Around Amsterdam aboard the Sailing Home
Explore the typical Dutch countryside by bike.
The northern route follows circuits through the polders, then in the most beautiful region of the Netherlands: between Bergen and Schoorl. The island of Texel and charming Dutch villages are part of the trip.
On the first day, you will have the pleasure of discovering Amsterdam. You can linger in the city at the end of your cycling and boat trip in the Netherlands.
The highlights of the stay:
- Volendam and Enkhuizen, traditional villages
- Texel Island
- The polders
- Windmills at Zaanse Schans
Day 1 - Amsterdam / 15-20 km
Arrived on board the boat, boarding between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. and visit to your cabin. You meet the guide, the skipper, his crew and the other passengers. Then you can try your bike for a short ride north of Amsterdam. At dinner time, you will learn about the program for the week.
Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, was in the 12th century a simple village on the banks of the Amstel river with an open connection to the sea. The marshes and the sea around Amsterdam became polders. The Zuiderzee (the South Sea) is now the IJsselmeer (Lake IJssel).
Day 2 - Amsterdam - Hoorn / 46 km
You are driving through the rural region of Waterland where roads and houses are at the same level as the water!
Then comes Marken's visit. Until the middle of the 20th century Marken was an island. Driving is prohibited in Marken, except for residents.
After Marken you drive towards the historic town of Volendam, once a small fishing village. It is now an important tourist center. Don't be surprised to see locals wearing traditional dress.
You board the Sailing Home to sail towards Hoorn, an important port town in the 17th century where you can observe the old facades, canals and bridges.
Day 3 - Hoorn - Enkhuizen / 30 km
The road to Enkhuizen follows the dike and offers you a splendid view of the Markermeer on your right and the small Dutch villages on your left. The Enkhuizen dyke in Lelystad was built recently (1976), to create a new large polder: the Markerwaard without the project having succeeded. The environment and the supply of fresh water were priorities.
The route ends in Enkhuizen. You will have the opportunity to visit the Zuiderzee Museum showing daily life by the sea in Zuiderzee and life before the construction of the Afsluitdijk.
Day 4 - Enkhuizen - Medemblik, then navigation to Texel / 34 km
Before crossing a nature reserve, you walk along the IJsselmeer dike through typical villages of the region. In Medemblik you can see Radboud Castle. Then sail on the IJsselmeer and the Waddenzee (the Wadden Sea) to the island of Texel.
The Waddenzee is known as the world's largest uninterrupted system of mudflats and sandbanks.
There is a multitude of habitats here: tidal channels, sandbanks, seagrass meadows, mussel beds, mudflats, salt marshes, estuaries, beaches and dunes. The place is home to many species of plants and animals, including marine mammals such as seals.
Day 5 - Texel, round trip 35/48 or 62 km
It is the largest Dutch island, 20 km long and 8 km wide. Texel is very popular with bird watchers, as there are no less than 300 different species of birds. The dune ridge presents a hilly expanse of flowers and wild grasses, and the beaches are wide and welcoming. A visit to the island of Texel by its cycle paths will charm you. You will have the choice between loops of 35, 48 or 62 km.
Day 6 - Texel - Alkmaar 58 km
The Sailing Home takes you back to the mainland in Den Helder, the main port of the Netherlands Navy. You cycle through the dunes to Zwanenwater, an impressive nature reserve, with lakes and marshes. Further on, on the dike of Hondsbossche Zeewering, you will have a magnificent view of the North Sea. Towards Schoorl you admire the highest dunes in the country.
The stage ends in Alkmaar, a historic city with 400 monuments classified as national monuments. One of the best known is the 15th century Grote Kerk (large church). You may know Alkmaar as the 'city of cheese'. Every Friday the famous cheese market takes place in front of the Waag.
Day 7 - Alkmaar - Amsterdam 55 km
After your visit to the cheese market, you drive through some remarkable polders. In the 17th century, two lakes were drained and turned into farmland. The Beemster Polder is an exceptional example of land taken from water.
Back to Amsterdam you can visit Zaansche Schans, its traditional wooden houses, warehouses and famous windmills. Visits to a cheese factory, a clog factory and a traditional bakery are also recommended.
In Amsterdam you will have to leave your bike. How about still enjoying the city or a canal boat trip?
Day 8 - Amsterdam, end of the bike trip
The trip to the Netherlands ends after breakfast before 10 a.m.
Due to the navigation plan, the route may be reversed or changed.