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7 days, 7 sustainable destinations in the Netherlands by bike

Photo © Daniel Stucke

© Good Travel Guide, April 2021 by Anastasiia Korshunova

Biking in the Netherlands is easy with its 35,000 kilometres of biking lanes making it easy for even an inexperienced cyclist. At the Good Travel Guide we support bike riding as an alternative to other forms of transport as it has a low carbon footprint and it keeps you fit.  

We want to share with you how easy it is to travel in the Netherlands and not only see lots of windmills (which you will!), but also pass by pristine beaches, islands and authentic villages to stock up on  your cheese and bread.

Let’s take you on a 7 day ride across 7 sustainable destinations! All you need is a bike, water bottle and boterham!

7 sustainable destinations recognized by Green Destinations and Quality Coast Award
7 days
12 hours on a road
Difficulty: intermediate

First stop, Amsterdam. You can consider a 1-day visit to the museums around Museumplein and to explore some canals nearby, but we don’t recommend staying for a long time in the city centre as it can be too crowded and noisy. So if you’re strongly against massive tourism (as we are), let’s move on!

The essential thing you need to have for this trip is a bike and necessary equipment. It’s great if you have your own old good one, otherwise you can rent it. Some companies offer cycling packages including a road bike, helmet, repair kit and a lock (for example, “I cycle Holland”).

Before you start: remember to bring a reusable bottle and drink water regularly during your trip, prepare healthy snacks to keep you energized, and make sure you have all the protective gear you need, as well as a GPS.

You can find a complete map of the trip here.

You can also use this map of the official cycling lane network to plan your trip along well-signposted bike lanes and low-traffic roads.

For almost all displacement of this guide you can use the Long-distance route LF1 along wonderful car-free cycle paths through the dunes (and cycle over the amazing Oosterschelde storm surge barrier).

If you’re departing from Amsterdam, you can head for De Zilk and then connect to LF1.

Ready? Let’s go!

Day 1: Noordwijk and Katwijk

The first green destination on the way is Noordwijk, the trip from Amsterdam will take you about 2.5h.

Noordwijk is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. It is located in an area called the “Dune and Bulb Region” (Duin- en Bollenstreek) so it goes without saying that this place is known for its majestic dunes, peaceful beaches and joyful flowers fields.

By coming to Noordwijk you will first arrive in a picturesque village at the heart of the flower district called Noordwijkerhout. You can explore this place on wheels or by foot by taking one of numerous routes

Note: The Flower Fields are open between the beginning of March and until the middle of May so if you want to see blooming tulips, consider planning your trip within this period. And please always respect these places and ask permission to enter or take pictures, because this is private property!

Noordwijk Binnen, another great place to visit, is a cosy medieval town with more than 100 national monuments revealing eight centuries of its history. Every Friday evening and all Saturday in summer there is an open air shooting with real arrows on Offemweg!

And of course, don’t miss the chance to visit the magnificent dunes and beaches that are just a short walk from Noordwijk Binnen.

The next green destination is a coastal municipality Katwijk, one more beautiful place with 5 km of the bright sandy beach for long relaxing walks and enjoying the moment located just 25 min by bike from Noordwijk.

Note: The emblems of Katwijk are the white church and the white lighthouse, will you try your luck to find them?

Day 2: Hoek van Holland

After taking a good rest, set off to the third green destination – Hoek van Holland.

This lovely coastal town is known for its beautiful beach, the Noorderpier or North Pier and the Nieuwe Waterweg with the Maeslantkering Storm Surge Barrier, the charm of its port and the beauty of its long stretches of beaches in the midst of wonderful unspoiled nature.

Hiking and cycling can be combined with visits to some of the more unusual museums (Coastal Defense Museum, Vuurtoren Coastal Beacon Museum, Rescue and Ferry Museum) and a well-preserved fort Aan den Hoek van Holland.

Day 3: Westvoorne

The next green destination is Westvoorne, a municipality on the island Voorne-Putten in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of 97.48 km2 of which 44.30 km2 is water. The trip will take you approximately 2h.

