Cycling in Holland
Drive or pedal on to one of our ferries direct from Newcastle to IJmuiden near Amsterdam and embark on a cycling holiday of a lifetime in Holland.
The Netherlands really is a cyclist's paradise. Holland is one of the flattest nations in the world, and has a cycle path network of over 12,000 miles, with 57% of Dutch choosing to cycle into work in the cities every day.
Cycling in Holland is also very safe, with all ages using the cycle paths. The Dutch are always very welcoming to fellow cyclists and car drivers are also very considerate due to many of them being cyclists themselves. This makes Holland the perfect place to enjoy a cycling holiday, whether you're travelling with a friend, a partner or your family.
Where to Cycle
In the dunes of the province of Noord-Holland, between IJmuiden and Zandvoort, lies Zuid-Kennemerland National Park which encompasses an area of 3,800 hectares. Within the park is a network of cycle paths and routes, follow these west and you'll arrive at a barrier of golden sand dunes that is over a millennium old.
The beach, dunes, stately country house gardens and woodlands are an oasis for nature. Differences in soil type, latitude, climate and groundwater level have produced a wide variety of flora and fauna making it a perfect place for peace and recreation.
The visitor centre, just 45 minutes from the port by bike, is housed in an industrial monument in Overveen. This building, a pump house built in 1898 for the Haarlem Waterworks, has been beautifully restored and is now called 'Duincentrum De Zandwaaier'.
Google directions from IJmuiden port to the Visitor Centre by bike:
Located an hour's cycle ride from our ferry port in IJmuiden, the historic city of Haarlem is one of our top destinations and is perfect for those seeking a laid-back destination.
Haarlem is often dubbed 'mini Amsterdam' as despite its smaller size, it boasts just as vast a range of sights and attractions, as well as a plethora of shops and bars.
Families will find many exciting attractions ready to be discovered, such as the St Bavo Cathedral and the Sauna van Egmond, which features swimming pools, a sauna and luxury beauty rooms. All are easily accessible from our ferry, so there's something for everybody to enjoy.
Google directions from IJmuiden port to Haarlem by bike:
Zandvoort is a thriving coastal resort, approximately 15 miles south of our IJmuiden port. This cycle route takes you along the scenic coastline which has attracted visitors here for decades, as well as guiding you through the beautiful Kennemerland National Park.
With several kilometres of clean, wide and west-facing beach, as well as a stunning nature reserve, Zandvoort offers many recreational opportunities.
Not surprisingly, Zandvoort attracts many visitors during the spring and summer months. However, this is no ordinary, modern resort - Zandvoort also has a fascinating history, having been favoured by many wealthy and even royal visitors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Google directions from IJmuiden port to Zandvoort by bike:
Utrecht is a classically-Dutch university town with a rich history. A medieval city, the centre is small enough to discover without a car or public transport, but big enough to host modern architecture, trendy shops, museums and more, making it perfect for a cycling trip.
What's more, with Utrecht having recently hosted the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, what better time is there to take the scenic, 3-hour bike ride from our port in IJmuiden to one of Holland's most famous cities? You could also test yourself on the same routes as the professional cyclists on Le Tour.
Google directions from IJmuiden port to Utrecht by bike:
Dutch Cycling Laws
Whether you're meandering with your family across the flat countryside, or soaking up the sights in Amsterdam, when it comes to pedaling your way across this stunning and culturally-rich nation, you'll need to be wise to the Dutch way of doing things.
- A bicycle bell that can be heard up to 25 metres away is compulsory on every bike
- You are not permitted to cycle on any pavement designated as a pedestrian area – though many Dutch cyclists ignore this rule. Do so at your own risk in a city though, where you're likely to pick up a fine
- Cyclists are permitted to carry passengers on the front or back of their bike
- You must not cycle under the influence of alcohol, medication or drugs
- Talking on your mobile phone is permitted while cycling in Holland, though you must keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times
- Helmets are not compulsory for cyclists, though they are recommended
Cycle light laws
Bicycle light laws are very strict in Holland and hefty fines await anyone ignoring the rules after dark. The lights required by law are:
- All bikes must have a round red reflector on the rear, yellow reflectors on the pedals and white or yellow reflective tyres
- Front light - white or yellow
- Back light - red
- Front lights must shine straight ahead
- Flashing lights, such as the LEDs popular in the UK, are illegal in Holland
- Loose lights (i.e. those not fixed to your bike) are permitted, providing they are properly visible and attached to your upper body
TRavel Newcastle to holland with your bike
It's easy to take your bike to Holland on our Newcastle-Amsterdam route. Simply cycle on the ferry in North Shields, store your bike onboard and cycle off at the other end.
We have various products available, depending on how long you want to stay in Holland. On a mini cruise, you'll get around 6 hours to cycle around the areas close to port or on a cruise & stay break you'll have 2 days to explore and you can book your own accommodation. Or if you want to stay longer, opt for a ferry crossing with your bike and you can return on any date to suit your plans.
Check out our Great Journeys pages for more information on things to see and do in Holland. With the freedom our ferry crossings afford the more adventurous traveler, there are plenty of long-range touring options available. So, jump off at Amsterdam and let the pedals take you where they may!
It’s always a proud moment when you’re recognised for your good work, we’re honoured to have been named again as the World and Europe's Leading Ferry Operator 2016 at the World Travel Awards. We have been Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator for 5 years running now, and the World’s Leading Ferry Operator for 6 years.