutch turned this sea into a lake! The tour takes you through lots of villages where you can still see that they were once on the seashore. Elburg, for example, is a beautiful fortified city where, as it seems, time has stood still. Former fishing-villages like Monnickendam and Bunschoten, where people still wear traditional Dutch costumes, will take you back to the 17th century. In between, you will cycle through traditional Dutch polder landscapes, where black-and-white cows are grazing in flat green meadows.
Every day you will see Old Dutch mills. Halfway through your Netherlands bike tour, you’ll visit the world-famous Edam cheese-market where some inhabitants still wear wooden shoes. It is probably impossible to book a tour that is more Dutch than this. Traditional Dutch polder landscapes, dikes, mills, cheese and tulips: you can experience it all in this Golden Circle.
All of our Dutch cycle tours can be found here.
Where You’ll Stay
Excellent 3 star to 4 star hotels.
- 7 nights’ hotel accommodations
- Breakfast buffets
- Luggage transportation
- 7-speed hybrid bicycle
- Route descriptions & maps
- Additional tourist information
What’s Not Included
- Lunches and dinners
- Ferry from Enkhuizen to Stavoren, about €20/person
Daily arrival April 1 to September 30, 2014
Easy self-guided hotel tour traversing over mostly flat, hard asphalt roads or bike paths. Average daily distances of about 38 miles with a total of 224 miles over 6 days of cycling.
- Arrival in Edam
- Edam - Enkhuizen, 28 mi. (45 km)
- Enkhuizen - Stavoren by ferry. Stavoren - Oudemirdum, 42 mi. (68 km) *can be shortened
- Oudemirdum - Giethoorn, 38 mi. (61 km)
- Giethoorn - Putten, 51 mi. (82 km)
- Putten - Hilversum, 27 mi. (43 km)
- Hilversum - Edam, 38 mi. (61 km)
- Departure from Edam
DAY 1: Arrival in Edam
The most obvious association with the name ‘Edam’ is its cheese. For centuries, the well-known round Edam cheeses have been sent from this town to all corners of the world. The cheese market, once again restored to its place of honor, is enacted weekly during the summer months. And nearby cheese warehouses keep alive the memory of a colourful past.
DAY 2: Edam – Enkhuizen, 28 mi. (45 km)
In Edam, your hotel is close to the cheese market, where you can buy the world famous Edammer cheese. Don’t forget to buy some before leaving the village! From Edam, the tour goes north over a beautiful dike with great views on the green polder as well as the blue lake. You will stay in Enkhuizen, a village with the most beautiful harbor in the Netherlands.
DAY 3: Enkhuizen – Stavoren by ferry. Stavoren – Oudemirdum, 42 mi. (68 km) *Can be shortened
In the morning, you will cross the Ijsselmeer by ferry, and on the other side, you will get to know another area of Holland, namely Friesland. Friesland is famous for its many lakes and its beautiful old cities. Hindeloopen and Workum both are highly recommended. Hindeloopen has great architecture while Workum is famous for its Jopie Huisman Museum. Quiet and small bike paths alongside the great blue lakes will bring you in the forest near Oudemirdum.
DAY 4: Oudemirdum – Giethoorn, 38 mi. (61 km)
A beautiful National Park is situated halfway between Oudemirdum and Giethoorn. It is called the Weerribben National Park. This park is a marshland with many small islands, creeks and lakes. Of course, the route takes you straight through the park. Back in Giethoorn, you will have finished the Golden Circle.
DAY 5: Giethoorn – Putten, 51 mi. (82 km)
The first part of today’s tour takes you straight through the ‘Beulaker-en Belterwijde’, an area that is named after two great lakes. Many protected birds live in this region, as well as rare water loving mammals such as beavers and otters. Today’s highlight is Elburg, a fortified city with lots of 16th and 17th century houses. After having visited Elburg, you will ride on to Putten, where you’ll spend the night within the Veluwe-forests.
DAY 6: Putten – Hilversum, 27 mi. (43 km)
Today’s ride can be easily combined with other activities. Close to Putten, you can relax on the beach. In the fishing village Spakenburg, where people still wear traditional Dutch costumes, you can eat some fine fresh fish. And Hilversum, with its many Dudok buildings, is a paradise for those who are interested in architecture.
DAY 7: Hilversum – Edam, 38 mi. (61 km)
Today’s first 15 kilometers will ride across vast heather fields. Afterwards you will pass the medieval Muiderslot Castle, built in 1280 AD. Here, it’s hard to imagine that you are only 15 kilometers away from the dazzling city of Amsterdam. Via former fishing villages such as Durgerdam and Uitdam, you will reach the former island of Marken, where some inhabitants still dress in traditional garb. Your hotel in Edam is only a few kilometers away.
DAY 8: Departure from Edam
Departure following breakfast.