Arrival in Utrecht
Hit the tracks and pedal to the lively centre of Utrecht city. You’ll be drawn to Oude Gracht canal, stilled in time, lined with wharves and storage cellars that continue under the wonderful canal houses. Explore pretty Museum Quarter or climb Dom Church tower. Then plunge into peaceful countryside. On the banks of the River Vecht, beautiful country houses and garden pavilions built by rich Amsterdam merchants in the 17th and 18th centuries are reminders of the Golden Age. Follow the River Amstel into Amsterdam. Why not crown your day by roaming the prized canal district? In the evening, bright white lights coming from the many windows of tall narrow canal houses make for an enchanting scene.
Just north of Amsterdam, the Zaan is a region of great interest. On the banks of the River Zaan, you will discover the rich industrial heritage of many centuries. If you are into industrial architecture, you’re in luck! Seventeenth century Amsterdam was global leader in shipping and trade. The tiny Zaan region provided the industry to make it all possible - fuelled by wind power! Around six hundred industrial mills, most importantly sawmills, drove the economic growth. Millers, blacksmiths, weavers, carpenters, ship builders and countless other craftsmen helped produce paint, cloth, sailcloth, paper, tobacco, candles, barrels, whale oil, etc. Find out more at Zaans Museum. Next door is Zaanse Schans, a collection of 17th and 18th century local architecture: adorable green wooden buildings, bridges and windmills. Tourists watch clog-, cheese- and tin-making demonstrations. Treat yourself to a pancake before you hop back on your bike and head for the coast. The villages along the coast each have their own character. As evening falls, you’ll reach Alkmaar.
Alkmaar is world famous for the traditional Friday morning cheese market put on for tourists from April till September. On today’s coast-to-coast bike ride you will stop off at the picturesque village of Schermerhorn on the border of Schermer and Beemster polders. Schermerhorn was an island of whalers until, in the 17th century, private investors from Amsterdam decided to transform the lakes surrounding the village into polders and then sell off the new land. The polders were drained by windmills that scooped the water up over the dike into a discharge canal. Just outside the village stand three of the windmills that did this job – and what a pretty picture they make! Opt to visit Schermer Museum Windmill and experience the workings and rhythmic creaking of the moving parts. “The Beemster Polder, dating from the early 17th century, is an exceptional example of reclaimed land in the Netherlands. It has preserved intact its well-ordered landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements, laid out in accordance with classical and Renaissance planning principles” is how the entry on the World Heritage List reads. On the shore of Lake IJsselmeer, you will see the Dutch Golden Age reflected in the historical buildings of the pretty towns of Hoorn and Enkhuizen. Both towns have a history in whaling, fishery, shipbuilding and most importantly trade and shipping. For centuries, dried fish and Edam cheese were exported all over Europe; grain from Poland was shipped to Italy; wine shipped back to Amsterdam etc. Later, when both towns housed branches (“Chambers”) of the Dutch East India Company, ships from these towns sailed the seven seas, trading in spices and bulbs. Wonderful Zuiderzee Museum explains all about the heyday of Zuiderzee harbour towns and their trading routes. Furthermore feast your eyes on a collection of adorable architecture from Zuiderzee villages of old.
A 32-km dike will take you across the waters to the town of Lelystad in the Flevo Polder, the newest part of the Netherlands, reclaimed in 1968! Lelystad is named after the architect 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 explains in detail why and how the Flevo Polder came to be and how it affected the people who used to live by 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 bike path is expected to be open again.
Set those wheels in motion and pedal along the shores of Randmeren lakes. Arkemheen polder was surrounded by dikes in the year 1360 to stop cropfields from being flooded. The lots are original and are divided by creeks, remainders of Zuiderzee tidal streams. Some plant species still recall the influence of salt water. The visitors’ centre has more information. Should you have an interest in the Age of Steam, visit steam-driven pumping station Hertog Reijnout. It controlled water levels in the low-lying polder from 1883 till 1983. As the sun sets, go on a stroll around the romantic town centre of Amersfoort, full of medieval character. It boasts town walls and gates, inner city canals and many historical buildings with beautiful facades.
The woods take centre stage today and harbour all kinds of surprises: a lovely village called Lage Vuursche, royal palaces, a climbing park, a pancake inn…
|Daily from April 1 till September 23.|
|Single room, breakfast||900.00|
|Double room, breakfast||690.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Westcord Art Hotel, Amsterdam||10.00|
|Surcharges per room||€|
|Stay in Amsterdam on saturday||35.00|
|Stay in Amsterdam from:
2019-09-12 - 2019-09-16
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 2.75 x 7||19.25|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 7||35.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 7||21.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 7||42.00|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 7||42.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 7||122.50|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
Utrecht or Amsterdam
Utrecht - Hotel Mitland****
Amsterdam - Westcord Art Hotel*** & ****
Alkmaar - Grand Hotel Alkmaar****
Enkhuizen - Hotel de Koepoort****
Harderwijk - Best Western Hotel Baars****
Amersfoort - Fletcher Hotel Amersfoort****
7 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
....Thank you for the follow-up email. We really enjoyed our vacation and the tour (Two Coasts Tour). We loved the diversity of the scenery, towns, gardens, houses and countryside and we found some great restaurants along the way and enjoyed some local beers throughout our trip....