Ijssel Lake Cycling Holiday

  • 4.8
    (2 reviews)
  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely to Moderate
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Edam / Amsterdam
  • Distance

    200 miles/322 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

  • Tour code

Price From £911


A classic Dutch cycling holiday around the majestic Ijssel Lake that was once open to the sea. Daily rides of around 55km per day lead you along ancient dykes and past iconic windmills to charming, lakeside towns from where tall ships once set sail to traverse the globe. Pedal through the serene, unspoilt splendour of the Veluwe Forest before finishing your tour in Amsterdam.

If you have not visited Holland before then this tour is a great introduction to the country, leading you through some of its most iconic scenery and visiting some historic towns and villages.

Ijssel Lake was once a much larger body of water called the Zuiderzee (Southern Sea). At the time it was open to the North Sea, providing ideal shelter and moorings for the tall ships returning from far off places heavy with trading goods. The ports such as Amsterdam, Edam and Enkhuizen thrived on this trade, becoming elegant cities with rich merchants building ever more grand houses.

Giethoorn - Holland*

Getting around in Giethoorn

When the lucrative trade died away many of the towns returned to their fishing roots and at the beginning of the 20th century a huge dam was constructed, separating the Zuiderzee from the North sea, allowing huge tracts of land to be reclaimed for farming.

On this fascinating and scenic cycling holiday you will cycle along the dykes, past the windmills and through the green meadows of this unique reclaimed land. You’ll visit the grand old towns who’s tall ships once plied the great oceans and walk the streets where rich traders once strode. You’ll also enjoy a serene ride on dedicated cycle paths through the beautiful Veluwe Forest before riding into Amsterdam, Europe’s most cycle-friendly city to celebrate completing your cycling adventure.

The route is predominantly flat and therefore anyone with a reasonable level of fitness will enjoy this tour.

Itinerary & Map

The route is predominantly flat and therefore anyone with a reasonable level of fitness will enjoy this tour.

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Day 1: Arrive Edam

Edam cheese market

Edam cheese market

Check in to your lovely hotel in the historic old town. Time permitting take a stroll along the cobbled streets, flanked by typical Dutch gable-roofed houses that lead you to the famous cheese market. Here you can sample and buy the famous Edammer cheese, which has been sold worldwide for many centuries.

Day 2: Edam – Enkhuizen, 28 miles/45 kms

Typical polder landscape - HollandII*

Iconic polder landscape

Your first ride leads north from Edam along a beautiful dyke with great views. To your  left you have green meadows and to your right the blue expanse of Lake Ijssel. Traditional windmills that were once used to keep the re-claimed land dry dot the landscape – today modern pumps do most of this work but some of the windmills still function. Even though you cycle on top of the dyke – two meters above the level of the lake – you are still cycling below sea level! This evening you will stay in the medieval village of Enkhuizen. Consider a visit to the Zuiderzeemuseum, as a visit here will definitely give you a better understanding of the unique history of this area.

Day 3: Enkhuizen – Oudemirdum + ferry, 36 miles/55 kms

Hindeloopen - Holland*


In the morning you catch a ferry (pay locally) across the lake to the old harbour of Stavoren. Here you enter the Freisland area where the landscape is quite different; Friesland is famous for its many lakes and its beautiful old cities including Hindeloopen and Workum which have a mixture of 16th, 17th and 18th century buildings, all of which are protected. In Hindeloopen some locals still wear traditional costume. Continue cycling along quiet bike paths past the many lakes and then through a forest to the small village of Oudemirdum where you will spend the night.

Day 4: Oudemirdum – Giethoorn 38 miles/62 kms

Giethoorn - Holland*


The beautiful Weerribben National Park is situated halfway between Oudemirdum and Giethoorn. This park is a marshland with many small islands, creeks and lakes. Today’s route leads you through the park to Giethoorn. The town is known locally as ‘Venice of the North’ and you may wish to rent a traditional Giethoorn ‘punter’, to explore this unique little place, that has more canals than footpaths, where you will spend the night!


Day 5: Giethoorn – Putten, 47 miles/75 kms

Elburg - Holland*


Today’s tour takes you straight through the lovely but rather unpronounceable ‘Beulaker-en Belterwijde’, an area that is named after two great lakes. Many protected birds live in this region, as well as rare water loving mammals such as beavers and otters.  Overnight in the pleasent towns of either Elburg or Putten and explore on foot.

Day 6: Putten – Hilversum 25 miles/40 kms

Harderwijk - Holland*


Today you cycle alongside the Veluwemeer, a large elongated lake that was formed in the late 50’s when the nearby Flevo Polder was pumped dry. Quiet, lakeside lanes lead you through rural farmland to Hardewijk, a pleasant old town on the lake shore. Ride through the old fisherman gate into the old town and park your bikes near the bustling square for a stroll around. Carry on along the lake-shore and after a while you reach the small, pretty town of Bunschoten-Spakenburg. In the centre you’ll find a pleasant waterway with fishing boats bobbing at their moorings. A few more kilometers of rural cycling brings you to the town of Hilversum where you stop for the night.

Day 7: Hilversum – Amsterdam 28 miles/45 kms

Amsterdam - Holland IV*


Your last day’s ride leads you past the impressive, medieval Muiderslot Castle, built in 1280 AD. Here, it’s hard to imagine that you are close to a major city but a mere 15 kilometers further on you reach Amsterdam. Cyclists have priority over cars in this forward-thinking city and this policy makes the centre a wonderful place to explore, giving it the atmosphere of a large village. It’s quite a compact city so you’ll have no problem getting round the famous sights. Your last night is spent in a lovely hotel in a quiet suburb of the city.

Day 8: Departure Amsterdam

After breakfast it’s time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2019 Arrival Dates
Arrivals daily from 01 April to 15 October

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2019 Prices
Per person
01 Apr
15 Oct
Superior category
Double/twin £911                    
Single £1317                    

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Deposit per person £125

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation. See practical information
7 x Breakfast
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Ferry Enkhuizen to Stavoren €18 per person


Extra night Amsterdam, double/twin, superior (£96)
Extra night Amsterdam, single, superior (£175)
Electric bike with pannier and lock (£111)

Practical Information


Hybrid bike

Example of bike used on this tour

The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, hybrid models with 7 speeds and comfortable saddle with upright riding position. The bikes come equipped with rear pannier, map holder, lock and repair kit.

Electric bikes are also available.

Helmets are not provided so you will need to bring your own


Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Edam: Hotel de Fortuna
Enkhuizen: B&B Villa Enkhuizen
Oudemirdum: Hotel Boschlust
Giethoorn: Hotel de Harmonie
Elburg: B&B Rose Garden
Hilversum: Hotel Ravel
Amsterdam: Hotel Apollofirst

Local taxes
Some hotels in some countries have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting There

Fly to Amsterdam or take the Eurostar.

Research flights from the UK here

Research Eurostar from UK here

You can catch a train onwards to Edam

Research trains in Holland


Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 2 reviews 4.8
  • Date - 22/08/2017
  • Name - Ian Johnson
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - Easy to book and straight forward
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - Fantastic countryside, loved the small ferries, nice accommodation.
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for the succinct review Ian. We're glad you enjoyed your cycling holiday in Holland.
  • Date - 12/07/2017
  • Name - Patricia Williams
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - There was nothing to fault Flexitreks- they were very professional.
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - The cycle wasn't done in the best of weather so the cycle round the lake in parts was extremely windy. Parts of the cycle were so pretty.
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for the review Patricia. It sounds like you had a headwind at times which is a shame and definitely makes the going  a bit tougher. Glad you made it round though and were able to appreciate the lovely scenery.