Start: Leeuwarden Finish: Leeuwarden
Your Frisian adventure kicks off in Leeuwarden, the vibrant capital of Friesland province. If the spoken language sounds different to you here, you are absolutely right. Local language differs from Dutch and has becomes an important aspect of the local culture.
Three Frisian towns are lined up for today beginning with Bolsward, a Hanseatic town known to enamour tourists. In IJlst (pronounced a bit like ail-st), perhaps the prettiest of the eleven, front gardens flank the canal in an irresistible backdrop featured in film. Spend the night in lively Sneek, a mecca for water sports and day-trippers where the 1613 Waterpoort Gate is the local pride and joy. Satisfy your sweet tooth with brittle buckwheat cookies called ‘drabbelkoeken’ and top your evening off with a jaunt to hopping bars and cafes.
Challenge: 59 km
Leave the hustle and bustle behind and dive into peace and quiet in the Frisian Lake District, with nearly thirty inland lakes it is said to be the largest in western Europe. Experience a feeling of calm as the water surrounds you, and forget the world for a while. Next you cycle into geologically intriguing woodlands in Gaasterland, passing meandering creeks, rolling terrain and deciduous forests on the shores of the old Zuiderzee. The unexpected rock wall called Rode Klif juts up out of Lake Ijsselmeer, providing immense views. Today’s stage ends in Stavoren, known for its picturesque harbour and the statue representing a creepy legend about the ‘Lady of Stavoren’.
Challenge: 55 km
There's more Frisian heritage in store, as you head for Hindeloopen’s wooden bridges, narrow lanes and traditional façades with an ice-skating museum to boot. Local style has long influenced painted furniture and traditional fabrics inspired by trading with Scandinavia and the Baltic. Next up is Workum, once a town of potters famed for their grooved ceramics made from the area’s readily available clay. Get a glimpse of it at Koch’s workshop and check out the town hall’s original wooden prison cell. Round off the day in historic Makkum, famous for its Frisian pottery, where the Tichelaar tile factory has been going strong since 1594. On Days 6 and 7 of the tour, you’ll have a chance to properly admire Frisian pottery at the ceramics museums in Harlingen and Leeuwarden.
Challenge: 45 km
Circle back to Bolsward on a splendid 35-km tour pervaded by the aroma of briny sea air as you approach the friendly harbour town of Harlingen. Amble the sea front along Wadden Promenade and reflect on these unique shallows, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At low tide, shore birds flock to the mudflats and tidal creeks to forage and the town centre reveals monumental warehouses, attractive architectural and picturesque canals. A short ride then leads to the small yet impressive town of Franeker, home to the Netherlands’ second oldest university, oldest student bar ‘Bogt van Guné’ and oldest working planetarium: Eisinga Planetarium.
Challenge: 45 km
Flanked by vast polders to your right, you set off along the coast and wonder how the people of Friesland kept their feet dry before sea dikes were invented. The answer is: by building ‘terps’, raised residential mounds with churches and farmhouses perched on top. Pause to see a partially preserved 9-metre-high mound in Hegebeintum before your journey’s end in Dokkum. This imposing settlement, once open to the sea, became strategically important and was fortified with dikes and moats in 1582. When the harbour later silted up, the town began to look inland. Check out the chapel dedicated to the English missionary St. Boniface, who came to convert pagan Frisians to Christianity and was murdered here in the year 754. Healing water is said to come from the well blessed by this saint.
Challenge: 60 km
Delve into wide-open Frisian scenes brimming with water, lush meadows and signature cows as you ride the Dokkumer Ee canal, a prominent section of the skating marathon, toward the provincial capital. The unassuming bridge at Bartlehiem has long survived crowds of rowdy fans cheering skaters on and it’s just a short stretch to Leeuwarden, rounding out a modest total of 26 km for the day and leaving plenty of time to look around this northern gem with its charming harbours and over 600 monuments. Fancy some shopping, searching for souvenirs? Run over to Kleine Kerkstraat, one of the country’s best-loved shopping streets. Or expend some energy climbing the Frisian ‘Tower of Pisa’, the Oldenhove, on a city stroll starts at the iconic bronze statue of ‘Us Mem’ (Our Mother).
Challenge: 25 km
|Single room, breakfast||875.00|
|Double room, breakfast||665.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 2.75 x 7||19.25|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 7||35.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 7||21.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 7||42.00|
|Theft insurance premium bike||€ 6.00 x 7||42.00|
|Extra luggage||€ 5.00 x 7||35.00|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 7||42.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 7||122.50|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
|Boat tickets||per piece||95.00
All hotels of this trip are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
You can find the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
This hotel is situated in front of the central station of Leeuwarden since 1879.
The Amicitia hotel is only ten minutes biking from the centre of Sneek. The hotel has nice, big rooms and even offers theme rooms, if requested.
Hotel and Restaurant Jans is located in the Rijsterbos, with views overlooking the incredible nature of Rijs. These natural surroundings make you feel calm and free.
Hotel de Waag is situated in a characteristic building in the heart of Makkum. This family owned hotel has a warm feel to it.
This hotel has its own terrace on the waterside of the North canal. In the restaurant you can find traditional dishes with a French twist.
In the heart of the historical centre of Dokkum you find Hotel de Posthoorn. The hotel is 425 years old and offers service like no other.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between 1st April and 23rd September.
The closest airport you can fly into is Amsterdam Schipol (AMS).
You take the train from station Amsterdam Schiphol to Leeuwarden. Your first accommodation is close to the train station.
If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. Our 24 gear touring bikes will be delivered to you at the start of your holiday and you must return them before you go home. All bikes are equipped with a chain lock and a repair kit. Hybrid and e-bikes also include a saddlebag.
Chain lock Saddlebag Repair kit
Our hybrid bikes have 21-gears with hand brakes. We will assign the bikes according to gender, as we have both men- and women style bikes.
For children who are at least 125 cm, we can also arrange bikes (these are 24”or 26” for children that are bigger than 140 cm)
Tandem bikes are suitable for two adults only. The tandem bikes have a frame size of 48 cm. We mostly use the Victoria Spezial 8.7. This tandem bike comes with 24-derailleur gears or nuvinci gears. The height of the handle bars on a tandem bike cannot be adjusted.
E-bikes are always on request, as we have a limited amount of e-bikes available. Our e-bikes are unisex, have handbrakes and have ten gears. Our smallest e-bike has a frame size of 49 cm and is suitable for persons that are 155 cm (5ft1) or taller.
GPS tracks are available on request.