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Cities straight out of a picture book, exciting bike paths through forests and heathland, and boat trips through idyllic river landscapes along the historic Hanseatic route on the IJssel River: if you ask our tour leaders about the Hanseatic tour, they won’t stop raving. The multi-faceted journey through the lesser-known east of the Netherlands is their secret favorite. Why? Read on, and we’ll tell you!

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It doesn’t always have to be the North Sea

Sure, the Dutch coast has its own special charms – but there is also life beyond dunes, beaches, and the romance of the North Sea. Let yourself be surprised by the country’s “wild east” and discover a completely different side of the Netherlands! Extensive forest areas, rolling hills, and medieval brick architecture characterize the landscape here. “On the Hanseatic route, the cycle tours go through beautiful, open landscapes and there isn’t the infrastructure here that you see everywhere in the west. It’s much more comfortable and relaxed to ride a bike this way,” enthuses our tour leader, Patrick.

It’s all in the mix

The Hanseatic tour is simply incredibly varied and is therefore never boring, says tour leader José: “The route begins in lively Amsterdam and then heads east, where it becomes quieter and more idyllic. That’s a very nice contrast.” The daily program is also full of variety: while you cycle through nature during the day, you can explore a different old town every evening. Stroll by the historic buildings, enjoy the hustle and bustle, and savor a delicious drink in one of the sidewalk cafés!

Beautifully-preserved cities

And while we’re on the subject of cities: from Zutphen to Deventer and from Doesburg to Hattem – the cities, towns and villages on the Hanseatic Tour are real treasures, with beautifully-maintained historic buildings. Patrick is in awe: “The cities here are actually just as beautiful as in the west, but a little quieter. That’s one of the reasons why the Hanseatic Tour is my favorite tour.” He keeps hearing from guests from abroad how well-maintained and well-preserved everything is. “As a Dutchman, I don’t really notice it that much, but from my conversations with the guests I notice again and again that this is not something to take for granted,” he says.

Fishing ports without a coast

There’s a saying in the Netherlands: “God made the world, but the Dutch made the Netherlands.” On the Hanseatic Tour you can see this with your own eyes: how much land has been reclaimed from the sea, and how that has shaped the landscape and changed lives. The picturesque fishing villages of Ellburg and Harderwijk have lost their connection to the sea and are now located inland. You can still walk along the old ports, but they’re now filled with freshwater and the historic fishing boats have long since left the sea. Today, the vastness of the former Southern Sea has been replaced by the province of Flevoland, on the doorstep of city dwellers.

Bike paths through nature

On the Hanseatic Cities route, you cycle along some of the most beautiful cycle paths in the Netherlands. Many of them have been specially designed for cyclists and lead through nature. You cycle over dikes and floodplains, along the IJssel River, and across the deciduous and coniferous forests of the Veluwe. If you’re lucky, you may even encounter red deer, mouflon or wild horses here. And in late summer, when the heather fields are in bloom, expect a very special natural spectacle.

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Which Hanseatic Tour suits you best?

Would you like to experience the Hanseatic Tour yourself? Discover our trips along the historic Hanseatic route! We offer this tour in two different versions. If you choose the “Hansa Highlights” tour, you’ll stay overnight on a modern and comfortable cruise ship. You’ll ride the bike routes independently, at your own pace. Would you prefer to ride the bike routes in a group and with a tour leader? Then the “Historic Hanseatic Cities – Guided” tour is your best bet. Like the Hansa Highlights tour, you’ll travel on a smaller ship, but you’ll cycle with the group each day, if you’d like. Still not sure how to decide? We’re here to help!

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