If peace and tranquility are paramount on your wish list for your next cycling holiday, consider that the stillness of Veluwe forest, heath, quiet villages, and sparsely inhabited farmland may be just what you need. It is one of the largest and most important nature reserves in the country. The one cultural highlight on this tour that draws crowds is the royal palace and its lovely gardens at the center of the region. The surrounding Crown Lands are the Netherlands’ largest Estate and have been looked after by the Dutch royal family since 1684. Natural Forest Management was introduced by Princess Beatrix in the early 1980s and already the Lands show greater biodiversity and esthetic appeal. Our cycle route follows some of the historical “rides”, paths commissioned by successive kings to connect palaces, retreats and hunting lodges to hunting grounds. In Autumn, the gates close when the king goes hunting.
The starting point of this route is the big city of Arnhem, known for the Battle of Arnhem in WWII, part of Operation Market Garden. It boasts a marvelous zoo; beautiful Sonsbeek Park; and an open air museum of cultural history, to name but three of many points of interest. The city is the gateway to two National Parks: Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom. Your hotel is located outside the city at the edge of Veluwezoom National Park (free parking).
You will start your first cycling day with a journey through one of the Netherlands’ most beautiful and beloved areas of natural beauty: Veluwezoom National Park, the oldest National Park in the country. Drink in the views of heathland, beautiful woods and patches of shifting sands, a veritable cyclists’ paradise. Heather flowers from mid-August, so try to plan for August-September to feast your eyes on a carpet of colours ranging from pink to mauve to purple cloaking the heath. From Oosterhuizen to Lieren the woody landscape makes way for typical Dutch meadowland, dotted with farmhouses. Today’s journey ends in the friendly little village of Beekbergen.
We have a varied cycling day in store for you. A Dutch landscape of cropfields and pasture is quickly followed by woody surroundings. Through the forest that encloses Apeldoorn town, you will reach Het Loo Palace (meaning: the forest palace). Our royals have moved away: It is now a state museum with original interiors, historical formal gardens, stables and coach houses. Visitors may enter the coach houses to admire the royal carriages, cars and sledges from up close. Next, mount your bikes and continue through the woods to the village of Elspeet. On the last stretch, vast cropfields and woods alternate. At the end of the day, you will reach the village of Garderen where you will stay the night.
You could extend the route to 70 km (via Vaassen) or 77 km (via Vierhouten). These longer options take you through impressive heathland. Lovers of history will enjoy the route to Vaassen which passes a traditional Dutch windmill and Cannenburgh Castle.
Your day begins with a ride through a type of landscape we call coulissenlandschap, a term taken from the theater stage. It is a visually appealing pastoral scene of half open countryside, dotted with free-standing elements such as hedgerows, woodlets and farmhouses which give depth and partly conceal what lies behind, inviting you further in to see more. Do you get the picture? Gradually the woods that surround Kootwijkerduinen appear on the horizon. This lovely nature reserve is marked by sandy inland dunes, shaped by the wind, where the trail gently dips and rises. Continuing on the route, the landscape will open more and more until you reach Radio Kootwijk. If you are into ominous architecture you will enjoy Radio Kootwijk Building A, a concrete sphinx from 1918, purpose-built as a radio broadcasting station. It once featured in a scary movie! Proceed through Veluwe forest to the village of Hoenderloo and from there enter Veluwezoom National Park, where you started this cycling tour.
At this point, you could opt to make a detour to Oosterbeek to visit the Airborne museum. It tells the story of the Battle of Arnhem, where many British, Polish and US troops lost their lives in a 1944 Allied plan for a new invasion route into Germany by securing bridges across the Rhine in the Netherlands, then under Nazi occupation.
If you would rather cycle from Hoenderloo straight back to Arnhem, you could opt to take a trip into the city center to tune into the ambiance of this lively city. Our tip: Just outside the city center is a working-class neighbourhood where artisans, artists and designers have congregated in Modekwartier, a fashion district boasting hip stores, studios and workshops.
After one last breakfast, your cycling holiday will come to an end.
|Daily from April 1 till September 26|
|Single room, breakfast||515.00|
|Double room, breakfast||395.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 2.75 x 4||11.00|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 4||20.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 4||12.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 4||24.00|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 4||24.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 4||70.00|
4 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