Lass dich von der Nordseebrise mitreißen und radel entlang der Küste vorbei an Strand und Meer, vor allem aber durch die Dünen. Ein großer Teil dieser Collection widmet sich der Nordsee. Die Route basiert auf dem berühmten Fernradweg EuroVelo 12, den wir nutzen, um zwei Weltstädte miteinander verbinden. Der Startpunkt dieser Collection liegt im Herzen von Amsterdam. Eine Reihe herausfordernder Etappen bringt dich von dort in die Innenstadt von London.
Obwohl die Luftlinie zwischen den Städten nur 350 Kilometer beträgt, sind es auf Rädern ganze 580 Kilometer. Unterwegs lässt du dich mehrmals von Fähren übers Wasser bringen, was dir ein paar Kilometer erspart. Die längste Fährfahrt beträgt ganze 42 Kilometer.
Während der Reise passierst du drei Landesgrenzen. Von den Niederlanden radelst du über Belgien und ein Stück Frankreich nach England. Die ersten beiden Grenzen überquerst du auf dem Fahrrad, die letzte mit der Fähre.
Eine Umfrage des Fietsersbond – des Radfahrerverbands der Niederlande – ergab, dass die Nordsee-Route die schönste Strecke der Landes ist. Hier ist es fast unmöglich, sich zu verirren, da die Route oft direkt an der Küste entlang führt. Und wer jetzt meint, das sei langweilig, der liegt falsch. Die Landschaft ist unglaublich vielfältig. Die Natur entlang der Route ist under anderem durch Dünenwälder und weite Polder geprägt. Weitere Höhepunkte sind die belgischen Strände und die weißen Kreideklippen in Dover.
Die Route führt dich auch durch historische Städte und kleine Badeorte, die sich für einen schönen Zwischenstopp anbieten. Eine Tasse Kaffee oder ein Eis ist fast überall zu finden. Unterwegs genießt du die beeindruckende Architektur von alten Kathedralen und an deinem Ziel die moderne Skyline Londons.
Die Etappen dieser Collection sind so geplant, dass sie in (mittelgroßen) Städten beginnen und enden. Auf diese Weise ist es überhaupt kein Problem, einen Schlafplatz in einem Hotel oder einer Frühstückspension zu finden. Unterwegs hast du auch reichlich Gelegenheiten zum Essen und Trinken. Die Wege sind fast vollständig asphaltiert und eignen sich daher für so ziemlich jede Art von Fahrrad.
The first stage takes you through town and country. From the center of Amsterdam you cycle through colorful flower fields and along a spectacular dune landscape. You finish in the seaside resort of Scheveningen in The Hague.The starting point of the Tour is at Amsterdam Central. Immediately after departure you cycle along historic canal houses and over narrow bridges. Once outside the city, you cycle through the northwestern tip of the Green Heart.A bit below Lisse, near the Keukenhof, is the Tulperij. During the flowering period you can visit the flower fields here and enjoy the beautifully colored tulips, daffodils and hyacinths.After you have passed the village of Katwijk, the sea comes into view. You will never lose sight of the sea for the rest of the route. The cycle path winds through the sand dunes.The surroundings are truly beautiful. Don't forget to look around you every now and then. You have a wide view from the high dune tops. Even the skyline of The Hague can be seen.The last part of the route runs along the Scheveningen boulevard. The signature pier had been visible for a while, but the beach pavilions and restaurants are now also coming into view. You can spend the night in Scheveningen in one of the many hotels.
