Slides

Bicycle day trips - Where to start & Rent a bike

Nice bicycle day trips are possible all over the Netherlands. Once you decided on the region, getting there is generally pretty easy. Distances are short in this country, and the public transportation network is dense and frequent. Check the links section in Resources. For a bike trip in a more or less rural Dutch countryside, best start in a small town with a train station. Generally, there's a bike rental at or near the station.
Check it out on the railroad website. In the journey planner click on the name of the station.
Keep in mind that as from July 9, 2014, ALL public transportation works with chip cards only. As most people coming to the Netherlands will visit Amsterdam, I focus on two normally not too crowded possibilities in the direct surroundings of this city. (For the full picture :
- west of Amsterdam is mainly industrial & port, you could take the train to the seaside,
- to the south, some lovely countryside - considerable urban cycling first is unavoidable.
There are bike friendly routes to cycle out of the city, but prepare in advance.
)

To the north : Waterland, classic Holland.

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

To the east : a varied landscape (click for pictures).

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. The result is an exceptionally varied landscape.
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 also the Where-section.

East of Amsterdam


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 the first small town, Weesp, a 15 minutes train ride from Amsterdam Central Station. Four trains per hour.

You can rent bikes in Weesp. Or rent in Amsterdam, and take the bicycles with you. In that case, you need to purchase a bicycle day ticket for each bike you take on the train (in Dutch : "dagkaart fiets").

The bike rental shop in Weesp is at the station, exit side centre of town. They ask for an ID, and a caution of 50 EUR in CASH per bike.
Whereas in Amsterdam various sizes and children bikes are available, the Weesp rental has 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 your cycling confidence.
The number of rental bikes is limited, so it's wise to get in touch with them for a reservation (www.fietspoint.com). With a guided bike trip, this is of course arranged for you.
Bike helmets are NOT supplied at the Weesp bike rental. 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.

You can also rent bicycles at the next station, direction Hilversum : station Naarden-Bussum (no website of rental), not far from fortified Naarden and the woods & heather plains of the Gooi region.

Thematic suggestions for guided bicycle day trips in this region : click here.
flyer guided bicycle trips

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 bike tours at feedback.

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