The Perfect Family Tour
Most of the distances throughout the Two Coasts Tour are rather short, which makes this the perfect bike tour for families. This tour includes a wide variety of landscapes and will take you from forests to polders, lakes to meadows, and rivers to dunes and beaches. Visions of farmhouses, towns, and windmills will fill your view in between destinations. You'll learn how Zuiderzee Bay was turned into IJsselmeer Lake and how area residents drained parts of the lake to create more farmland and room for towns. You'll ride from the coast of IJsselmeer Lake to the coast of North Sea. This tour even includes a stop in Amsterdam. Just like all of our bike tours, you'll find your luggage waiting for you when you arrive at the outstanding accommodations we've provided for you.
Day One: Arrival in Utrecht
The Two Coasts Tour commences in the village of Bunnik in the province of Utrecht. The village can be reached by rail from Amsterdam and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, with journeys taking around an hour. Alternatively, the village is well connected by road. To ensure you're well-refreshed for the cycling portion of the tour, the evening is spent in a first class hotel within the village.
Sample hotel: Hotel Mitland or Carlton President
Day Two: Utrecht - Amsterdam (64 km)
Day 2 of the tour brings the first day of cycling and a trip to Amsterdam.
After breakfast, begin your journey to the 'Venice of the North' by heading to lively Utrecht city, which is home to a variety of pleasing sights and sounds. Be sure to stop by the Oude Gracht canal and the canal district, which is lined with wharves, canal houses and storage facilities that date back centuries. The Museum Quarter and the Dom church are also popular with tourists.
Leave the city for the peaceful countryside and follow the banks of the River Vecht. The beautiful country houses and pavilions adorning the river banks hark back to the Dutch Golden Age, when rich merchants constructed lavish dwellings along what was a busy trade route.
The river will take you all the way into Amsterdam, where you'll find a myriad of attractions to enjoy. If time permits, take a trip to the Van Gogh Museum in the south of the city. In the evening, visit the canal district and see the many boats and canal houses lit up to create an enchanting atmosphere.
Sample hotel: Westcord Art Hotel
Day Three: Amsterdam - Alkmaar (62 km)
Day 3 of the tour offers the opportunity to revisit the Dutch Golden Age with a trip along the River Zaan to Alkmaar.
Head north from Amsterdam to the banks of the River Zaan. This region is of great interest due to its historical and industrial significance. As you pass along the river banks you'll spy examples of 17th century architecture and plenty of throwbacks to a time which saw Amsterdam as a global leader in shipping. It was from this region that many of the country's goods and wares were produced, with most factories and mills being powered by wind. Windmills, watermills, sawmills and other industrial mills could all be found in this part of the world as cloth, tobacco, cheese, paper, paint and more were produced.
Stop by the Zaans Museum and Zaanse Schans in Zaandam to find out more about the Golden Age. As well as restored buildings and structures, you'll also be able to witness cheese-making, clog-making and tin-making demonstrations.
After getting your fill of history, get back on the saddle and continue onwards towards the North Sea coast. Observe the quaint villages as you pass through, each emitting its own unique character. Finish this leg of the tour in the town of Alkmaar, where you'll find hotel comforts awaiting.
Sample hotel: Grand Hotel Alkmaar or Golden Tulip Alkmaar
Day Four: Alkmaar - Enhuizen (63 km)
Day 4 of the tour features a coast-to-coast bike ride that takes in the magnificence of the region's reclaimed lands, the history of which is readily available en route. The town of Alkmaar is famed for its cheese market, which graces the town every Friday between April and September. If the market's in town during this trip, it's well worth a visit.
Leaving Alkmaar behind, head east towards the picturesque village of Schermerhorn. Located on the border of the Beemster and Schermer polders, this little village has a big history. Once an island inhabited by whalers, the surrounding waters were drained by windmills in the 17th century to create the polders we see today. Three of the windmills responsible for this drainage can still be seen just outside the village, while the Schermer Museum Windmill offers a chance to learn more about the entire process.
Today, the Beemster Polder created by this drainage is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is frequented by those interested in urban management and the development of reclaimed lands.
