Nine Hansa towns and GiethoornDieren - Deventer - Zwolle - Giethoorn - Kampen - Harderwijk
This five-day bike tour along the nine Dutch Hanseatic cities and the picturesque village of Giethoorn combines the most beautiful nature reserves with picturesque towns, not far from the German-Dutch border. Perfect for a cycling holiday in Holland!
The Hanseatic League, originally established to jointly protect the trade routes against pirates and raids, ensured unprecedented prosperity in Kampen, Deventer and their like from the 14th century. The cities became the most important trading centers of their time, while Amsterdam was still a sleepy village.
These Hanseatic cities still adorn the river IJssel and the IJsselmeer like sparkling pearls, and each one has its own charm. The picturesque Giethoorn, also known as the Venice of the Netherlands, is located in the Weerribben-Wieden National Park. This national park is the largest continuous peat bog in northwestern Europe and resembles a labyrinth of lakes, ponds and waterways. Together with the scenery of an wide river landscape with great views, neat forests and of course excellent cycling paths, the Hanseatic cities offer everything for an unforgettable cycling holiday in the Netherlands.
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, and can be easily reached by train and car. In Dieren there is also a wonderful hotel on the Avegoor estate and a small boutique hotel, where you can possibly plan an extra night before the start of your cycling holiday. At the train station or in the hotel, a Tulip Cycling employee will personally instruct you and provide you with 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 - Giethoorn (41 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. This unique area attracts countless visitors every year who want to enjoy the wonderful nature and tranquility or who want to explore the area from the water. The many canals and lakes are very popular among water sports enthusiasts and (in winter) among ice skaters. But cyclists also get their money's worth. Between Belt-Schutsloot and Giethoorn you will find a true Eldorado of bike paths that wind through the region along the typical thatched farms. You stay at the Hotel de Harmonie in Giethoorn, where you have the option of renting a boat to discover the beauty of the national park from the water.
Day 4 Giethoorn - Kampen (44 km)
When you leave Giethoorn the next morning, the route initially continues through the national park. Dwarsgracht can be reached quickly: this village is possibly even more beautiful than Belt-Schutsloot and Giethoorn, because it seems to have originated from a fairytale book. After the small ferry at Jonen the route goes to Blokzijl, the pearl on the former Zuiderzee. Today it is a lovely little town with stately merchant houses and a beautiful harbor. Taking a break in one of the many street cafes is definitely a good idea! The route then continues through the national park, where you can also visit the park's visitor center. Here you will learn all about the history of the park and the diverse life that is protected here. Now the cycle route meets the route of the four-day tour “Nine Hansa towns”. 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 5 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 till October 31
|Prices in Euro - No peak season charges - Prices include all taxes|
|Per person in a double room (luggage transport in panniers on your bike, storage of suitcases at Tulip Cycling)||€ 525|
|Per person in a double room (daily luggage transport by courier service)||€ 650|
|Single room surcharge (1 person / 1 room)||€ 250|
|Upgrade to E-bike or road bike per person||€ 60|
|Extra nights in Deventer, Zwolle, Giethoorn or Kampen, per person in a double room||€ 75|
|Extra nights single room surcharge (1 person / 1 room)||€ 60|
|Pre and post tour accommodation in Dieren and Harderwijk||On request|
|Hotel upgrades in Deventer and Zwolle||On request|
|Additional items (extra panniers, helmets, ponchos, extra GPS devices)||Price list|
|Discount by groups of 4 or more||10%|
Deventer – Hotel Vischpoorte ***
Zwolle – Hotel Fidder ***
Giethoorn - Hotel de Harmonie ****
Kampen – Boetiek Hotel ***
Included in this tour
|5 days of biking|
|3 nights in 3 star hotel in town centre, one night in a 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|