Naar het strand – Cycleseeing around Amsterdam
Bike Touring Highlight
I amsterdam planned a bike ride.
June 10, 2021
Just outside Amsterdam, some beautiful gems await you. Hop on your bike and explore the long beaches, quaint historic villages, amazing dunes and even some 13th-century ruins – on a route that is mostly flat with a few hilly bits here and there. A great cycling adventure!
The route starts at the Haarlem train station and then goes through the Kenaupark, which was part of the city's historic defences. It was once flanked by 18th-century mansions and villas, which were home to some of Holland's wealthiest families.
You soon cycle out of the city and into nature. This is the gigantic green area of National Park Zuid-Kennemerland. Stop for a few minutes to admire the view from the Visscherspad Lookout. In the distance you can see Zandvoort and you might even hear the engines of racing cars on the local circuit.
After about 6 miles (10km) of cycling you reach Zandvoort, a lively seaside resort with numerous cafés, shops and restaurants and, of course, the fishmongers where you can score a delicious portion of kibbeling or herring.
Cycle to the next seaside resort with the sea on one side and the racing circuit on the other. In the dunes, you will see insects, birds, horses and Scottish Highland cattle — a veritable menagerie. You soon arrive in Bloemendaal aan Zee, another trendy resort with hip beach clubs. Cycle on, to junction 18 and then turn left into the dunes.
You are now heading deeper into Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, home to calcareous dunes, wide beaches and lush coastal forests. The combination of the sand, rain and strong winds create a unique ecosystem with diverse flora and fauna.
You can choose to shorten the ride here and skip IJmuiden to go back to Haarlem via cycle junctions 6 to 5. If you do cycle on, you can of course reward yourself in one of the famous fish restaurants on the Halkade at the head of the harbour.
After IJmuiden, deviate a little from the route to visit Landgoed Beeckestijn, a place of enchanting, old-fashioned grandeur. There are changing exhibitions, gardens of French and baroque stylings, a park and a brasserie. The route then takes you through the small village of Driehuis, known for one of the oldest crematoria in the Netherlands – and also for some lovely old cafés.
You cycle back towards Haarlem over the Duin en Kruidberg Estate, an old English country estate, the manor house of which is both a hotel and a restaurant. It is a good place for a tea break or to wander around the old English gardens. Alternatively, visit the Brederode ruins, which you pass soon afterwards, or climb the Donjon tower for a view over the dunes. If you are tired and want to head back quickly, return to Haarlem via cycle junctions 34 to 9, or continue to Spaarndam.
Cycle along the Spaarne to Vrouwehekbrug, or along the Drosteboulevard on the other side. Further on, you will find the super hip Stadstrand de Oerkap, a great place to stop for an elderflower tonic before heading for your final destination, where you started your route earlier today.