Exploring Drenthe Province
Because the Netherlands is so densely populated, the Dutch are always looking for ways to get out of the city and relax. Drenthe Province contains some of the most popular destinations for those looking for a quiet retreat. The region has many tourist attractions, a vast network of cycling paths, and charming scenery. The flatlands are made up of a combination of ponds, brooks, forests, heathlands, and peatlands. Much of this particular tour goes through nature preserves. Some important things of note along this path are the ancient burial chambers, peaceful villages, the Orvelte Museum, and the World War Two Camp Westerbork Museum and Memorial. The routes we designate as star routes are for those who prefer to return to the same hotel on each night of their journey and then leave in the morning to take in the surroundings. These star routes take riders in all four directions away from the hotel. To follow this tour, just stay with the signs that correspond with the numbers we will give you.
Day One: Westerbork
When you arrive at Westerbork, you'll be staying at the Hotel Ruyghe Venne for the next four nights. Parking at the hotel is free, and a reservation is unnecessary.
Sample hotel: Hotel Ruyghe Venne
Day Two: North
World War II buffs should definitely make Westerbork Memorial Center one of their first stops. Although the structure (which dates back to 1939) was originally meant to be used as a place for refugees who were exiting Nazi Germany, between the years of 1942 and 1944 the Nazis themselves actually used it as a base for deporting thousands of people, mostly Jews, to concentration camps throughout Europe. Today the building is a remarkable museum that sheds light on those affected by Nazi Germany. Visitors to the museum have an opportunity to view some original video that dates back to 1944.
Another point of interest in Westerbork is the Synthesis Radio Telescopes. These 14 antennae are stretched out across more than two and a half kilometers in a line from east to west. To get to the telescopes, you'll take a stroll along the Milky Way path, which winds through a forest. Along the path you'll see models of all the planets in our solar system.
On this part of the route, you'll also go through Grolloo nature preserve, where you'll see open heath, woods, and ponds. The only sounds you'll hear and you ride through this area those made by the various animal inhabitants. When you reach Grolloerveen, don't forget to snap some photographs of the beautiful scenery. You'll go over the boggy peatland here by riding along a boardwalk, which is believed to be Holland's longest wooden bridge for cyclists.
Day Three: East (42 km)
When you leave Westerbork on your third day, you'll first past through Elper Noorderveld forest, which contains both dark pine trees and lighter deciduous trees. Near the town of Schoonloo, there are numerous open areas for you to stop and take in the scenery. There is also a lake where you can enjoy swimming if you like.
Day Four: South (43 km)
When you ride into the town of Orvelte on the fourth day of your tour, you'll feel as if you stepped backward through time into the early 1900s. The entire town is a museum, and you'll have the opportunity to explore farms, walk on cobbled roads, and view demonstrations of various crafts. When you've wrapped up your ride for the day, you'll be back at Westerbork.
After leaving Orvelte, you'll head into Zweeloo, a charming village which still holds numerous Saxon farmhouses. Many painters, including Vincent Van Gogh, were inspired by this village. Not far from Zweeloo you'll have the opportunity to see a massive ancient burial chamber referred to as "hunebedden."
When you reach Gees nature preserve, you'll enjoy its forests, stunning purple moorlands, and singing birds. Just remember to take heed of the stories about Brammert and Ellert-two mythical bandits known for robbing travelers in this area. When this part of the tour is finished, you'll be back at the Golden Tulip.
Day Five: West (44 km)
You'll never get tired of the beautiful landscapes in Drenthe Province. On this, your final day of the tour, you'll ride to the town of Beilen, which is the perfect place to stop for refreshments. In Beilen you'll have the chance to try "knieperties," which are a type of sweet waffle that's common in the area. You'll also see Dwingeloo nature preserve, which is a collection of heather fields, forests, sand drifts, and lakes. You'll ride on to the town of Spier and then go back to Beilen, which you'll leave once again, this time heading through Holtherzand, which is a stunning area filled with forests and heath. At the end of the day you'll ride back to Westerbork.
Day Six: Return Home (non-cycling day)
After a healthy breakfast, you'll head home.
Total distance: 167 km
Average distance: 42 km
Shortest distance: 40 km
Longest distance: 44 km
Time in the Year
From April 1st to September 25th.
394 Euro per person
5 nights‘ double/twin room bed & breakfast accommodation in *** or **** hotels
Luggage transfer between hotels
Tour book with detailed route descriptions and maps
Panniers for carrying things you need on the road
Emergency hotline operating 7 days a week from 7:00 to 23:00
7 gear bike hire - 60 euro (for other options please go to our bike hire page)
Road Service - 12.5 euro
Bike theft insurance - 3 euro per day (6 euro for electric bikes)
Single room - 150 Euro
Half board accommodation - 137.50 euro
Extra night - 70 euro
Discounts / Group prices:
3 people sharing a room:
A child aged 0-4 sharing a room with their parents is free of charge
A child aged 4-12 sharing a room with their parents enjoys a 20% discount
3 people over 12 years old sharing a room enjoy a 3% discount
A group of 5-6 people enjoys a 5% discount per person.
A group of 7-8 people enjoys a 7% discount per person
A group of 9 people or more enjoys a 10% discount per person