Dive into the rich history of the former Zuiderzee, a shallow bay in the north of the Netherlands which is now the country’s largest lake. During the Golden Age and the heyday of the Dutch East India shipping company, Amsterdam and Hoorn harbours were important trading places and towns like Volendam and Lemmer would once have been thriving fishing villages. However, when humans finally won their battle against the water with the completion of the Afsluitdijk causeway, the towns and landscapes around the Zuiderzee changed forever. Covering 440 kilometres (273 miles) in 8 stages, you cycle back in time through cosy fishing villages, centuries-old trading towns and beautiful nature.
The route begins in the Zeeburg district of Amsterdam. As parking in the Dutch capital is notoriously difficult, it’s easier to arrive by train. The start of the route is just a short distance from the central station. In this Collection, I cycle the circular in a clockwise direction, but you can also choose to ride it the other way. Have a look at the weather forecast, especially the direction of the wind, before deciding which way to ride the loop.
With a relatively short average daily distance of 50 kilometres (30 miles), the route is an ideal relaxed cycling adventure. The longest stage is when you cross the 32-kilometre (18.8-mile) long Afsluitdijk causeway. In the coming years, you will travel this section with a special bus whilst Rijkswaterstaat conducts work on the dam. But, you’ll be able to ride over it in the future. Each stage finishes in a town or city with everything you need: a cup of coffee, lunch, or a hotel is never far away. You can also find campsites on the outskirts of town.
Enjoy the vast polder landscapes, characteristic farms, impressive Hanseatic towns, sleepy fishing villages, lofty warehouses, mighty waterworks and much, much more. Have fun!
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: December 20, 2021
Today's ride starts from the most easterly part of Amsterdam: IJburg. You can almost touch the waters of the former Zuiderzee. But before that happens you first have to cross the Schellingwouderbrug. After less than three kilometers it is already that far: water in sight.
The first village along the Waterlandse…
In the ride between Hoorn and Medemblik you imagine yourself back in the Golden Age for a while. You cycle west on a beautiful road along the historic harbors of Hoorn. Navigating is easy during the next few kilometers. All you have to do is follow the shore of the Markermeer.
The cycle path leads you…
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This Tour between Medemblik and Workum largely runs over one of the Netherlands' most impressive buildings: the 32-kilometer-long Afsluitdijk. Via the flood defense that has turned the Zuiderzee into the IJsselmeer, you cycle to the province of Friesland.
But before it gets that far, you still have a…
In the stage between Workum and Lemmer you descend deeper through Fryslân and you pass no less than three of the eleven Frisian Eleven Cities - starting location Workum included.
From Workum you cycle a little further inland. You only cycle along the water again from Hindeloopen. Hindeloopen is the next…
Today's route, the one between Lemmer and Kraggenburg, will be a special one. For the first time in the Collection, you will leave the banks of the IJsselmeer. The route follows the old contours of the Zuiderzee and, as strange as that may sound, it runs across land.
Take a good look at the water from…
In stage number six you will zigzag from Kraggenburg to Elburg. The route continues through the Noordoostpolder. The landscape is flat as a dime and some impressive sights await along the way.
Via a loop from the starting location you will quickly arrive at the first Highlight. The former Schokland peninsula…
The ride between Elburg and Spakenburg runs from start to finish along the Veluwerandmeren. You will cycle most of the stage along the former coastline of the Zuiderzee. But in some places you take a short trip to the "new land".
You start from the city walls of the square fortified town of Elburg. A…
In the last leg of your journey around the Zuiderzee, you still have a number of nice kilometers to spare. The highlights you pass today are perhaps the most beautiful of the entire route. The best for last, isn't it?
The route runs along the edge of the Eemmeer & Gooimeer. At Huizen you will find a number…
Bike Touring Collection by Simon Rosmolen
Bike Touring Collection by komoot
Bike Touring Collection by komoot
Bike Touring Collection by Michael Drummond