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A bike ride along the former Zuiderzee coast. (Holland) June 2018.

Yesterday, Sunday 24th June 2018, we drove by car from Switzerland to Ermelo (Holland). We store the two bicycles and the luggage in the Peugeot Partner without dismantling the bikes. The sky was overcastted, so ideal for traveling.

Dam to Flevopolder (dry land with Lelystad and Almere)

Zuiderzee Cycleway

The waterway from the mainland to dry land is sometimes wide, sometimes narrow.

Still laid pump mill but still operational.

Click on picture to read


L F stands for (long-distance cycling route) This is the Zuiderzeeroute

Write down the numbers on the eve and follow. So we get on without a map.

Ermelo - Amsterdam

First day; Monday 25th June 2018
Km. 81.73
Time 4: 55h.

We can leave the car at the campsite "de Berkebomen" until we have made the Zuiderzee circumnavigation of about 400 km.

The former Zuiderzee (now IJselmeer) had an area of 5,900 km ² of which half was drained. For comparison, the canton of Bern has an area of 5,959 km².

The campground, a former farm, is 100 meters from the bike path. The bike path is very well signalized with L.F. signs (LF stands for long fietsroute) = long cycle path. In addition there are the "Knooppunten numbers". I write those numbers down the night before so we can follow the numbers without a map. On my mobile phone I loaded the map of Holland from "", this way we can find our way back to the bike path if we want to leave it, e.g. to take a closer look at a city or a village. works via satellite and is therefore not bound to a subscription or WiFi and always shows the point where I am right now.
An exact map of the route with lots of information can be found at:

The first town is Spakenburg was a pretty fishing town when it was still Zuidersee (
now IJselmeer) but now in the harbor are only ships for leisure pleasure.
The city center is still a true gem.
We continue to Huizen. At junction 3 we leave the bike path to view the city center. It is a beautiful city but not comparable to Spakenburg.
As the bike path runs along the sea, we soon find it again.
Via Muiderberg we cycle to Muiden, an old fortress town with a huge fortress wall. Muiden means river that flows into a lake, like IJsselmuiden, Arnemuiden or Genemuiden. Sea or lake is easy to distinguish in the Dutch language; salt water is sea (zee) and fresh water is lake (meer). That is why "de Zuiderzee" is now called Ijselmeer because the salt water has now become fresh water by separating the Afsluitdijk. (A dam of 32 kilometers which connects North Holland with Friesland), you can imagine that it had a big influence on the nature.
After 80 kilometers we can easily find the campground Zeeburg in Amsterdam. We get a very quiet spot from the reception (very tactful), far away from the many tents for young people who want to visit Amsterdam, because the campground is only about 1 km from the train station.

Modernized with glass around as an apartment

Down the sheep, hay bales above with a post

on each corner for height adjustment

do it yourself ferry. Cranks to drive

Here you actually ski on artificial turf

First a ship and then it's our turn

Die Festungsstadt Muiden

Amsterdam - Hoorn

Second day; Tuesday 26th June 2018
Km. 59.46
Time 3:53 h.

Reception Camping Zeeburg Amsterdam

Bridge over the river IJ

In the distance Monnickendam

Through small villages and

everywhere water

Ducks have a good time in the sun

Either the Dutch like to eat sheep meat or it is exported ^

Steeple with chimes from one of the many villages we visit >

Today we went to Hoorn, a relatively short leg. Therefore, we are in no hurry and make breakfast first. The kitchen is right next door and there are many tables and chairs.
Monnickendam, Volendam and Edam are the very old fishing towns that are part of our tour today. Cheese is now a bigger export item than fish. There are no herring anymore in "het Ijsselmeer" today.
The strong north-east wind gets stronger during the day, so we stay longer in the towns and take more often a breather.
In Hoorn we spend the afternoon. Its richly decorated façades clearly show it clear that in the Middle Ages it was an important and rich city.
The big square in the center of Hoorn is called red stone or cheese market. A beautiful building there is the "Waag" scales.
In the center of the square is an oversized picture of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, a co-designer of the former trade empire, V.O.C. "de Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie". He was also founder of Batavia, now Jakarta the capital of Indonesia on the island of Java.
Today's campground is located just outside Hoorn and is easy to find with our navigation. It is a beautiful campground in a low stem pear tree plantation. Every square to pitch a tent or place a Camper is surrounded by pear trees and they bear beautiful fruits.

