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Dikes, canals, lakes - cycling through Holland, the Land of Water

Bike Touring Collection by
Holland Wasserland

Holland and water belong together inseparably. Not only the wide sandy beaches along the coast, but also the ditches, canals, dikes, canals and lakes that characterise the extensive landscapes. For centuries, the inventive Dutchmen shaped the landscape through ditches, polders and water pumping windmills, defying the sea meter by meter of land. With this knowledge in mind, the ten tours in this collection are even more exciting. Join us on a voyage of discovery to Holland, the land of water.

The ten theme routes take you through the provinces of Zeeland, Flevoland, Friesland and of course Noord and Zuid Holland. As befits the cycling country of the Netherlands, here you cycle along perfectly asphalted cycle paths over the dikes on the shores of the IJsselmeer, visit the world-famous windmills of Kinderdijk and learn all about the devastating storm tide of 1953 in the Watersnoodsmuseum. In Flevoland you discover former islands that are now part of the mainland. And north of Amsterdam, "De Beemster", the oldest polder in the Netherlands, attracts you.

On all our tours you will pass pretty little towns and villages, which with their Dutch charm invite you to take a longer break. Here you will also be catered for: a Softice or a portion of French fries Speciaal with Kibbeling are simply not to be missed on a bicycle tour in Holland.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    03:32
    37.8 mi
    10.7 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In the winter of 1953, a tremendous flood of storms swept the Zeeland region home. Dikes broke, polders were washed over and villages were flooded. This cycle route combines the impressive history of this disaster with a visit to villages and places with typical Zeeland charm.Especially nice possibilities for your stopovers are the mussel fishing village Bruinisse and the more than 800 years old ring village Dreischor. There you can learn about the history of agriculture in the Streek and Landbouw Museum. The absolute highlight of the bike tour is the Watersnoodmuseum. The Museum of the storm surge catastrophe is located in the four old concrete boxes, with which the dike at Ouwerkerk was repaired at that time.

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  • Intermediate
    03:27
    36.6 mi
    10.6 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Monumentaal - that is Dutch for monument and at the same time the motto for the cycle tour on Zeeland. On your bike you cycle to the most beautiful churches, gates, windmills and townhouses of Zierikzee, Brouwershaven, Renesse and Burgh-Haamstede. Also part of the program: the view of the peaceful Oosterschelde and the North Sea.In summer you should also have your bathing suits in your luggage, because along the cycle route several bathing beaches invite you to cool off. Another tip: The tour will also take you past the impressive Oosterschelde barrage, part of the flood protection system of the Delta Works. If you want to know more about this network of weirs and dams, you can do so in the Delta Park Neelte Jans.

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  • Intermediate
    03:59
    43.1 mi
    10.8 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    For centuries the Omringdijk has protected the villages and polders of West Frisia from the floods of the North Sea. Ever since the Zuiderzee was diked into the IJsselmeer, the largest lake in the Netherlands, the Omringdijk has lost its function. Only between Hoorn and Medemblik he serves until today the flood protection. Nevertheless, the dike winds its way through the landscape for almost 126 kilometers, and you follow its course on this circular route.Incidentally, on your bike tour you not only enjoy the lovely polder landscape of Westfriesland, but you can also immerse yourself in regional history at the same time. First stop is the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen. Here you can take a time travel in the open-air museum and experience what life was like on the former Zuidersee. Also exciting is the steam engine museum. In the steam pumping station "Four Noorder Koggen" you will learn how steam was used to dry up the moors and ponds in West Frisia.A real highlight is a ride on the steam train from Medemblik to Hoorn. Especially convenient: In the old museum train you can even take your bike and shorten the tour a little with a leisurely train ride.

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  • Intermediate
    02:44
    29.4 mi
    10.8 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    "De Beemster" is the oldest polder in the Netherlands and a unique testimony of incredible engineering. Under the leadership of the famous engineer Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater, embankment and draining of bogs around the Bamestra River began in the 16th century. With the help of wind power in the form of ubiquitous windmills the polder was pumped empty in 1612 and the settlement could begin. Our cycle route takes you through the vast landscape of the polders Beemster and Schermer and to their idyllic villages.A special feature of the region Beemster-Schermer are the dead straight roads and paths, which were created after the ideal of the golden section. As you cycle along canals, meadows, and pastures, you'll come across grand mansions with pyramid-shaped roofs - an architectural peculiarity almost exclusively found in the Beemster.