During the second stage a varied ride is on the program. The environment varies from coast to (industrial) ports. A ferry and a number of delta works complete the adventure.If you leave early from Scheveningen, you may still be able to see the fishing boats sailing out. Just outside the popular seaside resort, a beautiful dune path takes you right through the high sand dunes of the Westduinpark. This beautiful part of the route runs all the way to the harbor of Hoek van Holland.With the Fast Ferry - RET you can easily cross the Nieuwe Waterweg. During the crossing you will experience the greatness of the port of Rotterdam. You sail past large container ships and who knows, you may even spot seals. Check the RET website for the current departure times.On the site of Maasvlakte 2, you make a small tour around De Slufter. From the edge of this large storage for harbor sludge you have a beautiful view over the Maasvlakte beach. You cycle towards Rockanje via the wooded Voornes Duin. Here you can rest on one of the terraces.Via the Haringvlietdam you reach the head of Goeree-Overflakkee. On the dam that is part of the delta work, there is a cycle path with a length of approximately one kilometer. If you're unlucky, you have the wind right in front. Fortunately, the final destination is close by.In the picturesque village of Ouddorp you can spend the night in a bed & breakfast. Ouddorp is also called by some the pearl of Goeree-Overflakkee.
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On the third day you cycle through a number of islands to the province of Zeeland. Along the way you pass beautiful highlights such as Burgh-Haamstede and Neeltje Jans. It is therefore advisable to leave early and to make a number of stops.After breakfast you will cycle a bit north. A few kilometers outside Ouddorp there is a perfectly paved cycle path through the dunes. The Westhoofd lighthouse is a striking target and the path passes right by it.When you have cycled past the lighthouse, the cycle path over the Brouwersdam starts. From the higher road you have a beautiful panoramic view of the North Sea and the Grevelingenmeer. The Brouwersdam is one of the delta works and connects Goeree-Overflakkee with Schouwen-Duiveland.The cycle path winds its way past the villages of Renesse, Burgh-Haamstede and Westenschouwen. A short stop in the pleasant center of Burgh-Haamstede is certainly recommended.The route continues in the direction of the Oosterscheldekering. You will find the Neeltje Jans information center halfway along the dam. Here you will learn everything about the delta works and the Netherlands' struggle against the water.The last part of the route takes you more through the Zeeland interior. Instead of sea and beach, you can enjoy the vast green polders here.The final destination of this Tour is in historic Middelburg. In addition to hotels and restaurants, you will find no fewer than 1100 national monuments here. The Zeeland capital is therefore the perfect place to spend the rest of the day.
Stage four will be another exciting day. Despite the shorter distance, there is a lot to see. A special moment follows after approximately 40 kilometers. This is where you pass the first border of this Collection.After you have maneuvered your way through the narrow streets of Middelburg, you drive a long way along the Canal through Walcheren. The canal runs all the way to the port of Vlissingen and eventually ends in the Western Scheldt.In the port you can also board the Fast Ferry to Breskens. You buy a ticket on the spot, reservation is not necessary and the crossing takes about 20 minutes.From Breskens follow your coastline and pass the nice town of Cadzand. Shark teeth can be found on the beach. A few kilometers away is the border with Belgium. A boundary marker indicates that you have actually arrived in a new country.The first Belgian place on the route is Knokke-Heist. After this the route runs parallel again along the coast. When you have passed the Leopold Canal and the port of Zeebrugge, you are almost at today's final destination.Blankenberge is one of the most vibrant seaside resorts in Belgium. All conceivable amenities are available here. This way you can optimally prepare for the next cycling day.
On the fifth day of the journey to London, follow the coastline further southeast. The environment will change drastically today. You are cycling across national border number two to France.The start of the route follows the bicycle highway between Knokke and Nieuwpoort. In Wenduine you can make a short stop to enjoy the view. You may not immediately notice, but there are no high-rise buildings here. So enjoy a beautiful panoramic view.You cycle towards Bredene via the nature reserve De Zandpanne and the seaside resort of De Haan. Here you will find some historical monuments such as bunkers from the Second World War and a real 18th century fortress of Napoleon.A ferry takes you from one bank of the Voorhaven to the other. You suddenly arrived in Ostend. On the boulevard of this coastal town you will find various works of art and the names of famous actors engraved in the road surface.The cycle path over the Zeedijk to Westende-Bad runs directly on the coast. At the village of Lombardsijde, the route turns inland. The next part of the route is a little further from the coast. This means you are better protected against any headwind.After 55 kilometers, the moment has finally arrived: the crossing to country number three on the list is a fact. From the border it is only a few kilometers to the final vote Dunkirk, Dunkerque in French. You spend the night in a hotel. There are also plenty of campsites in the area. There are also ferries from Dunkirk to England. So you can already make the crossing from here.
