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Holland IJsselmeer lake classic old ship Sail & Bike Tour (Mff)
Does it get any better than this? Combine a week of sailing and living on board a classic clipper built in 1913 on Holland’s lake IJsselmeer with cycling touring to a long list of historic towns and villages. There really is no better way for anyone interested in sailing and cycling to explore what is a truly historic, beautiful and fascinating part of the world!
Your exciting tour of discovery on a stylish and beautifully appointed sailing clipper starts and finishes in Amsterdam and takes you along large sections of the IJsselmeer coast over the course of a week of sailing and cycling. Lake IJsselmeer was created in 1933 when the 32 km long “Afsluitdijk” (Enclosure dike) was constructed as part of the larger Zuiderzee land reclamation project. The construction of the Afsluitdijk across the Zuiderzee (a salt water inlet of the North Sea) resulted in the salt water inlet becoming the freshwater lake IJsselmeer. Today the many historic towns and the villages on the IJsselmeer are testament to a time when ships from the Dutch East India Company sailed from here to source their precious cargos of spices from across the seas. The entire region is crisscrossed by excellent cycle paths that you can pedal along to discover the charm of towns such as Monnickendam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen.
On the eastern shore of the IJsselmeer you will visit the provinces of Friesland and Flevoland and the former islands of Urk and Schokland. On the final day of your tour, wind and weather permitting, you will experience the thrill of sailing under full sail as you return to Amsterdam where you will have plenty of time to enjoy a last evening exploring the beautiful and exciting capital of The Netherlands.
If you would like to rent a bike or e-bike, please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Rental bicycle: €85 per week
Rental E-Bike: €185 per week (only on request, limited number available)
Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
Reduced rates for families with children We offer a reduced rate for children on the Sail & Bike IJsselmeer Tours: 15% reduction for children up to incl. 15 years of age, only applicable when staying in the same cabin with 2 adults (triple or quadruple cabin).
Important observations for the Sail & Bike program: A little bit of adventure is a part of every Sail & Bike tour: the departure and arrival day and the location – Amsterdam – are a certainty, 100%. For the rest, the planned daily sailing routes are partially dependent on the strength and direction of the winds. The skipper decides the best route to be taken day by day, and discusses the options with his guests. The crew does everything in its power to enable the program to run according to plan and to offer you as fascinating, varied and active a week as possible, in which nature and culture play a major part. It is, however, also possible that departure times and the time spent on the water – and even the order of the program itself – may be adjusted. Enjoy the ride and let yourself be led by the elements! Whenever possible, various passages will be undertaken fully rigged and anyone who would like to help the crew to sail and steer the boat is welcome to do so. This is of course absolutely up to you and no sailing experience is necessary.
Slow Tours offers a number of other Sail & Bike Tours in Europe
Amsterdam – Volendam | test ride (10 km/6 mi.)
Your week of sailing and cycling starts in Amsterdam. The crew welcomes you on board between 1 and 2 P.M. Once all guests have checked in, the ship sails under motor to Volendam. From the port this former fishing village, a short warm-up ride leads you through the rural nature reserve of Waterland with its many villages.
Volendam – Volendam (36 km/22 mi. or 49 km/31 mi.) | Volendam – Hoorn
A very Dutch start of the day: you cycle to a nearby, family-run cheese and clog shop for a short demonstration of cheese and clog making, and of course a cheese tasting. Continue pedaling along the dikes to Purmerend, in the heart of a polder named De Beemster, 11½ feet (3.5 meters) below sea level. It was created more than 400 years ago, when the Dutch transformed an inland lake into pasture land. Divided into a tight geometric pattern of squares and quadrants, it is recognized by UNESCO as “a creative masterpiece”.
Your next destination is Edam, a lovely town whose lanes and canals deserve a stroll. Edam is known worldwide for its cheese covered in red or yellow wax. This practical solution keeps the cheese fresh for a long time, so 17th century sailors could take it on their voyages or trade it for spices and other riches of the East.
Via the main dike of the IJsselmeer you arrive at the promenade of Volendam, where the ship is docked. You will have some time on your own to check out the souvenir shops. After dinner, let the historical city center lure you into a digestive walk. Later in the evening, the ship sails to Hoorn.
Hoorn – Enkhuizen (28 km/17 mi. or 39 km/24 mi.)
Through small rural hamlets and villages, today’s ride brings you to Enkhuizen. Pass by windmill De Krijgsman (The Warrior), the highest windmill in the province of North-Holland and one of a handful of old Dutch windmills still in use to produce flour commercially. The area is also known for its many greenhouses, where vegetables are grown.
In the 17th century, Enkhuizen was one of the wealthiest cities in Holland, thanks to its harbour that shipped then-costly spices from Asia. Be astonished by the stately mansions, canals, churches and city walls that to this day reflect the city’s rich history and wealth.
Enkhuizen – Stavoren | Stavoren loop (25 km/15 mi. or 37 km/23 mi.)
Weather permitting, we sail across the IJsselmeer to the port of Stavoren in Friesland (approx. 4 hours). On board, you can help the captain sail the ship if you wish. Or you can simply sit back on deck and enjoy the invigorating journey, while keeping watch for marine bird life. Upon arrival a bike tour is planned that first takes you to Hindeloopen, a picturesque and lively fishing village. From there you go to Workum, home to the Jopie Huisman Museum. This museum is dedicated to the work and life of the Frisian realist painter Jopie Huisman, whose work is very much loved by the Dutch.
Stavoren – Lemmer (40 km/25 mi.)
Following the dike along the IJsselmeer we arrive in Gaasterland, renowned for its sandy heights that are over 32.8 feet (10 meters) high. The name Gaasterland derives from gaasten, the Frisian word for these elliptically shaped heights. They were formed during the Ice Age, when boulder clay from Scandinavia was deposited on this terrain.
Leaving the dike, you enter the Rijsterbos, a 300-year-old forest. Through this wooded area you ride to the town of Balk and along the tree-lined river Luts, that flows through the center of town. Shortly afterward, you’ll arrive at the fortress city of Sloten. With less than 800 inhabitants, it is one of the smallest cities in The Netherlands. Take the time to leisurely wander the narrow streets, to relax and to find a spot for a lunch on your own.
The last stretch of today’s tour brings you to the fishing port of Lemmer, where the ship moors for the night. Dinner will be served on board. An after dinner stroll into town is definitely worth your while.
Lemmer – Urk | Urk loop (ca. 20 km/12mi.)
In the morning we sail across the IJsselmeer to the port of Urk. On board, you can help the captain sail the ship if you wish. Or you can simply sit back on deck and enjoy the invigorating journey, while keeping watch for marine bird life. In Urk you may stroll through the narrow streets and alleys. The houses in this picturesque fishing village were built close to one another on elevated grounds to protect them against the water, and that is still visible today. In the afternoon a short optional bike ride is planned through the Northeast polder (Noordoostpolder).
Urk – Lelystad | Lelystad – Blocq van Kuffeler (20 km/12 mi. or 39 km/24 mi.)| Blocq van Kuffeler – Amsterdam
After breakfast you’ll disembark for your last half day of cycling. You’ll ride through the Oostvaardersplassen—a nature reserve on new land, left to find its own balance like nature did in old times on old land. Sections of the ride wind through forested areas, while others give you panoramic views of expansive reed beds and marshes. This is a bird watchers’ paradise.
The ship picks you up in the small harbor of Oostvaardersdiep for the return voyage to Amsterdam. Celebrate this marvelous week around the Ijsselmeer while having a farewell dinner aboard the ship.
Your tour ends today with a nice breakfast. Disembarkation afterwards until 9.30 a.m.
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote