Starts in Bussum-Zuid (railway station) ends in Weesp
Length 22 km
GPS description (GPX file)
The route crosses former peat areas, where fuel for the city of Amsterdam was obtained. Other parts go through much dryer areas. Other guest warn you to bring your own lunch, because the restaurants on your way open late ( 4:00 PM).
Starts in Santpoort-Noord (near Haarlem)
and ends in Overveen of Zandvoort
Length 16 km
This route starts at the edge of Haarlem. You cross the dunes towards the beach. At the beach you have two opportunities, walk over the beach to the bathing town Zandvoort or go through the dunes to Overveen, which also is near Haarlem. Zandvoort is a pleasant town to enjoy beach life. Haarlem is an old town with the Dutch Golden Age (17th century) as its main period. The route is very quiet, no traffic except a lot of cyclists.
Starts and ends in Naarden-Bussum
Length 19 km
If you love bird-watching this route is the one for you. You walk around a lake, that was the first Dutch nature reserve. You will not be able to keep a view on the lake all time, but at certain points it's a excellent route for bird watching. Naarden, where the route starts and ends is an old stronghold town, with a nice 16th century atmosphere. There used to be a second NS route starting in Naarden, going to the famous Muiderslot, a truly mediaeval castle in excellent condition in the town of Maiden. I think you still can do that walk as a long distance walk.
Starts in Castricum and ends in Alkmaar
Length 15 km
Notes: For the Duinreservaart you need to buy an entrance ticket at the ticket vending machine. It costs Euro 1,50 for each person. You can only pay with coins, no change, but just insert enough money for all persons together. It will print just one ticket for everybody.
The route ends in Egmond aan Zee, which is a bathing town. From Egmond aan Zee you need a bus to Alkmaar (bus 165) or back to Castricum (bus 164). Alkmaar is a nice town, famous for its cheese and former cheese market. Egmond is a pleasant bathing town, with a lovely former bus station from the fifties. In Castricum you find the tourist office in the station building.
The route goes through the dunes area, part of it covered with woods, part mainly sand and short dunes grasses. There is a lot of variety in the landscape along the route.
Starts in Hoofddorp, ends in Haarlem
Lengt 19 km
An interesting route, just under the smoke of Schiphol international airport. Two very interetsing things: The Cruquius museum (website in Dutch only, English wiki), which is one of the last steam driven water mills, used to to keep the feet of the Dutch dry. Worth a vist. The other attraction are the fortifications of the "Stelling van Amsterdam" (site in English language), which is on the Unesco heritage list.
On the picture you get a nice view on the famous Dromedaris tower. It is in the small town Enkhuizen. Enkhuizen is in the North-East of North-Holland at the Ijsselmeer coast. It has a very nice open air museum, called Zuiderzeemuseum.
Where is it?
Below on the map you see where North-Holland is.
North-Holland extends the landscape of South-Holland in northern direction. In the west you will find sand beaches, while dunes protect the land from the North Sea. More to the East and South you find the northern part of the Green Heart, the central polder area of the western part of the Netherlands. In the Southern part you also will find the national airport "Schiphol". Schiphol is quite near Amsterdam. Amsterdam is connected to the North Sea by the North Sea canal.
As soon as you pass the urban area around the North Sea canal, you see the landscape change again in a rural area, with small towns, polders, dikes, cows and sheep. You can see North Holland has one island. It is called Texel, which belongs to the island group "Waddeneilanden" You can go there easily by boat, from the navy town Den Helder.
I should mention here that the very south-east corner of the province has a completely different landscape. Around the town Hilversum (center for radio and television broadcast companies) you will find moors and woods.
The eastern border is formed by the IJsselmeer.It is the former Zuiderzee, which was tamed in the 20th century.Two interesting landmarks are the Wieringermeerpolder in the very North East and the huge 32 km long dike, that transformed the rather rough Zuiderzee in a still rough Ijsselmeer. Cycling over this dike, called Afsluitdijk is a special experience for many cycling enthusiasts.
Towns and villages
If you like visiting a lot of smaller towns showing the rich Dutch golden age history, North-Holland is perfect. My recommendations:
- Enkhuizen: small, but a really perfect open air museum. It will take you a whole day to visit. Ferry to Stavoren (Friesland)
- Hoorn: a bit similar to Enkhuizen. Home town of the historic tramway from the beginning of the 20th century. Worth visiting.
- Edam, a small cheese town with a friendly atmosphere.
- Volendam, fisherman's town, very crowded with tourists.
- Twisk, nice, nothing to do there one long street with beautiful houses and farms
- De Rijp, small but beautiful. Lot of pubs.
- Medemblik, mainly interesting because of the steam train.
- Alkmaar: famous for its weekly cheese market.
- Haarlem: a bit large to my taste. Has a very nice railway station and 17th century town center.
Oostwoud (near Medemblik) camping "Veerhof"
Phone: +31 229 201 575
You go to the village Oostwoud, which is about 6 km south-east of Medemblik The camping is on the eastern end of the village. From the main street a sign shows the way. Between bicycle node 54 and 55.
It is a combined camping, only part is a Nature Camping. Facilities for fishing, sailing with electric driven boats, horse riding. A good place to be. Nearest shops are in Midwoud, about 3 km from the camping.
Schermerhorn "Kampje de Myse"
Phone +31 629 411 519
Schermerhorn is 20km east of Alkmaar. Go to the village Schermerhorm. (Between bicycle network nodes 27 and 28). From the main street, take the exit at the church. You cross a bridge and then you see sport fields. Enter the fields, turn around the building and at the very end behind the soccer field, you see a small grass field, surrounded with trees. This is the camping site. The guard will come during the evening to collect the money. You can use the referees dress room for shower and toilet. You are allowed to stay for a maximum of three nights. Only tents are allowed. In the village there are no shops. Nearest shops are in Avenhorn (7 km) or De Rijp (10 km). In Grootschermer (3 km) there is a small supermarket. The place is OK for a short stay. Profit is for the youth members of the soccer club. It's open from 1st of May.
Phone +31 227 604 575
North-West of the village Wieringerwerf in the Wieringermeerpolder. From bicycle node 26 go West, where the route turns left, go to the right instead. From Wieringerwerf go North, direction Den Oever. you have to cross the highway, then keep following the highway. turn left to the Hyppolytushoeveweg (bicycle node 26). Follow this road for a while. At a small canal turn right to enter the wood. There you will find the camping site.
This is a quite new camping site of the State Forest department. There is no guard. It has a do-it-yourself registration desk. When you leave, you have to leave cash money (No change, no credit cards!!!). There is not much shadow yet on the site. Toilets and showers are very simple. Nearest shops are in Wieringerwerf (5 km) or Hyppolytushoef (also 5 km). Hyppolytushoef is a nicer town to visit.
Phone +31 299 655 555
The site is in the town Monnickendam at the grounds of the local yaught harbour. Bicycle nodes 55-54. Follow the signs "Hemmeland" You will see the entrance of the harbour. There report to the port authority. Make sure to arrive before 16:00h. They will lock the fence during the evening and night and without key you cannot enter the area.
The site has a separate field for tents. You use the facilities of the harbour. So toilets and showers are quite good. Monnickendam is a very nice old town with shops, restaurants old houses etcetera.