The centuries-old Groningen cultural landscape, German island of Borkum, Lauwersmeer National Park and Wadden Island nature on Schiermonnikoog. All perfect for exploring by two-wheeler. Start in lively Groningen, pedal into Pieterburen and the Hogeland, spot birds on the mudflats and admire stately ‘borg’ villas, round mound villages, ancient churches ... Peace and space, you’ll find it all here. Nothing beats Groningen!
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 Groningen city, you burst into an open landscape with immense views interrupted occasionally with sites like Ten Boer, Winneweer and Garrelsweer, beautifully situated on the Damsterdiep. 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 terrific terrace.
(Ferry services to Borkum Island may not be available due to Coronavirus restrictions and today’s programme will depend on boats sailing from / to Eemshaven. Please enquire at the time of booking.)
After a good night's sleep, pedal off on a relaxing route dominated by the striking seawall stretching out across the polder. Ride out to land’s end . . . and into a new, unknown world on the other side. Immense salt marshes where tiny figures of birds and sheep seem to be far, far away. Clear days afford views all the way to Schiermonnikoog and Borkum. Roll along inside and outside the dikes taking advantage of frequent tailwinds, then get the early or late afternoon boat from Eemshaven to the German island of Borkum. Breathe in the salty air as you ride to your hotel. A perfect day on the Wad!
Please note that the German corona (travel) rules apply to your trip to Borkum.
Explore the island a bit before you go and take your pick: the North Sea, the Wad or a simple stroll on the boulevard. At low tide the local seals are literally just one sandbar away. Sail back from Germany and begin today’s 30-km route at the dock in Eemshaven, where a short ‘industrial’ stretch gives way to the LF Coastal Route. Soon the blue and white tower of St. Mary's Church beckons from above the trees, standing out in contrast to austere brick buildings elsewhere. Stop off at two more beautiful ‘borgs’ in Uithuizen and visit Usquert and Warffum, the Netherlands’ largest ‘wierden’.
Wake up to serene silence in North Groningen and set off on a short ride to catch the boat. The brightly coloured Hornhuizen steeple peeks out above the trees as you glide along into wide-open spaces in the Westpolder and make it to Lauwersoog for the 12:30 boat to Schiermonnikoog. so much to do and so little time! Take a saltwater dip, stop for lunch at Paviljoen Paal 3, hit the beach for seal-spotting on the Balg, paddle in the Berkenplas, see the sun sink into the sea over dinner or browse at boutiques in the village. Still not tired? ‘De Tox’ Bar stays open until late. Or curl up with a good book and rest up for tomorrow.
Catch the early afternoon boat back and cycle the lock system on a jaunt into the neighbouring province. Roll along 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! Lauwersmeer National Park leads 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.
The last ride 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.
Back too soon? Book an extra night and take the train into Groningen for another great day in the city.
Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday possible
|Double room, breakfast||709.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Surcharge per person||€|
|Stay in Pieterburen on Friday||10.00|
|Stay in Pieterburen on Saturday||10.00|
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 4.08 x 6||24.50|
|Child seat||€ 5.83 x 6||35.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 6||18.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 6||36.00|
|Tag-along bike||€ 7.00 x 6||42.00|
|Child trailer||€ 20.42 x 6||122.50|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
6 overnights included
3/4 Star Hotels
Tourist tax included
Breakfast included, half board optional
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
Ferry crossings Schiermonnikoog and Borkum are included