What to expect
Formerly known as our Frisian Sea tour, fall into the gentle pace of coastal life as you experience the windswept archipelago and lakeside harbour towns of the Netherlands' northern coast. Cycle with screeching gulls overhead, riding along well-marked coastal paths and sleeping on a choice of two sailing ships: the tastefully furnished Mare Fan Fryslan or the stylish Wapen Fan Fryslan.
As you cycle along the shores of Holland’s largest lake, stop off at pretty harbour towns to visit a working windmill or try sauerkraut and fresh fish. North Holland’s pristine nature and wild sand dunes are a highlight of this trip and the best place to experience these are on the beautiful Frisian Islands. As you sail across the sea, look out for seals on the sandbar and spot black-winged stilts, spoonbills and black backed gulls. The traditional brewery on Texel island is a particularly good place for a break and look forward to traffic-free cycling on the smallest island of Vlieland.
At a glance
- Relax and enjoy the scenery or help to raise the sails on a sailing ship
- Pristine nature reserves of mudflats, migratory birds, sand dunes and wetlands
- Pretty fishing harbours, seal sanctuary, unspoiled sandy beaches and a traditional brewery
- Traffic-free cycle paths, well-marked tracks and easy terrain.
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrive in Enkhuizen
Make your way to the colourful canalside city of Enkhuizen and check in from 2 pm – the boat is moored near the city centre and close to the railway station. Enjoy an aperitif with the skipper before taking an evening stroll through the historical heart of Enkhuizen.
Day 2 (Sun):
Enkhuizen - Den Oever - Texel
14/22 miles (24/37 km)
Cross to the fishing village of Den Oever and either sail across the Ijsselmeer freshwater lake or cycle along the IJsselmeer coast via the pretty town of Medemblik to Den Oever. Depending on the weather, sail across the Wadden Sea to the Island of Texel.
Day 3 (Mon):
24 miles (40 km)
Experience the diverse scenery and picturesque villages of Texel. Tour around the largest of the Dutch North Sea islands, using the well-signposted Thijsse route (24 miles / 40 km) and stopping off at pretty villages. The seal sanctuary station of EcoMare and the traditional brewery in Oudeschild are good places to stop for longer.
Day 4 (Tue):
Texel - Terschelling
Cross to the island of Terschelling and navigate through the sandbanks of the Wadden Sea – look out for seals resting on the sandbar and spot the island’s 400 year old lighthouse.
Day 5 (Wed):
Terschelling - Harlingen
Choice of distances
Explore some of Terschelling’s 70km of cycle track and four beautiful villages – West Terschelling is the largest village on the island and the best place for shops and pubs. The Boschplaat heathland of mud, beaches and dunes is also a popular place to cycle to, home to black-winged stilts, spoonbills and great black-backed gulls. In the late afternoon you will sail to the harbour city of Harlingen.
Day 6 (Thu):
Harlingen - Franeker- Makkum
29/36 miles (48/58 km)
From Harlingen, the most important harbour city in Friesland you will cycle via Franeker and through several villages to Makkum. There is also the option of a longer cycle ride where you will visit Bolsward.
Day 7 (Fri):
Makkum - Stavoren - Enkhuizen
19/30 miles (32/49 km)
Cycle from Makkum through the old trading town of Hindeloopen, with its famous painting style, to Stavoren. The longer option passes several Frisian lakes. Sail from Stavoren to Enkhuizen.
Day 8 (Sat):
Depart from Enkhuizen
Check out and disembark after breakfast by 9.30 am and make your way home or continue your holiday.
Please note: The captain reserves the right to alter the itinerary due to changes in weather and other conditions.
Mare Fan Fryslan
The Mare Fan Fryslan was built in 1960 and completely renovated in 2006. She is a beautiful three-masted schooner and offers an air-conditioned saloon and restaurant and a bar, which has large, panoramic windows and is equipped with a music system and TV.
There are 12 lower deck comfortable twin cabins, one premium twin cabin with a small sitting area and a flat screen TV and one cabin with bunk beds. The twin cabins and premium twin can also take a 3rd bed if required. All cabins have a private shower and toilet and air-con.
The upper deck has an outdoor bar, jacuzzi and seating area. When in harbour, free wi-fi connection is available throughout the ship.
Wapen Fan Fryslan
The Wapen Fan Fryslan is a two-masted schooner built in 1965 and completely renovated in 2003. On board of this marvellous vessel you will immediately notice its warm and luxurious atmosphere.
All 12 spacious cabins have twin beds that can be transformed into a double bed and can take a 3rd bed if required. Each cabin has a shower and toilet, plus a porthole which can be opened.
On deck, there is a large saloon/restaurant and stylish bar and seating area, offering panoramic views across the water. The deck has a small bar with draught beer taps and a Jacuzzi and the middle deck and sun decks offer plenty of seating for outdoor dining, relaxing and sunbathing.
Dates & Prices
Please choose your boat, then click on a departure date for price options at a glance
- 7 nights accommodation aboard a premium class boat
- Board basis: Full board including breakfast, packed lunch on 5 cycling days (1 lunch on board) and 6 three course dinners (1 packed dinner)
- Services of an English speaking on-board guide with daily briefings of the bike tours
- Maps and route information (1 per cabin) - GPS tracks available
- Welcome meeting and drink on the first evening
- Local contact number for assistance
- Daily cabin cleaning
- Daily coffee and tea until 4 pm
- Flights and transfers
- Entrance fees & excursions
- Ferry fees
- Drinks & tips on board
- Bike hire
- Special dietary requests - see below
Bikes come with a pannier, a small repair kit, and lock all included at no extra cost when you hire a bike
News, Reviews & FAQs
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
Will the itinerary ever change?
For Boat & Bike tours the boat will generally keep to the advertised itinerary, however the captain may have to adapt the itinerary due to the river or sea conditions.
How much space will I have in my cabin?
There is limited space in the cabins, so pack light and take a soft suitcase.
Can I stay on the boat during the day and not cycle?
Yes, you can relax on the boat or explore when you arrive at each destination instead of cycling.
Can the boat cater for special dietary requirements?
Please advise us of any special requirements at time of booking and we will notify the boat operator in advance. Understandably, kitchen galley space is limited and it may not be possible to provide specialist products (eg. Gluten free). We suggest you bring a few items with you and, in some cases, these can be provided at a supplement.
Will I be cycling with other people?
Although there is no organised group, self-guided guests regularly find they come across their fellow passengers along the route during the day and may even get together to form their own cycling groups.
What does my on-board Tour Leader do?
Your on-board Tour Leader provides daily briefings ahead of the next day's ride. These are always beneficial, including information on the local area, main sights, and tips on good places to stop en route.
Can I book by myself?
Absolutely! Boat & Bike tours are very sociable and a good choice for single travellers wishing to mix with other guests and share your common interest of cycling.
What other customers have said
Been on this tour? Add your review!
This is an excellent tour and caters for those who want an introduction to both cycling and the joys of staying and sailing on a large sailing vessel. If you were lucky with the wind and weather, as we were, then the sailing between mainland and the islands is a very relaxing experience. The amount of pulling on ropes and windlasses is up to you, and amounts to no more than a few minutes in a day or afternoon sail. Excellent food and company.John Verney, UK, July 2018
The cycling in rural Holland is amazing, we went around 3 of the islands at the top of the country - these are not places that we would normally be able to get to. The timings of the days were good and we did not feel rushed which is good when you are on a bike!Gill Pearson, UK, July 2018