Sea of Stories: Towns of the Old ZuiderzeeKampen - Giethoorn - Enkhuizen - Edam - Zaandam
The fishing ports of the old Zuiderzee (now the IJsselmeer lake) all have their own unique culture, evident in their architecture, costumes, dialects and delicacies. Cycle to Urk, Enkhuizen, Hoorn, Edam and Marken where local culture is cherished. Enjoy views across the old Zuiderzee, try deliciously smoked fish and cross the IJsselmeer on a ferry boat.
The Dutch have reclaimed more than 7800 km2 of land from the sea since the 12th century. In 1932, one of the largest projects was completed which included a 32-km dike that turned the former Zuiderzee into the IJsselmeer lake. Historic places like Monnickendam, Volendam and Blokzijl lost their connections to the sea and the island fishing village of Urk became attached to the mainland.
Visit the UNESCO monument of the former island of Schokland, now a low hill in a new ‘polder’, the green wooden houses and local costume of Marken, the windmills of the Zaanse Schans and the stunning Weerribben & Wieden National Park.
Advantages of a Tulip Cycling tour:
● Carefully planned itinerary to suit your interests and pace – or let us tailor-make your own tour.
● Only individual departures – choose your start and finish dates to fit in with your other plans.
● Tour introduction and end-of-tour meeting attended personally by our own expert staff.
● Our equipment and support is top rated to give you peace-of-mind.
● With our hotel bookings and luggage transport option, we provide you a full-service package.
Please note: This tour begins on a cycling day. We recommend arriving in the Netherlands a few days earlier and booking at least one pre-tour overnight in Amsterdam and/or in Kampen, which is an attractive town on the banks of the river IJssel. Kampen is just over one hour on a direct train from Amsterdam. Your tour ends in Zaandam which is only 10 minutes by train to Amsterdam.
Day 1 Kampen - Giethoorn (40 km)
Your Tulip Cycling representative will meet you at the central train station on the outskirts of Kampen. After the bike fitting and your orientation you are in for a lovely ride to Kampen itself, a beautiful Hanseatic town which you will want to take some time to get to know. From Kampen bike to the Wieden National Park. Enjoy the lovely village of Belt Schutsloot and the impressive lakes along your route. Still only accessible by boat Giethoorn, is also known as the Venice of the Netherlands. The small village of five km by just two blocks of houses has over an hundred and eighty bridges and many of them are only accessible by bicycle. The Harmonie hotel is situated on one of the charming canals and a boat ride e late afternoon is a good way to finish your first day.
Day 2 Giethoorn - Enkhuizen (43 or 54 km)
A day to remember! Start cycling through the Weerribben National Park, the picturesque village of Dwarsgracht and the town of Blokzijl are fascinating historically. Blokzijl was situated along the sea until the Noordoostpolder was reclaimed as an agricultural area with pear and apple orchards. Half way on your route through the Noordoostpolder a small slightly elevated part of the polder becomes the UNESCO monument of Schokland with its partly intact retaining wall on the waterfront. Today it is a popular archaeological site and host to the Schokland museum. At the final end of the Noordoostpolder you will arrive at the very traditional fishing village of Urk, a former island in the sea. Urk is one of the most politically conservative areas in the Netherlands, a part of what is known as the “Bible Belt”. Here you will take the late afternoon ferry across lake IJsselmeer. Sit on deck relaxing while boating to the beautiful historic town of Enkhuizen to stay the night.
Day 3 Enkhuizen - Edam (44 km)
Enkhuizen has one of the largest marinas in the Netherlands and the Zuiderzeemuseum is located here. The Zuiderzeemuseum is a museum devoted to preserving the cultural heritage and maritime history of the old Zuiderzee region. With the closing of the Afsluitdijk (Barrier Dam) in 1932, the former sea became the current lake (IJsselmeer). Cycling today along the shores of lake IJsselmeer you will arrive at the historic town of Hoorn. A major harbour during the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ , Hoorn was an important base for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the perfect spot for a great lunch! Head on along the shores of lake IJsselmeer head to the picturesque town of Edam well known for its cheese.
Day 4 Edam - Zaandam (47 km)
Your final day is one of the most glorious ever. You will enjoy the historic fishing town of Volendam, a ferry crossing, the former island of Marken, charming Monnickendam, the Twiske recreactional area and finally the famous Zaanse Schans windmill group so wake up early to enjoy! Volendam is well known for its old fishing boats and the traditional costumes still worn by some residents. The ferry to the peninsula of Marken lasts around thirty minutes and is a perfect way to rest and relax. From Marken to Monnickendam you are biking along the shores of lake IJsselmeer for the final time before heading to the Twiske recreational lakes, a great picnic stop. Just as you think it’s all over the Zaanse Schans with its seven museums and eight different type of windmills are a huge delight and a perfect way to end your tour.
Daily in July and August, except Saturdays
|Prices 2024 in Euro - No peak season charges - Prices include all taxes|
|Per person, sharing (luggage transport in panniers on your bike, storage of your suitcases at Tulip Cycling)||€ 775|
|Per person, sharing (daily luggage transport by courier service)||€ 985|
|Single room surcharge||On request|
|Extra nights in Giethoorn, Enkhuizen or Edam||On request|
|Pre and post tour accommodation in Amsterdam, Kampen or Zaandam||On request|
|E-bike supplement per person||€ 100|
|Additional items (extra panniers, helmets, ponchos, extra GPS devices)||Price list|
|Discount for groups of 4 or more||10%|
Not included in your package:
● Ferry crossing from Urk to Enkhuizen (€20 per adult, including bicycle; best booked in advance on www.de-zuiderzee.nl)
● Small ferry crossings where necessary (a few Euros per crossing, most require cash)
● Optional activities like entry to museums
● Optional equipment insurance covering theft and damage (€25 per hybrid bike or €40 per e-bike per tour)
● Tulip Cycling is not libable for the impact of any adverse weather conditions on your tour.
You will be staying in comfortable 3* and 4* hotels. In Enkhuizen and Edam, these are within walking distance of the local sights so you can explore in the evening and find a choice of restaurants for dinner. Giethoorn is a rural village with limited amenities but Hotel De Harmonie has a good restaurant for dinner. Your package price includes breakfast and tourist/city tax at all hotels.
The below are sample hotels, subject to availability. Tulip Cycling may suggest alternatives as appropriate.
Giethoorn – Hotel De Harmonie ****
Enkhuizen – Hotel Port van Cleve ***
Edam – Hotel De Fortuna ***
Included in this tour
|4 days cycling|
|2 nights in 3-star hotels in town centres and 1 night in rural 4-star hotel|
|Bicycle rental (with repair kit, pump, lock and water bottle)|
|Waterproof small pannier|
|Door to door route on GPS device and maps|
|Personal start and finish|
|Breakdown assistance and 24/7 help desk|
|Additional tourist information|