There are so many drawbridges

Could be in Amsterdam too

Church tower with carillon

The hay harvest has started. ^

Coat of arms of Hoorn >

Cycling on such beautiful bike paths is a pleasure.

Center of Hoorn with "de Waag"

Jan Pieterszoon Coen a controversial figure

Campground in a pear tree garden

Hoorn (Wijdenes) - Wieringen

Third day;Wednesday 27th June 2018
Km. 61.11
Time. 3:35

After 10 km we are back on the Zuiderzee route which runs on ore along the dike.
The first town is Enkhuizen with a beautiful old town. Enkhuizen used to be the center of the Zuiderzee herring fishery. Now water sport is the tourist center.
It also has a "buitenmuseum" (Openair museum).
Many old buildings around the Zuiderzee are disassembled and rebuilt here. In Switzerland there is a similar park called Ballenberg.
In the city we have the first break in a coffee shop with typical Dutch cake (gevulde koek). The Dutch process lots of almonds in their pastry, something I really appreciate.

Zuiderzee museum in Enkhuizen. To compare with Ballenberg in Switzerland.

It's always a search until you find your boat. There are so many

Lighthouse shortly after Enkhuizen.

Wervershoof with church from 1667

A nice bike path on the dike.

On a little wall are two women riding the same route as us.
Because of the strong headwinds, instead of crossing the Afsluitdijk, they will take the ferry that will take them directly to Stavoren.
The journey continues on the dike along the IJselmeer via Andijk, Wervershoof and Medemblick. From Medenblick on, the country to the left of us was once Zuidersee, easily recognizable by the straight canals and roads.
The next 30 kilometers there is neither village nor city, so we buy our dinner while sightseeing the town.
I've assumed that in Wieringen, which is a forest area, will be no restaurant.
Amazing what we find at the campsite on amenities. A conservatory with a stocked fridge, cooking facilities, microwave and in one corner a cozy seating area. What you take out of the fridge you can pay the next day.

Castle Radboud, in Medemblick, a stronghold, from the year 1288

Harbor in the middle of the city Medemblik. ^ <Townhouse of Medenblick

Outside the city stands this beautiful mill. From here on we ride straight up many kilometers against the wind.

Campground "The forest is calling" in Wieringen. ^ <church mit carillon, it is just 2 o'clock when we cycle over.

Wieringen - Stavoren

Fourth day; Thursday 28th June 2018
Km. 78.11
Time.4: 25h.

Because this campsite has such a beautiful winter garden with all the trimmings, we make breakfast first.
After 8 km we start with the 32 kilometers straight ahead "Afsluitdijk" (dike closing the salt sea from fresh water). It blows a strong north-east wind and in this direction we will cycle. We have beautiful weather for that. Halfway we make a coffee break, we always carry thermos bottle with boiling water.
At the end of the dike, in Zurich, we turn right to the south. Now we have tailwind. A wonderful feeling and almost doubles the speed.
The first town is Makkum, also here we do a sightseeing. We meet a man with tandem. Here you do not sit in a row but next to each other. He makes his trips with his father who lives in the nursing home, a great idea and a great bike construction.

"De Afsluitdijk". 32 Km. Saltwater left, freshwater on the right side.

Makkum in Friesland

A new construction, not in a row but next to each other


Trawl of a shrimp fisherman


At the harbor we meet a shrimp fisherman mending his net. The net slides over the seabed but the flatfish can escape on both sides, he explains.
We cycle many miles along the dike grazed by thousands of sheep. What are the Dutch doing with all these sheep?
In Workum we take another break. I take a picture of the "Museum Warkums Erfskip aan de Merk", former scales.
Now we cycle back to the coast, on and behind the dike direction Stavoren.
Stavoren is a municipality of only 1000 inhabitants but the first Frisian community that got the city rights and it is also a former hanseatic city.
The campground is almost empty, that will change in mid-July when the summer holidays begin. It is the worst kept camping yet, but the most expensive.


A very, very long dike full of sheep.

