Northern Holland by bike on Liza Marleen
Discover the traditional landscapes of the Dutch countryside by bicycle.
The Traditions Route follows circuits through the famous Dutch polders, then in the most beautiful dune region of the Netherlands: between Bergen and Schoorl. Discover the island of Texel, charming Dutch villages and of course the beautiful city of Amsterdam on this exceptional bicycle cruise.
The main areas of interest during the stay:
- The fishing villages of Volendam and Enkhuizen
- Texel Island
- Zaanse Schans windmills
Day 1 - Amsterdam, boarding at 4 p.m. / 15-20 km
Arrived on board the Liza Marleen between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. and check in to your cabin. Meet the crew and other passengers. Then you can try your bike for a short ride north of Amsterdam. The schedule for the next day and the week will be explained to you at lunchtime.
Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands was in the 12th century a simple village on the banks of the Amstel river which had an open connection with the sea. The marshes and the sea around the city are now polders. The Zuiderzee (the south sea) became the IJsselmeer (the lake of IJssel).
Day 2 - Amsterdam - Hoorn 46 km
You cycle through the Waterland region where roads and houses are almost at the same level as the water!
Visit de Marken which was an island until the middle of the 20th century. You can only visit Marken on foot or by bicycle. Driving is prohibited, except for residents.
You then continue to the historic town of Volendam, once a small fishing village. Today it is an important tourist center, where some inhabitants still wear the traditional costume.
Sail to Hoorn, an important port town in the 17th century where you can admire the old facades, canals and bridges.
Day 3 - Hoorn - Enkhuizen 30 km
The road to Enkhuizen runs along the dike with a magnificent view of the Markermeer and the small Dutch villages. The Enkhuizen dyke in Lelystad was built in 1976 to create a new large polder: the Markerwaard, but the project was unsuccessful as the environment and freshwater supply became a priority.
The stage ends in Enkhuizen with a possible visit to the Zuiderzee Museum which shows you everyday life on the Zuiderzee seaside, life before the construction of the Afsluitdijk. This dike transformed the Zuiderzee in 1932 into the IJsselmeer (a freshwater lake).
Day 4 - Enkhuizen - Medemblik, then navigation to Texel 34 km
Before crossing a nature reserve, you walk along the IJsselmeer dike and then continue your route through typical villages of the region. In Medemblik, where Radboud Castle bears witness to a glorious past, you embark to sail on the IJsselmeer and the Waddenzee (the Wadden Sea) towards the island of Texel. The Waddenzee is known as the world's largest uninterrupted system of mudflats and sandbanks. There are many habitats here: tidal channels, sandbanks, seagrass meadows, mussels, mudflats, salt marshes, estuaries, beaches and dunes. The place is home to a multitude of species of plants and animals, including marine mammals such as seals.
Day 5 - Texel, round trip 35/48 or 62 km
The island of Texel is the largest Dutch island with an average length of 20 km and a width of 8 km. It is very popular with ornithologists because there are no less than 300 different species of birds. The dune ridge presents a hilly expanse of flowers and wild grasses. The beaches are wide and the wheat fields alternate with the meadows of cows. A visit to this island with its cycle paths is definitely worth it. You have the choice between circuits of 35, 48 or 62 km.
Day 6 - Texel - Alkmaar 58 km
The Liza Marleen takes you back to the mainland and you disembark at Den Helder, the main port of the Netherlands Navy. Crossing the dunes by bike. Zwanenwater (swan water) is an exceptional nature reserve, with its lakes and marshes. Further on, on the dike of Hondsbossche Zeewering, you have a superb view of the North Sea. Towards Schoorl you see the highest dunes in the country. Over the past century, many pine trees have been planted, so these dunes are covered with dense forest.
End of the stage in Alkmaar, a historic town with 400 monuments classified as national monuments including the Grote Kerk (large church) which dates from the 15th century. Alkmaar is known as the 'city of cheese'. In the past, cheese was weighed and sold à la Waag (an old word for ‘balance’). Every Friday the famous cheese market takes place in front of the Waag.
Day 7 - Alkmaar - Amsterdam 55 km
After a visit to the cheese market, you cross some remarkable polders. In the 17th century, two lakes were drained and turned into farmland. The Beemster Polder is an impressive example of land taken from water. It has preserved its landscape of fields, roads, canals, dikes and villages.
On the way to Amsterdam you can admire Zaansche Schans, with its traditional wooden houses, warehouses and windmills. You can visit a cheese factory, a clog factory and a traditional bakery.
Back in Amsterdam, you can return your bike. Perhaps you would still like to enjoy the city or take a canal boat trip? It will be possible during this last evening.
Day 8 - Amsterdam
End of stay after breakfast before 10am.
Due to the navigation plan, the route may be reversed or modified.