East and West multiple day- bicycle tour in the Netherlands for road cyclist
Are you an experienced road cyclist and looking for a typical Dutch experience on your bike? Then the Fresh and Salt tour might be the right tour for you. This tour takes in many typical Dutch landscapes and offers a lot of what Holland has to offer – beaches, lowlands, rivers, farmlands, woodlands, quaint, small towns and villages. A ‘total’ tour in other words!
The Fresh and Salt tour is a eight day – seven night tour easily expendable to 9 days. Distances are 60 to 80 km per day and therefore suited for road cyclist and for them, considered a moderate difficulty level. Though the Netherlands is flat, most of the challenge is in the distance and possible winds.
The tour starts in Haarlem, just 20 minutes by train or taxi from Amsterdam. Plan to arrive in Haarlem around noon. If you have rented a bike, it will be delivered 13: 00hrs (1 PM) to the hotel, together with the instructions. You will make an enjoyable local ride before dinner, to warm you up for the tour. Or you can explore the interesting historic town center of Haarlem on foot.
On the first day you will cycle out of Haarlem in a southwestern direction, to the North Sea coast. At here you turn southwards and cycle along a part of the famous North Sea cycling path, wending its way through the dunes. Then you continue inland to chic Wassenaar before reaching the intimate town center of Delft.
East of Delft is the area with many glasshouses that people call the “glass city”. Next you cycle along the Rottemeren lake area and over one of the oldest and lowest (almost 7mtrs/21ft below sea level) polders in Holland. You pass Gouda, a city famous for its cheese, candles and clay pipes. The historic town center is dominated by a number of ancient churches and of course the imposing and beautifully decorated town hall, standing right in the middle of the large market square. An excellent stop for lunch! The route continues south, along the winding River Vlist. After you pass the small river harbor town of Schoonhoven you eventually reach your hotel in the village of Bergambacht.
After crossing the river by ferry, you will pass along the famous windmill group at Kinderdijk (UNESCO World Heritage Site). There are nineteen windmills in a row which are best viewed from the bicycle path running past them. You are now in the Alblasserwaard polder, situated between the River Rhine and the River Waal. A typical Dutch landscape of green pastures, numerous waterways and quaint farming villages. Another ferry crossing brings you back to your hotel in Bergambacht.
The fifth day is the day of the dikes. From Bergambacht you first cycle to the historic river harbor town of Gorinchem. From here the route goes eastward over flat roads on top of the dikes. This is fast road biking at its best! You pass quaint riverside villages - excellent stopping places where you can enjoy delicious Dutch coffee and a delectable slice of Dutch apple pie with whipped cream. Near the city of Tiel you cross the River Waal and after a short while you will reach your overnight stay in the quaint village of Beneden Leeuwen.
The next day the route continues northeast before you enter the wooded Veluwe region. A scenic route through the forests takes you to your hotel in the village of Otterlo. Because of the relatively short cycling distance, you have the option to visit the “De Hoge Veluwe” national park during the afternoon. The “Kröller-Müller Museum is located in the park and is famous for its statue garden and collection of Van Gogh paintings. Or you can stop for a guided tour at the St Hubertus Hunting Lodge , designed by the famous Dutch architect Berlage. “De Hoge Veluwe” is a major touristic attraction, but because it is so big, you never have the feeling that it is crowded.
>> Extra day between day 6 and 7 >>
If you want to spend more time in the national park "De Hoge Veluwe" area we arrange an extra night in Otterlo and provide you with a loop tour through the park and its surroundings.
On day 7 the route continues westwards with the woodlands gradually changing into a more open landscape. You pass through friendly farming villages, eventually reaching Lake Yssel at the historic fishing village of Spakenburg. From here you follow along Lake Yssel to the fortified town of Naarden, and your hotel for the night.
On the last day you head north along Lake Yssel to the Marken peninsula and the historic harbor of Monnickendam . From here you cycle westwards, over the wetlands north of Amsterdam. After the ferry crossing at the main canal which connects the Amsterdam harbors with the North Sea, the tour finishes up back in Haarlem late afternoon.
Watch a clip about the National Park the Hoge Veluwe here: