Biking to seaside town from Amsterdam

May 21st, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Biking to seaside town from Amsterdam

Is it possible to bike to a nice seaside town from Amsterdam? We are forty something in fairly good shape and would like to see the country and get to water while spending a long weekend in Amsterdam.
monk21 is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Possible but you'll be going into a potentially strong wind.

I recommend taking the train to Zaandvort-on-Zee (bout 40 mins from Amsterdam via Haarlem) then renting a bike and riding the fabulous bike paths south thru the dunes for as far as you want - first skirting the nude beach area and then several popular beaches - you can tell by the passel of bikes tied up on the bike path at the sandy walks to the beach. On nice day literally thousands of Dutch bike out here from nearby towns.

The Dunes path go all the way to Den Hague - rent a bike in Amsterdam, put it on a train to Zaandvort and bike the about 20 miles to Den Haag and take train back.

You'll need a Fiets ticket for the train with your bike (bike ticket)
PalenQ is online now  
May 21st, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Basically I agree with PalenQ.

The bike ride from Amsterdam as far as Haarlem is long, flat, and uninteresting. Head winds can be aggravating. Rain make it miserable.

An alternate: You could take the train to Haarlem. Either rent a bike in Amsterdam and pay €6 to take it on the train or rent in Haarlem. A place in Amsteram called Bike City rents good sturdy bikes. I think it is in the Jordaan. LOCK you bike and wheels. The fiets ticket is good until midnight. See

For biking from Haarlem you have three choices.

The north route takes you through Overveen and comes out at the Bloemendaal beach, after a long up-dune finish. Then you can pedal south past beach campings for about 2 miles to the beach center of Zandvoort.

The south route goes through Aerdenhout and is flat all the way to the heart of Zandvoort. Then you have a very steep walk street up to the beach, or bypass southerly on the left to ride to the top of the dunes with a more gentle climb, still within the village.

The third choice goes through the dunes from the west side of Haarlem. You have to find a classic cafe/restaurant on the west side of Haarlem on Duinlustweg. I can't remember the name of it though I've been there a number of times and could find it in my sleep. It is famous with locals. The bike trail starts on the north side of this place and goes ambling through the dunes. You come out into Zandvoort and from there you can find your way through the village to the beach. I'll get the name of the restaurant from my friend over there and post it later if you are interested. This is my favorite route from Haarlem to Zandvoort. There is some exercise riding up the dunes but then you can coast down also. Wheeeeeeee! Watch the turns.

This route is not marked. The others are.

The best beach clubs are south of the center. Look for Grolsch flags. The naked beach is officially about a mile past the south end of town. Unofficially it creeps north.

hopscotch is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 01:07 PM
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We went to Haarlem and rented bikes heading towards Zaandvort. My travel buddy Rick Steves said this would be "an easy breezy 45 minute ride" - well it was a bit more than that. We bought a map but still got off track but in the end it was a pleasant day. This year we went to Hemstead and headed to the tulip fields - it was easier to bike out of Hemstead as it is much smaller than Haarlem. Also be sure and check what you need to bring for the bike rental - we had to show our passport and leave a 50E deposit I think. But both days were just wonderful - the suburbs (such as they are) have such charming houses and gardens - a delight to see by bike. The area is also woodsy in places, beautiful to bike through. Some of my best eer vacation memories.
suec1 is online now  
May 21st, 2007, 01:31 PM
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It's about 7 miles from Haarlem station to the center of Zandvoort. Via Overveen it's straight west to the end of land then south. Even 45 minutes is more than you need. What happened? Steves can't read a map? Can't follow the bike trail signs? LOL.

hopscotch is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 03:49 PM
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I've biked from A'dam to the Ijselmeer towns - plenty of water there. Volendam, Monnickendam, Marken, all are withing striking distance, lovely little places, if a bit touristy at times.
Russ is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 03:04 AM
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Hi there, my friend Alan did a bike ride in Amsterdam back in 2004.
He found this specific bike riding website for Amsterdam:

<a href="</a></p>
<p>Also there are some very well written travel reviews for the city herelt;/p>
<p><a href=" </a></p>
tedandjane is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 05:09 AM
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I agree with others - Zandvoort is a nice seaside town, bike-able distance from Haarlem. (May be from Amsterdam too if you have lots of time, but roads may be too busy for pleasant cycling). Lots of seaside cycling from Zandvoort itself.
twoflower is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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hopscotch - Rick was not to blame - it was all our map reading skills and following the "well marked bike trails". Plus on our exit out of Harlem we may have turned too early. You know the first sign you see pointing in the direction of a town is not necessarliy the best route. This year we studied the map more closely and did much better in our ride through the tulip fields. But whether we were on track or on a scenic detour!, the ride was delightful!
suec1 is online now  
May 24th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for your help with the biking question...leaving for Amsterdam tonight for four days away from our very busy boys...YIPEE!
monk21 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2007, 02:25 PM
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How did it go? Please give us some feedback.
hopscotch is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Biking in Amsterdam was AWESOME. We rented great bikes from the Marriott for 12 Euros a day..they were due back by 11:00pm..locks were included. The first day we went to a market then got a bike map from MacBike and took the ferry behind the train station and headed through the countryside for a 20 mile ride to Marken. It was really windy and a hard ride with three speeds, but worth it in the end. The second day we just rode all over the city and loved how we could get places as quickly or slowly as we chose. It was our second trip to Amsterdam, and much better because we had the bikes. I was a bit nervous to ride at night and with all the bike traffic and locals in a hurry and not real tolerant with the tourists, but it was fine for the most part.
monk21 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Thanks for the report monk21. I guess that you did not get to a seaside town.
hopscotch is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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Except Marken.
monk21 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 12:25 AM
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Marken is a lakeside town really - the Ijsselmeer and Markermeer are fresh water. But it sounds like you had a great time, which is what really matters! The ride to Marken takes you through some typically Dutch countryside too.
hetismij is offline  

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