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Wednesday, December 20, 2023 at 5:31 pm
Cycling tourism We all like to dream of beautiful cycling holidays, high alpine passes and remote cycling destinations. It’s not surprising, because the grass always seems greener on the other side. However, you don’t have to go far to ride beautiful bikes, there is a lot of beauty to be seen in the Netherlands. For this Cycling This winter we are looking for the most beautiful cycling route in the Netherlands.
The slopes of southern Limburg, the rich nature of the Veluwe River, or the cobblestone areas of Drenthe? Just a selection of some of the highlights of Dutch cycling. You may not find high mountains there, but our country is still home to many beautiful things that you can visit by bike.
We will search with our readers for the most beautiful cycling route in the Netherlands. Ten different methods, presented before, will be published in the coming months CyclingReaders, discuss. In the new year, you can vote for the most beautiful unofficial cycling route in the Netherlands.
Fighting against the wind
In the Netherlands it is not the slopes, it is the wind that provides the most resistance. It is not without reason that this happens so often Dutch mountain The name of the thing; You won’t find many altimeters here, but with the seemingly constant headwinds, cycling is still very difficult in the Netherlands. This is especially true in the open West Frisian landscape, where you rarely encounter windless days.
Marcel Wiersma knows this too, as he nominated the West Frisian Ommeringdijk Route as the most beautiful cycling route in the Netherlands. The 126km dam is a ‘don’t suck, just work hard’ ride. “Especially when the wind is right,” he aptly describes the trip. The road can be safely described as typically Dutch. “With reclaimed land, over embankments, and of course with views over the beautiful Markermere area, it could be called a real bucket list tour,” says Marcel.
Westfriese Omringdijk is a series of 38 dams and dykes in West Friesland, which passes through the cities of Enckhausen, Hoorn, Alkmaar, Schagen and Medemblik, among others. These dams were constructed as far back as the 10th century to keep certain areas dry or wet. At the time, this required small dam works, but over time the height and length of the dams increased as water levels in the seas and rivers rose.
More and more areas were then linked together by dykes, gradually creating a network of dykes, which today is known as the West Frisian Ömeringdijk. Initially, the function of the dam was to retain seawater, but as large bodies of water dried up, this function became less important. Since the arrival of Afsluitdijk, the West Frisian Omringdijk has completely lost its maritime defensive function.
The route starts just outside the village of Schellinkhout, at a car park in Zuiderdijk. The route takes you counterclockwise, so in the first kilometers you have a constant and endless view of the Markermeer on your right side. Once Hotribdijk comes into view, you’ll also approach the first town you pass during the trip: Enkhuizen.
Enkhusen’s historic city center is a beautiful sight, but the dam extends just outside the city, so there is little time to explore it. Herring city Let’s admire. The road continues, first in a northerly direction, but as you start approaching Andijk you turn towards the west.
With about 40 kilometers on the clock, you pass through Medemblik, turning away from the IJsselmeer and heading into the West Frisian interior. This is often the focus of the trip, because you are driving for miles across open terrain and the wind is often against you.
The next objective point is Shagen, where the road heads south. You’re more than half way there and heading towards Bergen. Although you ignore the dunes, you ride your bike near the Chorley Dunes and get a beautiful view of this expansive nature reserve.
The route then takes you through the middle of Alkmaar, where you can plan a final stop to recharge your batteries before the end of the trip. Here you still have about thirty kilometers to go, which again takes you largely through open, reclaimed landscape. When Markermeer shows up, you know the trip is almost over. The last ten kilometers you drive along the second largest lake in the Netherlands, below Hoorn, return to your starting point.
In the end, there are 126 kilometers on the table, with only 160 meters of elevation gain. Don’t think that this will make the trip easy, because the wind can make the trip very difficult. Above all, it is a typical Dutch trip, with endless embankments and reclaimed landscapes characterizing the trip.
Do you think you know what is the most beautiful cycling route in the Netherlands? Submit it using the form below!
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