Hidden Gems: The Nine Medieval Hansa Towns & River LandscapesDieren - Deventer - Zwolle - Kampen - Harderwijk
The medieval Hanseatic League dominated trade in Northern Europe and brought great wealth to, for example, Deventer, Hasselt and Zwolle when Amsterdam was still a sleepy village. All nine Dutch Hansa towns have been strung together on this tour, not just showing off their ancient monuments but also their modern-day, lively ambiance and warm welcome.
Cycle through the green landscape to discover windmills, rivers, pretty villages and plenty of wildlife. You’ll be riding on the country’s extensive network of safe cycle paths - our tours are rewowned for offering the most scenic routes. And, if you would like more time to take it all in, why not add a few extra nights into your personal itinerary?
You can start any day of the week (subject to availablity) and your personal tour departure and finish are attended by our own expert staff. Back-up support is at hand throughout your tour and you’ll ride on a perfectly fitted top-class bike.
Advantages of a Tulip Cycling tour:
● Carefully planned itinerary to suit your interests and pace – or we’ll 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 Dieren, which is situated between the hills of the Veluwe forest and the picturesque river IJssel. Dieren is also close to Arnhem and about 1h30m from Amsterdam by train.
Day 1 Dieren - Deventer (44 km)
Dieren, the starting point of this bike tour, is located a little north of Arnhem on the edge of the Veluwezoom nature reserve. At the train station or at your hotel, a Tulip Cycling employee will provide your introduction and all the information about the tour. On the first day of the tour, a 44km long route from Dieren to Deventer is on the program. After five kilometers, the first Hanseatic city appears, the picturesque Doesburg. Doesburg is famous for its mustard, but has much more to offer, including the oldest café in the Netherlands and various museums. After Doesburg the bike tour continues to Bronkhorst, a lovely place with old-fashioned farmsteads, which can be called the smallest town in the Netherlands. After crossing the IJssel, the Hanseatic city of Zutphen, also known as the city of towers, appears on the horizon. It is now half time on your first day's stage and therefore time for lunch in one of the many bistros, cafés or restaurants in Zutphen. The rest of the route is scenic on largely car-free paths through the river landscape towards the destination Deventer. Deventer, already the third Hanseatic city on the tour, is located in beautiful green surroundings and is the perfect place to spend the first night. In this lively city with many historic buildings, great events take place all year round, including the theater festival "Deventer on Stilts" (July) and the largest book market in the Netherlands (August).
Day 2 Deventer - Zwolle (46 km)
After breakfast, it's time to hit the road for the second stage. The bike ride leads through the beautiful landscape of Salland. The region between Deventer and Zwolle impresses with very different highlights, as cyclists cross the river at various points by ferry. During the first part of the route, you pass stately estates such as Nieuwe Rande and De Haere. In the vicinity of De Haere estate, you cycle past the bunkers of the IJssellinie, a Cold War waterline that was supposed to protect the country against a possible Russian invasion. During their deployment, a piece of land 127 kilometers long and three to fifteen kilometers wide between Nijmegen and Kampen on the IJsselmeer would be flooded. Shortly after Olst you will discover the so-called 'newly developed' nature along the IJssel. The river has been breached here in several places to create a dynamic wetland with different levels. Halfway through the day, the village of Wijhe offers several opportunities to stop. The restaurant in the old mill from 1700 is a real insider tip. After Wijhe, the tour continues over car-free dikes to the picturesque Hattem, the fourth Hanseatic city, with its beautiful merchant houses, a city gate, a city canal and old city walls. Shortly before Hattem you cross the IJssel on a bicycle ferry. It's only a few kilometers from Hattem to Zwolle. Zwolle is the largest Hanseatic city in the Netherlands and at the same time a modern student town. The hip medieval city with its mix of history and modern art, culminating in the sensational Museum De Fundatie, creates a great dynamic.
Day 3 Zwolle - Kampen (40 km)
When you leave Zwolle the next day, you imagine yourself in the Middle Ages for a moment: shortly after the city, embark on one of the few traditional, manually operated bicycle ferries. You cycle on a lovely dike towards Hasselt, the sixth Hanseatic city of your cycling holiday. Hasselt is a place of pilgrimage and had the status of an important religious center in the Middle Ages. Even today, two pilgrimage routes cross in Hasselt, which lead to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. To the north of Hasselt lies Weerribben-Wieden National Park, which is part of the five-day cycle tour “Nine Hansa towns and Giethoorn”. After Hasselt, however, this four-day tour leads directly towards the Hanseatic city of Kampen. On the way you will pass the old steam power plant Mastenbroek near Genemuiden, one of the most interesting monuments of Dutch water management technology. Our day destination, Kampen, was one of the most powerful and prosperous cities in northwestern Europe in the Middle Ages. Its location directly on the IJssel and the former Zuiderzee allowed the city to trade both inland and overseas. The boutique hotel directly on the IJssel is in the perfect location for a stroll through the city.
Day 4 Kampen - Harderwijk (51 km)
And so you arrive on the last day of your unforgettable cycling holiday in the Netherlands. Today you will head towards the two Hanseatic cities of Elburg and Harderwijk. The route of this last day leads along the IJsselmeer, the former Zuiderzee. The fishing town of Elburg with its straight streets, fortress walls, casemates and an ancient monastery has many attractions. The harbor, in which historic wooden ships cavort, is definitely worth a visit. After Elburg, the route briefly runs south to Nunspeet. Nunspeet is located on the Veluwe and, as the entrance to the largest contiguous nature reserve in the Netherlands, is a real magnet for visitors. The cycle paths through the forest, along heaths and sand drifts form the backdrop for the last part of the route before you finally reach the destination Harderwijk. The Hanseatic city of Harderwijk has a great historic city center with many restaurants and the famous Dolfinarium. On summer days a trip to the city beach on the banks of the IJsselmeer is recommended, where you can plunge into the shallow and therefore safe, cool water. In the afternoon, your bikes will be picked up again so that you can continue your journey by train. You can of course also spend another night in this beautiful city.
Daily from April 1 until September 30
|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)||€ 745|
|Per person, sharing (daily luggage transport by courier service)||€ 925|
|Single room surcharge||On request|
|Extra nights in Deventer, Zwolle or Kampen||On request|
|Pre and post tour accommodation in Amsterdam, Dieren or Harderwijk||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:
● 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 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* hotels within walking distance of the local sights so you can explore in the evening and find a choice of restaurants for dinner. Your package price includes breakfast and tourist/city tax.
The below are sample hotels, subject to availability. Tulip Cycling may suggest alternatives as appropriate.
Deventer – Hotel Vischpoorte ***
Zwolle – Hotel Fidder ***
Kampen – Boetiek Hotel Kampen ***
Included in this tour
|4 days cycling|
|3 nights in comfortable 3-star hotels in town centres|
|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|