The municipality has a beautiful variety of nature and landscape with peace and quiet. Thanks to unique flora and fauna, Voorne’s Duin is  one of the most important nature reserves in Western Europe.

Path to the sea through the dunes in Westvoorne, a sustainable destination
Path to the sea through the dunes in Westvoorne, a sustainable destination

The unique variation in nature and many sights and activities make Westvoorne a special recreational community. You can enjoy cycling, walking or horse riding on the beach, in the woods and dunes. 

Don’t forget to visit the dunes of Voorne, Visitor center Tenellaplas and Open air museum De Duinhuisjes!

Day 4: Goeree-Overflakkee

Ready to go on? The next on the list is Goeree-Overflakkee, an island and a municipality located just half an hour’s drive from Rotterdam and Breda and accessible by bike in 1,5h from the previous location.

Here you can visit one of the nature reserves such as the Hellegatsplaten, the Slikken van Flakkee or the Kwade Hoek, spot roe deer, wild fjord horses, flamingos, Heck cattle, seals, beavers and countless birds, enjoy a walk through the dunes and along the wide white sandy beaches at Ouddorp and the Brouwersdam.

By the way,  Brouwersdam is a unique water sports area and attracts water sports enthusiasts from all over the world. It’s a place where you can enjoy the sight of surfers, kitesurfers, and freestyle foile surfers or book a surf/sup clinic and try it yourself.

Another incredible place is A Seal, a seals shelter in Stellendam, where you can learn more about seals and their habitat.

There are lots of things to do! So take your time and enjoy every moment.

Day 5: Schouwen-Duiveland

The adventure continues! The next point is Schouwen-Duiveland, a municipality and an island in the southwestern Netherlands province of Zeeland. The trip will take about 1.5 h.

Schouwen-Duiveland is a clear expression of Zeeland, or ‘Land-on-Sea’. Surrounded by the North Sea, the Oosterschelde National Park and the Grevelingen lake, it is a maritime marvel. To its south-west, the Oosterschelde flood barrier, and over to the east, the flood disaster Watersnoodmuseum, are incredible monuments that portray their strong relationship with the sea.

The island has ensured a wide range of responsible tourism offer: Green leisure parks with some marinas and water sport facilities, well-preserved and restored cultural heritage in Zierikzee and some small villages and well protected nature of the coastal sand dunes.

Don’t forget to visit the historical centre of Zierikzee with its 500 monuments!

Zuidhavenpoort, Old port in Schouwen-Duiveland, a sustainable destination
Zuidhavenpoort, Old port in Schouwen-Duiveland, a sustainable destination

Note: Have you heard of one of the oldest annual traditions on the island – Straô which dates from 1643?

In the month of February local horse owners bring their animals to the ocean to wash their feet from the long winter months at the stables. It brings many crowds to the beach, since these horses are rather intimidating and their galloping makes the beach thunder.

Traditional event Straô in Schouwen-Duiveland, a sustainable destination
Traditional event Straô in Schouwen-Duiveland, a sustainable destination

Day 6: Veere

The last green destination on this trip is Veere, another municipality and a town in the province of Zeeland. It will take you around 2 – 2,5 h to get there depending on which route you will choose.

Veere is a majestic town, located northeast of Middelburg, it has only 1,600 inhabitants. Its history dates back to the 13th century when the village of Kampvere was founded. The city gained a monopoly on the import of wool from Scotland in 1541 and flourished. Note that Veere is the first city where tobacco was grown. It contains many typical historic buildings and a very beautiful harbor (Schotse huizen, Markt, Oud Stadhuis, Schotse huizen, Campveerse Toren), as well as a stunning sea view.

This is a must stop to go back in time and the perfect place to rest before finishing off this wonderful trip!

Day 7: Middelburg

The final stop on this trip is Middelburg, located just 25 min from Veere.

Here you can take a direct train at Middelburg train station to go back to Amsterdam.

This concludes our guide, and we really hope you will enjoy this trip, which combines beautiful natural and cultural sites as well as exploring 7 green destinations working for a sustainable future.

Please note that you can easily extend or shorten this trip according to your wishes and health conditions.

Visit this page to learn more about other green destinations in the Netherlands.


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