Groningen, the far north with endless views of swaying grain, potato fields, rows of thick clay and tree-lined farmhouses here and there. Viewed from afar, the seawall draws a perfectly straight line on the horizon. Stately villas and tiny workers' houses give a glimpse of the recent past, recalling hardships endured by locals. Part of your journey takes in Pieterburen and the seal centre, though seal-spotting will be even more fun from the boat on your way to fantastic Schiermonnikoog Island. Delve into the enormous diversity of birds and nature on the Lauwersmeer and Wadden Sea.
Arrive in Groningen, check in then take off to see the city. Rest and relax on a terrace at the Vismarkt or climb up Martini Tower for fab views of the city.
Today calls for quintessential Groningen countryside. Cycling out of the city, you burst into an open landscape of immense views interrupted by sites such as Ten Boer, Stedum and the newly famous Loppersum. You’ll have to skip the borg at Rusthoven (closed due to earthquake damage) but make sure to pause at Ekenstein and Appingedam. Then press onward toward the seawall, Roodeschool and the striking blue-and-white tower at Uithuizermeeden. Visit villas at two grand estates, Rensumaborg and Menkemaborg, and replenish with refreshment on a pleasant terrace.
Wake up to the beauty of North Groningen, where flat landscapes stretch out toward the Wad dotted with occasional mound villages. Riding north through open terrain, you zip alongside the Zeedijk with views of salt marshes. The LF Wadden Coastal Route would not be complete without a trip to Noordpolderzijl, the Netherlands’ smallest seaport, and coffee and cake at 't Zielhoes. From Warffum you ride into the real Hogeland passing Den Andel to reach Pieterburen, known for its seal sanctuary and the Pieterpad trailhead. The Catholic enclave of Kloosterburen and twin mounds at Ulrum lead to Lauwersmeer National Park. Pedal past the fish market and Friesland locks at Cleveringsluizen to a warm welcome in Anjum. Fancy another day of cycling on Schiermonnikoog? Then book an extra night here!
Roll out of Anjum with the open Lauwersmeer on your left, lush green meadows on your right and Scottish highland and Konik horses ahead. Then suddenly it’s all water, boats and white sails . . . and you find yourself in Friesland! Bordering Lauwersmeer National Park you zoom onward to Zoutkamp Harbour and the monumental mound village of Niehove, once voted the most beautiful village in the Netherlands by Elsevier Weekblad magazine. Pause for a meal at the renowned Piloersemaborg, then park your bike in Zuidhorn for the night.
This last route takes you through Westerkwartier, a miniature landscape sandwiched between Friesland and Drenthe with its very own personality. Small meadows line traditional wood canals and wetlands are dotted with raised moors. The villages of Leek and Peize sit higher up on sandy ridges running west to east. Glide through this intriguing ‘bocage’ landscape, a veritable patchwork of fields, passing Kop van Drenthe and the Paterswoldsemeer on your way back into the city.
Sad to be back so soon? Book an extra night and take the train into Groningen for another great day in the city. Then celebrate with dinner there, or on the shores of Lake Paterswoldse.
Your cycling tour comes to an end this morning after breakfast.
Daily from April 1st until September 26th
|Double room, breakfast||475.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 5||25.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 5||15.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Tag-along bike||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 5||87.50|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
5 overnight included
3/4 Star Hotels
Tourist tax included
Detailed roadbook with maps and tourist information
Rental bikes are available
7-day service hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Parking available at the hotel
GPS tracks available