Amsterdam is always brimming with life in the Netherlands! Photo via Flickr:Moyan Brenn

Bike path in scenic Schokland, Holland. Photo via Flickr:bert knottenbeld

Bike and Sail the Ijsselmeer

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Bike the beautiful harbors and varied landscapes of Holland’s largest lake

  • This Bike and Sail experience in Holland will alternate biking on lovely trails, paths, and quiet roads with sailing on Holland's largest lake. Similar to our bike and boat tours, this adventure offers accommodations on an authentic and lovingly restored "flat bottom" sailing vessel. You will even be offered the opportunity to hoist the sails if you like!

    Once a part of the Southern Sea, the Ijsselmeer now covers an area of an astonishing 1100 m2, formed when the sea water was closed off and sealed out by a man-made dyke. Standing on the shore, with the immense sweep of water and the great expanse of the dramatic Dutch skies overhead, it is hard to remember that it is a lake.

    The landscape of this area is rich in history and nature. The polders, dam, and dykes testify to the ingenuity of the Dutch as they reclaim the land from the sea. There is bio-diversity to be enjoyed, as this is a favored area for birds and wildlife.

    The many old fishing and trading towns all have a story to tell and after this bike and sail adventure, you will understand more the Dutch rural life and culture and their history of the struggle with the sea.

    Highlights:

    • Waterland
    • Whaling village of de Rijp
    • Former islands Urk and Schokland
    • Province of Friesland

    Looking for more? All of our bike and boat tours in the Netherlands are here.

  •  June 3All other departure dates
    Twin Cabin £ 790 $ 1,364 889 NOK 8297 kr 7659 $ 996 £ 844 $ 1,456 949 NOK 8857 kr 8176 $ 1,063
    Twin cabin for single use £ 1119 $ 1,932 1259 NOK 11751 kr 10847 $ 1,410 £ 1172 $ 2,024 1319 NOK 12311 kr 11364 $ 1,477
    Triple cabin (3 people) £ 755 $ 1,303 849 NOK 7924 kr 7314 $ 951 £ 799 $ 1,379 899 NOK 8391 kr 7745 $ 1,007
    Quadruple cabin (4 people) £ 728 $ 1,257 819 NOK 7644 kr 7056 $ 917 £ 781 $ 1,349 879 NOK 8204 kr 7573 $ 984

    extra options

    Electric bike: £ 84 $ 146 95 NOK 887 kr 818 $ 106

    please note

    Rates are based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

Where You’ll Stay

On board the comfort plus vessel, the Elizabeth, a restored Dutch clipper.

What’s Included

  • Accommodations on board for 7 nights
  • 7 x breakfast, 6 x picnic lunches during bike tours, 7 x three course dinners
  • Bed linen and towels (change of towels on request)
  • Cleaning of cabin on request
  • 7 gear bicycle with hand- and/or pedal brakes with pannier bag
  • Welcome drink and -speech on the first evening
  • On board tour guide who will provide detailed instructions of the day’s route
  • Printed instructions and detailed maps for self guided cycling
  • Daily coffee and tea between 3 and 4 pm

What’s Not Included

  • Beverages
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Ferries fees
  • Gratuities
TourBike+Boat
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From889 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

June 3, June 10, June 17, June 24, July 1, July 15, July 22, July 29, August 5, and August 12, 2017

Skill Level

This self guided bike and sail experience is rated easy. The route leads on quiet country roads and paths through a flat landscaped through picturesque villages.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Bike and Sail the Ijsselmeer Map

Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam and embarkation
Day 2 Amsterdam – Waterland – Monnickendam, 15 - 24 mi.  (25 - 40 km)
Day 3: Monnickendam – Volendam – Edam – Hoorn, 21 - 36 mi. (35 - 60 km) 
Day 4: Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 15 mi. (25 km).  Sailing:  Enkhuizen – Lemmer/Stavoren
Day 5: Lemmer – Frisian Lakes & Gaasterland – Stavoren (34/56 km**/20/34 mi.) or the other way around 
Day 6: Lemmer or Stavoren – Enkhuizen 
Day 7: Sailing:  Enkhuizen – Amsterdam
Day 8: End of tour

A Bike and Sail tour is an adventure! The sailing routes to be taken depend largely on the weather and the wind. The skipper will determine from day to day the exact sailing schedule and discuss the possibilities. The skipper and his crew will do everything they can to offer you the program as planned so you can enjoy a fascinating week with a variety of activities, nature and culture, but it is possible that the departure and sailing times and/or the order of the program might be altered.

Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Amsterdam
Embarkation on board your sailing vessel is between 2 and 6 pm. In the afternoon and evening, there is ample opportunity to stroll about the city, visit a museum, the flea market , or take a canal cruise in Amsterdam.

Day 2: Amsterdam – Waterland – Monnickendam, 15 - 24 mi.  (25 - 40 km)
After breakfast following the distribution of bicycles your first cycling leg of the trip will take you through the magnificent rural nature reserve of Waterland with its many villages, canals and rivers. A highlight along the way is the village of Broek, a picturesque spot in the center of Waterland that features wooden houses, canals and manicured gardens. If you have time and feel like cycling some more kilometers, the island of Marken which used to be on the Zuiderzee, is another village worth visiting. Your destination for the night is the port town of Monnickendam. Enjoy a stroll around the old port area after dinner.

Day 3: Monnickendam – Volendam – Edam – Hoorn, 21 - 36 mi. (35 - 60 km) 
Cycling in Holland doesn’t get much better than today’s offering from Monnickendam via Volendam, Edam, De Rijp and Schermerhorn to Hoorn. Along the way you can visit a cheese factory, take a break in Volendam’s bustling harbor and stroll through the narrow streets of the old whaling village of De Rijp. The wealthy merchants of the 17th century built many splendid homes and warehouses, which are still well maintained and to this day continue to characterize the image of the old towns you will be cycling through. When you wander through Hoorn, your destination for the day, you will marvel at the many beautifully ornate buildings that tell the history of this former Dutch East India Company town. A shorter cycling route for the day will take you via Volendam and Edam across the IJsselmeer dike to Hoorn.

Day 4: Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 15 mi. (25 km).  Sailing:  Enkhuizen – Lemmer/Stavoren
This morning you will enjoy beautiful views of the IJsselmeer as you pedal along an old dike from Hoorn to the port of Enkhuizen where you will enjoy your lunch today on board the Elizabeth. In the afternoon test out your sea legs for the first time as you sail across the IJsselmeer to Lemmer oder Stavoren in the province of Friesland (depending on the weather conditions). In the evening you will have the opportunity to take a stroll through the port. Make sure you take the opportunity to explore the picturesque village of Lemmer which has many cafés and quaint pubs along the canals and close to the old neo-gothic lock.

Day 5: Lemmer – Frisian Lakes & Gaasterland – Stavoren (34/56 km**/20/34 mi.) or the other way around 
Cycle from Lemmer through the rolling hills of Gaasterland. As you cycle from idyllic village to idyllic village highlights along the way are the Frisian lakes of De Morra and Fluessen, the historic centre of Sloten and Molkwerum a village that features many small canals. You can extend the bike tour with a de-tour to Hindelopen. The tour ends in Stavoren, the oldest town in Friesland. If you sailed to Stavoren on Tuesday, today's bike tour is from Stavoren to Lemmer.

Day 6: Lemmer or Stavoren – Enkhuizen 
This route begins in Lemmer on the rolling hills of Gaasterland, with its idyllic villages alongside the Frisian lakes such as De Morra and Fluessen. Along the way you pass the historic center of the small town of Sloten. You then cycle via Molkwerum, a village with numerous small canals to Stavoren, the oldest town in Friesland. In the late afternoon, the sails are hoisted and you will sail to Enkhuizen. The evening is the best time for a stroll through the port, in which many East India Company ships were once berthed.

Day 7: Sailing Enkhuizen – Amsterdam
This is the day where you pray to the weather Gods for a stiff breeze for the trip under full sail from Enkhuizen along the IJsselmeer coast back to Amsterdam. If you are interested the captain will let you take an active part in sailing the vessel; no maritime experience is required. In the afternoon, after you reach the Dutch capital, you will still have plenty of time to discover the “real” Amsterdam, world famous for its canals, its quirky ‘leaning’ buildings, museums, Anne Frank’s home, the Waterlooplein Market, Amsterdam’s permanent market place and Dam Square, the very center and heart of the city and much, much more.

Day 8: End of tour in Amsterdam
Disembarkation after breakfast.

On days where two distances are offered, guests can choose to cycle the shorter or longer routes. Guests can choose to stay on board on any day they do not wish to cycle.

Be sure to check out all of our featured bike and boat tours, or our full list of bicycle tours.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Bike and Sail the Ijsselmeer Boats + Barges

Elizabeth Photo

Elizabeth Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat The impressive clipper ELIZABETH was built in 1913 and boasts a plush interior design. The vessel is equipped with 10 roomy guest cabins all with an en-suite shower and lavatory. The large salon features a bar and seating area to ensure you will feel right at home.

PWPC