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Cycling in Utrecht and Flevoland


You will enjoy Cycling in Utrecht and Flevoland, there is much to see and the bicycling conditions are excellent. Utrecht and Flevoland are two provinces which deserve to be explored in the Netherlands. I can tell, because this is the area where I grew up, where I cycled almost all roads and paths you can find.

Muiden

Starting in Amsterdam, the first place to visit is Muiden and the Muiderslot castle. This can be also done as a daytrip from Amsterdam as Muiden is very close to Amsterdam.

Muiden is worth to spend some time as the castle is scenic but the local harbor and sluices breath some of the 17th century Golden Age atmosphere. Get a drink at the sluices and enjoy the pleasure yachts passing by the old tower.

You can choose to stay in Muiden but it's not really necessary.

The endless emptiness of Flevoland
The endless emptiness of Flevoland, if you want to be alone, this is the place.

There are several possible ways to continue from here. One leads through Flevoland (see here for another option). Just after Muiden you can cross the bridge to Almere but I would advice NOT to visit the city, there's nothing interesting here.

Instead, after the bridge, follow the bicycle road signs to Huizen/Harderwijk. This leads you to the dyke with views to the Dutch mainland for many kilometers.

It might be the best to avoid this to when there's a lot of wind because it's all wide open land. However, it IS worth to do although there's little extraordinary to see.

Amersfoort, koppelpoort
Cycling in Utrecht leads you to Amersfoort, here the Koppelpoort

If you cycle along the south coast of Flevoland you can cycle all the way to the bridge to Huizen, a little old town at the mainland and from there to Amersfoort. And from here you can continue cycling in Utrecht to almost all directions.

You cycle all the way further to the bridge with Nijkerk or even Zeewolde and Harderwijk. Should you want to make a one day loop with Amsterdam, then you have to cross to Huizen and cycle from here back to Amsterdam.

This loop is around 100 km depending how direct you go.

My recommendation would be to cross to the Dutch mainland at Huizen. Amersfoort is not far and is worth a visit. The old city center has a lot to offer with Muurhuizen, Koppelpoort, Kamp Amersfoort (a WWII monument for deportations) and the central market.

The Flehite Museum, near the Koppelpoort is worth a visit as it shows much of Amersfoorts history.

South of Amersfoort is an excellent area for cycling in Utrecht. There are several beautiful bicycle paths through the forest, so you can avoid the main road. They will lead to towns like Woudenberg, Maarn and the Hen schotermeer.

Breath a little of the Dutch way of spending their free time, visit the Henschotermeer, an artificial lake with an island in the middle created in the early 1970's.

It can be really busy in summertime during the school holidays and good weather (in winter with ice, the Henschotermeer is popular for skating too).

henschotermeer Church of Rhenen
Left: If you are cycling in Utrecht, you will eventually
find the Henschotermeer, here on a winter day
Right: A typical Dutch sight: the Church of Rhenen

Apart of those periods, the area is an oasis of peace and tranquility. During my childhood, I spend much time here and in the nearby Landgoed Den Treek.

35km west of Woudenberg is Utrecht. If you have already been to Utrecht, there are two options to continue cycling in Utrecht, both with their own beauty.

Going east leads through many smaller towns and villages and will lead you finally to Arnhem. However, a nicer option is to go south.

Woudenberg townhall
Cycling in Utrecht, it might lead you to Woudenberg, here the towns Town hall

In Amersfoort, (or Woudenberg, if you are already there), take the direction to Doorn. This sleepy town gives you again options to continue travel in any direction including to Amerongen. However, it is nicer to visit Amerongen (basically because of Kasteel Amerongen - the castle) via Wijk Bij Duurstede, one of the oldest towns in Holland.

Castle of Wijk Bij Durstede
Duurstede Castle in Wijk Bij Duurstede

Why Wijk Bij Duurstede? Several good reasons, the old town center is beautiful, you can travel from here into the Betuwe, the southern area of the river Rhine and further south.

But if you are coming in the right season, it is here where you find some of the best cherries in the world. Just outside town there are plenty of places where you can try all kinds of cherries, directly plucked from the trees. Trust me, you can't get them better.

Cycle from here to Amerongen, Rhenen and Arnhem through the forest, this is one of my favorite parts to cycle in Holland.

Another option is to go to Muiden but instead of Flevoland, take the road south to Weesp and follow the Amsterdam-Rijn Kanaal all the way to Utrecht. It's nice to cycle to Breukelen and then leave the canal by taking the junction to Lage Vuursche.

This will eventually lead you to Soest and Amersfoort (skip the Hilversum city, nothing interesting here) too but you will cycle large parts through the forests.

Instead of going south to Wijk Bij Duurstede, you can go directly east to Putten/Nijkerk and from here you have options to visit the provinces Gelderland and Overijsel. This road, partly leading through ongoing roads unless you have plenty of time AND a good road map, will lead is also very scenic and worth to explore.

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