Cycle & Stay: Lake IJssel - The Grand Tour
10 days I Hotel to Hotel I Self-guided cycle tour
Here’s a cycling challenge that’s really refreshing - a grand tour around Holland’s most amazing lake, the IJsselmeer. Take ten days and everything at your own pace as you cycle just over 250 miles (400 kms) down superbly scenic, quiet roads and cycle ways, enjoying the exhilarating experiences lined up along one of Europe’s most unique waterscapes. Starting and finishing close to Holland’s cosmopolitan capital, this tour around the former Zuidersee, now reclaimed lands and a vast inland lake, makes for a great lesson in Dutch history and one fantastic cycling holiday.
After a stay in Huizen, enter Amsterdam in true Dutch style and enjoy exploring canal-side streets on two wheels or perhaps take to the inner-city waterways to see the historic capital from a different angle. Pedal out through the verdant ‘Waterland’ area, along Lake Markermeer’s shoreline. Sample the heritage towns of Monnickendam and Volendam as well as Edam (both the town and the cheese!) on the way to Hoorn renowned for its exotic trading past. The Zuiderzee Museum at Enkhuizen is a must of course, but such cities where the Dutch Golden Age left its impressive marks are just as captivating as the lush green landscapes speckled with windmills and picturesque farmsteads.
Push your pedals along the old West Frisian ring dyke and the breath-taking cycle path across the Zuiderzee enclosure dam from Den Oever to Friesland to get a taste for traditional tales, costumes and rural crafts on the way to provincial capital, Stavoren. Gaasterland’s scenery is wooded and gently rolling, its canal villages and little lakes the result of past generations digging out peat for fuel. Near Lemmer, the Wouda steam-driven pumping station is the largest in the world and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. From fenland flora and fauna to Kampen’s Hansa town gates over the River Ijssel, the discoveries just keep coming. Harderwijk used to be a fishing harbour, now it sits on the edge of the Randmeren Lakes… there’s so much to reflect on around here as you pedal full circle back to Huizen.
Easy to Moderate: Gentle cycling tours in mainly flat terrain with some gentle hills, but no long or steep ascents. Individual stages of the cycle ride are generally short with some longer stages. Cycle map includes route options, so you have the flexibility to shorten or extend your bike tour as you wish.
* Amsterdam – the cosmopolitan capital, with a canal area that’s brimful of culture and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site * Monnickendam * Hoorn * Medemblik– historic towns of the Dutch Golden Age * Volendam * Edam – because every Dutch tour needs a cheese stop! * De Beemster – Holland’s first large land reclamation area, now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site * Enkhuizen – more Dutch Golden Age memories and the must-see Zuiderzee Museum * Historic Westfrisian Ring-dyke * Makkum - Royal Tichelaar Makkum’s earthenware factory * Hindeloopen – home of painted furniture crafts * Workum - Jopie Huisman Museum of Friesland painting village * Lemmer – lock, port and Wouda steam-powered pumping station, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site* De Weeribben-Wieden - Nature Reserve with ‘quaking bog’ * Kampen – Hanseatic town with fine gates over the IJssel