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  • Intermediate
    02:22
    24.8 mi
    10.5 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At the beginning of the 1930s, the embankment of the Zuiderzee began, which became the IJsselmeer. Since the IJsselmeer was no longer subject to the tides due to its separation from the North Sea, it was much easier to dike and dry large areas - such as the province of Flevoland. By draining the Northeast Polder also something else happened: The two islands Schokland and Urk suddenly became part of the mainland. On our route we will take you to the two former islands and along the IJsselmeer.Especially Urk is perfect for a cozy break. The small fishing village looks back on a centuries-old history and enchants with its narrow streets, pretty brick houses and the small harbor. Our tip: climb up to the lighthouse, because the view of the IJsselmeer is simply terrific up here.

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  • Intermediate
    03:00
    32.6 mi
    10.8 mph
    175 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On this bike tour you cycle through Flevoland - the youngest province of the Netherlands. In fact, before the 1950s, it was still completely on the seabed of the Zuiderzee. After this had been diked as IJsselmeer, began with the draining of the Noordoostpolders and the Flevolandpolders, which together form today the province Flevoland. When draining, however, it was found that continued to collect water at the lowest points on the northern edge of Flevolandpolders. Since the area was not needed, it lay fallow and developed into a bog biotope - the Oostvaardersplassen.Today, this is under nature conservation and offers many animals an idyllic home. On our route we will take you around the Oostvaardersplassen and from the bike path you will have wonderful views of the vast moorland and, of course, the IJsselmeer. A short detour will take you to the port of Lelystad. There you can visit the faithful replica of the East India sailor Batavia.

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  • Intermediate
    02:49
    30.0 mi
    10.7 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride. The tour includes crossing by ferry.

    "Fries Wetter" - that means in German "Frisian water" and there are more than enough of them on this bike tour. Because it goes along small lakes, dead straight canals, narrow irrigation canals and of course the IJsselmeer, the largest lake in the Netherlands. Along the way, you will visit the small towns of Joure, Lemmer and Sloten, which will lure you with their Frisian charm.A special highlight of this round trip is the Woudagemaal steam pumping station. The massive brick building is the last working steam pumping station in the world. It used to pump water from the West Frisian polders into the IJsselmeer. Until 1966, it regulated the water level of Friesland all by itself, but electric pumping stations are now taking over the task. However, in emergencies such as storm surges, the Woudagemaal is still used for support. In any case, you can visit and explore the steam pumping station, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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  • Easy
    01:58
    21.2 mi
    10.8 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Dordrecht is not only an island in the Dutch Rhine delta, but also the oldest city in the historic province of Holland. On our round trip you can get to know both: on the one hand the winding streets of the old town lined with canals and canals and on the other the wide meadows and forest areas of the island of Dordrecht.Beautiful stopovers on this route are the port of Dordrecht, the contemplative Wielwijkpark and the forest area De Elzen. This is even part of the National Park De Biesbosch and thus the perfect place for nature lovers and birdwatchers. Here you can also find out about the special flora and fauna of the Rhine delta in the Natuurmuseum Twintighoeven.

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  • Intermediate
    02:36
    27.3 mi
    10.5 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    If you think of Holland, you will certainly think of mills. But did you know that the ubiquitous Dutch mills were not built to grind grain but to drain water? The countless mills along the polders and dikes are wind pumps and thus the monument of an incredible engineering achievement. On our route you cycle through Albwasserwaard, where there are still many, perfectly preserved windmills today.The most famous are the Kinderdijk mills. 19 original mills are lined up on both sides of the canal Nieuwe Waterschap and give an impression of how it looked almost 100 years ago almost everywhere in the provinces of Holland, Friesland and Zeeland. Especially nice: you can even visit some of the mills.

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  • Intermediate
    02:42
    29.1 mi
    10.8 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The tour includes crossing by ferry.

    In the north of the province of Overijssel lies a sprawling, unspoilt moorland - the Weeribben-Wieden National Park. The original landscape is deceptive: since the 12th century, the vast moorland was changed by human hands. Dikes were built, ditches were pulled and above all peat was mined. This created a small-scale landscape of ponds, streams, canals and lakes. Only in the 1920s, when peat was replaced by better fuel, the man retired.Without human influence, this cultural landscape developed into the largest wetland in Western Europe. On this bike tour you cycle through the northern part of the national park and also to the idyllic town of Blokzijl. Also worth seeing is the village of Giethoorn, which also has the nickname "Venice of the North" with its many ditches and canals.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    312 mi
  • Duration
    29:08 h
  • Elevation
    2,000 ft

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