The Netherlands is a cyclist’s dream. Almost everywhere is accessible to bike riders, and most places are welcoming to pursuers of the cycling sports. On top of this, if you want to go on a bike ride in the Netherlands, you’re in for a treat. This country is filled with beautiful, breath-taking scenery wherever you go, but some places are a bit more striking than others, and finding the absolute best bike trails can be difficult, due to the sheer number of them. However, if you’re looking for the best bike rides through the Netherlands, which will show off the best scenery that this country has to offer and will also be adequately challenging and exciting for you, then look no further than this list.
1. Hoog Veluwe National Park
Theculturetrip.com calls Hoog Veluwe National Park ‘an absolute haven for nature lovers’, and the same is true for cyclists. It contains an astounding number of bike trails through the lovely wilderness, with scenery from woodlands to meadows surrounding you, and you won’t be alone during your bike rides. Wild deer, boar and horses make this national park their home, so the amount of nature and beauty available for you to see as you cycle around is nearly unbelievable. Also, you’ll be able to reach the park easily, since it is within an easy cycling distance from the train station, so don’t worry about having to find alternative modes of transport while at or going to Hoog Veluwe: once you get off the train, it’ll be cycling all the way, and every time you hop on your bike you’re guaranteed to see a new sight of nature and wilderness which will make you gasp.
Kinderdijik is a UNESCO heritage site due to its large collection of nineteen iconic windmills, which are still in complete working order thanks to continuous conservation efforts. This relatively flat land would be perfect for easy, relaxing bike rides, where you can take in the beautiful sights of these constructions while cycling at your own pace. The windmills were created in the first place to help to drain the swampy marshland around them, but now they are mainly picturesque testaments to how beautiful the buildings that we create can be, even if they’re not meant to be ornamental but functional. The landscape is easily accessible by bike, and is situated around fifteen kilometers to the east of Rotterdam.
3. Lauwersmeer National Park
This pretty national park was built around man-made river deltas, which help to divide up some Dutch provinces. They actually serve a very valiant service, since they protect the Netherlands from flooding, but they’re also quite scenic and nice to look at while you’re riding your bike around the national park. If the river deltas get boring, you can also always keep an eye out for the local wildlife, since the national park houses Scottish Highlander cows and Konik horses, who live there peacefully and can be observed among the many rare birds which also live in Lauwersmeer, as well as the delightful fauna which covers the park.
Along Amsterdam’s northern border, there is another flat expanse of land called Waterland, which consists of a few quaint villages untouched by the big city influence of Amsterdam. These villages can be very nice to cycle through and stop at, and you’ll often find yourself wishing you could stay in the residential areas of Waterland forever. Following the western coastline will lead cyclists to a surprising discovery: there is a fishing village called Marken, after a long causeway which can be very enjoyable to cycle down. It may be surprising to learn that Marken was once completely separated from the rest of the Netherlands, but today you can happily cycle to and from it, and enjoy the pleasures of this quiet, waterside life, even if just in passing.
Don’t let the long and somewhat complicated name fool you – Noordoostpolder is a fairly new Dutch territory which contains a surprising number of beautiful tulip fields, which are largely meant to be roamed around with a bicycle. It contains several lovely towns for pit stops, but the tulip fields are definitely the main attraction with Noordoostpolder, since their stunning beauty is something that you have to experience for yourself to gain a full understanding and appreciation for. Also, if you’re interested in history and maritime communities, many of the towns within Noordoostpolder were once islands, and they are very proud of this heritage, leading to very interesting stops on your bike rides, especially for the historically-minded cyclist.
Aimee Laurence works as a travel blogger and editor at Boomessays review, which is an academic service. Hiking is one of her greatest passions in life, alongside cycling, due to her love of adventures and the great outdoors, which she has had since she was a child.