Biking Netherlands

15 incredible bike tours in the Netherlands

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The first thing tourists notice when they arrive in the Netherlands is the bikes. So many bikes! Cycling in the Netherlands is a way of life and it’s a part of our culture and heritage that we love to share with visitors. And in this post, we share 15 incredible bike tours to explore the Netherlands.

So, hop on – we’re going for a ride!

What to expect when cycling in the Netherlands

More than 25% of the Netherlands is at or below sea level. Being a mostly flat country makes the Netherlands a great destination for a bike tour. 

It’s easy and fun to explore the whole of the Netherlands from the seat of a bicycle. Out in the countryside, you can get away from the crowds and discover the most beautiful sights by bike. In the big cities, like Amsterdam and Rotterdam, you can join the throngs of daily commuters and cycle along with the networks of cycle paths. Taking a bike tour in the Netherlands offers a wonderful sense of freedom but there are lots of motorists in the cities too so do take more caution when the traffic is busy.

Bike tours in the Netherlands: dos and don’ts

Dos

  • Rent a Dutch bike for your bike tour. Our bikes are the best in the world!
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothes, preferably sportswear. 
  • Use your bike lights and your bell. Safety first!
  • Take a paper map or download a digital map if you’re self-guiding. On bike tours in the Netherlands you may lose connection to the internet.
  • Carry enough water and snacks, even if you’re on a guided tour. 
  • Take your bike on the train with a Bicycle Day Travel Card.

Don’t

  • Ride your bike when intoxicated. Not only is it dangerous, it’s illegal and could land you a €140 fine. 
  • Leave your bike unlocked. Bike theft is common, particularly in Amsterdam.
  • Forget to pack a bicycle repair kit!
  • Cycle on footpaths! 

If you like to get more information on cycling yourself in the Netherlands, also check out our guide on how to get around in the Netherlands.

Self-guided day tours by bike

Cycling is so popular in the Netherlands that a network of tried-and-tested cycle routes already covers the country. The Fietspaden (bicycle paths) cover 35,000km of the Netherlands and are clearly-marked and well-maintained. It’s easy to take a self-guided bike tour in the Netherlands and enjoy our stunning landscapes. If you want to learn more about local culture and history there are tons of guided tours available too. Here’s our pick of 15 of the best bike tours through the Netherlands.

1. Biesbosch

Starting Point: Dordrecht Train Station

Length: 39.4km

Difficulty: Easy 

Trail type: Loop

This Dutch bike tour is located in the province South Holland and takes in the sights of the city of Dordrecht and the Biesboch National Park. Suitable for all skill levels, this trail is almost 40km in length but features little elevation. It’s a fairly relaxed ride. The first half of this bike tour in the Netherlands offers fantastic views of Biesboch, one of Northwestern Europe’s best examples of a freshwater tidal wetlands. Bird-watchers and nature-lovers will love this route. The second half of this bike tour explores a waterway on the western side of Dordrecht. With no stops, you will arrive back at your starting point of Dordrecht station in around 2.5 hours. 

You might also like: 10 most beautiful national parks in the Netherlands

2. Kijkduin – Hoek van Holland

Starting Point: Kijkduin

Length: 37.3km

Difficulty: Easy

Trail type: Loop

This is an easy trail for those who want to explore the quieter side of The Hague. From Kijkduin, the first 24km of this trail guides you through the south-western part of The Hague before reaching the Hoek van Holland (Hook of Holland). From here, the last 13km is a long, straight stretch of waterside bike path that will bring you back to your starting point. Expect to be distracted by a number of local sights and attractions on your way. 

3. Veluwe

Starting Point: Garderen

Length: 65.8km

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail type: Loop

Your starting point is the small village of Garderen, located deep in the forests of the Veluwe in the province of Gelderland. This is a moderate bike tour to explore the countryside of the Netherlands in a loop of more than 65km. You’ll face a challenging bit of elevation after around 40km. Primarily for road biking, the Garderen to Vierhouten Veluwe trail is known for its scenic views of fields of wildflowers and interesting heritage sites. Another great way to explore the Veluwe is on foot, which we cover in our Utrecht hiking guide.

4. Brouwersdam

Starting Point: Grevelingendam

Length: 36.2km

Difficulty: Easy

Trail type: One-way

Begin this bike tour of the Netherlands by crossing the Grevelingendam from Oude-tonge to Bruinisse. From there, cycle a 36km trail through a series of small towns located along the waterline. You’ll experience little elevation on this fairly short trail, which makes it an easy way to see the sights for all skill levels. Your trail ends at the magnificent Brouwersdam, the seventh of the Netherlands famous Delta Works. 

5. Kinderdijk 

Starting Point: Havenstraat, Alblasserdam next to Gemeentehuis, Alblasserdam

Length: 44.4km

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail type: Loop

Starting canalside in the heart of Alblasserdam, this is one of our favorite bike tours in the Netherlands. The route takes you on a 44km loop along the Middelkade canal to beautiful Kinderdijk. From here you travel along the Lek River. This area is known as the Gardens of Europe for its charming network of waterways and dikes with views of some of the Netherland’s finest windmills and fields of flowers. Check out our post to taking a day trip to Kinderdijk for more inspiration. 

