Cycling through Edam, Holland. Flickr:martin_vmorris
Giethoorn is known as the "Venice of the North" in Overijssel, the Netherlands. Flickr:PhotoBobil

Edam is known for its cheese market. Flickr:Manuel
5/5 (1 review)

Around the IJsselmeer Bike Tour

Netherlands Bike Tours

Bike the Golden Circle in Holland

  • This bike tour in Holland begins and ends in Kampen and 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 easily applies to the beauty of the tour. You will cycle alongside the IJssel-Lake or IJsselmeer, through many quaint villages that you can still see were once on the seashore. Featured are the traditional Dutch polder landscape; dikes, mills, cheese, and tulips. You can experience it all on this Golden Circle Tour.


    • The historic towns of Kampen, Harderwijk, Weesp, Hoorn and Enkhuizen.
    • The traditional villages of Elburg and Spakenburg where it seems time as stood still.
    • The tourist attractions of Naarden, Muiderslot castle, the former island of Marken, the fisherman village of Volendam, Edam and his cheese market, Hindeloopen in Friesland and the Giethoorn area.
    • The Weerribben and Wieden National Park, the lowlands, forest areas as heath lands.
    • Cycling in Holland, a cycling paradise

    All of our bike tours in Netherlands can be found here.

  • 2020

    Double/twin: $ 2235 £ 1109 $ 1,939 1215 $ 2281 kr 13706 $ 1,380

    Single supplement: on request.

    extra options

    Including dinners: on request

    E bike rental: pending

    please note

    If opting for an electric bicycle, please note only women's e-bikes are available.

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    A non-refundable admin fee of 20 Euros per person is included in the deposit amount.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (AMS)

    Local Travel

    The Amsterdam Schiphol train station is located directly below the airport. Customer service desks are situated close to the red and white checkered cube at Schiphol Plaza. Staff at the desk will also be able to provide you with train departure information and general information on traveling by train in Holland. Train from the airport to Kampen is generally under two hours and entails two transfers. From the train station in Kampen, we suggest a taxi to your first hotel.


    Please check local conditions before your arrival. The Netherlands is a country that boasts a typical maritime climate with mild summers. Spring and fall can be unpredictable in regards to high/low temperatures and of course, since this is HOLLAND, always bring rain gear. Because the Netherlands is flat, wind can be a factor. A good website to use to research high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more is


    Electric bicycle available for this tour upon request.


    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.

Where You’ll Stay

Excellent 3 star to 4 star hotels

What’s Included

  • 8 nights hotel accommodation
  • Breakfast buffets
  • Luggage transfer
  • 7-speed hybrid bicycle with breakdown assistance
  • Personal instruction at tour start
  • Route descriptions & maps
  • Additional tourist information

What’s Not Included

  • Lunches and dinners
  • Ferry from Marken to Volendam and from Enkhuizen to Stavoren, about €30/person
  • Travel Insurance
TypeSelf Guided
Length8 days
From1215 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Dates


Daily arrival May through September 30, 2020

If you prefer an April date, please ask us. The ferry from Enkhuizen – Stavoren does not run every day in April. From mid April on, it runs only on the weekend.

Skill Level

Easy self-guided hotel tour traversing over mostly flat, hard asphalt roads or bike paths. Average daily distances of about 30 miles

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Around the IJsselmeer Map

Day 1: Arrival in Kampen
Day 2: Kampen – Harderwijk, 26 mi. (42 km)
Day 3: Harderwijk – Weesp, 36 mi.  (58 km)
Day 4: Weesp – Marken. By ferry Marken – Volendam. Volendam - Edam, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 5: Edam -  Enkhuizen, 27 mi. (44 km)
Day 6: Enkhuizen - Stavoren by ferry. Stavoren – Lemmer, 27 mi. or 34 mi. ( 43 or 56 km)
Day 7: Lemmer - Giethoorn, 29 mi. (47 km)
Day 8: Giethoorn – Kampen, 23 mi.  (37 km)
Day 9: Departure from Kampen

All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Arrival in Kampen
Kampen is one of the towns that formed the former Hanseatic League, a trade community from around the 12th to 16th  century. From Amsterdam there is a good train connection to reach this lovely historic town in the eastern part of the Netherlands.

Day 2: Kampen – Harderwijk (42 km)
On this day, our local representative will meet with you in the lobby of your hotel, hand out of equipment, and instruct you thoroughly regarding your upcoming ride. 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 Harderwijk, where you’ll spend the night in the historic city center.

Day 3: Harderwijk – Weesp (58 km)
Today is the longest ride of the tour but a lovely one which can easily be combined with other activities. Close to Harderwijk, 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. You will bike through lovely forest areas and heath lands before you will visit the historic fortified village of Naarden. At the end of the ride, the route leads through one of the oldest nature reserves in Holland, Naardermeer, up to the historic town of Weesp, just east of Amsterdam.

Day 4: Weesp – Marken. By ferry Marken – Volendam. Volendam - Edam (40 km)
First 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. In Marken, you will take the ferry to Volendam, a well-known tourist attraction. Your hotel in picturesque Edam is only a few kilometers away.

Day 5: Edam -  Enkhuizen (44 km)
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. From Edam, the tour goes north over a beautiful dike with great views on the green polder as well as the blue lake. Half way you will pass the historic town of Hoorn, a jewel to enjoy. Finally over the dike again up to Enkhuizen where you will stay.  Enkhuizen, has for sure the most beautiful harbor in the Netherlands.

Day 6: Enkhuizen - Stavoren by ferry. Stavoren – Lemmer ( 43 or 56 km)
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 is highly recommended and has great architecture. Quiet and small bike paths alongside the great blue lakes will bring you in the forest near Balk and finally by the lovely village of Sloten towards the UNESCO steamingmill of Lemmer. Your hotel is just nearby.

Day 7: Lemmer - Giethoorn (47 km)
What a great day ahead as one of the most impressives rides you can imagine awaits. A beautiful National Park is situated halfway between Lemmer and Giethoorn. It is called the Weerribben and Wieden National Park. This park is a marshland with many small islands, creeks and lakes. Of course, the route takes you straight through the park. Giethoorn our Dutch Venice will be the highlight of the day and it’s a must to rent a boat at the hotel to explore all the creeks yourself.

Day 8: Giethoorn – Kampen (37 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. By leaving the lake district you will arrive in Kampen once again and you have finished the Golden Circle.

Day 9: Departure from Kampen
Departure following breakfast

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Tour Reviews

  • Nancy M. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    We had done 2 boat and bike trips before doing this hotel to hotel trip. We knew the mapping system so could take the daily maps and go with it. Had it been our first trip it might have been hard. That said, it was our best trip yet!

  • Patricia Hart 7 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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 Read more… 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 8 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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 9 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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.


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