Although the distance of stage six may seem considerable, the number of kilometers to be cycled is not that bad. After a drive of 40 kilometers you arrive in Calais. Here you catch the ferry to Dover, England.The cycle path takes you to the west side of Dunkirk. Just outside the center is a beautiful public garden with beautiful plants and flowers. In Grevelines the route follows the contours of this old fortified city.At the village of Oye-Plage you cycle a little closer to the coast. In some places you can also see the wide sandy beach. As you pass Notre-Dame de-l'Immaculée-Conception, the port of Calais comes into view.It is advisable to book your ticket some time in advance. That way you usually have the best deal. A boat leaves every two hours and the crossing takes about 90 minutes. Your bicycle will be placed on the car deck, so make sure you have a lock with you to secure the bicycle.On board you will find all kinds of facilities, such as shops, restaurants, play areas and bars. This way you don't have to get bored during the trip. After an hour of sailing, the imposing chalk cliffs of Dover loom on the horizon.Once set foot on mainland England, you can check-in directly at the hotel. Another option is to visit the "White Cliffs of Dover". Where you previously saw the white cliffs from the ferry, you can climb to a viewpoint here. You might see the ferry sailing back to Calais.
The seventh stage and first Tour over English territory promises to be a tough day. You leave the flat countryside along the coast for the rolling hills of the southern England region of Kent. Oh, beware! In England, the driving is on the left.No visit to Dover is complete until you have visited the castle. The climb to it is considerable, but the view from the castle garden is phenomenal. The 360-degree view covers inland, city, harbor and sea.The next part of the route undulates the road surface. But make no mistake. Because even though the road mainly runs downhill, there are some tough climbs in the route.After about 25 kilometers you can have a cup of coffee and a piece of cake in a cafe that is all about cycling. In café The Independent Pedaler even bicycles hang on the wall for decoration.Halfway along the route you cycle through the beautiful town of Canterbury. The town is known for its medieval character. Here you will find the famous Canterbury Cathedral and a number of other world heritage sites. During the Second World War Canterbury was badly damaged by bombing. Fortunately, the buildings have been fully restored.The route continues along the wooded area of Church Wood. Here you have a beautiful view of the rolling hills and the characteristic English villages.Today's final destination is near Sittingbourne. Here you will find a wide range of hotels and other facilities.
The last stage promises to be a challenging ride. With a distance of over 80 kilometers, this is not only the longest ride, you will also have to overcome some climbs. However, the views over the Thames and central London will give you the extra energy you need.From the starting location it is approximately 50 kilometers before the Thames can be seen. The Thames is England's second longest river, running right through the heart of London. But first you cycle through a number of typical English villages with beautiful architecture. Rochester Cathedral is also beautiful.From Erith you keep following the left bank of the river for quite a few kilometers. The closer you get to the English capital, the more beautiful the views get. Along the way you will pass interesting architecture and shipyards. For example, you cycle past the O2 building, also known as the Millennium Dome. Known from the James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.From the Greenwich district the route continues through the city. Despite the hustle and bustle of city life, cycling is pleasant here. The cycle path is about the "Cycleway Q1". A separate cycle path where you will encounter much less traffic over a section of six kilometers.The finish location of this Collection is in one of the most emblematic places of London; the Westminster Bridge. You can see the London Eye on one side and Big Ben on the other. It hardly gets much "Londoner". Maybe with a plate of Fish and Chips and an English Pint.The return trip to the Netherlands can be done in various ways. One option is by plane. Check the conditions of the airline company in advance. You can also take your bicycle with you on the Eurostar train. However, this is a bit more difficult due to various provisions. See the Eurostar website for more information. The easiest way is to return home by boat. A nice option is the ferry service between Harwich and Hoek van Holland.