Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

Cycling in the footsteps of artists in the Netherlands

PThalia (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Cycling in the footsteps of artists in the Netherlands

Bike Touring Collection by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

Painting has always played an important role in the Netherland’s history. The arts celebrated their heyday during the Golden Age in the 17th century, and continue to thrive today. This Collection of Tours includes beautiful cycling routes for art lovers. In seven Tours you follow in the footsteps of some of the Netherlands' greatest painters from the Renaissance period to modern art, including artistic movements such as De Stijl.

You'll cycle past birthplaces and places that influenced artists' careers. Some artists were inspired by cities and nature. For example, Jheronimus Bosch learned to paint in the city of Den Bosch. Rembrandt van Rijn, one of the most influential painters of the 17th century, enjoyed strolling along the Amstel River and exploring the surrounding countryside. With a sketchbook and pencil in hand, he was inspired by nature. In the historic city centre of Delft, Johannes Vermeer would draw iconic city landscapes. Vincent van Gogh, on the otherhand, would draw and paint scenerys around his birthplace in Brabant. Close to the town of Winterswijk in the eastern Netherlands, you can find the roots of Piet Mondriaan, known as the ‘father’ of abstract art.

As well as taking you to many places that inspired several Dutch painters, the Tours also visit a number of museums dedicated to the artistic masters. You will ride through quiet rural scenes before visiting the centres of various cities. This also makes the Tours convenient to reach by public transport as they often start and end near train stations. You can also park your car here too. Have fun!

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Intermediate
    02:37
    26.9 mi
    10.3 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    There are not many sights that remind of Johannes Vermeer. But in this Tour I have found a number. The Tour takes you straight through Delft - where Vermeer has lived all his life -, Schipluiden and past the famous Mauritshuis.
    The start of the route is in the historic center of Delft, near the central station. You can also start the tour right here. You cycle south via the cycle path along the banks of the Schie. After approximately four kilometers you reach the Abtswoudse Bos. In this wooded polder area it is wonderful to cycle on the separate cycle paths. Not much later you cycle into Midden-Delfland. Here you imagine yourself far away from the big cities, but appearances can be deceiving. Rotterdam and The Hague are a stone's throw away.
    The first place that evokes a memory of Vermeer can be found in Schipluiden. Here he married Catharina Bolnes on April 20, 1653 in a secret church. Via Wateringen and Rijswijk you cycle further towards The Hague. Here is a special place included on the route; the Mauritshuis. The Mauritshuis is a museum where several historical painting arts of Dutch origin are exhibited. The world famous 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer hangs here.The next part of the route runs along the Schie again. This time you cycle into Delft from the north side. At the end of the ride you will find the Vermeer Center. This is the only place in the world where you can view Vermeer's entire oeuvre. True in reproduction, but no less impressive. You will also find the Grote Kerk nearby. This is not only the oldest church in Delft, this is also the place where Vermeer is buried in the family grave. If you still have time, you can settle down in one of the restaurants on the Haven Hooikade. Here Vermeer paints "View of Delft", one of the most famous cityscapes of the 17th century.

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    Easy
    01:41
    17.1 mi
    10.2 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Ferry
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Although Rembrandt van Rijn grew up in Leiden and learned the basics of drawing here, he soon moved to Amsterdam. The river Amstel was soon a great source of inspiration for him. In this Tour you will visit some of these places.The route starts a bit east of Amsterdam Central. The start is therefore easiest to reach by train. If you come by car, you prefer to park it in Amsterdam-Noord, for example at the A'DAM tower and then take the free ferry. After you have maneuvered your way along the canal houses, you reach the Rembrandthuis. A museum entirely dedicated to Rembrandt, located in his former home.The Blauwbrug is only a few hundred meters away. Rembrandt's drawing "The Amstel seen from the Blauwbrug" clearly shows what it used to look like. The further you cycle out of the center of amsterdam, the emptier the Amsteloever becomes. It is precisely here that Rembrandt captured many picturesque landscapes. An example of such a place is the Omval. Just outside the city you cycle on this former headland. Here he drew his etching with the name - how could it be otherwise - De Omval, which is on display in the Rijksmuseum.After about seven kilometers, the urban buildings make way for farms and mills. Rembrandt liked to draw these elements. In Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, known for the etching "Bruggetje van Six", you are about halfway along the route. The way back of the route takes you over the left bank of the Amstel. Enjoy the beautiful views. Upon entering Amsterdam, you may still have some time left to visit the Rijksmuseum. Here you can see many works by Rembrandt on the canvas. The finish of the route is back at the central station.

