Six nights; six days of level walks along coastal dikes of the Zuiderzee to the beautiful city of Arnhem, through the wetland areas of the west and east, and on wildlife trails in two national parks.
“The walking was truly fabulous!! Food was great, very fresh. The desserts were great. The guides were really special and the espresso was unforgettable!!”
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Amsterdam, city of canals.
- Visit Giethoorn. Known as the “Venice of the North”.
- De Hoge Veluwe National Park.
Requiring moderate fitness levels, these cover terrain with hills and valleys, and tend to include distances of 50-80km (30-50mi.)/day cycling, or 3-6 hours of walking per day. Most Freewheeling Adventures fall into this category, and are suitable for most ability levels.
Nice long walks on level terrain – some paved, some footpaths. You will pass many bars and cafés, cheese shops, and fish stalls, as well as traditional costume shops where you can dress up and take photos.
- DAY 1: Introductions, Up to ~24 km
- DAY 2: Up to ~25 km
- DAY 3: Variable
- DAY 4: ~15 km/li>
- DAY 5: ~17 km
- DAY 6: ~17 km + options
- DAY 7: Farewells
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Amsterdam, Park Plaza Victoria Hotel, 09:00, day one.
Finish: Arnhem, 09:00, day seven. Regular trains connect Arnhem to Amsterdam; see train schedule here: www.ns.nl/en.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Amsterdam to Volendam. Walk 24km; 30 min. ferry
Meet in Amsterdam, city of canals. Leave the bustling city behind as you hike through the villages of the Waterland, a municipal area just north of Amsterdam. Arrive in Marken, whose wooden houses are a popular tourist draw, from where you will ferry to Volendam, known for its splendid harbour and authentic Dutch costumes. You might want to try the raw herring! LD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfasts)
Volendam to Enkhuizen. Walk 25km; 30 min. transfer
Continue along the dike lands of the manmade IJssellake. Formerly the Zuiderzee (southern sea), which was a shallow bay of the North Sea, the land was reclaimed as new regions – known as polders – of wetlands, fertile agricultural lands, and fishing villages. Transfer from Hoorn to Enkhuizen, two major bases for the Dutch East-India Company during the 17th century Golden Age when Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. BL
Hotel de Koepoort, Enkhuizen
Enkhuizen to Blokzijl. Ferry + 50 min. transfer; optional canoeing; 15km walk
Ferry from Enkhuizen to Stavoren, a charming historic town, before transferring to Ossenzijl. Optional 1-2 hr. canoe paddle or whispering boat trip through the wetland areas. Many walks await in the unique Wieden-Weerribben National Park, where peat cutters and reed managers have shaped the largest freshwater swamp in Europe. Along with the colourful meadows, the park is home to rare species, such as otter and black tern, which can be spied from its many observation sites. BD
Geertien Hotel, Blokzijl
Blokzijl to Giethoorn. 15km plus transfer to Deventer
Further explore the wetlands of the Wieden-Weerribben National Park before a visit to Giethoorn. Known as the “Venice of the North,” Giethoorn is a remarkable village, some of which is entirely without cars or roads, making it necessary to travel by water or by foot over the lovely wooden bridges to view the bohemian canals, colourful 200-year-old homes, and vibrant flowers. Venetian-style punting may be available, and is an excellent way to see the area. A transfer at the end of the day will bring you to your elegant inn for a relaxing evening, or a night on the town. B
Deventer to Hoenderloo. 17km plus transfer
Enjoy a morning stroll around the hanseatic town of Deventer, one of the oldest in the Netherlands. Walk along the river IJssel, one of the three major branches into which the Rhine divides shortly after crossing the German-Dutch border. A natural line of defense, the river was stormed in April 1945 by assault troops of the Allied armies, liberating the Netherlands from the occupying forces of Nazi Germany. Transfer through the forests of the Veluwe to your nearby inn in Hoenderloo. BL
Herberg de Boer’N’Knikel, Hoenderloo
Hoenderloo to Arnhem. 15km walk; optional 15km cycling; 30 min. transfer
Walk through the heath lands, sand dunes, and woodlands of De Hoge Veluwe National Park. The park forms one of the largest continuous nature reserves in the Netherlands, with most of its landscape created during the last Ice Age. Optional activities today include an enticing bike ride through the park on one of its famous ‘white bikes’, or a visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum to admire the sculpture garden and, naturally, the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world. Afterwards, transfer to the beautiful city of Arnhem, whose bridge over the Rhine, immortalized in the film A Bridge Too Far, was famously held by British paratroopers against overwhelming odds. Bid your guides farewell this evening following dinner. BD
Hotel Molendal, Arnhem
Your tour officially concludes this morning following breakfast at your hotel. Trains to Amsterdam and other centers are frequent but you may want to consider an extra night in Arnhem to experience more of this fascinating city! Visit Burger’s Bush, a beautiful zoo; Het Openlucht Muesum (Open Air Museum); or stroll through Garden Park of Sonsbeek, beginning in the centre of the city and leading to the forested area of the Veluwe. B
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Guided: C 3545 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, guide and van support, maps and route instructions, luggage handling, taxes
Self-Guided: C 2695 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, maps and route instructions, inn to inn uggage transfers, taxes
Single Occupancy: 695
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
2022 Guided dates:
- Jun 5-11
- Sep 11-17
2023 Guided dates:
- Jun 4-10
- Sep 10-16
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Interested in custom or private departures?
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
Celebrated for its painters, social tolerance, windmills, and flat landscapes, the Netherlands boasts a rich variety of nature and invites exploration by foot. With over 20 national parks and countless nature reserves, the countryside is a quilt of colour from spring to fall. The low topography of the Netherlands, with half its land area less than one meter above sea level, has been subject to periodic flooding for centuries, most notably in the 13th century, when St. Lucia’s flood inspired the construction of elaborate dikes. In the 20th century the majority of the Zuiderzee, a shallow bay of the North Sea, was closed off, leaving the mouth of the inlet to become part of the Wadden Sea. The salt water inlet changed into a fresh water lake called the IJsselmeer, after the IJssel river, a significant branch of the Rhine. You will be amazed to see firsthand the effort and engineering ingenuity the Dutch have invested in their dike systems with the Zuiderzee Works. By means of drainage and polders, 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi) has been reclaimed as land for agricultural purpose and flood protection. Along the way you will meet friendly, practical, and charming locals. Bars and cafés, cheese shops, and fish stalls will beckon, and the ubiquitous traditional costume shops where you can pay to dress up and take photos will entice playful travellers. We recommend allowing a few days to explore the sites and museums of Amsterdam, either before or after your tour.