Along the North Sea
Niederlande Bike Tour
The west coast of the Netherlands is made up of the sea, sand dunes, polders, fishing villages and lively seaside resorts. Along with the numerous seaside villages you’ll encounter, you’ll also discover the hinterland with the great historic towns of Middelburg, Delft, Den Haag (The Hague), Haarlem and Alkmaar! On this tour, you’ll ride over dikes and dunes, via ferries and bridges, through scenic forested dune landscapes and bustling town centers from one city to the next.
The tour starts in Middelburg, which was once the great trading center between Flanders and England during the Middle Ages, and for the Dutch East India Company during Holland’s prosperous Golden Age in the 17th century. This rich past can still be seen in some of the elaborate mansions found in the city. As the official home of the Royal Family, The Hague (Den Haag) also serves as the government seat, and boasts many elaborate palaces and government buildings. Delft, of course, is famous for its Delftware (handsomely painted blue and white Delft earthenware) that was developed in the 1500's. This quaint little town was also the hometown of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (1600s), and the place where he created most of his works, including Girl with a Pearl Earring and Milkmaid.
The small town of Haarlem has a beautiful square on which the famous St. Bavo Church sits. This impressive Gothic Basilica contains the magnificent Christian Muller organ with 5,000 pipes on which Mozart, Handel and Liszt have all practiced their music! The city is also known for its monuments (it has over 1000!) and beautifully restored hofjes (courtyards) as well as the Frans Hals Museum.
Wo Sie übernachten
Good 2 star-3 star hotels.
Was enthalten ist
- 7 or 5 night accommodations
- Breakfasts & dinners
- Luggage transportation
- 7-speed hybrid bicycle
- Route descriptions & maps
Was nicht enthalten ist
- Train ticket Amsterdam to Middelburg, approx. €22
- Ferry fees
- Tourist tax
- 6 day tour: Every Saturday from March 1 up to and including October 31, 2013
- 8 day tour: Every Thursday from March 1 up to and including October 31, 2013
Easy self-guided hotel tour traversing over flat terrain with some small hills in the dunes over excellent roads/bike paths. Distances of 20 to 35 miles per day.
- Arrival in Middelburg.
- Middelburg – Ouddorp, 35 mi.
- Ouddorp – Delft, 36 mi.
- Delft – Katwijk, 25 mi.
- Katwijk – Wijk aan Zee, 31 mi.
- Wijk aan Zee – Bergen, 20 or 28 mi.
- Bergen – Den Helder, 29 mi.
- Departure from Den Helder.
6 day / 5 night tour starts in Delft!
It is also possible to extend the itinerary by including two over nights on the island of Texel (bike rental included)!
After arrival in Middelburg, you can visit the city and see the restored, historic monuments, including the unique Gothic Town Hall, the Romanesque-Gothic Abbey and the 17th century Oostkerk (East Church).
The first cycling day takes you through a polder to the charming, old harbor town Veere. After Noord-Beveland, you follow the route over the Oosterscheldedam with the famous storm-flood turn to Schouwen-Duiveland. Past the beautiful Castle of Haamstede and the small Moermond Castle in Renesse, you’ll cycle over the island. Via the Brouwersdam, you’ll arrive on Goeree-Overflakkee. Right before Ouddorp, you can take a shorter route to finish the distances a bit earlier. On the cozy square in the center sits your hotel.
A scenic rural route will take you through the small, rather beautiful, former port town of Goedereede to the Haringvlietdam. At Oostvoorne, you follow a picturesque, varied trek over car-free roads and bike paths between Rockanje and the village of the same name. You’ll cycle through the striking landscape at the foot of the dunes. Along the Brielse Meer (lake), you’ll come to the old fortress town of Brielle with an intact 18th century city wall and the late-Gothic St. Catharijne Church. Here after, you follow a pretty shaded bike path before you find yourself temporarily in the industrial upheaval of the island Rozenburg. You’ll cross over the busy Nieuwe Waterweg with the ferry. After the nice Maassluis (lock), you cycle through the untouched, grand polders of Delfland to the day’s final destination, Delft. The hotel is in the middle of the lively old center, behind the Gothic Nieuwe Church and close to the Market with the noteworthy 17th century Town Hall.
The following day includes a short scenic stage through the city of Den Haag (The Hague). If you would like to take your time to see some of the many historic and modern attractions, then you can shorten the route 10 km (6 mi.) by skipping Wassenaar and riding directly through the dunes to Katwijk. The hotel in Katwijk aan Zee lies at the edge of town with a beautiful panorama terrace over the dunes.
Via Noordwijk aan Zee, you’ll ride further through the dunes. In the vicinity of Ruigenhoek, the route will venture inland for a visit to the impressive historic town of Haarlem. Outdoor cafés on the Great Market square offer great views of the magnificent late-Gothic St. Bavo Basilica. Thereafter, you’ll ride over and along the wooded sloping dunes of Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. At the border of IJmuiden, you’ll cross over by ferry and ride through the shaded bufferzone past Hoogovens to the charming dune-village Wijk aan Zee, where you’ll spend the night. Next, you can choose between a short or long route to your hotel in Bergen. The hotel is located either on or close to the lively center at the edge of the wide, forested dunes. On the longer route, you discover the old town of Alkmaar, with the famous Waag, used to weigh cheese. This well-known cheese town is well worth a visit if you have the time and energy!! Thereafter, you make a nice loop through the polder and the spectacular dune landscape between Bergen aan Zee and the more inland town of Bergen.
On your last cycling day, you’ll get to know the last stretch of dunes in North Holland. The dunes northwest from Bergen are quite wide, high and forested. The dunes end abruptly by Camperduin and you stop at the Hondsbosse Zeewering. Here you can choose depending on your preference and which way the wind blows whether to ride on top of this wide dike or along the bottom of it. Following the Pettemer Dunes, you will cycle to Callantsoog, along the through road and the edge of the dune. The interesting nature reserve Zwanenwater in the dunes can only be visited on foot. The last stretch runs again along and over the narrow, steep dune’s edge, around the sea dike and then the tip of North Holland. Here at the end above the sea dike close to the harbor of Den Helder, you’ll find the sea-panorama café of your hotel, which is called ‘Land’s End’.