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Wadden Sea 8-day Sail and Bike island-hopping Tour (MFF)
Sail and bike tours are something very special. Feel the freedom, the wind and salt on your skin! It’s a little bit like discovering the seas and new areas as a modern-day explorer. Aboard one of the most comfortable sailing ships, you will experience pure nature while enjoying water, sun and a stiff breeze on the big inland lake IJsselmeer and the so-called “Wadden Sea”, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage biosphere reserve. During this Sail and Bike tour, you can explore the beautiful and unique Frisian Sea and some of its islands. It is a world with two faces, where sand and water dominate during the changeover from low to high tide and where islands of all sizes line up like pearls on a chain. There are tidal channels, seagrass meadows, mussel beds, sandbanks, mudflats, salt marshes, beaches and dunes.
The Frisian Sea is the habitat of marine mammals, such as seals and porpoises, and the breeding ground and wintering area for millions of birds. The area is one of the last remaining large-scale, low-tide ecosystems where natural processes continue to function. Furthermore, you will visit the famous (freshwater lake) IJsselmeer and its beautiful coastline with many fishing villages and old trading harbour towns.
The North Sea islands of Texel and Terschelling and their beautiful natural areas, small villages and long sandy beaches that you can explore by bicycle. Highlights on the coasts of the mainland in the provinces of North-Holland and Friesland are a combination of rural areas, small villages and picturesque harbour towns: a true “El Dorado” for cyclists. If you like, onboard, you may – instructed by the experienced crew – lend a hand during navigating and raising the sails. Sailing experience is not necessary. But of course, you are also very welcome to just relax and enjoy the sailing and scenery. Since the ships are very large (up to 55 meters/60 yards) and very stable, there is almost no risk of seasickness. If you still would like to take precautions, we advise regular seasickness medication.
On the lower deck, there are fourteen comfortable cabins. Twelve twin cabins (9 m² – 97 sq.ft. ) with two single beds which can be set together, one junior suite (11 m² – 118 sq.ft.) with two single beds which can be set together and a small sitting area with a flat-screen TV and one single cabin (6 m² – 65 sq.ft.). In all the two-bed cabins a Pullman bed/fold-down bed can be arranged. Each cabin has an en-suite bathroom with a shower, toilet and basin. All cabins have ventilation, central heating and portholes that can be opened. Furthermore, each cabin has a mini-safe and a hairdryer.
The cosy lounge/restaurant area on the lower deck with wooden panelling and air conditioning and a nice and warm atmosphere. From here you can reach the wheelhouse on the upper deck, fitted with a large seating area, a well-equipped bar, music & video equipment and TV. The large, panoramic windows offer a breathtaking view over the water. Wi-Fi is available. The wooden upper deck offers adequate seating, the steering unit, space for the bicycles, an outdoor bar with a draught beer tap and a grill, and even a Jacuzzi. When the weather is nice you can relax here or enjoy the scenery while sailing.
A little bit of adventure is a part of every Sail and Bike tour: the departure/arrival day and the location Enkhuizen are a certainty, 100%. The planned daily sailing routes are partially dependent on the strength and direction of the winds and on the Wadden Seas high and low tide. 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, to offer a fascinating, varied and active 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.
If you would like to rent a bike (90 EUR) or e-bike (195 EUR) helmet (10 EUR), please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Slow Tours offers other Sail & Bike tours in Europe
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you onboard is from 2pm near the beautiful centre of Enkhuizen and close to the railway station. After unpacking your luggage the skipper will join you for an aperitif before giving you a rundown of what to expect on the journey, details about the ship and also about safety measures to be taken on board. In the evening take a stroll through the historical centre of Enkhuizen, a quaint town that was the home of the Dutch merchant fleet during the Golden Age of The Netherlands. Enjoy your first night onboard in Enkhuizen on the western bank of the lake IJsselmeer.
Enkhuizen – Medemblik 24km or 37km | sailing Medemblik – Den Oever – Texel
Today you can cycle the first leg of the trip along the IJsselmeer coast through the beautiful polder landscape to Medemblik. After the cycling tour, the ship will sail further to Den Oever. Depending on the weather in the evening the ship will take the lock and sail across the Wadden Sea (part of the North Sea) to the island of Texel.
