On these seven inspiring Tours, you cycle along the Dutch coast, or at least, what would have been the coast if we hadn’t so cleverly controlled our water. Without our dykes and dunes, our country would look very different. Almost half of the Netherlands lies below the NAP (Amsterdam Ordnance Datum). If you take a look at an elevation map, you can see a rough diagonal line from the village of Bad Nieuweschans to the city of Breda – everything to the west lies below sea level. This route traces this line for 470 kilometres (292 miles).
If you bring your tent, you can spend the night at campsites located very close to where the Tours finish. If you prefer to sleep in a bed, accommodation options are always nearby too. You cycle around 70 kilometres (43 miles) on average per day, but it’s also possible to shorten or lengthen the routes. Check for up-to-date route information before you leave, here (Dutch language only): nederlandfietsland.nl/lf-routes/actuele-info/lf9
As the route crosses nine Dutch provinces, the landscapes change a lot: from ancient forests and heathlands to valleys, streams, hidden fens and marshes. Every now and then, the route drops well below sea level, like in the province of Flevoland. Occasionally, there are some hillier sections, for example in Utrecht. You ride along bicycle-friendly roads, ranging from wide tarmac paths to narrow shell paths.
The route is signposted in both directions. In this Collection, you ride from north to south, but you can cycle it both ways. Following this watery route, you’ll spot the LF signs as well as NAP level markers. In the Netherlands, a water level marker is rarely more than a kilometre away almost everywhere.
The natural beauty here is gradually becoming wilder. Rivers are allowed to meander freely and the sand is left to drift. On the way, you also learn more about the rich history of the Netherlands. In the Hanseatic cities especially, you’ll be amazed by the fascinating stories. So grab your bike and experience first-hand how the Netherlands and water go hand in hand.
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
A large part of this Tour goes through the Drents-Friese Wold National Park, one of the largest nature reserves in the Netherlands. You have a fantastic view from the Bosbergtoren. This National Park, on the border of Southwest Drenthe and Southeast Friesland, comprises more than 6000 hectares of forest, heather, drifting sand and brook valley grasslands.Along the way you will encounter different types of grazers, which keep the lawns and shrubs in the area neatly short. After an impressive twenty kilometers through the nature reserve, you cycle a short distance through the polder. After that it is again hit with the natural beauty in the Holtingerveld, a wonderful cycling area with lots of heather, forest and even a hunebed! There are plenty of picnic areas and benches along the way, where you can enjoy your sandwich with a beautiful view.
Today you cycle from Meppel in Drenthe to Elburg in Gelderland. Where the previous Tours were mainly dedicated to nature, today you often experience the rich city history of the Netherlands. But first you cycle through the green of the blue grasslands in the low moor area between Meppel and Hasselt. The typical ditch pattern in the area is one of the main habitats of the snake-like fish, the loach. This particular fish can survive temporary drying out by crawling in the mud, hence the name.The historic Hanseatic city of Hasselt is centuries old and its history can be seen everywhere. The city is a protected townscape and has more than seventy national monuments, such as the old town hall, the imposing church and the old lime roasteries. Cycling out of the city, along the special Steendijk and the floodplains of Zwarte Water and Vecht is also a party.
Outside Amersfoort you quickly cycle into the So so-dunes, a gigantic "living" drifting sand area. This sandbox may look dry, but it houses a gigantic drinking water supply underground. In the dunes are gigantic Douglas firs of up to 50 meters high. The dead trees are inhabited by woodpeckers and we also call woodpecker flats.Cycle over the shell path on the Wieksloterweg and turn left on the Biltseweg. You can hear the gravel crunching under your tires on the beautiful avenues around Lage Vuursche. You cycle through farmlands and meadows towards the always bustling Utrecht. Park at the Oudegracht to watch the tour boats sail past from a terrace while enjoying a tasty lunch. After the hustle and bustle of the city safari, you cycle along the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal towards Nieuwegein. You cycle all the way through city parks and along canals to the Lek, which you take the Ferry across to Vianen (current sailing times via: vrevia.nl).
The first part from Woudrichem you cycle along the dammed Maas and after Rijswijk you exchange it for the river Alm. After Uitwijk, the Alm becomes a lot wider, at its widest as much as 40 meters! After Almkerk you also leave the Alm again and cross over land towards Dussen.On the way you pass a clog factory, a nice place to score a souvenir. I usually buy souvenirs at the end of cycling holidays, so you don't have to carry it with you throughout the trip! With a souvenir in your pocket, you cross the Bergse Maas by ferry after Dussen.You cycle quickly through the Brabant landscape on the long and wide cycle paths and suddenly the pace changes. Along the winding Donge you suddenly cycle a lot slower while enjoying all the natural beauty in the stream. Cycling on gravel is usually a bit slower, but this gives you more time to take in the environment.