Southern Lake IJssel Tour [7-04]

On this tour you will visit a number of historical harbour towns and villages which were important in the days of the Zuiderzee. Furthermore, you will ride your bike onto the polder where you will be interested to see how land use planners laid out the new land. You will also cycle 30 km atop the dike separating Lake Markermeer from Lake IJsselmeer and connecting Flevopolder to the town of Enkhuizen.


Day 1 Arrival in Huizen
Day 2 Huizen – Amsterdam – 35 km
Day 3 Amsterdam – Volendam – 32 km
Day 4 Volendam – Enkhuizen – 44 km
Day 5 Enkhuizen – Harderwijk – 62 km
Day 6 Harderwijk – Huizen – 45 km
Day 7 Return Home

Day 1 Arrival in Huizen

Free parking at the hotel. If you are travelling by public transport, the journey from Amsterdam Airport should take under 90 minutes. The train will take you as far as Naarden-Bussum. From there, it’s a short bus ride into Huizen.

Day 2 Huizen – Amsterdam – 35 km
The town of Naarden is a good example of a star-shaped fortification (have a peek on google maps!). It’s very well preserved, complete with walls and a moat. Next up is the village of Muiden, at the mouth of the River Vecht. Although very picturesque in itself, it is best known for its small moated castle built around 1280 – well worth a visit! As the sun sets in Amsterdam, you could go for a leisurely stroll through the romantic canal district.

Day 3 Amsterdam – Volendam – 32 km
There’s so much to see and do in Amsterdam. Have you seen the new and improved Rijksmuseum? The Maritime Museum, Van Gogh, Anne Frank…? Pick and choose and then hop back on your bike and plunge into peaceful countryside: Waterland awaits, with wet meadows, wooden bridges and windswept reeds and rushes. Waterlandsmuseum “De Speelklok” in the pretty village of Monnickendam explains (in English) the history of this extraordinary cultural landscape. Then cycle up the shore of Lake Markermeer to friendly Volendam. The quaint stone houses in the distinctive heart of the catholic fishing village seem to have been drawn up without an organized street plan. “De Dijk”, overlooking the harbour, is lined with souvenir shops, pavement cafes and restaurants.

Day 4 Volendam – Enkhuizen – 44 km
Today’s peaceful route, past farmhouses and windmills, continues up the coast to Edam, Hoorn and then Enkhuizen. Beautiful buildings are reminders of the prosperous 17th century Golden Age when they were affluent harbour towns, focussed on trade and shipbuilding. For centuries, small, round, salty cheeses produced by dairy farmers in neighbouring polders were shipped out of Edam and exported all over Europe. For six weeks in summer a traditional Wednesday-morning cheese-market is put on for tourists (10.30 -12.30 hrs). If you’re into cheese, opt to plan your trip around this Edam spectacle. In Zuiderzee Museum, in Enkhuizen, learn all about the days when ships from villages on the Zuiderzee sailed the seven seas trading in bulbs and spices. The biggest attraction is a re-created Zuiderzee village of old, boasting adorable local architecture. Inquisitive minds can spend a whole day here, so if history is your thing, consider booking an extra night.

Day 5 Enkhuizen – Harderwijk – 62 km
A 32-km dike will take you across the waters to the town of Lelystad in the Flevo Polder. This is the newest part of the Netherlands, reclaimed in 1968! Lelystad is named after the engineer of the Zuiderzee Works, Cornelis Lely. The Zuiderzee Works started with the building of the great closure dam (1932) that cut off Zuiderzee sea from the North Sea. It turned a choppy sea into a harmless lake and put a stop to regular floods. Subsequently, polders were created in the lake because there was a great need for more farmland. Museum Nieuwland tells the story of why and how the Flevo Polder came to be and how it affected the people who used to live by and off the sea. Our bicycle route continues on the new land, through woods and cropfields, while we try to imagine how much fun spatial planners and urban planners must have had designing this whole place from scratch. At the end of the day you will reach Harderwijk. Once upon a time it was a bustling Hansa town and a thriving fishing port by the sea – but now it’s on a lake overlooking a polder!

Please note that until further notice the cycle path on the dike is partly closed due to construction works. There is a shuttle bus you can take (incl. bike). You will receive more information in your travel documents. In the summer months the cycle path is expected to be open again.

Day 6 Harderwijk – Huizen – 45 km
Set those wheels in motion and pedal along the shores of Randmeren lakes. Arkemheen-Eemland is a National Heritage Landscape. The area was surrounded by dikes in the year 1360 to stop cropfields from being flooded. Arkemheen polder is so special because the original lots are still intact. The lots are divided by creeks, remainders of Zuiderzee tidal streams. Some plant species still recall the influence of salt water. Part of the polder is being preserved as a bird habitat for “Natura 2000”. The visitors’ centre has more information. Should you have an abiding interest in the Age of Steam, you may like to visit steam-driven pumping station Hertog Reijnout. It controlled water levels in the low-lying polder from 1883 till 1983.

Day 7 Return Home
After breakfast in your hotel, you will return home.

Starting dates:
Daily from April 1 till September 24.

In case of staying overnight in Amsterdam on Saturdays a surcharge applies of €17,50 per person in a double room.

Prices 2019 p.p.         Euro
Per persin in a double room
6 nights’ accommodation, breakfast included        590,-
A supplement will be required p.p. for:           Euro
Single room      180,-
Dinner   180,-
Extra night (BB)   70,-
Bike rental   72,-
E-Bike rental   150,-
Emergency Call Out Service/ Bike Breakdown Pass   16,50,-
GPS rental   10,-
Surcharge overnight Amsterdam on Saturday in double room 17,50
Surcharge overnight Amsterdam on Saturday in single room 35,-
Surcharge staying overnight in Amsterdam during the periods
13 – 15 April
20 – 21 May
12 – 15 June
12 – 16 September
staying overnight in a double room
staying overnight in a single room

Starting point:  
Huizen or Amsterdam

Practical information:

6 nights Accommodation in *** or **** hotels
Breakfast (buffet)
If you book Half Board: an evening meal of at least three courses
In Amsterdam there are no half board possibilities
Parking, free at the Hotel
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Detailed route description and maps
On demand: Tour as GPS-file
Tourist information on all the places of interest
Saddlebags for carrying things you need on the road when having rental bikes
Seven days a week service-hotline
The possibility of renting our bikes(24 gears, bag and lock), e-bikes and trailers (at extra costs)
We adapt the bike to suit your wishes
Closest Trainstation, Naarden-Bussum

Accommodation in double room
Breakfast (buffet)
Tourist information on all the places of interest
Detailed route description and maps
Luggage transport to your next hotel (1 piece p.p. max 20 kg)

Not included:
Journey to the starting point of your cycle holiday
Journey from the finishing point of your cycling holiday back home
Cost of rental bikes and trailers
If you book Half Board: Drinks with your evening meal


During this tour you will stay in the following hotels:

Huizen – Fletcher Hotel Nautisch Kwartier***
Amsterdam – Westcord Art Hotel*** & ****
Volendam – Hotel Old Dutch***
Enkhuizen – Hotel de Koepoort****
Harderwijk – Best Western Hotel Baars****