The 15 Best Self Guided 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!

Is Netherlands good for cycling?

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.

Netherlands bike tour: 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 bike tours netherlands

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. 

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

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. 

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

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.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

4. Vlissingen – Middelburg – Domburg – Westkapelle

  • Starting Point: Vlissingen
  • Length: 46.8 km
  • Elevation Gain: 196 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail type: One-way

Begin this bike tour in the harbour of Vlissingen and from there you will follow easy going cycling paths next to the canal of Walcheren in the direction of the city centre of Middelburg. You will cross some really typical Dutch landscapes and wind mills, local markets and cozy squares. On the road to Oostkapelle and Domburg you will cross Castle ‘Westhove’. Just before you will arrive in Oostkappelle you will cycle through the forest of Wasschappelse on the end of the treeline you will see the coast again. It’s a really nice and diverse route. During the whole bike tour the directions are well marked so getting lost is almost impossible.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

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. 

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

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. 

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

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.

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

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. 

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

Self guided Multi Day bike tours netherlands

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!

Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

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! 

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.

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Click here or on the title of the trail on the right corner of the map, to get more information.

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. 

Best bike tours in netherlands

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. 

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. 

Best time for a bike tour in the Netherlands

MonthMin Temperature °CMax Temperature °CRain mm
January2.05.869.0
February1.76.357.0
March3.29.158.0
April6.113.157.0
May9.716.468.0
June12.519.073.0
July14.821.088.0
August14.820.886.0
September12.718.376.0
October9.414.370.0
November5.89.868.0
December3.06.674.0

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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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