For those brave souls travelling down by public transport, please note that it will take you around three hours to reach Burgh Haamstede from either Amsterdam Airport or Hook of Holland harbour. NS (Dutch Rail) do not serve this outpost! You will have to journey here by metro/bus from Rotterdam. To shorten your travel time, consider making the town of Brielle the starting point of your tour (only possible with own bikes).
Twenty-one kilometres of the Netherlands’ most pristine coastline await you this morning. Pedalling up the beautiful coast of Schouwen-Duiveland island, you will enjoy bright white beaches and rolling dunes. The Delta Works, a series of thirteen sea barriers, sluices and dams all down the coast of Zeeland were constructed to protect the low-lying hinterland from flooding. But it also dramatically improved infrastructure in the region. Brouwers Dam and Haringvliet Dam are part of the Delta Works and will take you across to the next two islands on today’s route. Ride atop the dams with the sea to your left and lakes on your right. You will end the day in the town of Brielle. The star-shaped fortifications (including moat, canals, ramparts, bastions) have been lovingly restored and the 400+ listed buildings are a sight to behold.
Turning away from the coast, lakes, rivers and creeks light up the polders and woods as you travel across the isle of Voorne Putten. On Hoeksche Waard island fertile polders with open fields and scattered orchards are surrounded by tall dikes topped with long rows of trees or houses. Of the many windmills that once drained the polders, twelve remain. This listed National Landscape tells the story of land reclamation through the centuries. Field margins full of wild flowers enhance biodiversity. Cycling atop Volkerak Dam you will reach the enchanting fortified town of Willemstad.
Make your way across the isle of Goeree Overflakkee amid a mosaic landscape of rectangular polders, rolling dunes and golden sand flats. A bridge will take you across Grevelingenmeer Lake back to the isle of Schouwen Duiveland. In mussel town Bruinisse, "the Gateway to Zeeland”, look around the fishing harbour or stroll over to the attractive marina. Back in the saddle, pedal on to the historical town of Zierikzee, a real gem, situated on the Oosterschelde estuary. The street plan is medieval and meandering, the historical buildings number over 500, the impressive marina is well worth a visit. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a Zeeland delicacy: "Zeeuwse bolus” (pastry with syrup and cinnamon -sometimes buttered) or "Schouws palingbroodje” (a bread roll stuffed with smoked eel). If you want to delve into local history, do explore the Maritime Museum revealing all on Zierikzee’s glorious (notorious?) seafaring and trading past.
Oosterschelde National Park is an estuarine tidal habitat. Tidal flats are submerged by seawater at high tide and re-emerge at low tide covered in food for water birds. They are also a favourite resting place for seals. Flora and fauna in and around the Oosterschelde adapt to both freshwater from the rivers and salty seawater. Today you will cross the Oosterschelde on Zeelandbrug Bridge to the isle of Noord-Beveland. It’s like entering a different world. Few tourists have made it this far! Cycling west, past fields and pastures and through tiny villages, you will reach world famous Oosterscheldekering. This is the Storm Surge Barrier, the largest, most ingenious and expensive of the Delta Works. Nine km long, connecting Noord-Beveland to Schouwen-Duiveland, initially it was planned as a closed dam. But under pressure from the fishing lobby and environmentalists, sixty-two big sliding sluice gates were installed in the dam. These steel doors are nearly always open, allowing sea water to pass thus safeguarding Oosterschelde’s saltwater ecosystem. They close only when sea levels are expected to rise more than three meters. Halfway across the barrier, on an artificial island, lies Delta Park "Neeltje Jans”, Zealand’s number one tourist attraction, built around the Delta Expo. It offers illuminating insights into the Delta Works, why they were necessary, how they protect our coastline and relative environmental matters. But there’s more: a water theme park with a playground, an amazing waterslide, saltwater aquarium, sea lion show and more... Back on the isle of Schouwen-Duiveland, you will cycle through the tranquil woods of "Kop van Schouwen” nature reserve. At the end of the day, receive a warm welcome back at the hotel where you started out on this holiday.
After breakfast at your hotel, it’s time to go home.
|Daily from April 1 till September 25.|
|Single room, breakfast||620.00|
|Double room, breakfast||470.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 2.75 x 5||13.75|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 5||25.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 5||15.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 5||87.50|
Burgh-Haamstede - Fletcher Duinhotel****
Brielle - Fletcher Hotel de Zalm***
Willemstad - Het Wapen van Willemstad***
Noordgouwe - Hostellerie Schuddebeurs***
5 Nights included
3/4 Star Hotels
Breakfast included, Halfboard optional
Tourist information on all the places of interest
The possibility of renting our bikes
7-days a week service-hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included
...The holiday worked very well for us, especially as we were very lucky with the weather. We shall be looking at your brochure and website for other tours in the future. Your tailor-made trips may be interesting to us...
...A good way to see a part of Holland. I was particularly impressed by the Deltaworks and some very attractive towns and villages...
...We hope to come back next year.I would add that the Fletcher hotel group are excellent.We had a fantastic time,lovely country,people and weather...
.... I'd like to say we have had a fabulous time, the country is stunning, the choice and variety of hotels excellent and all in all a great success. Many thanks and we hope to return again one day...
The notes and number sheets were very useful although the map, which was very useful when the notes got a bit confusing, did actually miss out the Northern part of our tour. However I'd like to say we have had a fabulous time, the country is stunning, the choice and variety of hotels excellent and all in all a great success. Many thanks and we hope to return again one day, with best wishes...
...Everywhere we stayed was fantastic. The food was all lovely. Everyone was really welcoming. When we had a problem with one of the bikes it was sorted quickly. The weather was really good...
....Many thanks for your email and I hope that the following helps.
Firstly can I say how much we enjoyed ourselves last week, albeit the weather could have been better but I don't think we can blame you for that ! Seriously, we were told on many occasions that you have suffered the coldest and wettest month of May since I think 1962 or is it 1982 !!
Anyway, the standard of hotels were generally good - Williamsted was the best although the first / last hotel was also good. The one we were disappointed with was the boarding house on the 4th night.
The standard of Food was good and good value for the money. The bikes were good, comfortable, good condition etc. The distances between hotels was fine, and the route fine....