Bikepacking the Netherlands

The Netherlands is flat and when I say flat, I mean really really flat. It’s known for windmills, tulips, clogs and cycling. in fact there are more bicycles than people in this country. There are cycle paths everywhere and route maps at junctions.  We spent three days touring the countryside and coast and three nights camping. This is a collection of trip reports from Bikepacking the Netherlands.

Why did we go to the Netherlands?
The main reason was because I won two return flights to Amsterdam and the second reason was because it was my birthday and I thought I’d treat myself to an easy ride. Remember, it’s flat! And the third reason is because although Dan and I have visited the country before, we’ve never been there together. And I’m a bit of a romantic when it comes to stuff like that. Oh, and one last thing – possibly what clinched it, I managed to negotiate taking the bikes on the flight for free too.

The plan was to cycle along the coast to Den Helder then loop back through Amsterdam ending at Schiphol, camping each night. We began by following the Knoopunten network to Hoofdorp, Haarlem, Heemstede, Zandvoort and then LF1 Route north along the coast.

In mid July, we flew into Schiphol airport, unpacked, rebuilt both bicycles, put our packaging and flight clothes into a locker, then set off to explore the land of windmills, canals and bikes. We discovered a lot more.

Maps for bikepacking the Netherlands

We used Falk map number 13 that we purchased online before we went. The country is extremely cycle friendly and there are cycle route maps at many junctions to assist with navigation. It’s a great country for novice riders, but the area we rode is lacking in off road routes and tracks.

Day 1 – Leaving the airport
Bikepacking the Netherlands

Day 2 – The day we killed our stove 

Camping in Holland

Day 3 – Riding into Amsterdam

Copyright Sanjay Gupta

Copyright Sanjay Gupta

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