Countryside of IJssel Lake

tours / Cycling

Countryside of IJssel Lake information and booking

  • Duration
    8 days
  • Difficulty
    introductory - moderate
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

  • 7 nights, 2 to 3 star guesthouse or hotel
Equipment Required
Bike helmet, wet weather gear, sunscreen, jogging shoes and sun hat. A comprehensive gear list is included in the pre-departure information provided on booking. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.


  • Cycle around the largest Dutch lake, the IJsselmeer
  • Visit the National Park, De Weerribben, with its unique marshland and cycle past a variety of landscapes including moorlands and forests
  • Explore the interesting towns of Kampen and Elburg & the artistic village of Laren
  • Soak up the hospitality of family run hotels and guesthouses

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Cycle across some of Europe's finest nature reserves of 'De Weerribben'. Experience the delights of old fishing ports, great waterways and the rural area around picturesque IJssel Lake. Starting a little north of Amsterdam, this itinerary guides you through the rural area around IJssel Lake, the former inland sea called Zuiderzee. On the road you'll see a great variety of waterways: lakes, canals and rivers and 'experience' old fishing ports like Elburg and Spakenburg and towns that live and breathe the atmosphere of the traditional Netherlands.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners (does not include drinks) continental breakfasts are served and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. dinner will generally consist of three courses usually inclusive of either a pasta, vegetarian or meat dish.
  • 7 nights accommodation in a 2 to 3 star guesthouse or hotel on a twinshare basis with private facilities
  • Bicycle with 7 gears, lock and pannier
  • Luggage transfer
  • Information pack including route notes, maps & tourist information


Day 1 Arrive and explore Hoorn
Arrive at your guesthouse or hotel in the atmospheric city of Hoorn. Hoorn was once an important base for the Dutch East India Company, and the reason why Cape Horn (Kaap Hoorn) was named in the 17th century by a Dutch explorer after his hometown. Tonight dinner has been prearranged for you at a beautiful old restaurant in the centre of Hoorn, from where you can soak up the magnificent vista of traditional sailing ships on the Havenhoofd.
Day 2 Cycle coastline of IJssel Lake to rich Dutch port of Enkhuizen (35km)
After breakfast you begin your bike ride along the coast line of the IJssel Lake. This freshwater lake is shallow at only 6-7 metres and was created in 1932 due to the establishment of a dam on the former inland sea of Zuider Zee. Cycling along the lakeside you reach Enkhuizen, a splendid port reminiscent of Holland’s old wealth. From here you cross by ferry to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland (approx 80 minutes) – famous for its Fresian cows. From Stavoren it is a one hour bike ride to Rijs where your hotel and evening meal await.
Day 3 Cycle past rural villages (45km)
From Rijs, you cycle to Lemmer this morning. A character filled port, there is ample time to discover the local charm of this area. From Lemmer you ride along the Tjeuke Lake passing through several tiny rural villages before you reach Ossenzijl. You’ll be staying overnight in hotel ‘De Kluft’ located in the National Park De Weerribben. This natural reserve is home to the largest area of peat bog in Western Europe and is one of the largest areas of reed harvesting in the world. Many of the reed roofs of Europe came from the Weerribben, and the local people have been peat and reed harvesters for generations - jobs that are among the most backbreaking and hardest imaginable.
Day 4 Cycle to Giethoorn via Weerribben National Park (40km)
Today you cycle through the unique beauty of the Weerribben nature reserve and its 450 species of plants, some 100 different species of birds and 23 kinds of fish – enroute to Giethoorn. Known as the ‘Venice of the North’, Giethoorn is practically devoid of cars as the preferred mode of transportation is by flat-bottomed boats. Locally called ‘punters’, these picturesque water craft are steered by a long pole called a ‘punt’. You may even see the local spectacle of farmers taking cows to pasture on them. There is time to either rent a ‘punter’ to explore the canals or simply cycle around at your leisure. From Giethoorn you continue on via a picturesque lakeside cycle route to Zwartsluis, a charming little town situated at a crossroad of waterways. Your accommodation and evening meal are pre-arranged here in the centre of town.
Day 5 Cycle to hanseatic town of Kampen and visit harbour town of Elburg (70km)
This morning begins with a small ferry ride to Genemuiden from where you continue by cycle to the Hanseatic town of Kampen. Kampen is full of impressive gothic architecture and it is worth exploring the three ancient surviving city gates. From Kampen, follow the road that leads to Elburg, a former fishing-town with a beautiful harbour. Your itinerary continues through the picturesque countryside and forest, finally ending in Harderwijk.
Day 6 Cycle across woods and moorland to Nijkerk (50km)
The cycle route today takes you through an expansive area of woods and moorland until you reach Nijkerk. Here you may wish to visit the local cheese farm or the steam pumping station before you make the short journey to your hotel in Eemnes.
Day 7 Cycle to Weesp via Naarden-Vesting, one of the finest walled towns (30km)
This morning you will cycle through the enigmatic Tafelberg moorlands and arrive in Naarden-Vesting - one of the finest walled towns in the entire Netherlands. After exploring the town and its numerous historical sites of interest you continue through the Ankeveense Plassen, a lake area, and follow the picturesque River Vecht to the town of Weesp where your hotel awaits. If you feel like visiting Amsterdam tonight you can do so, as it is only 20 minutes away by train!
Day 8 Trip concludes
The trip concludes after breakfast.