Texel, roundtrip from/to Oudeschild 43km or 49km
The island of Texel is a cyclist’s dream destination with its varied scenery, well-signposted cycle tracks and picturesque villages. Our suggestion is to complete a round trip cycling tour of the largest of the Dutch North Sea islands that takes you via a number of villages, the seal sanctuary station “Ecomare” and a traditional beer brewery near the harbour of Oudeschild.
Texel – Terschelling | sailing about 5 – 6 hrs
Today you will enjoy sailing on your ship, when the tide and the weather are right to the island of Terschelling. As you sail your way through the sandbanks of the Wadden Sea, keep a lookout for seals on the sandbars. In the afternoon the ship will arrive on Terschelling island, which features a number of picturesque villages situated between the polder and sand dunes along its 30km expanse. While sailing you will enjoy an extensive lunch on board. No dinner will be served tonight, to enable you to explore the island, but you can make yourself a picnic meal or try one of the beautiful restaurants at Terschelling (not incl.).
Terschelling roundtrip | cycling distance of your choice | sailing Terschelling – Harlingen
While the previous day was all about sailing, today is all about cycling. Terschelling has plenty to offer cycle tourists: nature and culture, 70km of cycling tracks and 4 beautiful villages. West Terschelling is the largest village on the island and features a number of lovely shops and pubs. The standout landmark on the island is the 400-year-old lighthouse “Brandaris” that can be seen from well off in the distance. Also worth visiting is the heathland of “Boschplaat” which will captivate you with its mud, beaches and dunes. You might even spot ducks, black-winged stilts, large colonies of spoonbills and great black-backed gulls. After a day of cycling, you can relax in comfort once you have arrived back on board. In the late afternoon the ship will cross the Wadden Sea sail to Harlingen, the most important harbour city of the province of Friesland.
Harlingen – Franeker – Makkum 48km or 58km
Via Franeker, with the famous planetarium of Eise Eisinga, you cycle through the beautiful wide Frisian countryside along several rural villages to the small harbour of Makkum on the eastern bank of the lake IJsselmeer. If you take the long cycling trip, you will also visit Bolsward, one of the Eleven Frisian Cities.
Makkum – Stavoren 32km or 49km | sailing to Enkhuizen
From Makkum you will cycle to Stavoren. The short tour leads you via the old trading town of Hindeloopen. This local art of painting a type of traditional decorative painting is quite famous. Apart from this, you’ll find the First Frisian Museum of Ice Skating in Hindeloopen. The long tour runs along several Frisian lakes and shows you a different type of landscape. From Stavoren the ship will set sail to cross the IJsselmeer to Enkhuizen in the late afternoon.
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30am.
The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|Apr 22 2023||Apr 29 2023||41||Single rooms||0€|
|Apr 29 2023||May 06 2023||41||Single rooms||1,674€|
|May 06 2023||May 13 2023||41||Single rooms||1,674€|
|May 13 2023||May 20 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|May 20 2023||May 27 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|May 27 2023||Jun 03 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Jun 03 2023||Jun 10 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Jun 10 2023||Jun 17 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Jun 17 2023||Jun 24 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Jun 24 2023||Jul 01 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Jul 01 2023||Jul 08 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Jul 08 2023||Jul 15 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Jul 15 2023||Jul 22 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Jul 22 2023||Jul 29 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Jul 29 2023||Aug 05 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Aug 05 2023||Aug 12 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Aug 12 2023||Aug 19 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Aug 19 2023||Aug 26 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Aug 26 2023||Sep 02 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Sep 02 2023||Sep 09 2023||41||Single rooms||1,809€|
|Sep 09 2023||Sep 16 2023||41||Single rooms||1,674€|
|Sep 16 2023||Sep 23 2023||41||Single rooms||1,674€|
|Sep 23 2023||Sep 30 2023||41||Single rooms||1,569€|
|Sep 30 2023||Oct 07 2023||41||Single rooms||1,569€|
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