Drenthe - Holland’s Venice
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.
Where You’ll Stay
Nice hotels and/or B&Bs.
- 7 nights accommodations
- Hybrid bicycle
- Maps & route information
- Luggage transportation
- Additional tourist information
What’s Not Included
- Lunches & dinners
Day 1: Arrival in Giethoorn
Day 2: Giethoorn day tour (varying distances)
Day 3: Giethoorn – Dwingeloo, 34 mi. or 44 mi. (55 or 71 km)
Day 4: Dwingeloo – Westerbork, 36 mi. (58 km)
Day 5: Westerbork day tour, 36 mi. (58 km)
Day 6: Westerbork – Diever, 33 mi. (54 km)
Day 7: Diever – Giethoorn, 27 mi. (46 km)
Day 8: Departure from Giethoorn
All distances are approximate.
DAY 1: Arrival in Giethoorn
Arrival in Giethoorn with the evening free to explore this great town on water known as the Venice of the North.
DAY 2: Giethoorn day tour (varying distances)
Today you can rent the traditional Giethoorn ‘punter’, similar to the gondola in Venice. Take a bike tour through the wildlife sanctuary De Weerribben, a marshland with many small islands. Whatever route you take, you will constantly enjoy the magnificent panorama of these unique wetlands.
DAY 3: Giethoorn – Dwingeloo, 34 or 44 mi. (55 or 71 km)
A beautiful path that runs alongside Lake Boven Wijde will bring you in the province of Drenthe. You will find age-old farmsteads and you will enjoy the quiet roads as you are in the least populated areas of the Netherlands.
DAY 4: Dwingeloo – Westerbork, 36 mi. (58 km)
Today’s tour is a classical Drenthe tour. You will start by riding through a dense forest, and then you’ll cross a vast heather field, which is part of the Dwingelderveld National Park. Afterwards, you will pass age-old dolmen. The end of the day’s tour is the historical village of Westerbork, a perfect place for a 2-night stay.
DAY 5: Westerbork day tour, 36 mi. (58 km)
There are a lot of things you can do today. A visit to ‘Camp Westerbork’, a former concentration camp from which Dutch Jews were deported to Germany during WWII, will make a deep and lasting impression. In Orvelte, you can visit the open-air museum and in Borger, a visit to the dolmen-museum might be a good choice.
DAY 6: Westerbork – Diever, 33 mi. (54 km)
Cycling Holland along serene countryside roads, you will head for scenic villages like Dwingeloo and Diever, where, as it seems, time has stood still. A wonderful track through the Smilde forestry will lead you to the heather fields north of Doldersum. You will definitely enjoy the magnificent panorama of these green and purple fields.
DAY 7: Diever – Giethoorn, 27 mi. (46 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, is living 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.