One of my favourite things is to ride alongside water. Whether it’s along the coast, canals or cycling around lakes, taking the ferry across the big rivers and crossing drawbridges over small streams, there’s simply nothing better. In my coastal Collection, 'Beach, sea and dunes', I take you on the LF Kustroute (komoot.nl/collection/1132606). But away from our lengthy coastline, there are more beautiful watersides to discover. In this overland route, you’ll see the Netherlands from a completely different side: the river and lakeside.
Cycle diagonally through the Netherlands from north to south along the banks of the Uitgeestermeer lake, the rivers Zaan, IJmeer, Amstel, Vecht, as well as the Amsterdam-Rhine and the Merwede canals. In Brabant, you cycle alongside the Dommel river and the Eindhovens Canal. In the final stage, you ride into Belgium along the banks of the river Maas and the Albert Canal .
Of course, Holland and water go hand in hand. On the way, you'll pass our iconic mills, pumping stations, polders, dykes, flood defences and the extraordinary sights of the New Dutch Waterline. You often cycle on high dykes too, giving you a chance to enjoy beautiful views.
With 386 kilometres (240 mi), it is definitely a multi-day cycling adventure. I have divided the route over five stages, with an average of 80 kilometres (50 mi) per day. With an average speed of 17 kilometres per hour (11 mph), you’ll be in the saddle for five hours on each stage. You can, of course, break the routes down to any distance you like.
If you would prefer to take it a bit easier and have more time to see the sights, I recommend you use the accommodation search in the Komoot route planner. Particularly in the high season, it’s worthwhile booking hotels and B&Bs in advance. Most campsites will have a space available for a touring cyclist.
For centuries, the Dutch have had a relationship with water that is unique in the world. Discover it for yourself on your journey from the North Sea near Schoorl to the hills near Maastricht.
The second stage of the Oeverland Route is the longest of the five cycling days at 90 kilometers. You cycle from Amsterdam via Utrecht to Leerdam. Those who prefer to take it a little easier (or who have headwinds) can of course divide this stage into two days. My suggestion is to spend the night at the quiet Maarssen after 45 kilometers or at a real fortress just before Utrecht.
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Leerdam has been the glass capital of the Netherlands for centuries. You can visit the National Glass Museum or the Glassworks. Now I don't know if it's so convenient to stock up on a glass souvenir here. Soon it will bounce apart in the bicycle bag. If you still want to take a souvenir from Leerdam, I recommend a nice piece of Leerdammer cheese.