Great biking around Giethoorn, Overijssel, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:PhotoBobil
Windmills aplenty in Drenthe, Holland. Photo courtesy of Netherlands Board of Tourism

Red roofs common in Holland. Photo courtesy of Netherlands Board of Tourism
4/5 (1 review)

Drenthe - Holland’s Venice Bike Tour

Netherlands Bike Tours

Cycling Netherlands canals along endless quaint bike paths…

  • This tour starts in Giethoorn, one of the most beautiful villages to be found in the Netherlands. Because of its many islands, creeks, and bridges, it is also called the “Venice of the North.” For cyclists, it is a real paradise: lots of small bike paths are to be found in the middle of these unique water-lands. Opposite is the National park the Swingelderveld, dominated by heath and forests. It is part of the province of Drenthe, which is world-famous for its age-old ‘hunebedden’. These impressive burial mounds can be found several times during this tour. What shouldn’t be forgotten is that this region of Holland is the least-populated area of the Netherlands. And, last but not least, during this tour you predominantly follow small bike paths that cars are forbidden to drive on. For this and many other reasons, cycling in Drenthe is truly a unique experience!

    All of our guided and self-guided bicycle tours in the Netherlands can be found here.

  • Double/twin: $ 1589 £ 792 $ 1,390 871 $ 1631 kr 9843 $ 980 Single supplement: $ 447 £ 223 $ 391 245 $ 459 kr 2769 $ 276

    extra options

    Dinners included: $ 418 £ 208 $ 365 229 $ 429 kr 2588 $ 258 E bike rental and bike protection (price per day): $ 255 £ 127 $ 223 140 $ 262 kr 1582 $ 157 (only possible if two or more e bikes are ordered)

    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.

    Local Travel

    Train from the airport to Steenwijk (± €22), then free transfer to hotel.


    Check local weather conditions prior to departure. Always bring rain gear. The average high in °F is approx. 53 in Apr, 61 May, 66 June, 69 July, 70 Aug, 64 Sep & 57 Oct.


    Electric bicycle available upon request.

Where You’ll Stay

Nice hotels and/or B&Bs.

What’s Included

  • 7 nights accommodations
  • Breakfasts
  • Hybrid bicycle
  • Maps & route information
  • Luggage transfer, limited to one piece per person, not exceeding 20 kg
  • Additional tourist information

What’s Not Included

TypeSelf Guided
Length8 days
From871 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Dates

Daily from April 1 to September 30, 2018

Skill Level

Easy self-guided hotel tour. Daily distances range from 27 to 44 miles over flat, excellent bike paths and side streets.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Drenthe - Holland’s Venice Map

Day 1: Arrival in Giethoorn
Day 2: Giethoorn: day tour of De Weerribben-Wieden National Park , 0 or 37 miles (0 or 60 km)
Day 3: Giethoorn – Dwingeloo: Drents Friese Wold National Park, 37 miles (60 km)
Day 4: Dwingeloo – Westerbork: Dwingelderveld National Park, 41 miles (65 km)
Day 5: Westerbork day tour, 0 or 41 miles (0 or 65 km)
Day 6: Westerbork – Diever: Drents Friese Wold National Park, 44 miles (70 km)
Day 7: Diever – Giethoorn, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 8: Departure from Giethoorn

All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Arrival in Giethoorn
You will stay in a four star hotel that is situated on a canal north of the village, in the middle of nature. You have a short day tour available through the village. You will cross lots of small cycle-paths and wooden bridges in the historical centre.
Day 2: Giethoorn: day tour of De Weerribben-Wieden National Park , 0 or 37 miles (0 or 60 km)
Today's tour goes straight through National Park De Weerribben-Wieden, a marshland with many small islands, creeks and lakes. National Park De Weerribben-Wieden is the largest contiguous fenland of Northwest Europe. The area is an oasis of calm and wide-open space for plants, animals and humans. The Dutch themselves have chosen this area as the most beautiful place in the Netherlands several times. Near Kalenberg, all houses are situated on small islands that can only be reached by small wooden bridges: in the past fifty years nothing has changed here! Halfway through the tour you can have a break in Ossenzijl, a picturesque Dutch village with an ancient sluice and drawbridge. It is the perfect place for a break, since it is a popular day-attraction among the Dutch themselves. From one of the many terraces you can watch boats sailing by.

Day 3: Giethoorn – Dwingeloo: Drents Friese Wold National Park, 37 miles (60 km)
Today you will see ancient burial mounds in the middle of the countryside. The dolmens of Havelte (Hunebedden van Havelte) are probably not as impressive as Stonehenge, but you will have to admit that these huge stones are at least Stonehenge’s little brother and sister. Your route continues via small cycle lanes through the dense forest of Havelte. Once you have crossed the Havelter Bossen (Havelter Woods), you start cycling in the National Park Drents Friese Wold. There's a variety of landscape in a small area: forests, heath and sand drifts will all be crossed. Those who are not afraid of cycling 70 km in one day can also visit Staphorst, a town famous for people wearing traditional dress. 

Day 4: Dwingeloo – Westerbork: Dwingelderveld National Park, 41 miles (65 km)
You will have breakfast at the historical and scenic 'brink' of Dwingeloo. Afterwards you will cycle for a long while in the Dwingelderveld National Park. This National Park is the largest wet heathland in Western Europe. Great views and the scents of heath and woods will dominate while cycling. There's a good chance you will see a shepherd with his sheep wandering under the blue sky. 

Day 5: Westerbork day tour, 0 or 41 miles (0 or 65 km)
Seven kilometers north of Westerbork, the former Westerbork concentration camp is situated. Its function during the Second World War was to assemble Roma and Dutch Jews for transport to other Nazi concentration camps. Nowadays it is called “Herinneringscentrum (Memorial Center) Kamp Westerbork”. You can visit the former camp and its museum. Another possibility is visiting Orvelte, a museum village with a saw mill, a blacksmith and a wooden shoe maker.
If you don't wish to visit museums , you can do some easy cycling in the Drenthe countryside.

Day 6: Westerbork – Diever: Drents Friese Wold National Park, 44 miles (70 km)
From Westerbork you head west towards Diever. You will enjoy Drents Friese Wold National Park once again. Your hotel in Diever stands in a quiet loction in the middle of nature.

Day 7:Diever – Giethoorn, 31 miles (50 km)
Before leaving Drenthe, the tour takes you through the heather fields of Holtinge. The ‘Drenthe heather sheep’, the oldest race of sheep in Western Europe, lives in this area. Two impressive burial mounds near Havelte will be the last stop before cycling back to Giethoorn.

Day 8:Departure from Giethoorn
Departure following breakfast

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Tour Reviews

  • Andrew L. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Our self-guided bike trip to Drench had outstanding scenery due to well-chosen routes, lovely accommodations with excellent food, friendly people, and the best beer in the world. There were problems with the bicycles from the beginning that were met with skepticism when I called for a replacement for one of them, and the directions were sometimes terrific, and other times terrible. There was one incident with the directions where it called for a left turn, but was actually a right. If these problems could be corrected so they don't happen again, this trip would be 5 star and I would recommend it without hesitation.

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