Looking for true peace, wide-open spaces and fresh air? Then this is your tour! Skip the city of Groningen and set off from the seawall to cycle a centuries-old cultural landscape. Looking north toward the Wadden Sea, you catch a glimpse of the German island of Borkum and car-free Schiermonnikoog Island. Just waiting to be explored by two-wheeler. Neither island is that big and you’ll still have plenty of time to pause for coffee, warm your feet in the sand and stroll along the waterfront. If this is your idea of a perfect holiday, you will find it all here. Capacity on the islands is limited, so don't wait too long. Book early!
Arrive in Pieterburen and settle in at your accommodation. Then jump right in with a visit to the seal centre or bike to Noordpolderzijl, the Netherlands’ smallest seaport. Get your first taste of Groningen at dinner in the village and stroll to the seawall for views of the ever-changing mudflats.
Wake up in peaceful North Groningen, a flat land gazing out toward the Wadden Sea. Today is a day to bike the ‘borgs’, beginning with Verhildersum Borg in Leens. Then continue north into open landscapes in the Westpolder, ‘sailing’ along the Zeedijk with views to salt marshes of the Wad. The Wadden Route would not be complete without a stop in Noordpolderzijl, the Netherlands’ smallest seaport, for coffee and cake at 't Zielhoes. Hidden among trees in Uithuizen, the villas at Menkemaborg and Rensumaborg offer a place to take a break on a terrace. And soon you’ll be in Roodeschool for the night.
Get an early start for the day trip to Borkum, biking 6 km to Eemshaven past a long line of windmills. Breathe in salty sea air as the boat departs to the screech of seagulls. The immense North Sea beach stretches out just ahead. Perfect for cycling! On the way to Milchbuden, simple wooden beach bars entice you to stop for a snack. Take the dunes’ edge bike path and treat yourself to views of both sand and sea. Pause in tiny Ostland, a halfway point with a handful of ‘bauernhofen’ and terraces overlooking the salt marshes. Circling back, the mudflats provide a very different yet equally beautiful backdrop. You’ll arrive just in time to catch the last boat back to the mainland.
(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.)
Today’s theme centres on wonderful ‘wierden’. Built to protect villages from the rush of eroding water, these elevated mounds made houses circle round a church in the middle. Classic mound villages include Kantens, Middelstum, Onderdendam and the 2020 ‘most beautiful village’: Winsum. A lovely section of the Reitdiepdal adds further beauty to your ride through the Hogeland where water is basically everywhere. Pedal to Pieterburen via Mensingeweer and Eenrum for some well-deserved rest.
Set off on a short ride via Broek and the aptly named Kleine Huisjes. The brightly coloured Hornhuizen steeple peeks out above the trees as you glide along into wide-open spaces in the Westpolder, with views to the Zeedijk. Roll along the outer dike, breathe in the aroma of salt marshes and make it to Lauwersoog for the 15:30 boat to Schiermonnikoog.
Hear the call of seagulls and breathe in the salty island air, with the Wad to one side and the North Sea beach to the other. Grey-green beach grasses reach as far as the eye can see, broken briefly by a white or red lighthouse on the horizon. Though just briefly. One sole tiny village can be reached only by bike. And there’s 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, dine as the sun sinks into the sea 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.
Spend the morning on Schiermonnikoog catch the 13.30 boat back to the mainland. It’s a short 23-km ride back to Pieterburen ..... then it’s time to go home. A great discovery. Option of adding an extra night to rest and relax in Pieterburen.
Start on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday possible.
|Single room, breakfast||875.00|
|Double room, breakfast||695.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Surcharge per person||€|
|Stay in Pieterburen on Friday||10.00|
|Stay in Pieterburen on Saturday||10.00|
|Stay in Schiermonnikoog from:
2021-07-01 - 2021-08-31
|Stay in Borkum from:
2021-07-01 - 2021-08-31
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 3.00 x 6||18.00|
|Child seat||€ 0.83 x 6||5.00|
|Tag-along bike||€ 6.00 x 6||36.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 6||105.00|
|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 crossing Schiermonnikoog and Borkum are included