Edam to Amsterdam: Self-Guided

North-Holland is truly a wonderful waterside region: there are numerous ponds, creeks, lakes and canals. The many idyllic landscapes and the enchanting silence of this delightful Dutch province will definitely seduce you. It is almost unbelievable that this quiet land with its charming villages, beautiful farms, and historic windmills is only 25 minutes from Amsterdam. For this cycling holiday, we have carefully selected the cozy, 3-star Hotel De Fortuna in the ‘cheese city’ Edam. It is peacefully located in the center of this picturesque small town. The rooms are situated in 5 characteristic North Holland houses and feature a typical Dutch atmosphere. Most rooms overlook the stylish garden on the banks of a small canal. In the summer you can sit in the garden and enjoy the flowers, singing birds and small pleasure boats drifting by. From Edam you’ll cycle to fascinating Amsterdam, but also to a number of the most delightful places in North-Holland: Hoorn, De Rijp, Volendam, Monnickendam and the peninsular village of Marken!

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Ride around Edam: Volendam, Monnickendam, Marken – 18-28 miles
Historic Edam resting along the IJsselmeer, formerly called the South Sea (Zuiderzee) is famous for its wonderful cheeses. It is also home to a gorgeous 17th century town hall, beautifully preserved Waag Museum and Gothic church as well as one of the smallest drawbridges in all of Holland. Edam is an easy 30 minute bus ride from Amsterdam Central Station. On the afternoon warm-up ride you’ll explore the nearby village of Volendam. Volendam is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Netherlands, well-known for its old fishing boats and the traditional 18th century style clothing still worn by some residents. The women’s costume of Volendam is often featured on tourist postcards and posters (although there are believed to be fewer than 50 women now wearing the costume as part of their daily lives, most of them elderly). In Volendam you can visit the Volendam Museum with, among other historic items, an exhibition on the traditional costume worn in this area. From Volendam you bike on along the IJssel Lake to Monnickendam, another lovely, quaint little port with picturesque canals and then on to the peninsular village of Marken. Marken is known for its characteristic black and green wooden houses on stilts. The historic lighthouse is located on a breakwater in the former Zuider Zee. If you arrived late and have only a short afternoon for biking and sightseeing you could also take the Marken Express ferry from Volendam to Marken. You can take your bike on the ferry or buy a return ticket.

Day 2: Edam – De Rijp – Schermerhorn – Hoorn – Edam – 37 miles
Today you’ll cycle on quiet canal dikes through some of the oldest and deepest polders of North Holland, before entering De Rijp, the village Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater called “Holland’s best village”. Leeghwater, who was born in De Rijp in 1575, engineered the amazing reclamation of the polders around the village and also designed De Rijp’s beautiful town hall in 1630. This is a good coffee stop and a lovely village to stroll around in. Afterward you’ll bike on to Schermerhorn where you might climb up into an authentic, working windmill that also shows a brief film about the development of windmills and polders in the area. Later you’ll pass through several picturesque small villages on your way to the historic Hoorn, once a major South Sea port and today a lively pleasure boat harbour town with terrific 17th century architecture. You can view a magnificent scale model of Hoorn as it was in 1650 in the ornate and interesting West Fries Museum. You’ll also have time to wander around the splendid old city center with its wonderful array of pubs, shops and galleries. In the late afternoon you’ll bicycle along the IJsselmeer back to historic Edam. There is time for some shopping (or a good Dutch beer) before dinner in your cozy hotel restaurant.

Day 3: Edam – Amsterdam – Edam – 18 miles
In the morning after breakfast you’ll start your peaceful bike ride to Amsterdam via the village of Broek in Waterland. From here the quickest bike path to Amsterdam takes you along the water and the North Holland canal to Amsterdam North where you’ll find the free ferry over the IJ to Amsterdam Center. You have the full day to sight see and visit museums in Amsterdam. However since biking in Amsterdam is quite unnerving, even though there are bike paths in the city, we strongly recommend that you leave your bike in the guarded bike parking (fietsenstalling) near the Central Station and take the tram to the museums. Dinner is on your own tonight in one of Amsterdam’s many varied restaurants before you bicycle back to peaceful Edam after your exciting day in Amsterdam.

Day 4: Return your bike to the rental store in town and leave at your leisure after breakfast.

Getting There

You will arrive at your leisure at your Edam hotel. Edam is a comfortable 30-minute bus ride from Amsterdam Central Station. Buses run every half-hour. For the schedule check http://www.9292.nl/en/. From the bus station in Edam it’s a 5-minute walk to the hotel. We will send you walking directions after full payment.


1 dinner and daily breakfast are included

Prices and Dates

Check out “Tulip Tours” in our SELF-GUIDED Tour Calendar

Tour Length

4 days/ 3 nights

        – 3 nights lodging in a quaint, family-owned three-star hotel with private facilities
          – 21-speed hybrid bike and HELMET
            – 1 dinners and 3 breakfasts
          – Daily route directions, maps, tourist information
Bike Rental

21-speed hybrid bicycles in excellent condition are included and are equipped with HELMET, pannier, map holder, pump, lock, and repair kit. 5-speed Dutch tandems, in excellent condition for rent for $195.00.

Level of Difficulty

Daily cycling distances are 18-37 miles on flat terrain and on mostly separate bike paths. Level of Difficulty is easy.


– Airfare
– Alcoholic and bar beverages
– Two dinners
– Lunches


Average daytime temperatures in April and May are 55-65, June, July, and August 65-80, September and October 60-75. Average rainfall is 6 days per month.

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