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 has 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 heathlands.
- Cycling in Holland, a cycling paradise
All of our bike tours in the Netherlands can be found here.
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.
Accommodation: Boetiek Hotel Kampen, Kampen
Day 2: Kampen - Harderwijk (42 km)
On this day, our local representative will meet with you in the lobby of your hotel, hand out rental 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.
Accommodation: Baars, Harderwijk
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.
Accommodation: Hart van Weesp, Weesp
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.
Accommodation: De Fortuna, Edam
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 colorful past. From Edam, the tour goes north over a beautiful dike with great views on the green polder as well as the blue lake. Halfway 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, is known to have one of the most beautiful harbors in the Netherlands.
Accommodation: Port van Cleve, Enkhuizen
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.
Accommodation: Hotel Lemmer, Lemmer
Day 7: Lemmer - Giethoorn (47 km)
What a great day ahead as one of the most impressive 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.
Accommodation: Harmonie, Giethoorn
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.
Accommodation: Boetiek Hotel Kampen, Kampen
Day 9: Departure from Kampen
Departure following breakfast
Hotels & Bikes
Excellent 3 to 4-star hotels. In the itinerary, you will find the name of the preferred hotel but your final hotel list will be based on availability. If the preferred hotel is not available, you will be accommodated in an establishment of equal standard.
Your bicycle will be prepared for your arrival, taking into account your gender, height, personal requirements, and your accessory reservation. The rental bikes available are 8-speed multi-geared adult bikes, in both men's and ladies' models, and are manufactured by Koga. Their top-class aluminum hybrid models are built according to our own critical standards and specifications and are the best rental bikes you will find in Holland. Included with the bike rental:
- A toolkit
- Tire repair kit
- Water bottle
- Breakdown assistance
The Bosch Active Line Plus mid-drive motor offers optimum service life and reliability. The seamless integration of strength, rotation, and speed sensors results in spectacular intuitive support. The E-bike is provided with 400Wh Li-ion batteries with the longest life cycle available and supports your daily bike trip without any problem. Charging is only necessary at night.
Children’s bikes and accessories
A wide range of bikes and trailers are available and suitable for children of all ages.
Bike Assortment Age Child trailer 1-3 years Child seat 2-4 years Trailer bike/tag along 4-6 years Follow me 7-8 years Child tandem 3-8 years 20" child bike 7-8 years 24 " child bike 8-11 years 26 " child bike 11-13 years
- Hotel accommodations for 8 nights
- Breakfast buffets
- Luggage transfer
- 8-speed hybrid bicycle with breakdown assistance
- Personal instruction at the tour start
- Route descriptions on a GPS device & maps
- Additional tourist information
What’s Not Included
- Lunches & dinners
- Ferry from Marken to Volendam & from Enkhuizen to Stavoren, about €30/person
- Travel Insurance
Dates & Pricing
Daily arrivals between April 1 and September 30, 2022
If you prefer an April date, please ask us. The ferry from Enkhuizen – Stavoren does not run every day in April.
Double/twin: $ 2083 £ 1105 $ 1,881 € 1290 ₪ 4738 NZ$ 2223 kr 13802 $ 1,490
Single supplement: on request
Electric bike rental: $ 129 £ 69 $ 117 € 80 ₪ 294 NZ$ 138 kr 856 $ 92
Dinners included: on request
If opting for an electric bicycle, please note only women's e-bikes are available.
Skill Level — Easy
Easy self-guided hotel tour traversing over mostly flat, hard asphalt roads or bike paths. Average daily distances of about 30 miles
Fly to Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (AMS)
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.
Electric bicycle available for this tour upon request.
Important to know
It is each traveler's responsibility to research travel requirements and to ensure that you are in compliance with the country or countries you plan to visit. This includes and is not limited to passport validity, blank visa pages required for your destination (s), and any other requirement.
US citizens: A good website to research the requirements of the Schengen Agreement and other countries is travel.state.gov.
Non-EU citizens: Please research the requirements of your country of residence for international travel and the destination country.
EU-citizens: (without special situations like dual citizenship, main residence abroad or a limited-validity passport) are required to have a valid passport or ID-card, not expiring within six (6) months from the end of your tour.
*Important note: Please check on the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) status as once implemented, this 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.
Country Entry Requirements
Due to the changing requirements for entry, it is imperative that you stay up to date on requirements set by the country/countries that you are visiting. Please visit our Travel Restrictions Tool page and the country/countries government webpage for this information.
This tour is run by Tulip Cycling.
We value the strong relationship we have with our local partners and the services we provide.
We are not a broker.
We do not inflate tour prices.
We are simply travelers helping travelers.