Daily luggage transfers per courier service included
Road bike alu/carbon
High quality alu/carbon road bike, Shimano 105-equipped
Road bike full carbon
High quality lightweight full carbon road bike, Shimano Ultegra-equipped
Upgrade to Comfort hotels
Comfortable 3 star accommodation
Upgrade to Premium hotels
Unique 3-5 star accommodation and setting
Eleven Cities tour extension
Cycle the famous 245km/155mi long Frisian "Elfstedentocht"
Single supplement (including single room)
Lake Yssel (IJsselmeer) is not the usual kind of lake. For centuries the Dutch struggled hard with a large inner body of sea water that was open to the North Sea. The surrounding land regularly flooded and often disappeared altogether because of storms and high tides. Gradually the land was regained over the centuries thanks to the hard work and persistence of the people living there and also clever water engineering. In order to make an end to this unstable situation of regular water problems and flooding, the Dutch started a huge project in 1927. This involved enclosing this wild inner sea by creating a 32 km/20 mile long dike or dam, the Afsluitdijk, and separating it from the vagaries and tides of the North Sea. With the effort of 5,000 laborers and shifting 36 million cubic meters of sand and clay this masterpiece of hydraulic engineering was completed in 1932. Cycling over this long, straight dike is one of the highlights of this tour.
4 days - 3 nights 5 days-4 nights or 6 days-5 nights option
Day 1 – Up north along the fishing villages
The tour starts in Zaandam, located just north of Amsterdam - 15 minutes by train or taxi. Our representative will meet you 10:00 (10 AM) for equipment delivery and tour instructions at the railway station or a hotel in Zaandam, which we can arrange for you as a pre-tour stay. From Zaandam you cycle the first section eastwards, through the Twiske nature reserve to the edge of Lake Yssel. From here the route continues northwards. On the way you will pass some picturesque, historic fishing villages. These are excellent places to take a break and enjoy coffee or tea with a slice of Dutch ‘granny’s cake’, or order a typical savory Dutch ‘bitterbal’ or ‘kroket’ along with a soda or maybe a beer. Your hotel for the night is located in the center of the historic harbor town of Enkhuizen.
Day 2 –Crossing the Afsluitdijk to Friesland
Today’s cycling is full of interesting highlights and a 100+ miles Century Ride! So hopefully you’ve had a good night’s rest and you didn’t overdo the ‘bitterballen’ and beer. After the first 40km/24mi you reach the western end of the Afsluitdijk. If you are lucky, you will be followed by a brisk southwestern breeze that helps you ‘fly’ over the 32km/20mi long dike right to the eastern end, which is in the province of Friesland. The route continues south through the province of Friesland and along an unusual road where the land on both sides lies beneath it. This is actually a dike that marks the border between the ‘old’ land and the ‘new’ land of the large ‘Noordoostpolder’, which was originally part of Lake Yssel. The area was drained in 1940 to create new farmlands. You spend your well-deserved night in a beautiful country hotel in the area of Giethoorn, also known as ‘Venice of the North’.
>> Even if you haven’t yet been to Venice in Italy, it’s really worthwhile paying a visit to the ‘Dutch Venice’. You may already have heard about Giethoorn and its unbelievable system of waterways. We can book you an extra night allowing you to spend an extra day sailing through the many canals. As an alternative, you can also make 50km/31mi loop tour and experience it all by bicycle.
Day 3 –Along the eastern side of Lake Yssel
The route takes you first to Kampen, one of the medieval Hanseatic towns. Then you continue through the fortified village of Elburg and along a long lake called the Veluwemeer, which separates the ‘old’ land from another large polder (reclaimed land). After passing the historic fishing village of Spakenburg, you reach your lakeside hotel in Huizen.
Day 4 –Closing the circle!
The final day of the tour takes you first along the lakeside bicycle path to the village of Muiden, famous for its medieval castle. From here you pass Amsterdam at the western side and the last leg to Zaandam, where our representative will meet you at the tour finish. You’ve completed the cycle trip around Lake Yssel – congratulations!
One day 'Eleven Cities' tour extension
This tour has a great option that includes the famous Dutch ‘Elfstedentocht’ Eleven Cities skating tour in the northern province of Friesland. Every year thousands of ice-skating enthusiasts hope that temperatures drop low enough so that the water freezes making it possible to skate the legendary 1-day, 200+ km/124 mil (!) ice-skating tour. Naturally we offer the cycling alternative.
The cycling route leads you through all the eleven cities:
Bolsward – Sneek - IJlst – Sloten – Stavoren – Hindeloopen – Workum – Harlingen – Franeker – Dokkum – Leeuwarden.
Between these picturesque, historic Frisian towns and villages you will enjoy the green, water-rich landscape where farming usually determines the shape of the horizon. Numerous bridges crossing ditches and canals and the many sailing boats with their brown or white sails complete this beautiful image of excellent cycling countryside.
Map & Routes
Road bike (optional)
- Giant TCR-1, alu frame, carbon fork
- Weight: 8.6 kg / 18.9 lbs
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL
- Shimano 105 derailleurs
- Crankset 24/34/50, Casette 12-28
Including cyclist's backpack (8 liters) for daily items
Including water bottle, tool set, cable lock
More information about this tour: Please let us know how we can help you. We strive to respond / call back within 48 hours.