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  • Intermediate
    03:08
    33.8 mi
    10.8 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This Tour is a tour from the birthplace of one of the Netherlands and even the world's most famous painters: the post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh. Via a beautiful drive from Zundert you will encounter some cultural and natural highlights, including the Rucphense Heide.In Zundert in North Brabant, a boy was born on March 30, 1853 who would later become world famous. The route therefore starts at his former home. This house also houses an art center that is all about Vincent van Gogh. The start is easiest to reach by car. You do the round trip against the clock, but the other way around is also possible. Besides cornfields you pass wooded areas and beautiful heathlands. It is easy to imagine that the environment must have been inspiring for van Gogh.The first part of the Tour takes you along the Pannenhoef. This area is characterized by beautiful pools and flowery meadows. Van Gogh often took walks from his hometown, along fields and through forests. Chances are, therefore, that his lifelong love for nature originated in this place. The cycle path continues along the villages of Rucphen and Zegge.Via a loop through the Visdonkse Bos you cycle towards the Rucphense Heide, a military training area that consists of coniferous and deciduous forests. You will also find large areas of heather here. The last part of the route runs straight through the Brabant landscape. Here Van Gogh drew various nature impressions of things that you will also see on a bicycle today. Just before you arrive back in Zundert, there is one more special stop on the route: the Abbey Maria Toevlucht - Zundert brewery. The Trappist beer Zundert is brewed here by monks. Cheers!

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    Intermediate
    02:53
    29.5 mi
    10.2 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In this Tour you will not only discover the most beautiful places in Brabant, you will also cycle past many places that have influenced Vincent van Gogh's painting career. The start and finish of the route is in Etten-Leur, near Breda.The start of the route is in front of the train station of Etten-Leur. If you prefer to come by car, you can park in one of the parking garages near the starting point. Today's first stop is only 500 meters away. In the Van Gogh Church you will learn everything about the early days of his painting career. An impressive exhibition can be seen in the church. Among other things, about farm life and Brabant's nature.It is precisely the Brabant landscape and the villages that were a favorite place for van Gogh, where he liked to paint. For example, you cycle along the Leursestraatje, a place that Van Gogh once painted. You cycle the round counterclockwise. The cycle path directs you in the direction of the Pannenhoef; a nature reserve with beautiful pools and special bird species.The next highlight you will pass is the Liesbos. This is one of the oldest deciduous forests in the Netherlands. The Liesbos was once used for hunting, a popular activity for people of high nobility such as the Oranje-Nassaus. Now it is a beautiful recreation area. You will also find a cozy restaurant here where you can take a break.The last part of the route is north of Etten-Leur. Here you can feast your eyes well and who knows, you might see some famous places from some of van Gogh's works. As mentioned, the backyard of Etten-Leur was an important place for drawing and painting. This is where his dream to become an artist became reality after he registered here as a painter.

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    Difficult
    03:23
    32.2 mi
    9.5 mph
    375 ft
    375 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    This route takes you along the German border through the beautiful landscape with ash trees, long avenues and hedgerows. In addition to discovering the beauty of the Achterhoek landscape, you will follow the footsteps of one of the Netherlands' most famous painters, Piet Mondriaan.Winterswijk is the place where Piet Mondrian started his art career. He grew up here between the ages of 8 and 20. The start of the route is therefore in the heart of Winterswijk and is easily accessible by public transport or car. Less than 150 meters after departure, the first memory of Mondrian awaits you. Here is a work of art called 'Always Boogie Woogie', inspired by a sketch by Mondrian. Mondrian is known for its distinctive horizontal and vertical black lines and primary colors.The route continues in a south-westerly direction. You cycle along the edge of the high moor area Korenburgerveen. Because this is a vulnerable nature reserve, access is limited. After all, there are plenty of repairs going on. From the bike you do get a good impression of the fields, hedgerows and heather in the area. In Groenlo - a former fortified town - you have the opportunity to eat and drink something.Keep your eyes open on the way. In some places you will pass information boards of Piet Mondrian in the Winterswijk landscape. These signs have been placed by Museum Villa Mondriaan and give an impression of locations that Mondrian has drawn or painted. And you regularly cycle past picturesque farms and stately mansions.Via the Steengroeveweg you cycle into the village center of Winterswijk. The last stop and final destination is at the Museum Villa Mondriaan. The Museum Villa Mondriaan is entirely devoted to the early years of Dutch painter Piet Mondriaan. The museum is located in Mondriaan's parental home in Winterswijk. Who knows, you might see recognizable places on the works that you have passed before.

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    Intermediate
    02:45
    28.7 mi
    10.4 mph
    425 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This Tour connects Utrecht and Amersfoort. The cities have something in common. Utrecht is the birthplace of Gerrit Rietveld and Piet Mondrian was born in Amersfoort. Both artists were part of the art movement De Stijl. Along the way you will pass some beautiful highlights.The start of the route is a little further at the train station of Maarsen. The end of the journey is also at a train station. This way you can easily travel back home at the end of the day. Shortly after you have crossed the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, you cycle towards Oud-Zuilen. The beautiful Zuylen Castle is located here. Rietveld once designed a table and a number of chairs for the castle.You continue your way via the cycle path called the Oeverlandroute. The cycle path here follows the left bank of the Vecht. The river runs all the way to the center of Utrecht. At the Weerdsluis, the Vecht divides into a number of canals that meander through the city center. The cycle path follows the Oudegracht. This is perhaps one of the most characteristic parts of Utrecht. You cycle further towards that other iconic eye-catcher of Utrecht: the Dom Tower.The Rietveld Schröder House is located on the edge of the center of Utrecht. The Rietveld Schröderhuis is a private house designed in 1923 by Gerrit Rietveld. The design of the Rietveld Schröder House is inspired by Mondrian's famous work of art 'Composition II', the well-known block pattern with primary colors. The architecture of the house is a fantastic tour de force. So special that the house has even been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to this place is definitely recommended.Amersfoort comes into view via Slot Zeist and Soesterberg. The Mondriaanhuis is located in the middle of the historic city center. Here you can see an exhibition of the (geometric) abstract art with which he has become so famous. Now that you are in the center of Amersfoort, you might as well have something to eat in one of the many restaurants before you return home.

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    Intermediate
    03:04
    31.9 mi
    10.4 mph
    400 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    This Tour departs and ends in Den Bosch by Dutch painter Jeroen Bosch, also known as Jheronimus Bosch. Unlike other painters, Bosch was successful in his own time, in the late fifteenth century.The beautiful monumental buildings create a special atmosphere in the Bossche center. Faith became very important during the Middle Ages. As a result, many churches and monasteries have been built in Den Bosch. It is therefore not surprising that the art center, which is entirely dedicated to Jeroen Bosch, is located in the former Sint-Jacobskerk. The church houses a permanent exhibition about the life of one of the Netherlands' most famous painters.About 25 paintings are known by Jeroen Bosch. These are all over the world, from Washington to Madrid. Unfortunately, little is known about Bosch's childhood. It is known that he was trained in his father's studio.You can also choose to visit the center before departure, or at the end of the day. From Den Bosch you follow approximately 15 kilometers of cycle path until you arrive in another world. In the Loonse en Drunense Duinen you will find woodland, heather but above all a lot of sand. The route makes a loop through this beautiful nature reserve, which is one of the Dutch national parks. Wind can blow undisturbed here, which keeps the landscape changing.Hopefully you will have a tailwind on the way back. Because from the nature reserve it is only 15 kilometers to the final destination. In between you will pass Vlijmen. Just outside the city limits is another beautiful piece of nature reserve: the Moerputten. Here you will find open water, swamps and blue grasslands with special flora and fauna. The Moerputten were created by cutting low peat from peat that served as fuel. You cycle through the Westerpark into the center of Den Bosch.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    200 mi
  • Duration
    19:31 h
  • Elevation
    2,375 ft

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