The Netherlands. Cycling holiday: Back to the Dutch Golden Age
5 days / 4 nights | Star-route with self-guided cycling tours
This unique cycling holiday offers a short or longer voyage of discovery through the Golden Age in the province of Noord-Holland. You will discover places of interest from previous centuries when you cycle through the flat polder landscape, across historic dikes and through idyllic villages. During this holiday you will cycle through port towns from the hey-day of the 17th-century culture and economy in the Netherlands. The landscape with large land reclamations was also developed in this period. The atmosphere of the Golden Age still pervades in Volendam, Edam and Enkhuizen, which are our places of departure along the former Zuiderzee. This is the period in which these towns flourished. Here you can still see beautiful buildings everywhere from this period.
We offer a flexible programme with the possibility to cycle for 3 days or more. Characteristic of the bicycle trips is that most of them have one operating base. You then will always have the possibility to reduce routes or divide your time differently from what is mentioned in the programme. You can decide for yourself how many days you want to cycle.
The daily cycle routes almost always lead to car-free paths, low-traffic agricultural paths and paved bike paths. The routes are largely slope-free. In Holland, the bike network is very well developed and well signposted. A bit of wind can be expected near the coast, but the routes are designed so that there is enough time for breaks and sightseeing even at slower speeds. Since the day tours are always round trips, they can easily be lengthened or shortened.
Starting place Volendam/Edam.
Volendam and Edam are the starting places for our voyage of discovery on the bike. Both places border on one another and are more or less an entity. Edam, world-famous for its Edam Cheese, and Volendam, world-famous for its traditional costumes and clogs, can function as an operating base to obtain an impression of the Golden Age. Many buildings, canals and bridges date back from this period.
The following trips can be selected for a bicycle trip from Volendam/Edam.
Day 1: Edam / Volendam
Arrival in the hotel in or near Edam/Volendam. After 14.00 hours you can check in for your hotel. A bike will be available if you hired one. You still have the time to discover Edam and Volendam on the bike, have a drink at an enjoyable pavement café at the harbour and in the evening you can have a meal in one of the lovely restaurants. The most interesting sights are described in the road book.
Day 2: Zaanse Schans (Cycling 65 km / 41 miles)
During this bicycle trip to the Zaanse Schans you can enjoy the serenity and nature of the scenic area of Het Twiske and the beautiful old-Dutch landscape of Waterland with its historic farms. In the open-air museum the Zaanse Schans you can view the mills that still operate in an impressively way.
Day 3: Monnickendam and the former island of Marken (Cycling 30 km / 19 miles)
Monnickendam is a busy town that has managed to retain its 17th-century charm and atmosphere very well. You continue to cycle on to the former island of Marken along canals, across bridges and along the harbour where many traditional sailing ships are usually moored. On Marken you can still see the wooden houses that have been built on this island for centuries. In order to return in easy way, you can take the boat from Marken back to Volendam. Bicycle route: about 30 km / 19 miles
Day 4: Graft, De Rijp and Schermerhorn (Cycling 55 km / 35 miles)
This bicycle trip crosses through the old-Dutch landscape with polders, age-old dikes, mills and watery scenic areas. In De Rijp you can go for a walk and imagine that you are still living in the 17th century. Houses with beautiful wooden facades are characteristic of this unique historic town. Bicycle route: about 55 km / 35 miles.
Day 5: UNESCO World Heritage Site “De Beemster“ (Cycling 50 km / 31 miles)
It is obvious why De Beemster, which is one of the first large land reclamations in the Netherlands, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Reclaimed in 1612, this polder uniquely shows how large parts of the large Dutch water areas were drained in the 17th century. This resulted in very fertile agricultural land. Bicycle route: about 50 km / 31 miles.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.