Cycling through Edam, Holland. Photo via Flickr:marting_vmorris
Edam is known for its cheese market. Photo via Flickr:Manuel

Cows grazing by the IJsselmeer with the boats nearby. Photo via Flickr:Taco Witte

Around the IJsselmeer

Netherlands Bike Tours

The renowned Golden Circle…

This bike tour in Holland begin and ends in Edom, is a circular route that leads 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 many quaint 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 bike tours in Netherlands can be found here.

Where You’ll Stay

Excellent 3 star to 4 star hotels.

What’s Included

  • 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
TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From765 Rates
Print Tour

Tour Dates

Daily arrival April 1 to September 30, 2015

Skill Level

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.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Around the IJsselmeer Map
  1. Arrival in Edam
  2. Edam - Enkhuizen, 28 mi. (45 km)
  3. Enkhuizen - Stavoren by ferry. Stavoren - Oudemirdum, 42 mi. (68 km) *can be shortened
  4. Oudemirdum - Giethoorn, 38 mi. (61 km)
  5. Giethoorn - Putten, 51 mi. (82 km)
  6. Putten - Hilversum, 27 mi. (43 km)
  7. Hilversum - Edam, 38 mi. (61 km)
  8. 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.

If you're looking for a different flavor, check out our full list of bike tours in Europe or view all our featured bicycle tours, specials, and news.

Questions? Contact Us or Call 800-951-4384


Customer Feedback

  • Patricia Hart 2 years ago

    We had a fantastic time on this trip. There is so much good to say. The hotels were great, the breakfasts were fantastic, and the luggage was always already there waiting when we arrived. The routes selected were just beautiful and had a varied type of sights. We saw charming villages, beautiful landscapes of different types, and cycled along polders and through some forests and dunes. There were ferries and drawbridges and all sorts of amazing water engineering feats. We left our hotel vouchers home, and called the emergency number on Sunday morning. The person immediately picked up, and told us a full package with vouchers was waiting for us at our first hotel. Perfect! The Dutch people were very friendly and welcoming, and we did not have one single negative encounter with anyone. We learned some polite phrases in Dutch before leaving, and people seemed to appreciate that. The ONLY criticism I can make was that the directions were sometimes a little confusing, and the accompanying maps were not perfect. We will make some suggestions directly to tripsite, but I would recommend buying the comprehensive Netherlands cycle map as a supplement. You could also rent an odometer, so that you could follow the directions better. The bikes were exactly as promised, though I might consider renting something lighter next time. There is a reason they have all of those windmills in Holland: the wind! But basically, it was a fabulous trip. I'm already looking at some of the others for next year. This is an honest and reliable company, and they delivered all that they promise.

  • Melissa Briggs 4 years ago

    We biked around the IJsselmeer in September. We made the mistake of booking our airline tickets prior to the bike tour. As a result, some hotels that were normally used for this trip were already booked. Staff did a superb job working around our schedule, changing things up just a bit, to make this happen for us. I really felt like we got top notch service. Very much enjoyed the route and all the scenery. Along the lake can be quite windy! Lodging was all very nice and the Dutch are very friendly people. I think we ate apple cake and had coffee every afternoon! I would definitely recommend Tripsite and especially the Netherlands.

  • Judith Goldstein 4 years ago

    My 15 year old son and I biked around the IJsselmeer in April. We had a fantastic time. The Netherlands is gorgeous then and the weather was virtually perfect. We saw incredible water fowl, many sweet little lambs, gorgeous wisteria climbing up quaint old houses everywhere and beautiful fields of tulips and wildflowers. We stayed at very nice places, in historic, wonderfully preserved towns. We rented e-bikes, as I was concerned that, otherwise, some of the distances might be too much for my son. This was a great choice, even for me as some days the headwinds were strong, but when we used the bikes with the power off, they were just fantastic that way also.

    I will not go on and on as I'm sure my son, will want to post a comment and give you more details from his perspective. I will tell you though that approximately every half hour, while we were biking, he shouted out "I love Holland!" and I completely agreed.

    Judith

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