Sailing and biking around the Lake IJssel

8 days / 7 nights | Ship: Clipper Elizabeth | Self guided cycling tours

Historic harbour towns, green polder scenery and former islands on the Ijsselmeer.

Take an exciting discovery tour on a stylish and beautifully appointed sailing ship. Your tour starts in Amsterdam and takes you along the Ijsselmeer coast. The charming historic towns, the polders and the villages of the interior are connected by excellent cycle paths. In Monnickendam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen you’ll discover the old trading towns from the era of the Dutch East India Company. On the Ijsselmeer’s eastern shore you can visit the provinces of Friesland and Flevoland with the former islands of Urk and Schokland. On the final day, wind and weather permitting, you set off under full sail again for Amsterdam. Here you have plenty of time to enjoy an evening seeing the sights of the capital.

Day 1 (Sat): Amsterdam

Boarding between 2:00pm and 6:00pm. The vessel stays in the port of Amsterdam on the first night. In the afternoon and evening you have time to stroll around the city, visit a museum, the flea market or take a canal cruise in Amsterdam.

Day 2 (Sun): Amsterdam – Waterland – Monnickendam (Cycling 35 km / 22 miles | 50 km / 31 miles including the island of Marken)

After breakfast you take off on a bike ride through the magnificent rural nature reserve of Waterland with its many villages, canals and rivers. One highlight of the trip is Broek in Waterland, a picturesque spot in the centre of Waterland with its wooden houses, canals and gardens. If you feel like pedalling a bit further, you can visit the island of Marken, which used to be on the Zuiderzee. The bike ride ends in the port town of Monnickendam, where you also spend the night.

Day 3 (Mon): Monnickendam – Volendam – Edam – Hoorn (Cycling 52 km / 33 miles)

A bike ride from Monnickendam via Volendam, Edam, De Rijp and Schermerhorn to Hoorn. Along the way you can visit a cheese factory, take a break in Volendam's bustling harbour and stroll through the narrow streets of the old whaling village of de Rijp. The wealthy merchants of the 17th century built some splendid homes and warehouses, which are still well maintained today and characterise the image of the old towns. Also as you wander through Hoorn, our endpoint for today, you can marvel at many of these beautifully ornate buildings.A shorter route goes via Volendam and Edam across the Ijsselmeer dike to Hoorn.

Day 4 (Tue): Hoorn – Enkhuizen (Cycling 28 km / 18 miles | Sail from Enkhuizen to Lemmer or Stavoren)

This morning you will enjoy beautiful views of the IJsselmeer as you pedal along an old dike from Hoorn to the port of Enkhuizen where you will enjoy your lunch today on board the Elizabeth. In the afternoon test out your sea legs for the first time as you sail across the IJsselmeer to Lemmer oder Stavoren in the province of Friesland (depending on the weather conditions). In the evening you will have the opportunity to take a stroll through the port. Make sure you take the opportunity to explore the picturesque village of Lemmer which has many cafés and quaint pubs along the canals and close to the old neo-gothic lock.

Day 5 (Wed): Lemmer – Frisian Lakes & Gaasterland – Stavoren (Cycling 48 km / 30 miles) or the other way around.

Cycletour from Lemmer through the rolling hills of Gaasterland. As you cycle from idyllic village to idyllic village highlights along the way are the Frisian lakes of De Morra and Fluessen, the historic centre of Sloten and Molkwerum a village that features many small canals. The tour ends in Stavoren, the oldest town i

n Friesland. When you sailed to Stavoren on Tuesday, todays bike tour is from Stavoren to Lemmer.

Day 6 (Thu): Lemmer or Stavoren – Enkhuizen

Today you will set the sails again for a sailing trip to Enkhuizen. In the afternoon you will have time for a short bike tour and the opportunity to visit the very interesting “Zuiderzeemuseum” and/or a stroll through the port where many Dutch East India Company ships berthed to unload their precious cargos of spices.

Day 7 (Fri): Cruise Enkhuizen – Amsterdam

With a stiff breeze and under full sail you return from Enkhuizen along the Ijsselmeer coast to Amsterdam. If you wish, you can take an active part in sailing the vessel; no maritime experience is required. In the afternoon you reach the Dutch capital and still have time to explore the city centre.

Day 8 (Sat): Amsterdam

Disembark by 9:30 am after breakfast and return home.

Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.