The open Dutch landscape with dikes and canals. Indeed very open, so with cycling here, take the wind into account !
Best rent a bike in the centre of Amsterdam, and take the ferry across the IJ behind Central Station. You'll first have to cycle through some urban parts before entering rural areas. By the way, the name " Waterland " dates from medieval times, so it's not invented for tourists !
Official tourist information : www.vvv-waterland.nl
Over the millennia the natural landscape here was formed not only by rivers and the sea, like in most parts of Holland, but also by Ice Age glaciers and wind. Resulting what is simply an objective fact : nowhere else in the Netherlands will you find such a variation in landscapes within easy cycling distance.
Along the rivers the classic Dutch meadows with cows, lakes and wetlands. Merging into higher sandy grounds covered with woods and heather plains.
And all over, an overwhelming amount of historical points of interest. Relics from prehistoric man, through Middle Ages to modern times.
See the google map in "Where".
To visit this region you can cycle out of Amsterdam, but this adds considerable urban mileage to your trip. See How to get there, section "cycling all the way".
More practical is to take a train to get out of the city, and rent a bicycle in one of the nearby towns.
The first bike rental in south-eastern direction is at the station in Weesp, a good 15 minutes from Amsterdam Central.
Next one, if you continue in direction Hilversum, is at station Naarden-Bussum, not far from fortified Naarden and the woods & heather plains of the Gooi region.
Next rental at Hilversum (central), train travel time 20 - 35 minutes from Amsterdam, depending on whether you take a local train or intercity.
All rentals in the Netherlands ask for an ID, and a caution, generally 50 EUR per (standard) bike.
Whereas in Amsterdam various sizes and children bikes are available, smaller rentals like in Weesp have only adult bicycles. Suitable for persons with a body length of about 160 cm (5.2 ft) and up, they claim. But to be on the safe side, I'd say 165 cm and up. Also depending a bit on length of legs, and cycling confidence.
Another difference between Amsterdam and the smaller rentals is that while in Amsterdam you generally can use a credit card for that 50 EUR caution per bike, the smaller ones often accept cash only. Also the number of rental bikes is limited, so it's wise to call and check, see list of (station bike rentals).
With a guided bike trip, this is of course arranged for you.
Bike helmets are NOT supplied here. Naturally, it is always saver to wear a helmet, but it is not mandatory, and not usual in Holland. Except for racers and small children.
Thematic suggestions for guided bicycle day trips in this region : click here.
Bicycle trips are not a summer thing only.
For an example of an autumn bike ride (photo and video), click here.
For an example of an early spring bike ride, click here.
Check out reviews and comments on guided bike tours at feedback.