With so much water, everything grows very lush

The front part is dwelling house the rest with red bricks, the stable

There are still many traditional windmills.

Museum, Warkums Erfskip aan de Merk = Marketplace in Workum

Stavoren - Vollenhoven

Fifth day Friday 29th June 2018
Km. 75, 13
Time 4:19h.

From Stavoren the Zuiderzeer route turns towards the east i.e. crosswind to Lemmer.
Lemmer is a seaside resort of over 10,000 inhabitants on the IJssemeer with harbor and lighthouse. It is a strange tower, a metal construction with spiral staircase.
After a fish meal, (we live the days in Holland almost only of fish ;) we cycle to Ossenzijl to the east.
The bike path now turns south along the Kalenbergergracht. The path is so narrow that you sometimes have to get down of the bike in oncoming traffic. We have to make a run-up to the small bridges we cross over.

Flag of Provence Friesland.

The many ducks pollute the meadows.

Most of the time the wind comes from?

A narrow bicycle lane along the Kalenbergergracht.>

< Above the offspring, below the mother on frogs hunt.

Many small bridges.

A cellar is not possible here.

Here we have a coffee break.

After Kalenberg we come through a hamlet called Nederland. I did not know that there is a hamlet bearing the name of the whole country.
From Ossenzijl to Nederland we cycle through a forest and water area but the trail remains very narrow and romantic.
Via Blokzijl we come to Vollenhove, a small town with just over 4000 inhabitants. After a tour through the village we cycle to the campground Kampererve, a few kilometers outside Vollenhove, a small but fine campsite with a farm.

Every few 100 meters a small bridge.

A wooden shoe (Klomp) attached to a string

to collect the bridge toll.

Roofer at work.

On the other side


Aquatic plants, this time in yellow. ^

Bridges "amass".

< With oncoming traffic it gets tight

Vollenhove - Ermelo

Sixth and last day of the circumnavigation of the Zuiderzee.
Saturday 30th June 2018
Km. 73.00 Total distance = 428.54 kilometers.
Time 4: 07h.

We leave this campground with our tents wet due to condensation. But that is not a problem in this beautiful weather.
The Zuiderzee cycle way leads through Genemuiden so that we can do sightseeing on the way this time. It is again a great bike track. I have not expected so many houses with thatched roofs like in Friesland and Overijsel. The trade of thatched roofs will not die out so quickly.
The river IJssel (branch from the Rhine) separates Kampen from IJsselmuiden.
We buy something delicious for a coffee break, cross the big bridge to Kampen and make ourselves comfortable on the quay. It is half wharf half park, pleasant to stay. In one of these houses on the quay in Kampen our grandmother, maternal side, was born and raised, but we do not know which house is it or if it still exists.

Many thatched roofs ^

2 ginger trees for traffic calming >

Bridge over the IJsel from IJselmuiden to Kampen

A nice picnic bench ^

< Koornmarkspoort in Kampen on the wharf

We cycle to Elburg (Hanseatic city) along the Drontermeer. It is the separation from the dry Flevoland (2.3154 km²) with Lelystad as the capital. The first inhabitants came to Lelystad in 1967 and now there are already over 77,000 inhabitants.
Many small islets have formed between the mainland and the dry Flevoland, a paradise for the birds.
There is a party going on in Elburg. On different corners of the street are bands playing and people are teeming, a very cozy atmosphere.
Until Harderwijk the bike path that goes along the Veluwemeer it is slightly wider than the Drontermeer but Flevoland is clearly visible.
Shortly before 5 o'clock we are in Harderwijk. The shops are closing soon but restaurants, and especially the fish shop, stay open even longer we are lucky again.
From Harderwijk to the starting point of our tour, Camping De Berkebomen, it is only a quarter of an hour.
We are glad that our car is still intact on the campsite, pitch our tents and make everything ready for tomorrow. We drive one and a half hours by car to Noordwijk, our birthplace. There we visit our oldest sister and stay a few more days.

Residential house and barn with thatched roofs. ^

Vischpoort in Elburg. >

In the distance the Drontenermeer with a lot of small islets. A magnificent natural landscape for the birds.

Farm of the campsite "De Berkebomen".

Finally a few days in Noordwijk.