The round trip route network consists of a large number of local routes. Most of them bring you back to the location where you started. The length of each route varies between 30-60km. Each route is marked with hexagonal route signs as shown below:
Following map gives an overview of the locations of the routes:
The routes are described in a number of guides,containing maps with the routes drawn into the maps. Maybe a better purchase would be the ANWB Fietsroutebox"". For about Euro 40 you get a box with maps and overviews, containing all info on this network. You can buy them at the ANWB offices, tourist offices and good bookshops.
On the route search page you can click on the buttons with the province names. Press the blue button with the text "Toon resultaat" (show results). It will show then a province map with the routes. Please note, there are two tabs on top of the results page. One is showing a map "kaart", the other one a list with all routes.
Note that also hiking routes are shown!
If you click on a route a small description in Dutch appears. Then you should click on the button "Bekijk details" (View details). Well, it's all in Dutch but at the bottom of the page you may find in which guide the route is described. Maybe you can print the extensive descrition and ask for some help with it.
NS hiking routes
The NS hiking routes consist of a collection of hiking tours for one or two days. These are very suitable for tourists. You can select one place to stay, somewhere in the centre of the country and plan all your trips from this place. All trips start at a railway station or bus stop and will end at a place with reasonable public transport. You can download the route maps and descriptions for free. On Saturday and Sunday you should check before the departure times of public transport.
The map below shows the stations where an NS hiking route starts (valid for 2011-2012).
You can download the NS hiking route map in pdf as well.
Below, you find the links to the route descriptions and maps. For routes I walked myself, short descriptions are provided. I ordered them by province, like all stuff at this site.
NS Hiking routes North-Holland
NS Hiking routes South-Holland
NS Hiking routes North-Brabant
Flevoland does not have any hiking routes.
For the Dutch Waterline (Hollandse Waterlinie) a number of biking routes have been created. You can download them at the website www.hollandsewaterlinie.nl.(English home page!) Because the site has only one general page in English, I will give you some extra information to get access to the biking routes.
A good starting point is to download a map (pdf) which gives an overview on the area and includes a fair number of biking routes. For each route the bicycle node points are given, so I think this map is very useful, even you don't speak any Dutch. The map is not good enough to find your way, but nice for an overview. It also shows the locations of the major objects of the Hollandse Waterlinie. For instance, nr 32 is the Plofsluice, shown in the image above. It is a huge container, filled with sand and stones. The idea is to remove the bottom in bad times by using explosives. Sand and stones will fall into the water, blocking the route over the water.
The long distance biking route LF7 (oeverlandroute) passes over a long distance along the Hollandse Waterlinie. You can buy a guide (Dutch only) at the bookshops or tourist offices (ISBN 978-90-72930-41-5).
An number of biking routes:
|Naarden Muiden Weesp||1. Naarden-Muiden-Weesp
|De Bilt||4. De Bilt-Plofsluis
|Utrecht||Fietstocht Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie -...
|Utrecht||Waterliniefietsroute Utrecht Noord
|Nieuwegein, Houten, Utrecht||Waterliniefietsroute Utrecht Zuid
If you click on the links, you will see a small Google map. On the right, you can click on download route to obtain GPS waypoints. "Bekijk route" wil give a more detailed view of the route on a Google map. "Route beschrijving" allows you to download a route description (in Dutch).
The Long distance cycling network consists of over 20 routes, covering the whole country. The routes are marked with route signs, showing route number and direction (directions are marked with characters a or b). An example of a route sign:
On the image below, you see an overview of the network:
The website has an introductory page in English.
An interactive web page exist, where you can hover with the mouse over the names of the routes. If you do so, the route will be highlighted on the map.
You can download GPS tracks on this page. The page is in Dutch, but I think it's quite clear. There are some notes on the page, which I have translated for you:
- There is one gpx for each route
- A single gpx may consist of more than one track, each with up to 500 points
- The accuracy is 25 metres
- Loops in viaducts, tunnels etc are not modeled accurately for technical reasons.
You can download a free cycling map for your GPS device at http://sites.google.com/site/openfietsmap/
It has the form of an executable program for a PC, which installs the map in MapSource. Then you can transfer the map to your GPS device.
On the site you may find a webshop, where you can order maps and guides. unfortunately it's all in Dutch. I suggest you send them an e-mail using the contact form if you like to order some of their products. Eventually you can buy maps and guides in Holland at ANWB offices, tourist offices and good bookshops.
Hiking route network
You can find hiking routes all over the country. very short ones, one to 5 km mainly in nature areas, local routes , region routes etc. It is far too much to cover here, so I will focus on hiking routes suitable for hiking holidays. Guides are in most case available in Dutch only. But, they normally include maps, and in increasing amounts GPS coordinates. You always can ask the locals, they normally will be very willing to help you finding your way or translating instructions.
NS hiking route
The Dutch railway company NS, supports a number of hiking route with good access with public transport. You can buy a route description and map at the nearby railway station, or download it. The descriptions are in Dutch, but they include a good map as well and all routes have signs showing the way. Because the network exists 20 years now, they issued a book with all routes. The length of the routes is between 8 km and 23 km. Few routes are routes for two days.
Streekpad literally means regional path. They cover each a specific region with total lengths of 87 to 356 km.
Long distance hiking routes
The long distance hiking routes cover each a large part of the country. The most popular one is the "Pieterpad" which ranges fro the village Pieterburen in Groningen to the Pietersberg in the very south of Limburg. In 2010 the route has been revised completely.
Other hiking routes
I found Other hiking routes in Overijssel, for which GPS coordinates are provided, length 85 and 77 km, so nice for four or five days each.
You can lookup all major routes in Google maps. It's not good enough to walk them, but you can get a very good idea about the route.