Holland's Cycle Track Network
Discovery tours in Holland by bike
In many regions, the beauty of the landscape can best be discovered by bike. But hardly any countries have a network of trails as well developed as the one in the Netherlands. The routes lead through the green, polder region, across drainage dykes, through forests and along small creeks. You can ride your bicycle totally enveloped by nature and really experience the prettiest sides of the Netherlands. On your bike tours through the countryside, you'll encounter lovely areas of shore-land with pollarded willows, wooden bridges over small canals, colourful tulip and vegetable fields and large bird and waterfowl populations. What's more, the next village is never usually far away.
The digging of drainage dykes and canal structures have altered the appearance of the landscape and made it possible to cultivate land which flooded frequently in the past. Many of these wetland environments are preserved today as protected nature reserves and areas of conservation. But our bike tours also introduce you to the country's cultural treasures - historic towns, fascinating museums and modern architecture. Or why not experience Holland by boat from the water? Relax on the afterdeck as you head for the next port where you you can look forward to setting out on your next bike tour.
In Holland, bikes are looked upon as a means of transport that's on a par with cars and the infrastructure for cyclists is excellent. It might sound a bit far-fetched in terms of a claim, but it's not - Holland is flat and not very large, so it is very possible. Bikes are used by everyone right from all professions and backgrounds, right across the country and many generations of the royal family even have been more than happy about being spotted on their bikes.
The Dutch cycle traffic policy promotes using the bike not only for leisure tourism and recreational cycling, but also for everyone's daily commute to work, to school or to do the shopping. The quality of cycle paths is therefore consistently very high. Most paths have practically no incline and are paved or cobbled: there are hardly any mud or rubble tracks to be found either. Finding your way around by bike is particularly easy too in the Netherlands.
Bike trails & directional signs in Holland
In the Netherlands, a standardised system developed for cycle path signs has been introduced almost right across the entire country. Although there are still many regional themed tours, the network of waymarked "Knooppunten" (junctions) marked with standardised signs has been in place for a few years now. For this reason, it's very easy to follow the routes on our bike tours in Holland.
Intersections and junctions are signposted at relatively frequent intervals by these so-called junctions (indicated both on cycle maps as well as by the roadside). The stages between the junctions are provided with signs in both directions, so that you can simply follow the signs in the direction of the next junction you need. This junction system has been developed primarily for cyclists who would like to cycle on scenic routes in day rides. With a bike map to hand, shortening a route or making a detour to visit other nearby places which may have aroused your curiosity is straightforward enough too. On nearly all our bike tours in Holland, you are given a copy of the bike map showing the junctions so you can find your way around really easily.
The long-distance cycle paths - called LF Routes ('landelijke fietsrouten') - are partly identical to the junction bike rides, but were originally conceived as long-distance paths for multi-day rides. As well as the sign for the junction network and the LF Routes, direct connections between two towns are marked by red and white signs. These connections often consist of cycle paths which run along roads. although they are still separate cycling tours and cycle routes.
Confused? Don't be. You'll quickly spot the green and white signs from a distance en route as you head out on your bike tour, and these will show you the way, even if they are installed on a low wooden post. A new online reporting system for missing signs ('bordjes') supports helping hands, most of whom are volunteers, in maintaining the directional signs and cycle paths, so that a complete sign system can be found nearly everywhere.
You'll be perfectly equipped for bike tours in Holland with just normal, comfortable sportswear. However, a wind- and waterproof jacket is a must to have with you, as short, intense rain showers are quite likely whatever the season. Don't worry though, because there are many bike-friendly cafés along the way, where you can dive in, take a break and enjoy a great Dutch coffee if or when it rains. Wearing a bike helmet is generally recommended on our bike tours.