Continuing on, head for the shores of Lake IJssel and the towns of Hoorn and Enhuizen. Both feature structures that hark back to the Golden Age and their history with fishing, shipbuilding and shipping. Both towns once housed chambers for the Dutch East India Company, and was the starting and finishing point for everything from spices and bulbs to cotton and foodstuffs. Simply put, goods from across the globe made their way through this part of the Netherlands.
Visit the Zuiderzee Museum to learn more about the local history and to admire a collection of architecture lifted from old villages in the region.
Sample hotel: Hotel de Koepoort or Hotel Port van Cleve
Day Five: Enkhuizen - Harderwijk (62 km)
Day 5 of the tour takes in the Netherlands' youngest region as the route passes along the shores of Lake IJssel.
Today's cycling begins with a trek across a 32km dike to the city of Lelystad, the capital of the Flevoland province. The Flevo Polder, upon which the city lies, was reclaimed in 1968, making this the youngest area in all of the Netherlands.
The city of Lelystad is named after Conelis Lely, the architect responsible for creating the Zuiderzee Works. This great closure dam was completed in 1932 and cut the Zuiderzee Sea off from the North Sea. The result was a manmade lake, which became known as Lake IJssel. Much of the region was drained to create farmland, while flooding - which had proven to be a huge hindrance to local villages - was eradicated. Stop by the Nieuwland Museum to learn more about this amazing feat of engineering.
Leaving Lelystad behind, continue cycling on to Harderwijk, a small city that can be found at almost the exact center of the Netherlands. Along the way you'll pass woodland and crop fields that have been very deliberately planned and laid by urban planners.
Upon arrival in Hardewijk, take the time to explore what was once a bustling Hanseatic town with a bustling fishing port. Today it's cutoff from the sea and instead looks out upon a polder, which is an impressive sight in itself.
Sample hotel: Hotel Monopole or BW Baars
Day Six: Harderwijk - Amersfoort (42 km)
Day 6 of the tour follows the banks of the bordering lakes to the picturesque town of Amersfoort.
From Harderwijk, follow the Randmeren (bordering lakes), which separate Flevopolder from the neighboring ancient lands. Along the way you'll witness an abundance of crop fields, creeks, nature reserves and other land uses. Take the time to observe the plants in the region, and see if you can spot saltwater plants that continue to thrive despite the absence of saltwater. Stop by the visitors' center to learn more.
The Hertog Reijnout steam-driven pumping station controlled water levels in the nearby polders until as recently as 1983. Having pumped water for a full century, this is one attraction well worth a visit before you reach your destination.
Upon arrival in Amersfoort, take the opportunity to explore the town and its medieval features. Visit the town walls and games, as well as its canals and other beautiful buildings. Enjoy sunset, a time which adds another magical layer to this wonderful destination.
Sample hotel: Fletcher Hotel Amersfoort
Day Seven: Amersfoort - Utrecht (37 km)
Day 7 marks the final full day of the tour by taking you through spectacular woodlands en route to Utrecht.
This may be the shortest leg of the tour in terms of cycling distance but it's certainly not short on spectacle. From Amersfoort, pass through lush woodland that houses a host of surprises. From royal palaces and the village of Lage Vuursche to a specialist pancake inn and a treetop assault course, you'll be surprised to learn just what lies within these trees.
Close out the day by resting and relaxing in Utrecht.
Sample hotel: Hotel Mitland or Carlton President
Day Eight: Departure
Our tour of the Netherlands' two coasts draws to a close. After breakfast it's time to head home.
Total distance: 330 km
Average distance: 55 km
Shortest distance: 37 km
Longest distance: 64 km
Time in the Year
From April 1st to September 23th.
690 Euro per person
7 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
GPS (Only if you start & finish in Amsterdam) - 10 Euro
24 gear bike hire - 84 euro (for other options please go to our bike hire page)
Road Service - 19.25 euro
Bike theft insurance - 3 euro per day (6 euro for electric bikes)
Single room - 210 Euro
Half board accommodation - 210 euro
Extra night - 70 euro
Price does not include
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 4-11 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 7-8 people enjoys a 7% discount per person
A group of 9 people or more enjoys a 10% discount per person