My wife and I are planning our first long bike trip, from Amsterdam to Groningen next september. We already sketched our route between Amsterdam and Enkhuizen, going through every cheese related town north of Amsterdam we can get (Edam, Vollendam, etc), then we plan to take the Ferry Enkhuizen - Stavoren, to save some time (we only have 5 or 6 days!). We would like to take the Urk Ferry, but apparently it stops working after August :(
Please, if anyone can recomend us sites, towns, or a particulary beautifull route, from Stavoren to Groningen, we would be very thankful. I'm sure the whole trip will be beautiful, since its a beautifull country, but we'd like some speciffic advice. What's on the road between Stavoren and Groningen? What is worth to take a detour for?
Thanks in advance!
I can recommend several places along the route:
- Amsterdam, of course (see http://www.iamsterdam.com/)
- If you take the 'inland' route: Zaandam (with the famous Zaansche Schans, see http://www.zaanseschans.nl/) and beautiful Alkmaar with its traditional cheese market (on Fridays between April and September, see http://www.vvvalkmaar.nl/)
- If you take the 'coastal' route, along the shores of the IJsselmeer: the historical villages/towns of Durgerdam, Edam, Volendam, Hoorn.
Before you take the Enkhuizen > Stavoren ferry, consider visiting the Zuiderzee Museum, devoted to the cultural heritage and maritime history of the Zuiderzee (see http://www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl/). Particularly the outdoor museum is definitely worth a detour!
Once you're on the other side of the IJsselmeer, in the province of Friesland, you may want to cycle along some of the historical Elfstedentocht (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elfstedentocht) towns. And once you finished your own (partial) Elfstedentocht in Leeuwarden, it is only 60 km or so to a well-deserved drink on the Grote Markt in Groningen... :-)
Unfortunately, I don't live in the area. But if you like, I can help you with more specific information about the area. For example, I am sure that there are cheese makers (cheese farms) in Noord-Holland or Friesland, where you can take a look and taste or buy cheese.
By the way - more info about the Enkhuizen > Stavoren ferry: http://www.veerboot.info/
May - September, daily at 08.30, 12.30 and 16.30.
It takes approximately 1,5 hours.
Tickets (one-way): € 10,40 for adults, € 5,20 for bicycles.
The Enkhuizen > Urk ferry indeed sails from July 4 until August 20 (2011).
Update: this might me interesting for you: http://www.cheesefarms.com/en/
I just noticed that you are from Mexico (yo tengo amigos en Tlalnepantla, Edo. de México!) and that you live in Barcelona, Spain. My dad (63) and his cousin (also 60-something) are going to cycle from Eindhoven in the Netherlands to Barcelona, between June 15 and July 9. Say hello from me if you see them! ;-)
Hi Marieke! Thanks for all your input!
We're still not very sure about which route to take between Stavoren and Groningen. I guess they're all good. Also, we havn't found any cheese farms on Noord Holland nor in that side of the IJsselkmeer. I guess we'll be open to improvisation for that part.
How was you dad's trip?
You're welcome. :-)
You can always contact us if you need more information.
These are three addresses of cheese farms just north of Amsterdam:
1509 BZ Zaandam
Opening hours: daily, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Alida Hoeve/De Vriendschap
1131 CW Volendam
Opening hours: daily, 8:30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
1145 PM Katwoude
Opening hours: daily, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Entrance is free of charge.
See also: http://www.cheesefarms.com/en/home/
However, these cheese farms might be a bit too touristy to your liking.
I will hunt for more addresses - there should be smaller, more authentic cheese farms (or dairy farms in general) out there. I will send you a message if I find any.
Unfortunately, my dad and his cousin didn't make it to Barcelona. They had to break off their trip in the Ardennes, due to bad weather and poor health. But they didn't store their bicycles altogether: they cycled the 'Ronde van Nederland' ('Around the Netherlands') instead and had a jolly good time.
I wish you a safe trip and strong tail winds in the Netherlands!