Just Say Cheese!
On this bike tour, you'll see two towns known for their cheese. Gouda and Alkmaar both have cheese markets. Gouda's market is held on Thursdays, and Alkmaar's market is held on Fridays. In addition, you'll ride along two coastlines.
Your trip begins with the exploration of the shores of what was once Zuiderzee Bay. In Lelystad you'll have the opportunity to see an exhibition that tells how Zuiderzee Bay was transformed into IJsselmeer Lake and then partially drained to create the Flevopolder. During the Dutch Golden Age, the towns of Harderwijk, Enkhuizen, and Hoorn were all booming trade towns on Zuiderzee Bay. Ships sailed from their ports all over the world. Today you can still see numerous historic buildings in these three villages. Next, you'll ride along the coastline of North Sea and enjoy beautiful beaches, which front a series of dunes.
The landscapes you'll see on this route are so diverse that you'll never stop being impressed. Forests, dunes, polders, windmills, meadows, farmlands, and flower fields fill this tour.
Day One: Arrive in Utrecht
You can easily catch the train that originates at Amsterdam Airport, or if you wish to travel by car, you'll find that the hotel in Utrecht offers free parking.
Sample hotel: Hotel Mitland or Carlton President
Day Two: Utrecht to Harderwijk (67 km)
You'll fall in love with the beautiful forests, polders, and waterscapes along the route from Utrecht to Harderwijk. You'll follow the shorelines of several lakes in the Randmeren area before you come to Harderwijk. Though this village was once a bustling fishing port right on the sea, today it looks over a polder and sits on the shore of a lake.
Sample hotel: Best Western Hotel Baars
Day Three: Harderwijk to Enkhuizen (62 km)
Ride through the forests and farmlands in Flevopolder all the way to Lelystad, home of an exhibition that will show you the formation of the polder. You'll ride over a 32 kilometer dike to get across Lake IJsselmeer to the town of Enkhuizen. One stop you might want to make there is the Zuiderzee Museum, where you'll learn about the Golden Age and see a recreated village from those days.
Sample hotel: Hotel Restaurant De Koepoort
Day Four: Enkhuizen to Alkmaar (63 km)
Today's journey gives you another glimpse of the Golden Age through Hoorn, which is filled with historic buildings. The route takes you from the coast of Lake IJsselmeer, through Alkmaar, which is known for its cheese, all the way to North Sea. You'll pass the oldest polder in the Netherlands on your way. Windmills were used to drain it in 1612. There's also one museum windmill that's worth a visit along the way.
Sample hotel: Grand Hotel Alkmaar
Day Five: Alkmaar to Zandvoort (49 km)
The beautiful North Sea beaches front systems of dunes that keep the low-laying area protected against the sea. On this day you'll ride through a nature preserve and a park that keep the numerous species of plants and animals safe on the dunes. You'll ride into Zandvoort, which is a famous resort by the sea.
Sample hotel: Palace Hotel Zandvoort
Day Six: Zandvoort to Scheveningen (42 km)
On this day you'll visit an area known for its dunes and flower bulbs. The dunes serve to protect the low-lying area from the water, and they're also home to many kinds of plants and animals. The best time of the year to visit this area is April, when the tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils are in full bloom. When you reach the coast, you'll want to visit the beaches and resorts there. Upon riding into Scheveningen, you'll also have plenty of activities to attract your attention.
Sample hotel: Boulevard Hotel
Day Seven: Scheveningen to Gouda (63 km)
Today you'll visit The Hague, which is where the Queen of the Netherlands and the nation's government reside. There are numerous activities and sights to be taken in. One point of interest is Mauritshuis Museum, which is home to The Girl with the Pearl Earring, a famous painting by Vermeer. Another well-known painting here is Panorama of Scheveningen, which Mesdag painted in 1881. When you've gotten your fill of The Hague, you'll take off into open meadows and ride to Gouda, which is known for cheese, candles, and waffles. You may want to plan your trip so that you'll wake up in Gouda on a Thursday so that you can check out the weekly cheese market.
Sample hotel: Best Western City Plus Gouda
Day Eight: Gouda to Utrecht (66 km)
On your way back to Utrecht, you'll traverse an incredible landscape filled with polders, rivers, parks, marshes and lakes. You'll also see several castles and stately homes on your ride. As you pass through Utrecht, take some time to enjoy Utrecht's city center, beautiful canals and unique wharves. You may want to take a tour through the Museum Quarter or visit the variety of local shops.
Day Nine: Return Home (non-cycling day)
After a healthy breakfast, you'll head home.
Total distance: 412 km
Average distance: 59 km
Shortest distance: 42 km
Longest distance: 67 km
Time in the Year
From April 1st to September 22th.
770 Euro per person
8 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
24 gear bike hire - 96 euro (for other options please go to our bike hire page)
Road Service - 22 euro
Bike theft insurance - 3 euro per day (6 euro for electric bikes)
Single room - 240 Euro
Half board accommodation - 240 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