6. Eight castles 

Starting Point: Kasteel Vorden

Length: 34.4km

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail type: Loop

This trail begins at Kasteel Vorden, Gelderland one of the eight castles you’ll see on this route. There’s lots to see on this 34km loop trail that is also popular with hikers and runners. As well as the castles, you can see a Pinetum de Belten, a tended forest of thousands of conifers, and several scenic campsites. This trail is rated as moderate and has low overall but with frequent gains in elevation. 

7. Hunebeds route

Starting Point: Broger Centrum

Length: 43km

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail type: Loop

Start this bike tour of the Netherlands in the very center of Broger, Drenthe. A short ride out of town, this becomes a nature trail offering gorgeous views for almost the entire 43km route. A moderate trail, there is some frequent elevation gain for the last 10km. Also a road biking trail, the Hunebeds route is suitable for all cyclists.

8. Vaalserberg 

Starting Point: Hombourg

Length: 41.5km

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail type: Loop

This moderate trail takes you on a loop around the sights of Vaalsberg, the only mountain in the Netherlands. Vaalsberg is the highest point in mainland Netherlands at 322.4m. As you’d expect, the elevation gain on this trail is a little more challenging at 873m. 

Self-guided multi day tours by bike

9. Tour around the Netherlands 

Starting Point: Nieuweschans

Length: 1754km

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail type: Loop

A comprehensive round-trip that takes you on a journey along the entire border of the Netherlands. This 27-stop loop is more than 1750km in length, starting and ending in Nieuweschans. We recommend taking your time to complete this route as it is the most comprehensive bike tour of the Netherlands on this list. The trail offers hotel suggestions for your overnight stays. Use this as a rough guide to book your own accommodation or even find campsites along the way!

10. Eleven Citites Cycling Tour

Starting Point: Bolsward

Length: 253km

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail type: Loop

Elfstedentocht means Eleven Cities in English and commonly refers to a famous tour skating event that can only take place in the Netherlands when the waters that connect these 11 cities are fully frozen. So, this is an event that takes place very irregularly and with only 48 hours notice! 

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The Eleven Cities cycling tour is not weather-dependent so you can admire these 11 cities whenever you like. Like the skating tour, there’s also an organized Elfstedentocht bike tour once a year that is open to the public up to a maximum of 15,000 entrants. But if you’re not around during this organized event, use the map and cycle it on your own peace.

11. Pieterpad 

Starting Point: Pieterburen

Length: 492km

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail type: One-way

Pieterpad is one of the Netherlands most popular hiking trails. However, it is possible to take a self-guided bike tour along the same route. Starting at the coastal village of Pieterburen, this trail takes you all the way from the northern of the Netherlands down to it’s southernmost tip. A scenic, countryside route, the Pieterburen trail will guide you through flat open fields, the forests of Drenthe of Overijssel and the Limburg hills. 

Bike tours Netherlands with a local guide

12. Beach and dunes bike tour

Starting Point: Noordwijkerhout 

Length: 25km

Difficulty: Easy

Trail type: Loop

If you’d rather take a guided bike tour in the Netherlands, we recommend this beach and dunes bike tour. Starting at Noordwijkerhout square you will first cycle alongside the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, the water dunes from which the city of Amsterdam draws its drinking water. When you reach the beach at Nederzandt you’ll stop for refreshments then cycle through part of de Hollandse Duinen National Park. You’ll make it back to Noordwijkerhout via the charming country lanes of Bollenstreek. Bike rental is included. 

For more information, check: Beach and Dunes bike tour.

13. Countryside and organic farm bike tour

Starting Point: Amsterdam Centraal

Length: 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Trail type: Loop

From Amsterdam Central, you will cycle to the charming village of Landsmeer and Twiske, one of North Holland’s most scenic areas. This guided bike tour is all about organic agriculture and is an educational as well as a fun experience. You’ll visit the organic farm “Zorgboerderij Maarsen” on this tour and share a lunch with some of the staff and volunteers. 

For more information, see this countryside and organic farm bike tour on Get Your Guide.

14. Amsterdam bike tour

Starting Point: Amsterbike Shop, Piet Heinkade 25

Length: 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Trail type: Loop

If it’s Amsterdam city you want to explore, look no further than this 3-hour guided bike tour. As part of a small group, you’ll bike around the iconic streets of Amsterdam and learn all about Dutch culture, see our famous canals, and enjoy some famous sites. 

Find out more about this fun and interesting Amsterdam bike tour in the Netherlands.

You might also like: Where to stay in Amsterdam?

15. Zaanse Schans bike tour

Starting Point: Koog aan de Zaan Station

Length: 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Trail type: Loop

There’s no better way to explore the village of Zaanse Schans with it’s pretty Dutch windmills than by bike. Join this small guided tour for a 2.5 to 3 hour journey along the banks of the Zaan River to one of the most photogenic spots in the Netherlands.This tour is a loop so you will return your bikes to your guide at the Koog aan de Zaan train station, a few stops from Amsterdam Centraal. 

For more information, see this Zaanse Schans bike tour on Get Your Guide.


That’s our pick of 15 incredible bike tours through the Netherlands. Do you have a question or want to share your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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