Simon Rosmolen

Bikepacking Weekenders: Netherlands unpaved

Rob Hermans

Bikepacking Weekenders: Netherlands unpaved

Bike Touring Collection by Simon Rosmolen

4

Tours

60:44 h

540 mi

10,775 ft

When the weekend comes around, it’s time to hop on your bike and go adventuring. In the Netherlands, you can find countless opportunities to immerse yourself in nature for a long weekend. From hilly gravel trails in South Limburg, impressive straight tracks through the meadows of North Holland, forest paths through the dolmens tombs built by the Drenthe thousands of years ago, to sandy tracks through the Achterhoek region – this Collection has all the ingredients for a great bikepacking weekend.

Each route in this Collection has its own character. "Bikepacking weekend - Kop van Noord-Holland" takes you along unpaved paths through the vast empty landscapes of Noord-Holland. On this varied route, you also explore the west coast and cross to the island of Texel. The Tour "Bikepacking weekend - Drenthe" guides you through the Drenthe’s prehistoric past and through the colourful heathlands of the Balloërveld. If you enjoy climbing, you will feel at home in the Limburg hills. On the route "Bikepacking weekend - South Limburg", you will climb the unpaved version of the legendary Keutenberg and Cauberg climbs, which are part of the Amstel Gold Race. Finally, on "Bikepacking weekend - Achterhoek" you'll pedal hard on sandy roads. Your slower pace here will help you to enjoy the wonderful nature of the Achterhoek.

Each weekend is around 124 miles (200 km) and can be divided into different lengths to suit you. If you are in good shape, you can ride the routes in two days. Or, you may prefer to spread the distance over several days to enjoy longer in the beautiful regions.

Tips to help you plan your bikepacking adventure in the Netherlands:

- The rides in this Collection lead over unpaved roads such as gravel and rocky paths and dirt tracks. You will need a mountain, gravel or touring bike with tyres that are at least 32 mm thick. The roads can become muddy after rain and you can expect to encounter sand after a long dry spell. Keep an eye on the conditions before you start to adapt your bike accordingly.

- Wild camping is forbidden and your own risk. The Staatsbosbeheer campsites are also closed at the moment. You will find advice for camping in the stage descriptions. It’s always worth knocking on a farmer’s door to ask permission to camp. There are also plenty of B&Bs available in each region which offer even more comfort.

- You will find plenty of food and drink en route, but always make sure you have your own stash of snacks.

- All routes start at a train station or Park and Ride (P+R). If you come by car, park at the indicated P+R or at the beginning of the routes.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    14:19
    136 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Wherever you cycle in Drenthe, you are always surrounded by nature and history. Dolmens, burial mounds and primeval landscapes throw you back in time. This bikepacking route over the Hondsrug …

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  • Difficult
    16:50
    166 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,225 ft
    1,225 ft
    Ferry
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    What do North Holland and Tuscany have in common? A Strade Bianche is organized annually in both regions. A cycling tour on the most beautiful unpaved white gravel and chalk …

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  • Difficult
    14:29
    111 mi
    7.6 mph
    5,800 ft
    5,800 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Climbers and bon vivants feel at home in South Limburg. The rolling hilly landscape and the Limburg cuisine give you a holiday feeling. Cycling through this landscape means refraining from the climbs and rewarding yourself with Limburg pie or fries with sour meat. This 178 km route takes you along Limburg's most beautiful trails, the unpaved climbs of the Keutenberg and Cauberg and along the best bistros.

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  • Difficult
    15:06
    128 mi
    8.5 mph
    1,900 ft
    1,900 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    It seems as if time has stood still in the Achterhoek. In the far east of Gelderland, the moors, forests and characteristic farms and castles are reminiscent of times long gone. The cart tracks and endless avenues of trees meander through the landscape. After every bend a new surprise awaits. You won't find so many dirt roads anywhere else, so fat tires (from 32 mm) are a must for this 206 km trip.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    540 mi
  • Duration
    60:44 h
  • Elevation
    10,775 ft

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Bikepacking Weekenders: Netherlands unpaved