A round trip to the IJsselmeer, also known as Lake Ijssel, is a classic Dutch route. You'll cycle past Holland's quaintest villages and cities and through beautiful nature reserves in Noord-Holland, Friesland and Flevoland. This six-day adventure will take you through the wonderful towns of Volendam, Hoorn, Monnickendam, and Muiden, and not forgetting, of course, Amsterdam.
This route largely follows the coastline of the former Zuiderzee, a bay that was reclaimed from the sea. In good weather, you can zip along the route, visiting historic villages along the way. However, beware that strong winds can slow you down and make the 218-mile (351-km) route feel like double the distance. Afterall, wind farms in the region are here for a reason. Tip: take a look at the wind direction before setting off and consider cycling the route in the opposite direction if you’ll have tailwind.
You set off on your adventure from the heart of Amsterdam, which is very easy to reach by train. Of course you can also start at the beginning of another stage. If you are travelling by car, parking in Amsterdam is very expensive. You could consider starting in Lelystad instead, where you can park for free in carpool parking spots. As the route is a circular, you will find your way back to where you started.
The route takes you over beautiful Dutch dikes and polders, stretches of land reclaimed for the sea. You’ll also ride over the spectacular Afsluitdijk dam and causeway which created the IJsselmeer. As you cycle, you'll learn about the history of the former Zuiderzee and the clever constructions that were used to tame the sea. We recommend temporarily hopping on the bus over the Afsluitdijk. The extreme headwind here makes it almost impossible to ride.
Bring your camping gear along if you head here in summer as there are lots of nice campsites along the route which nearly always have space. However in the high season from July to August, calling in advance may be wise. You will find accommodation options to suit any budget en route, as well as a huge choice of restaurants and shops. Your next coffee is never more than 12 miles (20 km) away.
Each ride in this Collection varies in length from 18 to 34 miles (30 to 55 km), so make sure your bike is comfortable enough for four to five hours of riding per day. You could also consider riding an e-bike as there are plenty of charging stations en route. In the towns and cities, you will share the roads with busy traffic, but quiet cycle paths through nature are never far.
Experience a different perspective of nature in the Netherlands as you watch birds circling above lakes, ride through peat meadows, and explore vast dikes. Oh, and don’t forget to check the wind conditions. I wish you a great trip with a tailwind all the way.
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: November 9, 2021
From the heart of Amsterdam you cycle past monuments and canals to the ferry across the IJ. This way you will be out of the busy city in no time and you can cycle through the quiet peat area of Waterland. It is a short day in terms of distance, but keep in mind that cycling in the city is a bit slower…
Today's bike ride seems to come straight from a history book. The V.O.C. still alive. The Golden Age has clearly left its mark.
Along the coast of the Hoornse Hop you cycle on good cycle paths on the waterfront to Enkhuizen, home of the Zuiderzeemuseum. A nice stop on the route. In this special outdoor…
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
The highlight of this cycling route will be slightly different than usual until the end of 2021. Instead of cycling 30 kilometers on the dike, you get on the bicycle bus today. The ride is therefore not 60 but 30 kilometers. Mazzel if you had actually had headwind, this will save you a lot of hours of…
From Makkum you cycle through three of the eleven Frisian cities: Workum, Hindeloopen and Stavoren. Hindeloopen and Stavoren in particular are worth a stop in my opinion. Hindeloopen used to be a flourishing trading place. Wealthy skippers built stately skippers' houses in the 17th and 18th centuries…
The road continues along the IJsselmeer. History meets here with new land. After all, Flevoland is the largest man-made country in the world. The former island of Urk was included in the new land during the reclamation.
Opinions on the Urk wind farm are divided. Is it landscape pollution or a beautiful…
The Oostvaardersplassen are for me the most special part of the Flevopolder. Once the polder had been drained, this part remained wet and unused. Nature soon made its appearance and became a breeding ground for many bird species. The reed marsh is an ideal place to shelter.
Once past the wilderness you…
For this route of 15 kilometers through the historic center of Amsterdam I prefer to go all day. The bike-friendly route takes you along Mokum's most beautiful and best known and lesser known monuments. Do like the people of Amsterdam and discover the city by bicycle. Beware of the tram rails!
Bike Touring Collection by Kalkhoff Bikes
Bike Touring Collection by Sabina Knezevic - Farawayistan
Hiking Collection by Irland
Hiking Collection by Saale-Unstrut